Romans Chapter 2 Verses 1,2
Rom. 2:1 "Therefore thou art inexcusable,
O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest
another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same
things. 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth
against them which commit such things."
In Romans chapter 2, Paul begins to deal
with the false and prevailing teachings of the religious system now
known as Judaism. This is the teaching that man through the keeping of
a set of laws or rules can attain to eternal life. Further, if man does
not keep those rules then he will be condemned to eternal damnation.
This is the tenet of almost every religion in the world today, except
for the one true religion of Jesus Christ. This false religious system
has also infected most who call themselves Christian today. Almost all
religions, including most Christian denominations believe that man must
keep a set of rules or laws if he will attain to eternal life. They
also believe that if man does not keep these rules or laws that he will
be eternally damned.
Judaism leads one to declare himself
justified by knowledge of the deeds of the law and to condemn others for
failing to keep the law. Thus, a man may judge himself righteous by the
knowledge of the law and declare others, who either do not know the law
or do not keep it, to be condemned by the law.
The Jews of Paul's time, under Judaism,
reveled in their knowledge of the law. By the law they condemned others
as being worthy of and headed for eternal condemnation. They thought
that by their knowledge of the law and their upholding of the law as a
system of getting eternal life, that they were justified by the law.
The Lord told these same Jews, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye
think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." The
law made nothing perfect, but rather pointed us to the fact that we are
sinners and that we were in need of a redeemer.
The problem with the law being a system of
getting eternal life is that we are all breakers of the law. According
to James, it only takes one sin to condemn us as being a breaker of the
whole law: James 2:10 "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet
offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For he that said, Do not
commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery,
yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law." In
Galatians 3:10 we read, "For as many as are of the works of the law are
under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth
not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."
The fact is that when we measure ourselves against the perfection of the
law, we find that we are all transgressors and therefore under the curse
of the law.
The Lord said, "Judge not, that ye be not
judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with
what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." This is not
teaching that we should not judge actions to be wrong or even to judge
that other people's actions are wrong. Rather it is teaching that we
should not judge others to eternal condemnation and that we are judged
by the same standard by which we judge others. Paul said that the man
who would judge others to condemnation when he himself is guilty of
breaking the same laws was inexcuseable. There just simply is no excuse
to think that we are better than others under the law. The law condemns
The Judaizing Jews had judged others to
condemnation, when they themselves were doing the same things. They
believed themselves better because they had knowledge of the law and
upheld the law as a standard of religion. The same is true of most
religious systems today.
God is the judge of all the earth. He
will and does judge all actions. According to the scriptures, "every
transgression and disobedience receives a just recompense of reward."
To judge others by the law as being worthy of eternal condemnation is
also to judge ourselves as being worthy of eternal condemnation:
"Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest:
for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that
judgest doest the same things."
"But we are sure that the judgment of God
is according to truth against them which commit such things." God has a
perfect standard by which all actions are judged. They are judged
against his perfect standard of truth. Since the wages of sin is death,
the judgment of sin is a simple principle: it requires death. Knowledge
of the law does not exempt someone from judgment. Furthermore, it is
impossible to escape the judgment of God. Of course, the elect had the
penalty of their sins judged in Jesus Christ at the cross of Calvary.
The non-elect have the penalty of their sins judged beginning at the end
of this time world. There is no escape from the judgment of God and
God's judgment is according to truth.
"And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them
which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the
judgment of God?"
Can man under the law escape the judgment of God? Yet
this is the premise of those who believe that they are justified by the
works of the law. Somehow, they think that they can escape the judgment
of the law by keeping a set of rules or commandments. As we have
already observed the law cannot be kept in part and the person be
righteous. Breaking of any part of the law renders one guilty of the
law and under its condemnatory judgment.
God is the judge of all the earth. The scriptures teach
us that all things are naked and open to the eyes of him with whom we
have to do. We cannot escape the omniscience of God. He knows our
thoughts even before we think them. One of the most prevalent
principles taught in the scriptures is that God is just. As a just God,
he brings all sins and disobedience to judgment. There is no way
of escaping the judgment of God. To condemn others for being breakers
of the law and then to think that we can be justified even though we
also have broken the law is nonsensical.
Several verses show us that no one is justified by the
works of the law:
1. Gal. 3:10 "For as many
as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written,
Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written
in the book of the law to do them. 11 But that no man is justified by
the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by
2. Rom. 2:12 "For as many
as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as
have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;"
3. Rom. 3:20 "Therefore by the
deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by
the law is the knowledge of sin."
4. Rom. 7:5 "For when we
were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work
in our members to bring forth fruit unto death."
5. Gal. 2:21 "I do not
frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then
Christ is dead in vain."
6. Gal. 5:4 "Christ is become
of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are
fallen from grace."
Rom. 2:4 "Or
despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and
longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to
Those who follow the precepts or teachings of Judaism,
and therefore seek to be justified by the works of the law, actually are
despising the riches of God's goodness and his forbearance and
longsuffering. They also show that they do not understand that it is
not the terror of God, but the goodness of God that leads us to
By seeking to justify oneself by the works of the law,
we deny the works of Christ. So long as we feel that we can be
justified by keeping a set of rules or commandments in the sight of God,
we do not believe that we are justified by the blood of Christ. What
need would there be of the blood of Christ, if we could become righteous
by keeping a set of rules or commandments?
The truth is that we are completely incapable of being
justified by the works of the law. True justification from sin is the
sole work of God. We being dead in trespasses and sins are completely
incapable of delivering ourselves from the condemnatory wrathful
judgment of God. It is only through the riches of God's goodness that
the elect are justified by the blood of Jesus. To seek to be justified
by the law is to despise the goodness, longsuffering, and forbearance of
True repentance does not come because of our terror of
eternal judgment. Yet this is how those who seek to be justified by the
law think. We hear statements such as "you better repent before it is
eternally too late" and "you only have so many chances and then it is
too late and you will spend an eternity in hell." True repentance comes
because of the goodness of God. When a person is convicted in their own
heart of sin and then understands that Christ died to redeem him from
sin, then he desires because of the love of God to turn and follow the
Lord. This is true repentance and comes because of the goodness of God
and not the terror of eternal judgment.