Gospel Impartiality (Rom 2:6-29)

"God 'will repay each person according to what they have done.'" "For God does not show favoritism." (Rom 2:6, 11).

Based on Rom 1:16-17, Romans may be summarized as:
  1. Romans 1-8: The gospel, the righteousness of God.
  2. Romans 9-11: First to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
  3. Romans 12-16: The righteous life.
Rom 1:18-32 shows how the Gentile world rejected God and plunged into immorality and idolatry. Paul's critique of them would have been roundly supported by any Jew listening to him. They could see how sinful the Gentiles were, while they were exempt from condemnation because they were God's chosen people. This is exactly how any religious person listens to Rom 1:18-32 today. They say, "Yes, of course God's wrath lies on the immoral, the one who lives a life of debauchery. But we have the Bible and live by that. We are not condemned." But it is because of the subtlety of sin and of idolatry that religious people can seem to agree with Paul about Rom 1:18-32 and yet be completely deluded!

Thus, in Rom 2:1ff, Paul shows the Jews (and religious people) that they were missing the whole point of the gospel! The heart of the gospel is that "the righteousness of God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last" (Rom 1:17). Everyone runs from it and tries to avoid it. We run from it whenever we rely on anything or anyone else but Jesus and his perfect, finished work. The pagans rely on their appetites, which become chains around their neck (Rom 1:18-32), but the religious people rely on religion and moral observance, which stores up God's wrath just as much (Rom 2:5). The pagans worship self through appetite, but the religious worship self through morality and religion. There are obvious (being immoral) and not obvious ways (being moral) to rely on (i.e. worship and serve — Rom 1:25) the creature rather than the Creator.

If you are a moral person who is satisfied with your spiritual state, you are denying the doctrine of righteousness through faith only. If you do not feel like a hopeless sinner, if you do not feel that God would have a perfect right to cast you off this minute because of the condition of your life and heart, then you are denying the gospel, and when it is open to you it won't change you or lift you up. You don't get it.

Our sermons:
  1. Gospel of Grace (Rom 1:1-6).
  2. Gospel Enthusiasm (Rom 1:7-15).
  3. Gospel Power (Rom 1:16-17) [Gospel Faith, Gospel Righteousness and Gospel Life.]
  4. Gospel Suppression, which results in Idolatry (Rom 1:18-2:5)
  5. Gospel Impartiality (Rom 2:6-29).
  • What is the goal of the gospel (Rom 1:5)? Why was Paul so eager to preach the gospel (Rom 1:15)?
  • You are responsible to believe. But explain why gospel faith is God's work and not a human work (Rom 1:16; Phil 1:6; 2:12-13).
  • Explain the difference between "the righteous will live by faith" and "the one who by faith is righteous will live" (Rom 1:17c).
  • Regarding the gospel in Rom 1:16, what is its effect, power, scope, condition and history?
  • Why are people, including Christians, ashamed of the gospel (Rom 1:16a)?
Romans 2:6-29:
  1. Who is "you" (Rom 2:1, 17)? Why is this a scathing indictment? What is the difference between those who pass judgment in Rom 2:1, 3 and those who are called to judge all things (1 Cor 2:15) and those who deal with sin (Gal 6:1)?
  2. If salvation is by faith alone (Rom 1:16-17), why is judgment according to works (Rom 2:6, 11; Ps 62:12; Prov 24:12)? Why might Jews and moralists expect God to be partial (Rom 2:11)?
  3. What are some specific tests that indicate that indicate that a heart is right with God (Rom 2:7; Heb 3:14; Rom 1:5)? Not right with God (Rom 2:8)?
  4. What is the reward of the righteous (Rom 2:7, 10)? The destiny of the wicked (Rom 2:8-9)? Define the terms.
  5. What do you learn from the phrase repeated twice (Rom 2:9b, 10b)?
  6. How do people without the law of God still have it written upon their conscience (2:12-15)?
  7. List 6 things that the Jews were proud of (Rom 2:17-24). Is this pride in the gospel? In their moral decency and virtue?
  8. How can it be wrong to "rely on the law and boast in God" (Rom 2:17)? How can this turn into moralism and corporate identity?
    How does dead orthodoxy happen (Rom 2:21-29)? How is God's name scorned because of Christians (Rom 2:24)?
  9. How might Rom 2:17-29 be a warning to active Christians and church people today?
The characteristics of the gospel (Rom 1:16):
  1. Its effect: Destroys shame.
  2. Its power: A life giving force.
  3. Its scope: Anyone without distinction.
  4. It's condition: Faith.
  5. It's history: Jew first, then the Gentile.
The content of the gospel (Rom 1:17):
  1. The righteous God provides a perfect righteousness and record for us.
  2. It is received by faith permanently and exclusively.
  3. The result of reception is a new way of life.
God's Judgment is according to (Rom 2:1-16):
  1. Our knowledge (Rom 2:1-3).
  2. God's patience (Rom 2:4-5).
  3. Our works (Rom 2:6-8).
  4. NOT according to our pedigree (Rom 2:9-11).
  5. Our knowledge (Rom 2:12-16).
  6. The failure of moralism (Rom 2:17-24), moralists (Rom 2:21-24) and religion (Rom 2:25-29).
  1. Romans Leader's Guide. Tim Keller.
  2. The Guilt of the Moralist and the Jew. Study guide for Romans 2 (David Guzik).
  3. Romans Bible study questions.