Pastors Ponderings

Recently, Daniel continued our series on Romans by preaching a message from Romans 2. In it Daniel pointed out how carefully we need to read the book as Paul uses many literary devices in his letter. Particularly he draws his audience in regularly by saying things he knows they will agree to so that he can swing his argument around to them. 

Initially they are led to believe that Paul is saying how bad ‘the other’ people are living the way they do, only for them to then realise he is actually saying they are just the same as the people they accuse. Paul also makes statements to deliberately provoke, stir and cause controversy to enhance the points he makes. 

Daniel showed that if we are not careful in understanding the context when reading Romans we could end up thinking that Paul believes vegetarians are weak people, that it’s only good works that will get you into heaven and that anyone might receive salvation if they do those good works.

So after the first two chapters of Romans what is Paul’s message to the Romans and more importantly what can we take away from it. At the end of his message on Sunday Daniel summed up the opening chapters like this:

I believe that Paul’s message to us would be: “Hey listen, you are so busy condemning the world for all kinds of immorality yet you continue to show by your actions that you have not allowed God to work in your heart. You are so worried by the sin out there that you have taken your eye off of your own lives.” 

The problem here is that God will judge you by the very standards that you are judging others. And perhaps when we get to judgement God will look at you who should know better in a worse light than he will at those who know no better because they – the other – the sinner, whom you accuse and are afraid of may show by their works that they fear God and have His law written on their hearts and you who stand in judgement of them may find yourselves on the wrong side of God’s wrath because He will judge you for it.