Rom 1:1-7, Greeting and benediction;
Rom 1:8-15, Desire to visit Rome;
Rom 1:16-17, Theme of the letter: the Gospel reveals the righteousness of God;
Rom 1:18-5:11, Justification and the righteousness of God;
Rom 1:18, The wrath of God is revealed against all unrighteousness of men;
Rom 1:19-32, The unrighteousness of idolatry (denial of God as Creator);
Rom 2:1-11, The unrighteousness of man judging man;
Rom 2:12-27, The unrighteousness of breaking the Law / righteousness of keeping the Law;
Rom 2:28-29, Circumcision identifies Israel and is of the heart;
Rom 5:12-8:39, Sanctification and the righteousness of God;
Rom 9:1-11:36, God’s righteousness and Israel;
Rom 12:1-15:13, Practical application of God’s righteousness;
Rom 15:14-16:27, Conclusion.
Rom 2:1-16 chiastic structure:
1a) Rom 2:1-5, Judgment of God stored up against those who practice wrongdoing;
1a) Rom 2:1-2, Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things;
1b) Rom 2:3, And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?
central axis) Rom 2:4, Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
2b) Rom 2:5a, But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath;
2a) Rom 2:5b, And revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
1b) Rom 2:6, Who “will render to each one according to his deeds;”
1c) Rom 2:7, Eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;
1d) Rom 2:8a, But to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness;
central axis) Rom 2:8b-9a, Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish;
2d) Rom 2:9b, On every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;
2c) Rom 2:10, But glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek;
2b) Rom 2:11, For there is no partiality with God;
2a) Rom 2:12-16, Judgment of God according to the law + the secrets of hearts by Messiah;
1a) Rom 2:12-13, For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;
1b) Rom 2:14a, For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law;
central axis) Rom 2:14b, These, although not having the law, are a law to themselves;
2b) Rom 2:15, Who show the work of the law written in their hearts/ their thoughts accusing or else excusing them);
2a) Rom 2:16, In the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
Paul is teaching us about justification and the righteousness of God, by first contrasting it with the condemnation and unrighteousness of men. We learned yesterday that righteousness is of God and unrighteousness is of men. We saw that wrath, condemnation, and judgment is reserved for unrighteousness (Rom 1:18), and by inference since he is contrasting the two, that justification is reserved for righteousness. Paul began explaining what unrighteousness was that was going to receive wrath: idolatry as the foundation, and what proceeds from idolatry. That brings us to the end of Rom 1.
But so that Jews will not make the mistake of agreeing with Paul’s scathing indictment of the Greeks (Gentiles) and go away feeling self- righteous and satisfied in it, he opens Rom 2 with the unrighteousness of man judging man. What comes from man? Unrighteousness. If a man judges another man’s heart as condemned because of unrighteousness, then what has he just done? Committed unrighteousness. Man is not the Just Judge. Man’s judgment is not just. Therefore the one who has judged, has just done the very thing that he condemned the other man for: he committed unrighteousness.
This is why Paul says,
“Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” Rom 2:1
(By judging, we are defining the word as Jesus defined it when He said, “Judge not, that you be not judged,” Mat 7:1. He was not talking about not judging whether an action was righteous or not; human judges must judge whether the law has been broken or not. He was talking about not condemning the heart of another as destined for wrath in that Day, because humans cannot judge that question with just judgment! We are incapable of reading our own heart much less another’s; that is something only God can do.)
You see, men are quick to pronounce judgment. Even godly men who have been raised in the word of God all their lives, as Jesus’ disciples were, fell into this trap. For they asked Jesus if they should call down fire from heaven to consume an unbelieving town with the wrath of God (Luk 9:51-56). Jesus turned and rebuked them, saying, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.” In other words, CONDEMNATION IS NOT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Peter put it this way:
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Pet 3:9
Of course, the Day of Judgment must come. Sin cannot continue forever, because sin hurts people and victimizes and traumatizes people. But because God does not want any to perish, to suffer wrath, He stretches out His longsuffering. Today is not the Day of Judgment (perhaps) therefore no one is being condemned today!
Paul put it this way:
Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? Rom 2:4
That it is not God’s nature to leap to judgment or to condemn, ought to encourage us to repent of our sins and come to Him! He is wooing us, not recriminating us! ♥