The book of Romans chapter 2 versus 1 through 3, that's not right. It's chapter 2 through 3:23, so that's the entire second chapter and about half of the third chapter. This is episode three, No Greater Joy Ministries. I am Michael Pearl and we are at The Door. The Door is located in Louisville, Tennessee. Anytime you're passing through on a Thursday evening at 7 o'clock, feel free to stop off and visit with us.
The word of God is what we're studying verse by verse, word by word. This is interesting passage.
Proverbs 22:20-21 "Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, that I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth;" Notice the plural words of truth. "that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?" So God has given us in the authorized version, the words, plural, of truth. That's why I can answer you the words of truth when you come to hear the Bible talk.
The book of Romans is written in AD 57 or 58 by the apostle Paul from Corinth to the church at Rome. We're still in that section that talks about the human condition. By the human condition, we mean universal sinfulness and universal condemnation. Last lesson, we talked about how it is that we all come under condemnation. We pointed out that it was not based on a sinful nature, not based on some constitutional fault inherited from Adam, but rather it was based on free choice that you and I exercise that leads to sinful acts that brings personal condemnation and guilt.
And so as we move on, we find the divine principle by which God judges each person. We talked about that in 1:18 last week,
Romans 1:18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” So we talked about the fact that God does not damn anyone who doesn't have truth. God never faults anyone for their ignorance, unless it's willful ignorance that's earned by an act of the will.
God judges each person according to the amount of knowledge that they have had, that they've been exposed to, that they have assimilated. So the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness under the condition that they hold the truth in unrighteousness, hold the truth is the word that's translated in the Bible, cease, grasp, hold onto, hold the truth. The wrath of God comes on people who hold truth.
Here we have a picture of one holding a book of truth. That's that individual's truth. Each one has truth accumulated. And that truth varies from one person to another, but it's not two different kinds of truth, it's different degrees of the same truth. So all people hold some truth by means of direct divine revelation for the scriptures tell us "That was the true light," speaking of Jesus, "which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." (John 1:0)
So Jesus Christ is active by his spirit, shedding light upon everyone born into the world, no matter what their language, what their culture or what their religion, all people hold some truth by means of understanding that comes through observing the natural order of nature and the universe. When anyone in any culture stands and looks up into the heavens and the stars, or looks down into the life that's in a pond or even a puddle of water, it causes wonder and leads us to recognize the presence of a creator just as if you walked into someone's basement and you found a canvas stretched across the wall and beside it was a bunch of tubes of paint and some brushes and cans.
And on that canvas was a picture of the Grand Teton mountains, or maybe a farmhouse in Mississippi with kids and dogs and cows playing around it. And you looked at that painting, you said, "Where did that come from?" And they said, "Well, there was an explosion in the basement, the gas tank exploded and when it did, I had a bunch of cans of paint stacked in the corner and paint went everywhere and it just turned out that that painting occurred on that canvas by chance."
Well, now I wouldn't believe that. I know he was either pulling my leg or totally lost his mind. You see, when you look at something that's got order to it, that's color coordinated, that has images of different kinds there, you know that it has an intelligent designer. So when you look at butterflies and cows and horses and chickens and bats and bugs and fleas and spiders and lizards and you see the order, you see the scales on the fish, you see the rods and cones in the eyeball, you see the synapses in the brain, you look at all of that and you conclude there's a divine mind, there's a creator.
And everyone, even the most ignorant people surmise from nature that there is a creator to whom we must give account. And so here, the man looks out and sees the objects of nature, sees the cycle of the butterfly. And in more modern times, someone has counted or looked closely at the monarch butterfly and found that on the back of the butterfly, on its wings is every letter in the English alphabet represented. So God put that in there a long time ago for us to observe.
And so when you see the cycle of the larva, the little worm, we did that with the kids in homeschooling, we took some tomato worms and pulled off some tomato leaves and put them in a lunch pail and closed them up. And a few days later we looked inside and sure enough, there was that worm all wrapping up in this little cocoon he was building.
And then I don't remember how long it was, the kids probably do, but a couple weeks, three weeks, something later, out comes a beautiful, was it a moth or butterfly? I don't remember, but it was a big fuzzy flying creature. And so the kids were absolutely amazed at that and they learned more from it than and I did obviously. And so this person holds the truth where? Not in his hand, not on his bookshelf, but he holds the truth in his heart and in his mind.
