I have been bothered in my heart about a certain wave of doctrine that promotes one sounding much like ‘works salvation’. It preaches about being right with God by keeping the old Law, venturing back to supposed Hebrew origins to be able to comply to the ‘real way’ of worship and service. Mostly focuses on the Jewish traditions and the old culture where the use of words in the original tongue, practice of rites and rituals are the highlights of this movement. This message is a warning to anyone getting caught up in this, Read Romans 2 below. In my study, I have broken it up into sections for its context and application.
1.) First, a warning about judging others: the key is – having seen God’s goodness to us (the fact that we are still alive today), we should repent for our own sins, for God will judge everyone and there is no escape. verses 1~6
1 Therefore 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.
2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
2.) Scripture explains the way of God’s Judgement: The Good choice and the Bad choice – Verses 7~11
7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
Notice in God’s eyes, we are all equal, though it is also written, “judgement begins in the house of God”. if you claim to know God and His commands, the more will be asked of you.
‘The Law’ is a set of rules given by God to His chosen people in the desert after rescuing them out from the land of bondage. He gave it through Moses in the Old Testament – this was the 10 Commandments and the ordinances that came with it.
3.) We find the explanation about the law covering even those who did not know the Mosaic laws themselves, because there is a New law that God put in the hearts of men… verses 12~15
12 For 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.
14 For 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:
15 Which 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;)
4.) Everyone (Jews and non-Jews) who boasts in “keeping the law” beware. verses 16~27:
16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
17 Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,
18 And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;
19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,
20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?
22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
The Law never excused anyone, there are tons of examples in the Old Testament about people who died for disobeying the Law. A lot of those cases where it involved Jews only had to disobey once and they’re gone. Why would we think it would excuse us now?
5.) God’s true people are the Jew in heart: see the rest of it (verses 28~29)…
28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29 But 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.
In the end, God is not mocked. He knows your heart. He knows every desire. When you do these things, who is glorified? If its not God, then it all ends up in vanity. Be careful not to stumble and know also that there are terrible ‘woes’ about causing others to stumble in their walk of faith.
Seek righteousness by faith, see Romans 9:31~32
31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
“Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:9