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Matthew Henry's Commentary

Romans Chapter 2 

he Jews could not be justified by the law of Moses, any more than the Gentiles by the law of nature. (1-16) The sins of the Jews confuted all their vain confidence in their outward privileges. (17-29)

Verses 1-16: The Jews thought themselves a holy people, entitled to their privileges by right, while they were unthankful, rebellious, and unrighteous. But all who act thus, of every nation, age, and description, must be reminded that the judgment of God will be according to their real character. The case is so plain, that we may appeal to the sinner's own thoughts. In every wilful sin, there is contempt of the goodness of God. And though the branches of man's disobedience are very various, all spring from the same root. But in true repentance, there must be hatred of former sinfulness, from a change wrought in the state of the mind, which disposes it to choose the good and to refuse the evil. It shows also a sense of inward wretchedness. Such is the great change wrought in repentance, it is conversion, and is needed by every human being. The ruin of sinners is their walking after a hard and impenitent heart. Their sinful doings are expressed by the strong words, "treasuring up wrath." In the description of the just man, notice the full demand of the law. It demands that the motives shall be pure, and rejects all actions from earthly ambition or ends. In the description of the unrighteous, contention is held forth as the principle of all evil. The human will is in a state of enmity against God. Even Gentiles, who had not the written law, had that within, which directed them what to do by the light of nature. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. As they nature. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. As they kept or broke these natural laws and dictates, their consciences either acquitted or condemned them. Nothing speaks more terror to sinners, and more comfort to saints, than that Christ shall be the Judge. Secret services shall be rewarded, secret sins shall be then punished, and brought to light.

Verses 17-24: The apostle directs his discourse to the Jews, and shows of what sins they were guilty, notwithstanding their profession and vain pretensions. A believing, humble, thankful glorying in God, is the root and sum of all religion. But proud, vain-glorious boasting in God, and in the outward profession of his name, is the root and sum of all hypocrisy. Spiritual pride is the most dangerous of all kinds of pride. A great evil of the sins professors is, the dishonour done to God and religion, by their not living according to their profession. Many despise their more ignorant neighbours who rest in a dead form of godliness; yet themselves trust in a form of knowledge, equally void of life and power, while some glory in the gospel, whose unholy lives dishonour God, and cause his name to be blasphemed.

Verses 25-29: No forms, ordinances, or notions can profit, without regenerating grace, which will always lead to seeking an interest in the righteousness of God by faith. For he is no more a Christian now, than he was really a Jew of old, who is only one outwardly: neither is that baptism, which is outward in the flesh: but he is the real Christian, who is inwardly a true believer, with an obedient faith. And the true baptism is that of the heart, by the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Ghost; bringing a spiritual frame of mind, and a willing following of truth in its holy ways. Let us pray that we may be made real Christians, not outwardly, but inwardly; in the heart and spirit, not in the letter; baptized, not with water only, but with the Holy Ghost; and let our praise be, not of men, but of God.


David Burnette's Life Application

The Goodness of God


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Romans with Chapter 2. In our text today we see Paul expounds on God's Judgment of Sin and God's law being broken as he lays out the Romans road of how a person can be saved. What catches my eye is verse 4 which states the goodness of God leadeth us to repentance. In making application I wonder how others can reject the convicting power of the Holy Spirit knowing the goodness of God. If we look at how good our God is to us, and how much He loves us, it is hard to not turn from our sin. How about you? Do you see how good God is? Let us learn from our text today and the the words of Paul to see that Goodness of God leadeth us to repentance.  

 

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Romans 2

Romans 2

 1Therefore 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.

 2But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

 3And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

 4Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

 5But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

 6Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

 7To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

 8But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

 9Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

 10But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

 11For there is no respect of persons with God.

 12For 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;

 13(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

 14For 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:

 15Which 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;)

 16In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

 17Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,

 18And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;

 19And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,

 20An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.

 21Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?

 22Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?

 23Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?

 24For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.

 25For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

 26Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?

 27And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?

 28For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

 29But 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.