Everyone does hold truth of one sort or another. It's like some people have the big glass of water there, a whole lot of truth, nearly full, that's a person, a Jew, or a Christian who's had the words of God, studied it, learned it, knows God's will, approves the things that are excellent, seeks to please God in all things, this person holds a lot of truth. Then the smaller glass there would be in the middle size glass would be someone who has truth as well but they have less truth because they come from a culture that has less understanding, less truth, less revelation.
And then the small glass there might be somebody like an American Indian or someone from South America that was never exposed to Western civilization, Western philosophy, Western culture, Western religion, or Judaism and knows nothing except the primitive religion that they learned right there in their own tribe and so their volume of truth is rather small. Well, when God judges, he's going to judge each person as to how well they lived up to their own truth.
God's not going to judge the little guy on the right like he was the one on the left. He's going to judge him for just the amount of truth that he holds.
Luke 12:48 "But he that knew not," Jesus said, "and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required:" Now he's talking there about a landowner with servants and he's pointing out a principle there that the servant who is not completely responsible is only given a few strikes but the one who knows much is given much is given more stripes.
Verse 21 said, because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God. That's the response men had to that revelation they saw in nature and the revelation of Jesus Christ to them. So the human race responds to divine revelation by not glorifying God.
That was the first greatest and biggest sin of all. We talked about that last week. Unthankfulness, what an ugly sin to be unthankful. I've done things for people just out of the goodness of my heart, but you know my godliness somehow ends when they stop being thankful. Have you ever noticed how it shouldn't make any difference to us if they have a need, we fulfill that need? But I know I have a hard time giving anybody anything the second time if they weren't thankful the first time.
And so think about how God must feel when we're unthankful, when he gives us air to breathe, food to eat, all the good things that come in life and we do nothing but complain. That's a great sin.
And then imagining alternatives to God. In other words, they said there were vain in their imagination. So rather than accept the God that is, they created a god in their own imagination and they professed to be wise.
And we talked about that last week, creating religions around idols, imagery, statues, icons like the Roman Catholic church, the Orthodox church, some of the Methodist churches, and they worship the creature more than the creator. The creature is the animals and humans as well, worshiping the creature. Turning to homosexuality and fornication, which God greatly condemns.
And then rejecting God from their knowledge deciding they didn't want him in their academia, that they didn't want him as part of their curriculum, they didn't want anybody coming there and sitting in their class who mentioned him. They want God out of their knowledge. And then they're filled with every form of sin. He named a long list of sins, which we won't be able to go into.
1Corinthians 6:9-10 "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?" We saw last week. "Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate..." how horrible a man trying to change his nature to be like a woman. God says the effeminate won't inherit the kingdom of God.
Now, after inducing us to pass judgment upon these different sins, liars, thieves, adulterers, homosexuals after leading us to pass judgment, he said, "Who knowing the judgment of God," that is you and I know the judgment of God, we know “that they which commit such things are worthy of death," we know that. And we fundamentalist conservative Christians are quick to voice our convictions and opinions about what is sin and what's not and to condemn the wicked and justify the righteous, we do that.
He said, “not only those that do the same,” do the sin, “but have pleasure in them that do them.” In other words, the judgment of God doesn't just fall on people who do those wicked things, but also on the people who take pleasure in them doing those things. If you don't dress godlessly, immorally and yet you have a rock singer or a country singer that goes on stage dressed extremely immorally, has a godless life and occasionally precipitates a wardrobe malfunction and you go back and you watch that and you pass that around, you think that's... Listen, you share the same damnation that the singer does with a wardrobe malfunction.
Now Paul provoked us to judgment and rightly so. That looks like my wife's aunt Mami right there, doesn't it? And that's the way she looked most of the time. I stayed away from aunt Mami. She was a righteous woman and she knew it. And she's gone now and the world miss her because she led a lot of people to the Lord. So we judge, we judge and we judge correctly.
