Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.Romans 2:1-5
In chapter 1, Paul laid out plainly just how sinful man had become. Now, in chapter 2, Paul is speaking to those who seemed to be giving excuses. He is speaking to the moral man who would balk at being called a sinner and lumped in with those Paul had just described in chapter 1.
These men, in the days of the Romans, would have been men like Seneca. Seneca was a major philosophical figure of the Roman empire. Some described him as a privileged hypocrite who preached virtue while silently endorsing unspeakable crimes. He was devoted to money and power, and worked as a fixer for Nero. He and others would have said, “I am not like that. I am not like those sinners, you speak of!” Paul in these scriptures is showing that no one, no matter how good you are, no matter how unlike you think you are to those debase, dishonorable, and impure people you think you are, your judgment of them is the revealing of your hypocrisy, as you point your finger but do the same things. You are without excuse. Your sin style may be different but you sin just the same. Basically, Paul is saying -Just because you are better at hiding your sin doesn’t make you better or sinless!
Paul then asks, “do you think you will escape God’s judgment?”
As I was reading, this one little word jumped out at me: PRESUME …Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness..
Presume means to base your reasoning on opinion or to take something as true based on some reasonable evidence. Presumption is not a fact, but it is used as a fact every day in our world. When a situation is blasted on social media or news, it is often based off of what “seems” to be happening and it might be true but it also might not be true. Jumping to conclusions is dangerous. That is exactly what Paul is pointing out here. He is expressing to these seemingly moral people that just because your sin hasn’t caused you to be seen as debased, dishonorable, or impure by other men doesn’t mean that your sin hasn’t made you guilty of God’s judgment.
Romans 2:4 or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
Paul is saying, “Do you think that because God is kind, because He has refrained from calling your sin debt in, that because He is patient, did you forget that this kindness is meant to cause you to repent?”
This forfeiting of forgiveness…
Neglecting to repent leads to having hard and impenitent hearts. This kind of thinking that says,”oh, I am not like those other people. I’m not like those sinners.” leads to a storing up of wrath for yourself. Just because your sin isn’t loud, don’t presume you will escape. Paul isn’t trying to be dramatic. He is declaring, “Don’t forget the gospel!”
Jesus Christ paid for your sin! All of it! We don’t have to store up sin wrath for the day of judgment – we have the blood of Christ! So remember the gospel and repent! It leads to forgiveness and a washing away of sin.
When was the last time you turned to Jesus and asked for forgiveness?
We all need it. I do. We all do. Daily. It’s available.
All is grace,