Reading for Wednesday, Feb. 1: Romans 2
What makes someone righteous before God? The law? Circumcision? These are the questions Paul takes up in Romans 2. He ended chapter 1 by talking about the wickedness and depravity of those who are “out there”, but it seems as if he does this to bring the conversation “in here”. Verse 3: “Do you suppose, O man — you who judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself — that you will escape the judgment of God?”
Romans 2 is a warning against spiritual haughtiness. Israel struggled with this — believing that their identity as God’s “chosen people” meant that they were God’s favorites. That God’s compassion and faithfulness existed only to establish the borders of the nation of Israel. The early church wrestled with this, too. Is the Messiah “for us” only? What about the Gentiles? Paul helps lead the charge for a more inclusive Gospel, opening the door to Gentile converts.
There’s a word of warning for the church today, too. We would do well to remember the posture of humility and hospitality in our interactions with others. Scripture has much to say about God’s people existing as God’s “chosen” people. But a few points need to be made:
1. God’s promise isn’t closed off to others. We aren’t God’s people EXCLUSIVELY. God’s desire is that all men would be saved (1 Tim. 2:4).
2. God has chosen us, but — like Israel — that means we’re chosen for a mission. Specifically, HIS mission.
3. This mission is about more than vocal evangelism. It’s about embodying God’s truth in our lives, which in turns calls others to experience this abundance of life. “For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. (v13)”
We could say more, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on Romans 2.