Judgment is the inevitable attribute of a moral agent. In other words, it's impossible to know right from wrong and not pass judgment. If you know right from wrong and you have two choices in front of you, A and B, A is righteous, B is sinful, you pass judgment on B and you choose A. If someone comes into your circle of influence and they are doing B, then you pass judgment on them, say, "You shouldn't be doing that. That's a bad influence on me, on my children, on the church, on the community. You shouldn't do that, that's bad."
So the liberals all pass judgment. They pass judgments on the conservatives. The atheists pass judgment on the Christians. Everyone that's breathing, thinking and has a functional brain is making judgments every day about someone somewhere.
So Paul in his Romans chapter 1 has led us to make some strong judgements.
“Therefore,” he says chapter 2:1, “thou art inexcusable O man whosoever thou art that judgest, for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself.”
In other words, he said, now that I've led you to judge, I've drawn you out and I made you make a commitment to your consciousness of good and evil. So if you judge someone else to be a thief and you've stolen, then you'll go down as a thief. You never can claim ignorance after that. He says, got you now.
Look at verse 2. "...for thou that judgest doest the same things."
And you say, "Well, I've never looked at pornography." Well, the point in looking at pornography is to lust. Have you looked and lusted at something less than pornography? How do you distinguish between the two in your own consciousness? Do you make such a judgment that you absolve yourself of guilt when you lust in Walmart or lust watching a TV show or something else? When you judge another, you're condemning yourself.
If you hold a standard of right and wrong, you will value the right in both yourself and others and you'll disapprove of the wrong in yourself and others. We make ourselves moral enforcers, three year old children, four year old children are moral enforcers. You ought not do that. And they get angry when someone violates their space or takes something they shouldn't take, or somebody thieves something, they get angry, why? Because they have a moral consciousness and they're making judgments. It's inevitable.
We all have a resident judge who approves or disapproves of all actions. The conscience is not an entity, it's not some thing you could isolate, take out and put in a Petri dish. It's not something that you could cut a nerve ending and it cease to exist. The conscience is nothing more than conscience with science. It's nothing more than that act of the brain in knowing itself.
Conscience is your evaluation as you understand right and wrong of your conduct of someone else's, that's your conscience. Your conscience as a guide is only as good as the information you put into it. So we all have a resident judge who approves or disapproves of all actions. When you have disapproved of someone else's actions, you condemn yourself in the same area.
It's like having your mother in your head, now keep your eye on the screen, on the left shoulder of the guy, it's like having your mother in your head. How'd you like to go around with your mom right behind you all time it would changed the way you live? I used to say to the military guys, "Hey guys, how'd you like to go home on leave and have a little display panel across your forehead and it plays the images and the text of everything you've done the past month and you let your mama see it?"
I know what you'd do. You'd wear your cap bill rather low, wouldn't you? And so our conscience is always there. We try to quiet it, but it's there.
Matthew 7:2 “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged. And what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” What he is saying is when you go to the marketplace to buy and you use a very heavy weight so that when you buy a pound, you're actually getting a pound and a half and then when you get ready to sell, you have a different set of weights and when you are selling a pound, you actually have a three quarter pound weight.
And so you're only selling them three quarters. You said you're not using a fair measure. So he says, God is going to measure you with the same weight that you've used to measure others. If you're legalistic and particularly hard on people, God's going to be particularly hard on you. Scary. When we point our finger at others, we have three fingers pointing back at ourselves.
And believe me, the world is ready to condemn. You'll never see a Democrat getting condemned for his immorality, but you let a Republican do something on the edge of immoral and the whole world comes against him. Why? Because the Republicans run on a platform of morality and honesty and truth, the Democrats don't. And so there are two different standards.
And listen, if you're a reprobate and you go out here and do something godless, nobody's going to pay attention to you. But if you profess to be a Christian and you do something just tends in the godless direction, you're going to have fingers point at you everywhere and it should because they're judging you as you've judged others. What you've cast out on the waters is coming back to you in the same measure.
So now he's going to talk about the religious Gentile. He says, verse 1 again, "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things." He's talking to the Jew here who's judged these Gentiles for their wickedness. He said, "But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commits such things."
So Paul is reflecting back on the judgment he has passed on that long list of sin in chapter 1 down through verse 32. And he says, I know one thing for sure, that the judgment of God on each and every individual is going to be according to truth, the truth they hold, the truth that they have in their consciousness, that's how God will judge them.
