Wednesday 14 April 2021

Bible Book:

For God shows no partiality. (v. 11)

Romans 2:1-11 Wednesday 14 April 2021

Psalm 117


In the previous chapter Paul has pointed to the moral depravity of the ancient world, of which his readers in Rome would be well aware. It was the result of people rejecting God’s ways. But the depravity was not universal. There were exceptions, and in particular there were teachers of philosophy who were critical of the depravity and urged virtuous living. There is goodness in people which God will acknowledge (verses 6-7). But the problem is smugness: condemning others while being guilty, not of the same faults perhaps, but of selfishness and self-righteousness (v. 8). As Paul will say in 3:23, everyone has sinned in one way or another and come short of the glory of God that they were created to reflect.

It is significant that in verses 9 and 10 Paul identifies the target of his argument as "the Jew first and also the Greek". This will have struck home to his Jewish critics in Rome, for they believed that God’s covenant with Israel, their knowledge of God’s will unveiled in the law of Moses, and in particular the rite of circumcision put them in a privileged position. In the rest of chapter 2 Paul will argue that what counts with God is not privileges but quality of life. To know what is right and not to do it is worse than not knowing.

To Ponder:

  • How would you distinguish between being judgemental and calling for justice?
  • Are we all as bad as everyone else? If not, what is Paul saying to us?
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