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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Paul's letter to the Romans

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Frameworks: Romans 2

 

(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)

[Additional Notes: any regular reader of the Bible knows that there are often footnotes at the bottom of pages explaining possible variants of a few words in the occasional verse. The footnotes also give references sometimes of the quotes from the Old Testament. Paul being a Jewish scholar uses such quotes in increasing numbers in some of these chapters. References to the ‘Septuagint' is in respect of Greek translations of the Old Testament scrolls that started to come into being a little under 300 years before Christ, initially by seventy two scholars but added to as the years went on. The reason for the Greek translation is that many Jews lived outside Israel and historians suggest they came under such Greek influence that they were more comfortable with Greek rather than the original Hebrew. The Greek and Hebrew scriptures thus often differed in small ways of interpretation and New Testament writers often used the Greek words rather than the original Hebrew, hence the differences]

 

CHAPTER 2

v.1-8 God's Righteous Judgment

v.9-16 Jew or Gentile distinctions may be irrelevant

v.17-29 The Jews of Rome and the Law

    

[Context: Having pointed out the sinfulness of the world in the second half of chapter 1, Paul now makes the point strongly that God will judge all such wrongdoing (v.1-8). Because the church in Rome would comprise both Jew and Gentile, he goes to some length to point out that such judgement falls on all; it doesn't matter your background (v.9-16). Jews may be particularly vulnerable to self-deception (v.17-29)]

 

v.1-8 God's Righteous Judgment for all

 

v.1 (we tend to look and blame others while excusing ourselves, but if we do the same things we're just as guilty) You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

v.2 (God knows he truth about each one and judges accordingly) Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.

v.3 (so if you do the same things you too will be judged) So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?

v.4  (do you ignore God not realizing He's trying to bring you to repentance) Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

v.5 (if you do this you'll have a painful time on Judgement Day) But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.

v.6 (the scriptures say all are judged by what they've done ) God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” [Psa 62:12; Prov 24:12]

v.7 (the truly good seeker of good will receive eternal life) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

v.8 (but the godless self-centred will be judged) But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

 

v.9-16 Jew or Gentile distinctions may be irrelevant

 

v.9,10 (it doesn't matter whether it is Jew or Gentile, there will be judgment on wrong) There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

v.11 (God treats all the same) For God does not show favoritism.

v.12 (you don't need the Law to know what is wrong) All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.

v.13 (if you have the Law (Jew) obedience is the only acceptable criteria) For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

v.14 (if Gentiles doe the good of the Law without knowing the Law they reveal law in themselves) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.

v.15 (they reveal the Law is in them, shown by their conscience) They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)

v.16 (this will all become clear on Judgement Day) This will take place on the day when God judges people's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

 

v.17-29 The Jews of Rome and the Law

 

v.17 (You may think being a Jew excuses you) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God;

v.18 (perhaps you think yourself superior because you know the Law) if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law;

v.19,20 (perhaps you think you can be a guide to those who don't have the Law) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth—

v.21 (but if you seek to teach others, do you teach yourself?) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?

v.22 (do you do what you say they shouldn't do?) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?

v.23 (do you dishonour the Law by breaking it?) You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?

v.24 (just like the scriptures warned) As it is written: “God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” [Isa 52:5 (see Septuagint); Ezek 36:20,22]

v.25 (it's fine to be circumcised if you obey the Law but if you don't obey it you might as well not be circumcised) Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised.

v.26 (but if Gentiles keep the Law it's as good as if they were circumcised) So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised?

v.27 (they will show you up) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.

v.28 (being Jewish is not about externals) A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.

v.29 (being Jewish is about having an obedient heart for God) No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person's praise is not from other people, but from God.