Revelation 20:12b "... and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." That throws a lot of light on the eras of theology. You never find God judging people based on something that happened before they were born. The judgment falls upon them because of something they do. The only judgment that comes upon you because of something that happened before you were born is that you die physically. Death passed up on all men when the one man Adam sinned. We'll come to that in time.
And so there will come a day when in truth we will stand before God and each of us will have to give an account of how we obeyed the laws of God, not just the 10 commandments, but the 633 commandments that are found in the old testament. All of them are required in order to enter into heaven.
Romans 2:3 "And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shall escape the judgment of God?"
So again, he's using this ploy of getting us on the stand to testify against another. And then pointing out that our testimony against them is also very effective testimony against us. And if we think they are going to come under judgment, do we think that somehow we'll escape the same judgment when we've done the same thing?
Romans 2:4 "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering;" What's he saying? He's saying God has allowed you to live 25 years, 35 years, 45 years and not damned you for your sin. You've sinned again and again, he's let you get away with it. Here you are 16 year old kid and you've sinned and confessed it to God, promised not to do it again and you have, and yet God's been good, he's been patient, he's not come down on you.
Now, are you taking him for granted that you can just keep sinning? Do you think somehow that he's just going to keep being patient forever? Do you despise the riches of his goodness and his forbearance and his long suffering not knowing that the goodness of God is there to lead you to repentance? I am moved by the goodness of God to be repentant. I'm more moved by the goodness of God and the presence of his spirit than I am by threat. Both are valid.
Romans 2:5 "But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;" When the earth builds up pressure and the ground begins to heave, when gases begin to escape, we know that the earth is treasuring up wrath. It's treasuring up a boiling spewing inferno. God is like that.
He has been treasuring up wrath for a long time. He's been capping his volcano of judgment. There's going to come a day when by fire God will judge the world and every year humanity advances putting more and more pressure on that wrath of God to ball forth. I think it's way overdue. From time to time like Noah's flood, like the plagues that hit Rome in the second century, like the plagues that hit Europe 1100, 1200, 1300, wiping out one fourth, one third of the population from time to time, God's wrath was appeased for a period of time.
But today America has lived in pleasure for a long time, lived in ease without great judgment coming upon us and the wrath of God is waiting to be poured out upon this world.
Romans 2:6 "Who will render to every man according to his deeds:" We talked about that in chapter one. How that God judges each person according to his deeds. Over and over again, we're told that.
Now I'm thankful that I have something has been laid on top of my deeds, and that is the deeds of the Lord Jesus Christ. So I now have to my credit what he did. So when judgment day comes, my deeds have been washed away by the blood of Jesus and his deeds have taken my place. And I'm getting ahead of myself, that'll come in later, chapter 3 and chapter 4, but I can't help it right here. So he'll “render to every man according to his deeds” unless you find another way out through Jesus Christ.
Romans 2:7 "To them who by patient continuance and well doing", we talked about this in chapter 1, we had to jump over here to cover this. In other words, people patiently continue to do well seeking for glory, that's a religious person who wants to go to heaven, see, seeking for glory and honor and he's seeking for immortality. He wants to live forever so he's being good. He's stopping his sinning so he won't be judged. He said to that person there's eternal life. Yes, that's the principle.
Romans 2:8-10 "But under them that are contentious," they disagree with the truth "and do not obey the truth," that they hold "but obey unrighteousness," on them comes "indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish on every soul of man that doeth evil, to the Jew first" because he had the first,"opportunity and the greatest opportunity" “and also of the Gentile; But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good,"
So if you do good, God will put glory on you, put honor on you and peace on you, "to the Jew first and also to the Gentile." Now that's an eternal principle, true in all religions and non religions across the face of the earth, consistent with the conscience of mankind that goodness and righteousness are rewarded with eternal life and evil is rewarded with damnation.
Now we know where Paul's going with this, he's going to prove that all are under sin. But he's just letting us know ahead of time that we are judged according to how we live. So that makes the judgment of God just,
Romans 2:11"For there's no respect of persons with God." in regard to this judgment. God is not going to honor a religious Jew over someone who's not religious. God's not going to honor a Baptist pastor over a dope head living in the Bronx of New York. God's no respecter persons.
