The Letter to the Romans
COLLEEN MOORE TINKER
5. Judged by truth and deeds
1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
2 Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.
3 So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?
4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?
5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.
6 God "will give to each person according to what he has done."
7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.
8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile;
10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
11 For God does not show favoritism. (NIV)
Judgment According to Truth
1. In this chapter Paul introduces the subject of God's judgment. In the first verse he shows that humans all are equally sinful. Why does Paul say that people condemn themselves at the point at which they condemn others? (see 2 Samuel 12:1-10; Matthew 7:1-2)
2. How is this type of judgment different from the type of discrimination we are simultaneously commanded to do? (see Matthew 7:6, 15, 16; 1 Corinthians 5:9; 2 Corinthians 11:14; Philippians 3:2; 1 John 4:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21)
3. In verses 2 and 3 Paul contrasts human judgment which is rendered hypocritical because of one's own sin with God's judgment which is based on truth. What is significant about the fact that God's judgment is based on truth? (see 1 Samuel 2:3; 16:7; Psalm 44:20-21; 139:23-24; Luke 16:15; Romans 8:27; Galatians 2:6; Revelation 2:23)
4. These verses about hypocritical judging and showing contempt for God's patience would have struck a chord in Jewish readers' minds since they felt themselves superior to the Gentiles and had traditionally mistaken God's patience for a reluctance to judge. Why has God been so patient and tolerant? (see Acts 17:30-31; Romans 3:25; 9:22-24; 1 Timothy 1:15-16; 2 Peter 3:9, 14-15)
5. Verses 18-32 discusses God's wrath as he currently administers it toward sin. What is the "day of God's wrath" mentioned in verse 5? (see Psalm 110:5-6; Revelation 6:17; Jude 5-7)
Judgment According to Deeds
6. The Bible is clear that perfection is necessary for eternal life. Since no human is capable of perfection, what are the "good deeds" in verse 7 that will yield eternal life? (see Matthew 7:21-23; 25:34-46; Luke 13:23-27; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 5:17-21)
7. In verses 7 and 8, Paul contrasts "doing good" with being "self-seeking". He also equates self-seeking with rejecting truth and following evil. How are refusing truth, doing wickedness, and being self-seeking related? (see Mark 13:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Romans 1:25, 28; 16:17-18; 2 Timothy 4:3-4; Isaiah 30:9-11)
8. Why do "trouble and distress" as well as "glory, honor, and peace" come first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles? (see Amos 3:1-2; Luke 12:47-48)
9. What defines people who "do evil", and what distinguishes them from those who "do good"? (Ephesians 2:1-5; Galatians 5:17, 19-21, 24; 6:7-9)
Application and Commitment
10. Toward what sin or weakness in your life has God been patient, convicting you of your need for him?
11. What sin or unresolved relationship do you need to surrender to God, asking him to heal your brokenness and replace it with his strength and love?
12. Have you surrendered your heart to Jesus and asked him to forgive your sins and be the Lord of your life?
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CA USA. All rights reserved. Posted April 24, 2003.