NT Fire Starters – Day 207: Romans 2:1-29
READ: Romans 2:1-29
THINK: God isn’t saying that we shouldn’t use judgment. In fact, chapter 1 concludes by emphasizing the evils of excusing or approving bad behaviors. God’s “tolerance” (v. 4) isn’t like the world’s, which basically allows people to do as they choose regardless of what the Bible says. Still, God is patient, giving people time to see the error of their ways so they can turn to Him for forgiveness before He judges them. The primary judgments Christians make must be toward themselves personally. Certainly we should stand for what’s right and influence others to do the same. But we must ensure that our own lives are free from hypocrisy, setting an example of what it means to follow God.
RESPOND: Why were those to whom Paul originally addressed his remarks wrong in judging others? (See 2:1 note.) Jesus’ followers are supposed to inspire others–by actions as well as words–to trust God, follow Him and do right. However, under what conditions is it not right for people in the church to challenge others about ungodly behavior? (See 2:3 note.) What must Christians do before attempting to influence others to do what’s right? What’s the ultimate purpose of God’s “kindness, tolerance and patience” (v. 4)? What does it mean that God rewards those who pursue “honor and immortality”? (See 2:7 note.) Who will ultimately experience God’s wrath (v. 7)? How should the description of God’s judgment in verses 12-15 inspire those who know Christ? (See 2:12-15 note.) Who will be “declared righteous” in God’s sight? (See 2:13 note.) What is “the law” to which this verse refers? How do those who have never received God’s law or heard Jesus’ message still have an indication of God’s requirements (v. 15)? In what ways do some who claim to follow God actually dishonor God among others who don’t follow Him? (See 2:24 note.) What point is Paul making when he refers to “circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit”? (See 2:29 note.)
PRAY: Ask God to help you never overlook ungodliness in your own life and to expose ways in which you’re being judgmental and hypocritical. Ask Him to forgive such attitudes and actions and to make you a worthy example to others.
ACT: Stop judging others for the types of things you’re still struggling with in your own life. If you’re doing anything that could possibly dishonor God, ask Him to forgive you, then stop that behavior immediately.