Every man is going to be judged according to his works unless he finds a way out through supernaturally through the new birth. But there's no respect of persons with God in this judgment. So we found out from chapter 1, in chapter 2, and up to the present that some men have the law in their mind from the words they read of God or get through their own religion. And some people through nature have the law of God written in their hearts, he said, their conscience, the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another.
So remember there are different levels of truth and different degrees of judgment based on those levels of truth.
Romans 2:12 See, he says "For as many has have sinned without law shall also perish without law:" The law is not necessary, that is the Mosaic law because they have sinned against their own conscience, and therefore they will perish, but not under the dictates of the law. "... and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;" So the Jew and the Christian who sins in the law, the law will come and be his judge.
Romans 2:13 "For not the hearers of the law are just before God," Look at this, "but the doers of the law shall be justified." Now the church of Christ, the United Pentecostal Holiness, the Seventh-day Adventists, I listened to one on the radio this past week, I've renewed my disdain for Seventh-day Adventist doctrine, listened to one speak this past week, and the Jehovah's Witness, the Mormons and the... What's that other crowd?... There's a bunch of them, they all would love this passage, the doers of the law should be justified because they all seek to do the law. I heard one of them say very clearly, a Roman Catholic on a radio broadcast. He said we know that we are saved by faith plus works. Now the faith is okay, but let me ask you, what kind of works, how much works, how good works, to what degree works does it take added to faith to save you?
Well, according to the word of God, it takes righteousness complete 100% all the way down the line. And the point Paul is making in this is that no one has lived up to this rule, this demand for righteousness through the law.
Romans 2:14 "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law," Now, how is that do by nature?
In other words, when you go into a group of tribal people and they have a principle, a rule against stealing, except from a native enemy tribe, but among their own people, they have a rule against stealing, they're punished for stealing. They have a rule against taking the other person's wife. They have a rule against a number of things that are absolutely consistent with the 10 commandments. Why? Because they've learned that through their heart, through nature, and they've become a law under themselves having not the law or a law under themselves, he says.
Romans 2:15 "Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;" In other words, you see that conscience, that law written in their heart, you can identify the fact that that law is written in their heart, but the fact that they're active accusing one another or excusing one another. In other words, he says that person did bad, we should punish him, we should judge him.
Or they say, "Yeah, what he did was wrong, but there's extenuating circumstances, we can understand why he did it. It's acceptable. We're going to bypass, that's okay." And so they're going to excuse his actions. So there's this very fine judgment that they're making about right and wrong and motive involved in right and wrong.
Romans 2:16 "In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." So God is going to get right down and judge the very secrets of the heart.
Romans 2:17-20 Now here's what the religious Jew has to say. "Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God," And the Jew did that. Sounds like some homeschoolers I know. "And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;" Man, you got some good kids here. They're taught the Bible, they're taught to discern right from wrong, find bunch of upstanding, moral righteous people "And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness," Here's a righteous person who's very evangelistically minded who wants to steer other people in the path, "An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes." to instruct the absolutely ignorant foolish people of the world. And then a young student, teacher of babes, "which has a form of knowledge" and they do, these religious leaders, a form of knowledge and of the truth in the law they do have it.
Romans 2:21 "Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?" You say, "Well, well, not like they do." Okay. So you have never broken anyone's garage and taken their Weed Eater. But have you stolen anything at work? Anything, anywhere, anytime a little bit? What about going into a restaurant and ordering one drink and then two of you get it refilled and drink from the same one you just stole? What about going in and taking condiments, not just putting on your food, but taking a package of them home? Then you're a thief. I know because you did it sneakily. You don't let the people see what you're doing, you kind of slip it in your pocket because you're a thief. So you accuse others of being a thief, are you a thief? I could go on and on and on but there's plenty of ways. I've seen a lot of thieves, good Christian thieves stealing.
Romans 2:22 "Thou that preaches a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery?" What about in your heart? As Jesus said. Look on a woman to lust after her, you've commit adultery with her already in your heart. You teach other people shouldn't do it, you've judged and condemned people for doing it, have you ever done it? Say, "Well, not exactly like he did it." But you understand. "... thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?" In other words, you wouldn't participate in idolatry, but do you hold other things other than religious icons up in an exalted way?
