The above video is a step-by-step tracing of Romans 2:1-5. Now I’d like to discuss the passage briefly based on the tracing that I just did. (You can see an introduction to Tracing here)..warning: the Music at the end comes on pretty loud. Still getting used to this app!
“Therefore, you have no excuse, every one of you who passes judgment.”
Paul is drawing a conclusion based on a previous argument, and if we were to go back and read chapter 1 we would see that Paul has just demonstrated that all those who sin apart from the law are still under God’s condemnation, for they suppress the knowledge of God which is given to thrm in the creation itself. Now, Paul turns to those who have the law and therefore believe they are safe. He states that those who pass judgment are themselves without excuse. Why? Because they practice the very same things by which they judge others. Paul then points out what every good Jew already knew, that God rightly judges those who practice such things (i.e. those things mentioned in chapter 1). This time however Paul has included the Jews themselves for they also practice such things. So, just as Gentiles are under condemnation from sin so are the Jews, therefore God rightly judges all men because he rightly judges all who practice sin.
“But do you suppose this, O man… That you will escape the judgment of God?”
Paul then asks to rhetorical questions which provides the grounds for their condemnation. First, they suppose they will escape the judgment of God; second, they take for granted God’s kindness they did not know it should lead them to repentance. These questions reveal the attitude of the heart of those who outwardly might seem godly, and it is this attitude which provides the basis of their being without excuse and under God’s condemnation.
“… You are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.”
This is the conclusion that Paul draws. What he has argued so forth demonstrates the hard and unrepentant heart of those Jews who would judge others that consider themselves safe solely on the basis of their Jewish identity. No, they too are under the righteous and just wrath of a holy God.
This passage should stop anyone in their tracks who believes that they are right with God simply based on what they perceive to be good deeds. There is no one who is free from sin, therefore there is no one who is not under the just wrath of a holy God. This is the bad news, yet it absolutely pales in comparison to the good news of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. More on this next time…