by Kristian Anderson
YC19: Session 2
1. When you think about how people outside the Church act, and what they do, do you judge them in your heart? What does judgment look like?
Answer: Judgment is looking down at other’s and thinking that we are in some way different. When we judge others and think of ourselves differently than them, we fool ourselves. We will be judged in the same way (Matthew 7:1-5, Luke 6:37)
We can think that, “As long as I don’t say it out loud, it’s not that bad to look down at others.” What the Apostle Paul is doing in chapter 2 is putting us all on the same playing field.
2. What sins do you tend to excuse, and think are not that serious? What sins do you get mad at other people about but do the same thing?
Answer: In verse 2 we see God laying out that he is as fair as it gets when it comes to his final judgment. He will use what we have done, and what we have said to be the standards in which we are going to be judged.
3. Imagine if someone had you on tape for everything you have said. Imagine someone could read our minds and judged us as if we said those things out loud. Do you think you would not be in the same boat that you have put others in?
Answer: As the Apostle Paul will continually lay out in Romans, we all are sinful, and in need of God’s grace. Whether we knew the law and will be judged by it or didn’t know the law and will perish (2:12), we all are in need of something to change our equation.
We also tend to look at sin differently depending on the direct consequences. Although all sin does not have the same consequences in our world, it all separates us from God.
4. When Paul says, “God will give to each person according to what he has done”, does this mean that we are judged or saved based on works and not by faith?
Answer: Paul is comparing those who plot against God and say one thing but do another, and those who rest in God alone and who know that salvation comes from the Lord. Paul is using Psalm 62 in this comparison. Read Psalm 62 and see what Paul is communicating.
5. Circumcision was an outward sign and a mark of one’s faith. What does Paul mean here in v. 25 when he says, “for circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision.” What does this mean?
Answer: Circumcision was an outward sign of God’s covenant with the Jews. (Gen 17:10-14) An outward sign with no inward faith is useless. It is not just about what we do, but also what we believe in our heart. Paul is beginning to lay the foundation that just because someone grew up as Jewish and was born into this faith, it doesn’t mean that they are righteous. Faith in Christ is what is needed to be declared righteous.