Romans 2:23-24 "Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written." He said that unbelievers see the way you live and they blaspheme God. You know what the biggest detriment in America is to reaching people for Christ? The reputation of Christians. That's the biggest detriment, the reputation of Christians. It wasn't always that way.
Now he's going to talk about circumcision. Romans 2:25 "For circumcision verily profiteth if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision."
Now, why is he addressing that? Because he's talking to the Jews here. And the Jews gave an imbalanced view of circumcision. They exalted it beyond the measure of what God intended. And so they felt that just that cutting in their flesh somehow endeared them to God. Do you realize that only half of the Jews then were endeared to God? The women weren't. And somehow the men in their hardiness felt like that that made them special. Amazing.
Romans 2:26 He said, "Therefore if the uncircumcision", that's a Gentile who's not circumcised "keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?" So in other words, God would look at an American Indian or somebody in the heart of China or south America who's never heard about the Bible or circumcision and if he does, the righteousness is in the law, God's going to call him a circumcised man. That would irritate the Jews to have heard that.
Romans 2:27-28 "And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature," it's the way God made you, "if it fulfill the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?" So here's the true nature of Judaism. "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is circumcision which is outward in the flesh:" Let's bring that up to a modern reading. He is not a Christian, which is one outwardly, neither is the new birth that which is outward in the flesh.
So I don't like to see guys with earrings and nipple rings and lip rings and nose rings and tattoos all over them and all that kind of stuff. And so I'm coming from the old school and I'm pretty biased against that sort of thing. But I've met some fine Christians that love God that are nippled up and painted up, and I mean sick looking to me, but they come from a different world with different perspective on things and it's just out of place for us to condemn or judge them by the way they look.
I remember back in the hippy days, I met some long haired hippies and I remember many preachers said, "I just want to stop my car, get out and take some scissors and cut that old nasty hair off of him." And that was supposed to be a righteous way of looking at things. But I knew some of those hippies were out winning people to Jesus living a righteous life, walking and holiness filled with the Holy Spirit, exercising gifts of the spirit and believing in studying the words of God.
And many of those people that I knew then today are very straight people that would never mention what they used to be, who totally grew away from that. But back then, they were the scourge of Christianity.
Romans 2:29 And so "...he is not a Jew which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that in the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter whose praise is not of men but of God."
There's been a movement in Christianity the last 40 years, 45 years or so and it's been one to try to restore Christianity to a place of righteousness. And believe me, there was a need and has been. But the movement fell into an outward movement, in other words, to look like a Christian, talk like a Christian, act like a Christian. I've actually heard some of the leaders of that movement say that the girls need to cut their hair and perm it, they need to wear... Shouldn't wear...
Deb was told years ago, 50, 45, 50 years ago that she couldn't wear a long dress down to her ankles that it looked too worldly, she had to wear one up to her knees so she'd look like a Christian and that they had to wear their makeup just so and curl the hair just right. And then guys had to wear ties and all that sort of thing and baking whole wheat bread and whole bunch of stuff became part of that thing that was supposed to make you righteous.
And so people worked on the outward symbols of Christianity, and then they go to big meetings and line all their 14 kids up and brag on how many kids they'd have. And a good number of those people lost their kids to the world and to the devil because they were building outward righteousness but not righteousness of the heart and the spirit, their praises of men, but it was not of God.
Now, Romans chapter 3. If Judaism, law keeping, and circumcision do not avail, as we've just read, what value are they? So he's going to answer that.
Romans 3:1 "What advantage then hath the Jew?" If circumcision and keeping the law doesn't avail? "or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly because that unto them" the circumcision, "were committed the oracles of God." He said what was the value of circumcision? Because the ones God had circumcised are the ones he gave the words of God to. So the advantage of it was you had the Bible. If the Bible was ineffectual with the Jews, his faith made void since most of them didn't believe? Of course, the first 15,000 converts were Jewish.
Romans 3:5 "But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)" In other words, he's saying if by my sinning God gets to be glorified by being the big forgiver, showing his grace and his mercy, then why do you fault me for sinning? After all, I'm serving a purpose. My purpose is to be the sinner so he can be the savior.
