Romans 2:1-16

May 10, 2020 // By:Dave // No Comment

The Moralist

the moralist thinks he can be good by obeying his own laws rather than someone else’s.

Deut 10:12-13  

12 “Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to [c]fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?

walk in ALL His ways, 

serve with ALL your heart and soul

(keep His commandments for your own good)

100% or it counts for 0%

all or nothing.

Matt 5:19-20   righteousness must exceed that of the pharisees

James 2  deals with partiality in the fellowship, then moves into partiality of the law, breaking one is breaking all

Once you break the law, you can’t rely upon it to rescue you from it’s penalty. (and further obedience to the law does not erase the penalty of already breaking it, even once)

a man goes to a doctor and asks “Doc, how do I avoid lung cancer?”

the doctor replies “don’t smoke”

the man replies “I already did. In fact, it’s metastasized through my system and spread to my lymphatic system and I want to stop it”

the doctor replies “you asked me how to avoid it. That would mean not starting smoking. You asked the wrong question. It’s too late to prevent it; it’s already happened.”


Romans 2:1 Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

what is this about ?  

If you know it’s wrong for someone else to do it (then you prove that you know better than to do it yourself)

Jesus Spoke about hypocrisy: (those who judge by a standard will be judged by that same standard because their judgement upon others proves they know it is wrong.

Matt 7:3-5

Matt. 7:1 ¶ “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.

Matt. 7:2For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

Matt. 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

Matt. 7:4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?

Matt. 7:5 “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Luke 6

“how you measure to others, it will be measured to you 37-38”

Luke 6:39 ¶ And He also spoke a parable to them: “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit?

Luke 6:40 “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.

Luke 6:41 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

Luke 6:42 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

discerning good trees from bad trees, good men from bad men

Luke 6:46 

Luke 6:46 ¶ “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?

Luke 6:47 “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like:

Luke 6:48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.

Luke 6:49 “But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

in balance, Yes, we are called to discern good and bad (even in each other)

  • how else could we help each other when stumbling 
  • how else can we encourage each other to good works (unless we ourselves know good from bad)
  • we are still to obey the law (meaning we are also supposed to cooperate with and enforce the laws of God and our society)  ignoring evil is an act of evil in itself.
  • mindset of “I could have fallen in this one myself under the right circumstances
  • not mindset of “I’m better than this and have earned the right to point a finger at you for failing
  • focus is first on ourselves, and second on helping others

2 And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.

3 But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?

4 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?

what kindness of God is he referring to ?

graces and mercies of God revealed in Christ

5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

who are the stubborn and unrepentant hearts ?

the unsaved

the repentant are the saved.

I thought we are saved by faith, not works or repentance ?

repentance is the first act of faith required to receive the gift of salvation

Luke 24: 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

Mark 1:14–15 (ESV)

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Acts 2:38 (ESV)

38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

1John 1:5 ¶ This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

1John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;

1John 1:7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

1John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

confess = 933   [3670]   μολογέω, homologeō, v.  [root of: 469, 2018, 3934, 3935; cf. 3927 + 3306]. to confess, acknowledge, agree, admit, declare; this can be a profession of allegiance, an admission of bad behavior, or an emphatic declaration of a truth

literally means to “speak in agreement” (agreement with what ?)

we have the word homologous (meaning all the same, or nothing different in this item of material)

the moralist is not confessing that he has sin.  He claims to have 

  • achieved the high ground
  • reached a place to look down upon others
  • an ability to perform good works of his own power
  • an ability to tell good from bad aside from God

this is why the person saying they are moral (status of good) is not acceptable to God

(look at 1 John 1:10 for reference)

The moralist says I determine good, define good, perform good, AM good.


