Romans 2* The Jews could not be justified by the law of Moses, any morethan the Gentiles by the law of nature. (1-16) The sins of theJews confuted all their vain confidence in their outwardprivileges. (17-29)1-16 The Jews thought themselves a holy people, entitled totheir privileges by right, while they were unthankful,rebellious, and unrighteous. But all who act thus, of everynation, age, and description, must be reminded that the judgmentof God will be according to their real character. The case is soplain, that we may appeal to the sinner's own thoughts. In everywilful sin, there is contempt of the goodness of God. And thoughthe branches of man's disobedience are very various, all springfrom the same root. But in true repentance, there must be hatredof former sinfulness, from a change wrought in the state of themind, which disposes it to choose the good and to refuse theevil. It shows also a sense of inward wretchedness. Such is thegreat change wrought in repentance, it is conversion, and isneeded by every human being. The ruin of sinners is theirwalking after a hard and impenitent heart. Their sinful doingsare expressed by the strong words, "treasuring up wrath." In thedescription of the just man, notice the full demand of the law.It demands that the motives shall be pure, and rejects allactions from earthly ambition or ends. In the description of theunrighteous, contention is held forth as the principle of allevil. The human will is in a state of enmity against God. EvenGentiles, who had not the written law, had that within, whichdirected them what to do by the light of nature. Conscience is awitness, and first or last will bear witness. As they nature.Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. Asthey kept or broke these natural laws and dictates, theirconsciences either acquitted or condemned them. Nothing speaksmore terror to sinners, and more comfort to saints, than thatChrist shall be the Judge. Secret services shall be rewarded,secret sins shall be then punished, and brought to light. 17-24 The apostle directs his discourse to the Jews, and showsof what sins they were guilty, notwithstanding their professionand vain pretensions. A believing, humble, thankful glorying inGod, is the root and sum of all religion. But proud,vain-glorious boasting in God, and in the outward profession ofhis name, is the root and sum of all hypocrisy. Spiritual prideis the most dangerous of all kinds of pride. A great evil of thesins professors is, the dishonour done to God and religion, bytheir not living according to their profession. Many despisetheir more ignorant neighbours who rest in a dead form ofgodliness; yet themselves trust in a form of knowledge, equallyvoid of life and power, while some glory in the gospel, whoseunholy lives dishonour God, and cause his name to be blasphemed. 25-29 No forms, ordinances, or notions can profit, withoutregenerating grace, which will always lead to seeking aninterest in the righteousness of God by faith. For he is no morea Christian now, than he was really a Jew of old, who is onlyone outwardly: neither is that baptism, which is outward in theflesh: but he is the real Christian, who is inwardly a truebeliever, with an obedient faith. And the true baptism is thatof the heart, by the washing of regeneration and the renewal ofthe Holy Ghost; bringing a spiritual frame of mind, and awilling following of truth in its holy ways. Let us pray that wemay be made real Christians, not outwardly, but inwardly; in theheart and spirit, not in the letter; baptized, not with wateronly, but with the Holy Ghost; and let our praise be, not ofmen, but of God.
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