And we know these things!
Published September 3rd, 2020; Updated September 3rd, 2020
Romans 2:2 - And we know these things!
Romans 2:2 NASB
2 And we know that the judgment of God 1 rightly falls upon those who practice such things.
i. Critique of Jewish Presumption (2:1-5)
And we know
that the judgment of God ... falls upon those
who practice such things.
Romans 2:2 - And we know these things!
In this verse, Paul is setting up the argument he is putting toward the self-righteous Jew. We can make a few observations - a) There is judgment that comes from God. This is contrary to the false statements made by those who would shape God into an idol of their own design. "God is only loving and forgiving!" The Bible makes abundantly clear that God is love, and He does forgive, but He is also a God of judgment and wrath. The whole section of Rom 1:18-3:20 is primarily about God's wrath on all of mankind. b) God's judgment falls RIGHTLY. It is justified. It is earned. God's judgment of mankind is not wrong or evil. Many today would see the God of the Bible as an evil and unfair bully who unjustly punishes us for small, insignificant little transgressions. So they reshape Him into a god that will suit their chosen sinful lifestyle. c) God's justified judgment falls on "those who practice such things." It is not that a Christian will never sin. But he will not be a "practitioner of sin." A real Christian might sin, feel godly sorrow over it (2 Cor 7:9-11) that leads to repentance, confess it before God who "is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9), and He can do this, because "we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2:1). This person will then go on and "work out his own salvation with fear and trembling" (Phi 2:12). He will fear God's wrath and judgment and because the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, he will do everything in his power not to fall into that sin again. He does this, because "it is God who is at work in him, both to will and to work for His good pleasure," and as John says, he does this because "no one who is born of God practices sin, because His Seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." (1 John 3:9). Paul's main point here is this - "we know." Who are "we"? The Jews. Why do they know? Because they have God's special revelation as seen in the whole Old Testament that tells them these things. Paul and his Jewish audience would agree on this part. What the Jews would disagree with, is that "those who practice such things" includes them. They are not exempt from God's right judgment just because the are called "Jews," and they still have to be convinced of this truth. What does this mean for us? For South-African Christians? Do we not also, like the Jews of Paul's day, have God's special revelation? No, we have MORE special revelation than they had! We have not only the Old Testament, but the whole New Testament as well. In written form. In a personal bible that have all held in our hands at some point in our lives. On a phone app that we can all download and read. In audio book format that we can all listen to. In downloadable sermons and video clips that we can all watch and listen to. In messages like this one that is sent to us by a friend who loves us enough to share the truth. Do we not also, like the Jews of Paul's day, think that we are exempt from God's right judgment, because we are called "Christian?" Do we not also, like the Jews of Paul's day, KNOW these things? Should we not also, like the Jews of Paul's day, heed the warning that Paul is about to give in the next verse, and listen intently to his words in the rest of this book? My friends, knowing something is both good and bad. Jesus said you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. But only if you choose the correct reaction to the truth. Knowing the truth, and ignoring it, actually makes you worse off than before. It makes you guilty. It makes you culpable. If you are a "practitioner of such things," of sins, you have not yet reacted to the truth in the correct way. And God is a righteous God who judges those who practice such things. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 ...when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power