7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;

8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.

easy to get confused about who Paul is talking about in verse 7 and in verse 8

by using the but” to separate according to God’s view, we can put hearts on one side of the scale or the other.


good side (receive eternal life = Christ)
those who seek for glory and honor and immortality (by persevering in doing good)

bad side (receive wrath and indignation)
those who are selfishly ambitious, do not obey the truth, obey unrighteousness


9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,

10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

11 For there is no partiality with God.

12 ¶ 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;

13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

14 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,

15 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,

16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

Does not matter if you are 

  • Jew or Greek
  • know the law or not
  • heard of Jesus or not

all will be judged by God according to what they know (and their own conscience proves what they know)

the defendant is charged with 

  • ignoring the laws of God
  • attempting to replace God’s laws with his own laws (of his own standard)
    • which while imperfect, reflect God’s laws proving his retained knowledge of God’s laws
  • violating his own laws against his own conscience
    • which reflects knowledge of breaking God’s laws
  • applying the penalties of his own laws to others
    • while holding himself above these same laws
  • the defendant is guilt of impersonating an honorable judge and is in contempt of all law.

the sin of adam and eve is at the heart of the moralist

making your own determination of good and evil

Paul spends a decent amount of effort linking works to salvation.

many wish he had not, because they say this just confuses things; after all we are saved by faith, not works

but Paul is not contradicting himself. (and since this is inspired scripture, 

let us just say that “God is not contradicting Himself”

what is Works ?

 (an action, deliberate thought or choice as well) since our heart is what determines our outside deeds

the works that please God are the ones performed by God, not us

specific to our situation, works that God performs through us.

repentance is a work

faith is a work

trust is a work

Galatians 5 fruits of the Spirit are works

All these flow from our claimed relationship with God.

(without the relationship, there can be no good works

Rom 8:8  flesh cannot please God

1 Cor 13:1-2  without love, it profits me nothing

Micah 6:8  Lord desires that we do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with Him

2 Cor 3:6 tells us that the we are made ministers of a new covenant, that the letter kills, but the Spirit give life

the moralist desires the letter, but not the Spirit.

The moralist produces works , but not works that are pleasing to God. 

(because they are works of condemnation, first of others, and ultimately of themselves

the works must be genuine to validate our faith.

James 2

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without [a]your works, and I will show you my faith by [b]my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is [c]dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made [d]perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was [e]accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

if an tree says “I am an orange tree” and yet, shows no oranges but grew figs instead, 

what would you say about that tree ?

what if we sent it arbor college and put in some orange growing classes ?

What if we showed it pictures of oranges, encouraged it to hang out with orange trees?

What if someone says “I am a christian” yet does not show fruit?

  • does not know what a christian is
  • deliberately lying (for a variety of reasons

lets focus on the one who sincerely believes they are saved

phrased differently …

  • lacks a proper understanding of what salvation is, 
  • have not repented, 
  • has not resulted in outward works of inward change
  • educating them about fruit will not help
  • coaching them to be fruitful just further leads them down the road of a blasphemous combination of moralism and religiosity

Do people know we are Christians by our fruit, our works, our love, and our repentance ?

Do we have to tell them ?
(is that why we have such a marketplace for christian t-shirts, jewelry, merchandise)

I’m not shooting down having cross earrings, or a lion of Judah t-shirt

what I am shooting down, is reliance upon these things to advertise we are christians

when they should see it in the life we live even more

(and maybe we are unconsciously avoiding the 

sacrificial part of the christian life, 

the obedient part

the repentant part

and exchanging the works that God wants for works that are easier for us to wear and show.

Do we have to announce to those around us that we are christian. ?

2 Cor 10:3-5 tells us that this war will not be won with tactics of this world

God meant for our fruit, our works of faith and repentance to be what shows others Himself

(it would be good for us to trust His plan and methods more than our own)

Don’t tell them we are christians, Show them we are christians

(the moralist defies God by determining his own good and bad)

lets go back to the orange tree analogy

God tells the tree “grow an orange”

the tree grows an apple and says “this is a really good apple , look , now I work for you”

God says “I didn’t want an apple, I wanted an orange”

tree replies “yeah, I know, but it was able to grow the apple on my own and I feel really good about it”
God says “because you refuse to turn to me, all you can ever grow is apples, and you refuse to come to terms with a simple fact … I am in the orange business, not the apple business”

you cannot be in my orange grove because you do not know me nor do you care to understand why i only want oranges. I could have transformed you and given you the ability to grow oranges but you refuse to admit that the apples are worthless to me (no matter what they mean to you)

Let us not, as Children of God, try to mix His Word with our morals


About Dave

Browse Archived Articles by Dave

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.