Romans 2:1-4 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? NKJV
The Apostle Paul (as he was carried along by God the Holy Spirit) documented for us a very long list of profane actions and behavior that come out of the human heart. It was Paul’s intention to reveal the gross depravity that spring forth from man regardless of his environment or external stimulus. The person can be living in the most luxurious places in our modern society or the person could be a part of the many people who live completely and totally of the land with none of the so called conveniences of modern society, it makes no difference, the sinful heart of man is the same. Paul immediately begins to shift his focus from man’s individual acts of sinful depravity and begins to speak to or target another group of human beings that place themselves above those listed in Romans Chapter 1.
Paul was not speaking here in just strict theory because he too was this type of man before he had an encounter with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on the Damascus road. Paul had grown up as a Jew from the tribe of Benjamin and was surely taught from an early age that Jews were superior to all Gentiles or Non-Jews. Paul spoke of himself in another letter in this manner, Philippians 3:4-6 “If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” NKJV The Apostle Paul before he encountered Christ relied and trusted in these things and in so doing thought he was very good in God’s sight and looked down on the Gentiles as being inferior heathens worthless and incapable of any good thing before God. Paul’s attack in the beginning of Romans Chapter 2 is aimed squarely at the heart of every person who is a hypocrite or hypocritical as they judge and condemn others while practicing such gross sin in secret out of other human beings sight but not God. One example relevant in my opinion is the story recorded in Genesis 38 of Judah and Tamar. God always uncovers the sins of men and women done in secret before other human beings because His eyes are in every place watching over the good and the evil (Proverbs 5:21 & Proverbs 15:3).
The Scripture does not tell us but I would not be surprised if the women caught in the act of adultery and brought before our Lord Jesus Christ (John 8:3-12) was engaging in the adultery with one of the rulers of the Jews a Pharisee and this is why he was not also brought to our Lord. Maybe he was the brother or Father of one of the other Pharisees standing ready to stone the woman and our Lord Jesus wrote his name in the sand when he bent down. Paul wants the hypocrite to be fully aware that God’s judgment is not going to be on a merit system or scales weighing out good deeds over bad deeds, but His judgment is going to be strictly based upon truth (Psalm 96:13). God sees and knows all truth and no hypocrite, pretender, or actor will escape His Righteous Judgment. He (God) will render righteous judgment to every man. Many people in every generation in Churches with their names firmly engraved on the Churches roll have been guilty of this gross hypocrisy thinking they were somehow fooling God at the same time they fooled their fellow church members (Psalm 50:21).
I personally used to be one of these people also like the Apostle Paul until I too had an encounter with the living Lord Jesus Christ and was regenerated and born again. I was as the late Dr. Adrian Rogers said, “Many people are baptized pagans.” I was one who would go to church on Sunday and sing all the songs and leave the building and live just like a baptized pagan. I cursed and used profanity on a daily basis as a part of my normal vocabulary (using the Lord’s name as a curse word). I practiced fornication after I left the church grounds and drank alcohol and did all manner of illegal drugs for years all the while thinking I was not a pagan or a hypocrite. I did not love the Lord Jesus Christ because I did not know Him. I did not know what it meant to fight my sin or make war against sin because I had none of the armor of God at my disposal. You see despite our outward profession of faith, it must be real and genuine internally and that only happens when the person is regenerated and born again (John 3:3 & John 3:5).
However, we have many religious people like Paul and myself in many churches void of the new birth and no Holy Spirit dwelling in them trying to please God by their own works and that is a recipe for a hypocrite (Proverbs 16:2 & Proverbs 21:2). This righteous judgment of God is what compels Paul here to write this warning the Jews then and warning every generation of supposed Christians to be in full and complete understanding that God does not see and judge as man does but His judgment is truthful and perfect showing no favoritism to any person or even to the Jewish Nation though they were His special people coming through the loins of Abraham. We documented from Paul’s letter in Chapter 1 of Romans how God was so furious with man and repented that He even made man because the imagination of his heart was evil continually and so He destroyed them all in a flood. Paul exalts and lifts up the extraordinary longsuffering of God to all humanity. Even though God destroyed that generation of man in a flood, His love and longsuffering waited 120 years and He (God) preached to them repentance through Noah during all those 120 years. He wanted them all then to repent (turn from their sin to Him) as He does still today by His goodness, forbearance (refraining from acting), and extreme longsuffering is giving every soul ample opportunity to turn and be healed from sin forever by grace through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord (Psalm 25:7 & Psalm 107:8-9 & 2 Peter 3:9 & 2 Peter 3:15).
“It is a terribly easy matter to be a minister of the gospel and a vile hypocrite at the same time.” Charles Spurgeon 1834-1892
“It is not the being seen of men that is wrong, but doing these things for the purpose of being seen of men. The problem with the hypocrite is his motivation. He does not want to be holy; he only wants to seem to be holy. He is more concerned with his reputation for righteousness than about actually becoming righteous. The approbation of men matters more to him than the approval of God.” Augustine 354 AD – 430 AD
“The hypocrite, certainly, is a secret atheist; for if he did believe there was a God, he durst not be so bold as to deceive Him to His face.” Thomas Adams 1583-1653
“While the Christian commits a sin he hates it; whereas the hypocrite loves it while he forbears it.” William Gurnall 1617-1679
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…