Romans 3:6 He said "God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?" In other words, his assumption is that for God to be the judge of the world, he's got to be righteous and that would make him unrighteous if what you said about him is true. So we know it's not true, otherwise he couldn't be the judge.
Romans 3:7-8" For if the truth of God hath more bounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?" Carrying the argument through. "And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,)" Wow, I didn't know Anderson Cooper and CNN were back there in those days. "Let us do evil that good may come? Whose damnation is just." So there was a call to movement, a group of Christians who were teaching that we can go ahead and sin so God will be glorified in forgiving us. That was called antinomianism by the theologians, you don't need to remember that word. Do evil that good may come? How awful that is. Their damnation is just so he has led us to judge this fringe group.
First of all, those people that are circumcised and think that's all that counts, then those people who preach that you're supposed to keep the law, but they don't, how awful and those people who say we should go on sinning because there's grace to forgive us. We've judged him. He's taken us through it again. Got you again. Got you again.
Romans 3:9 "What then are we better than they?" Well, I was kind of feeling that way for a while. I mean, I looked at them, I looked at me, I thought, "Yeah, I'm better than that. I'm glad I'm not like that." Are we better than they? "No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;" We have such small minds and hearts, all of us and that we can get so learned and so spiritual and if we only knew we're toddlers falling down if God wasn't holding our hand and we think we're athletes, we think we're spiritual athletes and we're still toddlers wetting our diapers, babbling incoherently and God leads us along as little children.
In no wise, we before prove Jews and Gentiles all are under sin. Conclusion and summation of universal sinfulness now.
Romans 3:10 "As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one:" Now that's an old testament quote. No, not one. It sounded for a while like he was offering us a way of salvation through our works. Theoretically, he was. In other words, theoretically, if you didn't sin, you wouldn't be damned.
Romans 3:11-12 "There is none righteous, no, not one. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God." In other words, the highest revelation you and I have risen to, the deepest understanding we've got is insufficient. God says we don't have any understanding. There's none that seeketh after God. "They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable;" When a ballpoint pen runs out of ink, you throw it away. It's not good for anything else. You scratch your ear with it, but that's about it. It's not good for anything else. Use it for a little baby tent stake, but that's all, it's not good for anything else.
So you throw it away. A big pen runs out, you throw it away. You and I have run out of godliness. We're not useful to God, unprofitable. "...there is none that doeth good, no, not one." He just keeps saying this over and over again in the passage.
Romans 3:13 "Their throat is an open sepulchre;" I've heard Christians say some nasty, nasty things about each other. I never hear myself saying it, but I hear other people.
If I were recorded, I'd probably hear myself saying it, but somehow I can't hear myself, I can hear other people better. You know what I mean? And so I've heard Christians say some really awful nasty things about each other, and it's a great sin. Our throat is like a tomb, like a grave where you open it up and it stinks and it's rotting and flies and bugs come out of it, that's our throat.
Romans 3:13"...with their tongues, they've used deceit" Kids are full of deceit, they're little liars. They learn how to lie within the family in such a way as not be labeled a liar, most of the time. Now, Nathan was the biggest liar in the world when he was little, I can still remember that. I mean, he was the extraordinary liar and he would lie when the truth would serve him better.
And I thought he'd end up being a total heathen reprobate. I mean, I had no hope for Nathan, he was such a liar. So my wife had a cure for him. We kept trying to catch him because I know you got to catch him and give the evidence, otherwise a liar will just assume that it was unjust if he doesn't see the evidence is there. Well, he was so good at it, he's smart. We couldn't catch him lying just exactly.
So Deb just said, "Okay, every day at noon for a week, I'm going to give you a spanking for being a liar." Didn't try to prove which lie, just spanking. So every day at noon, she'd spank him, give him 10 licks, wham, wham, wham, wham. He'd scream and holler, cry. And so after a while, a few days, he came during the middle of late in the afternoon, he said, "Mama, I'm not going to be a liar anymore." Said, "It's time for my spanking, but I'm not going to be a liar anymore."
She said, "Oh, your time ended yesterday, that was the seven days it's up." It's a good thing she didn't say six days. It took seven days to break him. So that was really the end of his lying.
