This message is part 2 of a message which I did not intend to make in more than one message but here we are in part 2, may God be glorified. In the last message, I indicated that the main theme of this message is about Christians whose lives contradict scripture, and thereby dishonor God. I indicated in the last message that I have divided this message into 4 headings namely:
- The claim of Special Status by the Jews (Rom 2:17-18)
- The Claim of Special Ability by the Jews (Rom 2:19-20)
- The Contradictory Conduct of the Jews (Rom 2:21-22)
- The Consequence of the Conduct of the Jews (Rom 2:23-24)
In the last message we dealt with the first point, which was the claim of special status by the Jews which, covered verses 17 to 18 of Romans 2. In summary of this point, we learned that the Jews called themselves Jews and claimed special religious privilege, the law was the basis of all their hopes, they saw God as having a special regard for them and they took pride in God, they knew God’s will because they had the law, and lastly, they were able to differentiate between what is morally excellent or superior and what is not, because they had been instructed in the law. All this was what the Jews claimed.The Jews believed that these claims, gave them special status that will protect them from God’s wrath even if they did not obey the law. This was a sense of false security as we will see later.
So please read the previous message so that you can understand this one even better at: https://undilutedwordofgod.co.za/2019/02/christians-who-dishonor-god-part-1.html
The Claim of Special Ability by the Jews (Rom 2:19-20)
Today let us take a look at the second claim that was made by the Jews which, was based or comes out of their first claim of having special status as a nation. The one common factor in all their claims of special privilege was the law. The Jews claimed special privilege because they received the law from God, because they had all their hopes in the law, because they took pride in God who gave them the law, because they knew God’s will because the had the law, and they could differentiate between what is morally excellent or superior and what is not, because they had been instructed in the law. The basis of their special claim was therefore the fact that they had the law of God in their possession.
Based on this special privilege that the Jews had because of the law, they claimed that they had special abilities as a result. Let us look at what they claimed they could do.
19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— (ESV Strong’s)
Looking at the above verse, we see that verse 19 begins with the conjunction “and” which links verses 17-18 with verse 19. The role of this conjunction is simply to continue the thought that Paul had in verses 17-18 about the claims of the Jews as a nation, because they possessed the law, with the claims of special ability based on their possession of the law, which he discusses in verses 19-20.
Paul starts by saying “and if you are sure“. The “you” here is referring to the Jews and is the same “you” in verse 17. The word “sure” means to be persuaded or sure of the truthfulness of something or the validity of something. It means to be convinced. Therefore Paul was saying to the Jews that they are convinced, and believe to be true that they have special abilities because they possessed the law. Then Paul listed 5 special abilities that the Jews claimed to have because they possessed the law.
Please note that Paul also uses the “If” conditional clause in verse 19(a) just like in verse 17. This is a continuation of the “if” conditional clause which he started in verse 17. As I indicated earlier, the “then” part of this condition, is implied in verse 21. Paul was saying to the Jews in verses 17-18 that IF you believe that you have special privilege because you possess the law and in verses 19-20, IF you claim to have special ability because you possess the law, THEN in verse 21 we will see what the conclusion is that Paul makes. For now we are dealing with the second “IF” which is the claim of special ability. Therefore the structure is IF this and IF that THEN this.
Let us take a look at these claims.
1. Guide to the Blind (Romans 19(a))
The first claim that the Jews make is that because they possess the law, they are a guide to the blind. We find this in verse 19(a): “and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind “. This is obviously a metaphor. The guide is the Jew and the blind are the Gentiles. The word “guide” means to show the way by leading or advising. It means one who assist another in following a path. Now since the Jews regarded the Gentiles as blind to the truth, meaning that they did not know the truth, and because the Jews had the law, and therefore had the truth, they could guide the Gentiles into knowing the truth.
In summary, the Jews were convinced that, because they possessed the law and the Gentiles did not, they could assist the Gentiles by guiding them to the truth of God.
How does all of this apply to us today? Well, we saw in the previous message that, just like the Jews of Paul’s time, if you call yourself a Christian today, you also claim special privilege. Now this privilege that you claim by calling yourself a Christian, comes with responsibilities towards unbelievers. According to Matthew 5:13-16, you are to be the salt and the light to the world. In 2 Timothy 4:2, you are to preach the word in season and out of season by reproving, rebuking and exhorting. In 1 Timothy 5:20, you are to rebuke those who persist in sin. In Matthew 28:18-20, you are to go out into the world and make disciples and teach them to obey the commands of Jesus, etc.
Now just like the Jews had a responsibility to guide the blind because they possessed the law of God, you claiming to be a Christian today, likewise have a responsibility to guide the blind. In the Jewish time, the blind were anyone who was not a Jew, that is all Gentiles. Today, for every Christian, the blind are all unbelievers.
As a christian, you likewise have a responsibility to guide all unbelievers to the truth, which is that:
- God created us (Genesis 1:26-27) and therefore owns us,
- He expects us to glorify Him or reflect His character (Isaiah 43:7),
- the wrath of God abides in all of us as we speak (Romans 1:18), because God expects us to be holy (1 Peter 1:16) and we are not (Romans 3:23) .
- We are not holy because we are naturally sinners (Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3) and none of us are righteous (Romans 3:10).
- Now since God is going to judge every single person based on His righteousness (Acts 17:30-31), we will all fall short because none of us are righteous (Romans 3:10).
- Jesus is the only solution (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Jesus Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, He was buried and He was raised from the dead in accordance with the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-5) . Therefore, all unbelievers must repent (Acts 17:30-31) and put their faith in Jesus Christ. This is your responsibility to preach these truth to unbelievers if you claim to be a Christian.
If you are not a Christian as you read this message, please hear these truth today and repent and place your trust only in Jesus Christ for your salvation. Confess your sins, be prepared to accept the consequences of your sins, turn away from your sins and ask God for mercy. Ask God for the ability to see Jesus for who He truly is and to trust and obey Him. Will you do it today? Please do this today before it is too late.
We will continue with the second claim in the next message……