Romans 2: The Real Children of God

Why might judging others be a problem for us?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Romans 2:1 Don’t be quick to excuse yourselves, as if you were never guilty of such behavior. In judging others, you condemn yourselves.
1 Corinthians 4:3–4 What you or the world thinks of my work doesn’t matter much. I don’t even judge myself. Although my conscience is clear, I lack the knowledge to judge myself. Only the Lord has the ability to judge my motives and my work.
1 Corinthians 5:12 I have no interest in judging people outside the church, but we should certainly be paying attention to what is going on within our fellowship.
King James
Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
Romans 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.
1 Corinthians 4:3–4 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
1 Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

How well does God know us?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 139:2–4 You see every time I sit or stand. No matter how distant I might think I am, you still know my thoughts. You see everywhere I walk and know when I lie down to rest. You know everything about who I am and what I do. Lord, I can’t say a word that you haven’t heard before it leaves my tongue.
Matthew 10:29–31 The price of two sparrows is not very much, but one cannot die without your Father’s knowledge. He even knows the number of hairs on your head. Don’t worry. You are worth more than many sparrows.
Romans 2:2 You don’t have to worry. God sees all things and makes no mistakes in judging what people do. Not only does he see their actions, but he also understands their motives.
King James
Psalm 139:2–4 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
Matthew 10:29–31 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Romans 2:2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

If God is no respecter of persons, why do some people have more than others?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Matthew 6:28–30 Why worry about clothes? Look how the wildflowers grow in the fields. They do not spin yarn or weave fabric. Yet Solomon in his greatest splendor was never dressed like one of them. If God clothes the wildflowers that are here now and gone tomorrow, don’t you suppose he will care for you? Why do you have such weak faith?
Luke 12:48 But the one who does wrong out of ignorance will receive a lighter sentence. Much is required of those who are given much responsibility, and more is required of those who are given more.
Romans 2:3 If he sees what others are doing, don’t think for a second that he will miss what you are guilty of.
Ephesians 4:7 We have been favored with an abundance in Christ, measured according to our role in fulfilling his purpose.
Philippians 4:19 Out of his glorious resources in Christ Jesus, my God will take care of everything you need.
1 Peter 1:17 If God is your Father, who has no favorites but judges by what you do,  then honor him during your short time on Earth.
King James
Matthew 6:28–30 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Luke 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Romans 2:3 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?
Ephesians 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

How should believers act when they recognize a wrongdoing in themselves?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Romans 2:3 If he sees what others are doing, don’t think for a second that he will miss what you are guilty of.
2 Corinthians 7:10 The world’s sorrow is only grief and regret that results in death. But godly sorrow brings salvation, a change in our ways that has no need for repentance.
2 Corinthians 12:21 I’m afraid I’ll be humbled by what I see when I arrive, many of you not truly surrendered to the Lord, remaining in your sins, never repenting of your unclean thoughts, sexual immorality, and lust for pleasure.
Hebrews 6:4–6 Those who have seen the light, accepted the gift of salvation, and received the Holy Spirit, having tasted the goodness of God’s word, experiencing the spiritual strength of the world to come, if they turn away, they have no means to gain repentance and forgiveness, since they crucify the Son of God a second time, putting him to open shame.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord isn’t slow in keeping his promise, not like some people think. He is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, giving time for everyone to repent.
King James
Romans 2:3 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?
2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
2 Corinthians 12:21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.
Hebrews 6:4–6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

