Today Paul tells the Romans that God is the judge of all and “whoever you are who judge, for whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same thing.” Therefore, Paul says instead of judging each other’s sins, repent of your own sin to avoid the wrath of God. For God “‘will render to each one according to his deeds’: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil… For there is no partiality with God.”
Paul rebukes the Jews for honoring God with their mouths but breaking the law with their actions. He says “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you” and because of their disobedience as God’s chosen people.
Paul is more concerned about the state of their hearts rather than their outward appearance of obedience. Paul explains that a Jew “is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.”
Since we are all sinners incapable of perfectly keeping the law, the good news is that we are not judged by the law. The law exposes our sin and our need for a Savior – “For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus… Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.”
Paul explains that Abraham was justified by his faith over four hundred years before the law was ever given – “For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’” And Abraham received the sign of circumcision at least thirteen years after being accounted righteous as “a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.”
“For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” And the same righteousness that was imputed to Abraham shall be “imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.” More to the Romans tomorrow, so keep reading. (Romans 2:1-4:25)