This message is part 4 of a message which I did not intend to make in more than one message but here we are in part 4, may God be glorified. In the last three messages, I indicated that the main theme of this message is about Christians whose lives contradict scripture, and thereby dishonor God. I indicated 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 messages we dealt with the first two points. The first 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 as special status.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.
The second point which was found in Romans 2:19-20, was that the Jews saw themselves as having special abilities, as a result of their special status, as those who can lead the blind Gentiles to the truth. They saw themselves as those who can clearly explain the truth to the Gentiles who were in the dark. They saw themselves as those who could correct the Gentiles who lacked good judgement. Lastly, they saw themselves as those who possess the full and complete knowledge of truth because they possessed the law from God, and thereby can impart skills and knowledge to the Gentiles to ensure they are not easily deceived. This is what the Jews claimed they could do because they possessed the law of God. Here is the thing, the Jews were actually telling the truth. They were indeed in a position to do all of this because they had the law. On top of that, God expected them to do exactly that.
We will see in this message that even though they could lead the gentiles to the truth, explain the truth to them, correct them and give them skills so as to not be deceived, all this because they had the law, they themselves as Jews, failed to obey the very same law. Please read the previous messages at the links below, if you have not. It will make it easier for you to understand this message.
In this message we will look at Romans 2:21-22.
“you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?” (Romans 2:21–22, ESV)
The Contradictory Conduct of the Jews (Rom 2:21-22)
Having dealt with verses 17-20, we noticed that verse 17 started with the “If” clause, indicating that verses 17-20 forms the first part of the conditional If then” statement. We now begin verses 21-22 which form part of the “then” part of the “if then” conditional clause. In simple terms, you can read the verses as follows: If “verse 17-20”, then “verses 21-22”. We have dealt with the “if” part, now we are dealing with the “Then” part. Hope this is clear.
Paul was saying to the Jews that if they claimed special status and special ability because of the law, then firstly, while they teach others, do they not in turn teach themselves? secondly, while they preach against stealing, do they not steal themselves? thirdly, while they speak against committing adultery, do they not commit adultery themselves? lastly, while they abhor or detest idols, do they not rob temples?
In simple terms Paul was accusing the Jews of being hypocrites who went against the very things that they preached or professed with their mouths. The very things that they were teaching the Gentiles not to do, they were doing themselves. Because of their special status of possessing the written law of God, they claimed the special ability to teach others right from wrong and yet, they did wrong themselves.
Here we have a classic case of do what I say and not what I do. We have the Jews who because of their possession of God’s written law, claimed special status, which gave them the special ability to teach the Gentiles what is right and what is wrong based on God’s law. While they were teaching God’s morality based on the law, they themselves where living contrary to the very same morality that they were teaching from God’s law. Despite this, they had a false belief that they will escape God’s wrath. We see this clearly in what Paul has said earlier in the same chapter
“Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?” (Romans 2:3, ESV)
This is the false security that the Jews had and Paul was about to show them that they are wrong.
How does this apply to us? Well, if you call yourself a Christian today, then you need to examine your life to see if indeed you practice what you preach. You need to examine your life to see if you are not living against the very truth that you claim to represent. Does your life reflect the truth of the message you claim to represent? Do you live a life that reflects what you preach? If not, please repent and as Paul urges in Ephesians 4:1
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,” (Ephesians 4:1, ESV)
I also urge you to repent and walk in a manner worthy of the message that you claim to represent.
As a christian, you must live the truth that you have been commanded to preach, and to teach all unbelievers, 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 and to reflect these truth in your life.
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.
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