What is the difference between “condemning others” and “condemning sin”?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
John 3:17–19 God sent the Son, not to judge, but to save the world.  God will not condemn whoever believes in him, but he has already judged unbelievers for choosing not to accept God’s one and only son. This is why God condemns people: Light has come into the world, but people love the darkness, not the light, because their deeds are evil.
John 8:10–11 Jesus stood. “Woman, where are your accusers? Is there no one here to condemn you?”
“No one, sir.”
“Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”
Romans 2:4 Did you despise God’s kindness and patience when he didn’t execute punishment for your wrongdoing right away? Of course not. In his longsuffering, you were led to repentance. So don’t be so quick to condemn others.
1 Corinthians 11:32 When the Lord judges and disciplines us, he saves us from being condemned with the world.
King James
John 3:17–19 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
John 8:10–11 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
1 Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Why do some people want judgment for others and forgiveness for themselves?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Matthew 7:3–5 Why do you worry about the sawdust in your brother’s eye but never notice the board in your own eye? How can you say, “Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,” and not admit the existence of something much larger in your own eye? Hypocrite! First take the large object from your eye. Then you can see clearly to remove the small piece from your brother’s eye.
Romans 2:4 Did you despise God’s kindness and patience when he didn’t execute punishment for your wrongdoing right away? Of course not. In his longsuffering, you were led to repentance. So don’t be so quick to condemn others.
King James
Matthew 7:3–5 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Under what conditions are we not held responsible for our wrongdoing?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Mark 11:26 “If you do not forgive, your heavenly Father will not forgive your sins.”
Romans 2:5–6 By refusing to repent, the hardness of people’s hearts will eventually bring God’s wrath. On the day when his righteous judgment is delivered, everyone will be judged according to what they have done.
Ephesians 1:7 He purchased our freedom, forgiving us, delivering us from sin, choosing to die so we might receive his undeserved gift of abundant life.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our wrongdoing, he is sure to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
King James
Mark 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Romans 2:5–6 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Why did Paul say people would be judged for what they’ve done and not for who they are?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Romans 2:5–6 By refusing to repent, the hardness of people’s hearts will eventually bring God’s wrath. On the day when his righteous judgment is delivered, everyone will be judged according to what they have done.
King James
Romans 2:5–6 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

When our hearts are right with God, what happens?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Romans 2:7 If your heart is to please God continually, you will find honor and glory and eternal life.
King James
Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: (Rom. 2:7 KJV)

What do contentious, self-serving people have to look forward to?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Romans 2:8–9 But those who ignore the truth, seeking to please themselves, will follow an unrighteous path that ends with God’s wrath. Affliction and pain will fall upon all those who do evil, not only the Jews but others as well.
King James
Romans 2:8–9 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

By what standard does God judge the nature of our actions?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 12:47–48 “The servant who knows what his master wants but fails to prepare and do the work will be severely punished, but the one who does wrong out of ignorance will receive a lighter sentence. Much is required of those who are given much responsibility, and more is required of those who are given more.”
John 15:1–2 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit. He prunes the branches that bear fruit so they will produce more.”
John 15:8 “When you bear much fruit, you glorify my Father and show that you are my disciples.”
Romans 2:10–12 But glory, honor, and peace belong to everyone who does well. This is true without regard to nationality or heritage or social class, because God judges all people by the same standard. Whether under the law or without the law, people will be judged for the good they knew but failed to do.
1 Corinthians 3:13 Every person’s work will be tested. The fire on Judgment Day will reveal the eternal value of each person’s work.
James 4:17 Sin is failure to do the good you know you should do.
King James
Luke 12:47–48 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
John 15:1–2 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
Romans 2:10–12 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:1 11 For there is no respect of persons with God. 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;
1 Corinthians 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

How important is our knowledge of God’s will?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Matthew 7:26 “Anyone who hears my words but never acts on them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand, without a foundation.”
Romans 2:13 Knowing what is right will not make us just in God’s sight. We must be doers also.
James 2:14 My friends, what good is a declaration of faith if you don’t have the actions that show you really believe? Can words alone save you? (Jas. 2:14 EWS)
King James
Matthew 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Under what circumstance is ignorance of the law not a problem?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Romans 2:14 Outsiders who haven’t been taught the rules of law are still responsible for doing what they know is right.
Galatians 3:10 Those who depend on the Law to make them righteous are under God’s curse, for Scripture says, Anyone who fails to obey every part of the Law is cursed.
Galatians 5:18 When led by the Spirit, you yield to a directive that supersedes the Law.
James 4:17 Sin is failure to do the good you know you should do.
King James
Romans 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Galatians 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.
Galatians 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

