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Romans 2:12-29 (5/17/2023)

Application of Romans 2:12-29


*Remember Romans 1:16-17; 3:21 when reading from this section of Romans that deals with the doctrine of Total Depravity, which spans Romans 1:18-3:20*


Previously we have talked about letting Scripture be a mirror to us.

  • This means, we let Scripture expose who we really are—we let God’s righteousness expose our unrighteousness.
  • We read passages like Romans 1:18-3:20 personally and see how we also are condemned alongside these groups about whom Paul writes.
  • So, in summary, we have talked about the condemnation of three groups for the following reasons
    • Pagans practice:
      • Gossip
      • Unthankfulness
      • Sexual sin
      • Disobedience to parents
      • Envy
      • Murder
      • Lying
      • Causing others to join them in wickedness
      • Etcetera

(therefore God gave them over to their passions)

    • Moralists:
      • Disobey God by doing foolish, wrong, wicked things.
      • Know better but do it anyway.
      • Condemn others for doing the same thing (hypocrites).
    • Disobedient Jews:
      • Are hypocritical judges.
      • Believe they are God’s people just by outward rituals, like circumcision.
      • Boast in the law they do not keep.
      • Have been blessed with God’s commands but keep them less than some Gentiles.
  • So, pray and let these passages continue to produce in you a broken and contrite heart. This is how God calls people to the good news of His gospel.
  • Remember that God gives the righteousness of Christ to unrighteous people who believe in His Son (cf. Rom 1:1617; 3:21)

This is one function of God’s law (pedagogical function)—it teaches us of our own unrighteousness as we learn about God’s holiness.

But there’s another function for believers (normative function)—God’s law conforms us to the image of Christ and enables us to keep His commands by giving us the desire to follow Him. In short, God’s law (by the work of the Holy Spirit) encourages us to faithfulness.

Question: How can you best convince a peer of the power of the gospel to change hearts?

Answer: Model this change yourself.

  • As believers, read this passage as an encouragement to faithfulness as well.
  • We do not pursue obedience as a means to earn salvation (because we are sinners only faith can do that)
  • But we pursue obedience so that we can teach and instruct others.
  • When you, as a believer, share the gospel with friends, family, peers, etc., you can do so effectively when they see that you practice what you preach.
  • This is part of your evangelistic witness.
  • When we do not practice the things we  preach, we cause God’s name to be blasphemed by unbelievers.
  • We make God look powerless to change His people, and we make it look like we are not witnesses of His work in our lives.
  • So, guard your hearts as you develop close friendships.
  • Earn the right to speak the truth of the gospel to those with whom you are close by openly and stubbornly pursuing God always, and they will know that you truly are one of Jesus’ disciples.