Read - Romans 2:12-13
Message - Alan Burke
You were a wain once, we all were. Here’s a question, how good were you at obeying your parents, grandparents, the grownups who cared for you? I’m pretty sure that for you just like me, obedience even though you knew there would be consequences didn’t come easy and for some of you reading this you thank the Lord that your kids and grandkids were spared the cane at school. Our experience shows us that although the years that have gone by we might have got better at it but that we are not very good obeying. Look at verse 13 here, we are told it is those who obey the law will be declared righteous. You might be tempted tot think that is good news for you, and after all we all did so well as wains at obey, but in reality this isn’t good news for none of us are able to keep the law.
Paul is addressing here in the immediate context of Romans 2 is a perspective of Judaism that the Jews believed they could be justified by keeping the law, by conforming to its requirements but it is impossible, if you have your bibles before you, flick over the page with me, at least I have to turn the page, and look at what 3:20 teaches us, “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” It is not that Paul is teaching that it is possible to obey the law, rather he is making the point of the futility of that argument, that the Jews would have made, that I have kept the commandments of God, while scripture the law of God is an advantage, it is of no use to us before the Lord unless it has worked in our hearts and lives, for none bar Christ have fully kept God’s commandments (Rom 3:9-20).
Sadly this is an excuse that many appeal to today, ‘I’ve kept the commandments’, I’ve never hurt anyone, I’m a good person. In a civil sense that maybe true, but before God’s perfect rightness, well, I’d say no we miss the mark, we sin. But lets assume that we ignore the first four commandment, that’s having no other God before the Lord God, well we might do ok, along with no idols, we might think were ok with the third and that we don’t misses the name of God, but it’s best just to ignore the 4th commandment for everyone’s sake, and the rest, well I’ve honoured my parents, I haven’t murdered, I haven’t committed adultery, stolen, given false testimony, not that I’m giving false testimony right now by saying that I haven’t given false testimony, and of course none of us have ever coveted anything.
For those who have the law we will be judged by it, and for those who miss the mark, who sin, even if they do not have the law in the moral law of the Ten Commandments they are a law unto themselves for they do the things required of it even though they do not have it and they will perish apart from the law. While all who miss the mark, who sin under the law will be judged by the law. Not one could ever keep the law so perfectly as to be considered righteous before God, even those who would claim that they have kept it, conformed to its requirements, none of us can stand in our obedience.
The good news is of course, what God requires of us that perfect obedience to His law that we are unable to keep, well the good news for us is that while we are unable to achieve this, what God requires He has also provided for us. That is why Christ’s obedience can justify us, we cannot obey perfectly but we trust in one who did, and His righteousness is imputed to us, that’s what we were reminded in chapter 1v17, we have a righteousness from God, from faith, the righteous live by faith.
Q98 What is prayer?
Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, (Ps. 62:8) for things agreeable to his will, (1 John 5:14) in the name of Christ, (John 16:23) with confession of our sins, (Ps. 32:5–6, Dan. 9:4) and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies. (Phil. 4:6)