The chapter begins with talking about how God shows no partiality (v. 1-16). The amplified Bible says partiality is “undue favor or unfairness; with Him one man is not different from another.”
It can be comforting knowing God is not partial and He loves us all the same, especially when we think we are less worthy than others.
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
It can also be humbling knowing God is not partial. When He blesses us and works in us, it can be tempting to think He loves us more than those who do not know Him or do not submit to Him.
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous
It can be fearful (reverential fear) and also encouraging knowing God is not partial, because He will judge the world and “render to each person according to his deeds” (v. 6).
… to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation
There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.
For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
Romans 2:7-16 (NASB)
In the verse above, it says “for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.”
But the second half of Romans 2 talks about how the law condemns. So how can we be justified by it if it condemns us?
The answer is in Romans 10:4:
“For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God” (NLT).
We are justified through Christ. He met all the requirements of the law. Trying to obey the law can’t save or change us. Jesus saved us and His Spirit changes us.
I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
Galatians 2:21 (NIV)
Last week, I talked about how God has placed His truth in us and how we suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18-20).
When we rely on the law, rather than Jesus, we suppress the spirit from working in us and being seen through us. We may know what is right and wrong, and are able to teach it to others, but we ruin our testimony when we lack the Holy Spirit’s power to turn from evil and do good.
But if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law and boast in God, and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal? You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” just as it is written.
For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.
Romans 2:17-24, 28-29 (NASB)
To summarize this chapter, God will judge the world. So we don’t have to. When our hearts are surrendered to Jesus we can be confident that we will be justified before God and not be condemned.
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
We praise You for sending Jesus to fulfill all the requirements of the law so we can be justified before You. We praise You that You show no partiality, and You love us all the same. Keep our hearts set on Christ and not on the things of this world. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit and transform us from the inside out.
In Jesus’ faithful name we pray, Amen!
How did God speak to you through Romans 2? Is there anything He revealed that you would like to share with others?
*Come back next Monday as we talk about what we learned in Romans 3. Have a blessed week knowing you are justified in Christ!