By what means is the knowledge of right and wrong written on our hearts?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Jeremiah 31:33 The Lord says, “After those days, I will make a new agreement with the people of Israel. I will write my laws in their innermost being, upon their hearts and minds. I will be their God, and they will be my family.”
John 16:13 “But when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own authority but will say only what he hears. He will reveal to you things to come.”
Romans 2:15 The knowledge of right and wrong is written on hearts, not on paper, blogs, or e-books. People’s own conscience either condemns or commends their deeds.
Hebrews 8:10 The Lord says, “After those days, I will make a new agreement with the people of Israel. I will write my laws in their innermost being, upon their hearts and minds. I will be their God, and they will be my family.”
Hebrews 10:16 The Lord says, “After those days, I will make a new agreement with the people of Israel. I will write my laws in their innermost being, upon their hearts and minds.”
King James
Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Romans 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
Hebrews 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

Why is Jesus Christ an important factor in God’s judgment of people?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Romans 2:16 One day, through Jesus Christ, God will judge that which has been hidden—our thoughts and motives and secret behavior.
King James
Romans 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Why is Scripture important in our hearing and following the Lord?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
John 6:63 “It is the Spirit, not the flesh, that gives life. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
John 16:13 “But when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own authority but will say only what he hears. He will reveal to you things to come.”
Romans 2:17–18 If you claim to be a Christian, recognized for your faith and righteousness, boasting of your relationship with God, then you know from Scripture what God wants and should always be on your best behavior.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God, important for teaching, correction, and discipline—for showing people how to live in righteousness.
King James
John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Romans 2:17–18 Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Why should we be confident that we can lead others to the Lord?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Matthew 5:14–16 “You are here to give light to the whole world. A city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden. People do not light a lamp and hide it under a bowl. It is placed on a stand to give light to everyone in the house. In the same way, you should let your kindness shine before men so they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
Luke 12:11–12 “When you are arrested and stand before synagogue authorities, governors, and kings, do not worry about what to say. At the time you must speak, you will be given the right words to say.”
John 13:15 “I have given you an example, so you should do for others as I have done for you.”
Romans 2:19–20 You are confident that you can guide those who can’t see, being a light to those who live in darkness, an instructor to those who lack wisdom. You’re a teacher of the immature, with complete understanding of God’s truth.
King James
Matthew 5:14–16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Luke 12:11–12 And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
Romans 2:19–20 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.

Why do people sometimes have trouble practicing what they preach?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Romans 2:21—23 If that’s true, why don’t you heed your own teaching? While preaching against stealing, take a hard look at yourself, how you might be stealing. You speak against adultery, but have you been entirely faithful? You condemn idolatry, but what allegiances do you have above God? You brag about your knowledge of Scripture, but if you’re not practicing what you’re preaching, you’re dishonoring God.
King James
Romans 2:21–23 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?

To what extent do you think Christians have lived up to the name of being like Christ as they were in Antioch?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Ezekiel 36:20 Wherever my people went among the nations, my name was disgraced when foreigners said the Lord had forced his people out of his land.
Acts 11:26 Then the two of them went to Antioch, where they met with the church for a year and taught many people. The disciples in Antioch were the first to be called Christians.
Romans 2:24–25 Don’t be like the Jews who fail to live up to their reputation as God’s people, who profane God’s name wherever they go. The prophet Ezekiel was describing such people when he said, Your faith has value when you are a doer of God’s will, but in disobedience you are among the transgressors.
King James
Ezekiel 36:20 And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of his land.
Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
Romans 2:24–25 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. 25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

How should our fellowship with God affect our actions?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Romans 2:26 f non-Christians are doing God’s will, shall they not be regarded as ones who are in fellowship with God?
King James
Romans 2:26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?

How big a problem do you think it is to not follow what God is saying to your heart?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Matthew 7:26–27 “Anyone who hears my words but never acts on them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand, without a foundation. The rain fell, causing the streams to rise. As soon as the high winds came, the house fell with a great crash and was completely destroyed.”
Romans 2:27 Their righteous behavior judges you Christians who fail to do the good you know to do.
James 4:17 Sin is failure to do the good you know you should do.
King James
Matthew 7:26–27 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Romans 2:27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Why might our appearance be important?

Author’s Thoughts
Authors’s insights pending.
Author’s Paraphrase
Romans 2:28–29 Righteousness is not something worn outwardly, like a garment, nor is our relationship with God something we inherited from our ancestors. We belong to God when we are like-minded with him, when our spirit agrees with his Spirit, not when we are recognized for our teaching credentials.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 Avoid even the appearance of evil.
King James
Romans 2:28–29 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.