“with their tongues, they have used deceit.” And so it can get in the best Christian family and run wild. "...the poison of asps is under their lips:" Now watch this, the poison of asps
Romans 3:14-16 "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:" All right, I worked on that a while. "Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways:" We live Rome in that day and age was very swift to shed blood. But we live in a day now when people are swift to shed blood as well. Video games, movies are just nothing but streams of bloodshed. Horror movies, can't stand, don't watch horror movies, but horror movies.
I watched one part of a... What's those things that don't die? People, you kill them, zombie. One part of a zombie movie when they first started not knowing what it was and that was it. I've never watched another one. I mean, it was so horrible, so sick, so degrading to humanity. A man's wife had been bitten and she was walking around half dead and he had to shoot her. And I thought how do people entertain all this? This is sick beyond belief. Romans 3:16 "Destruction and misery are in their ways:”
Romans 3:17 “The way of peace, they have not known:" There's great peace in knowing and loving God. If I had to right now deal with all of who I really am, if I had to wrestle with myself, my history, my past, I would be in a state of turmoil. But the blood Jesus has taken those sins away and made me a new creature. So I have a piece that I didn't earn, I don't deserve, it's a gift and I live and I walk in it and it's sweet.
Romans 3:18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes." There's plenty of reason to fear God, plenty of reason. Talking on a cell phone, texting, it's creating a lot of horrible accidents. I've just barely able to avoid two this past year but not from talking on them, I don't, but from somebody else talking on a cell phone. No fear of God.
There comes a time when they stick a tag on your toe before they put you in a freezer. Heart attacks can come young these days. Blood clots. No fear. You need to fear God because you're coming to a day of judgment. The time is coming, it's inescapable. There's coming a time when the wicked will be cast into hell and all the nations that forget God be a time when you have to answer for the deeds done in your body.
And if you don't love God with all your heart, soul, mind, body, and strength, if you don't love your neighbor as yourself, you haven't been born again and your sins been taken away and being led by the spirit of God, then you'll end up in hell forever.
Romans 3:19 "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God."
I remember one time I was dealing with this demon possessed fella. He was about 19 years old, I was about 18 or 19, could have been 20, I don't know, somewhere in that neighborhood. And he was a thief. He'd stolen some credit cards, gone down to Florida and lived it up, came back, was caught and he was going to go stand before the judge.
And I'd been trying to witness to him. He said, "Mike, I'm going to have to stand before the judge today. I want you to pray for me." I said, "Oh I will." This was a cool con man. So I prayed, "God make sure he gets at least three years, put him in jail so I can go visit him there, shut his mouth." And so when he got before the judge, the judge started reading the sentence, he said, "But your honor, let me tell you." He said, "Shut up."
He said, "But I just want to say..." He said, "Be quiet in my court until you're asked to speak." Judge talked a little more, he said, "Well..." Judge said, "One more word out of you and you're going to be carried out of here and I'm going to give you the maximum sentence." And he shut up. His mouth was stopped. His head hung and he wouldn't have that proud arrogance anymore that he's going to con the judge. At that point, he stood guilty before the judge and that's going to happen to every single one of us. We're going to stand before God guilty.
Romans 3:20 "Therefore by the needs of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin". Now that's a conclusion that ties up a whole lot of what we've had, most of what we've had from verse 18 on. Therefore, because of what he said, by the deeds of the law, that same law that he said this do and thou shall live, "Therefore by the deeds of the law thou shall no flesh be justified in his sight:"
He'd already told us that if you keep the law, you'll be justified. Now he says no flesh will be justified for by the law is the knowledge of sin. In other words, all the law did was reveal to us our sinfulness.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Every single one of us have fallen short. You've fallen short, the law has failed and here we hang between heaven and hell.
Our only hope now is that there'll be a bridge over the chasm to hell, a bridge that'll take us from sinful humanity to a glorified son of God. And that bridge was spanned, that chasm between God and man was spanned by the man Christ Jesus. Jesus was able to take man by one hand, God by the other and bring reconciliation.
And so if you're going to get to him, you're going to have to come by way of the cross where your sins were paid for, washed away. He was buried, resurrected, and now offers you eternal life. We'll take up here and we're going to start next time in a much happier, more enjoyable subject which is going to be on the provision God's made through Jesus Christ.