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The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship.

Romans 2:22 - Adulterers All

Romans 2:22

"You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?" (NASB)

"Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery?  thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?" (KJV)

"You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery?  You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples?" (NLT)

"You who tell others not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery?  You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?" (NET)

"'Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign, but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.'  Then Jesus left them and went away." (Mathew 16:4 NLT)

"You adulterers! Don't you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God?  I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God." (James 4:4)

If we look toward history we will find that Adultery was a most common crime in Israel.  The Jewish Historian, Josephus, give us a firm account of the widespread sin of this nation (Josephus, Ant. IV. 8, 10).  Even the Jewish Talmud accuses, by name, the most celebrated Rabbis of adultery. (Dr. Albert Barnes)

"The greatest obstructers of the success of the word are those whose bad lives contradict their good doctrine, who in the pulpit preach so well that it is a pity they should ever come out, and out of the pulpit live so ill that it is a pity they should ever come in." Mathew Henry

"The apostle directs his discourse to the Jews, and shows of what sins they were guilty, notwithstanding their profession and vain pretensions.  A believing, humble, thankful glorying in God, is the root and sum of all religion.  But proud, vain-glorious boasting in God, and in the outward profession of his name, is the root and sum of all hypocrisy.  Spiritual pride is the most dangerous of all kinds of pride.  A great evil of the sins professors is, the dishonor done to God and religion, by their not living according to their profession.  Many despise their more ignorant neighbors who rest in a dead form of godliness; yet themselves trust in a form of knowledge, equally void of life and power, while some glory in the gospel, whose unholy lives dishonor God, and cause his name to be blasphemed." Mathew Henry 

Mathew Henry could not have said it better.  As we look into the mirror each morning, ought we not to consider that Grace is the reason that we have breath.  It is God's longsuffering that stayed the day of our destruction against that day when we would believe. Saint Augustine said: "Love God, do as you please."  For if we truly love God, then our actions are already pleasing.  Then why is it that we instead take license of this Grace and live abhorrent lives.  The original Greek meaning is to turn away from a horrible stench.  God abhors sin! What then is our true witness as believers?  Is it the words proceeding from our mouths as we tell others how to live?  Or is it the way we live our lives the grandest of all witnesses.  If, because of Grace within us, we live a life worthy of our calling then we are a witness unto life.  If, because of our sin nature, we live a life that looks like the world around us we are a witness unto death.  Let us begin each day with a joyous thanksgiving in our hearts knowing that our sins are no longer counted against us! Rather our lives have been covered by the blood of the Lamb.

"The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning." (Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT)

Romans 2:21 - Hypocricy's Epitome

Romans 2:21

"you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal?" (NASB)

Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself?  thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?" (KJV)

"Well then, if you teach others, why don't you teach yourself?  You tell others not to steal, but do you steal?" (NLT)

"therefore you who teach someone else, do you not teach yourself?  You who preach against stealing, do you steal?" (NET)

The hypocrisy continues!  How often do we tell others how to live their lives while standing in the same ditch?  We think that our lives our proportional!  We think we walk in the light in proportion to how well we are doing in the part of our life where we think we have victory.  The reality is we are dead in our sin!  Romans Chapter 7 verses 14-30 reign until life is given us by the Spirit of Christ that sets us free from the power of sin and death (in chapter 8).  Let us fall on our knees each day with genuine thankfulness at having been delivered by the blood of Christ.  Let us stop looking at each other and look at ourselves asking the Lord to define our state of health.  We will soon discover that we are like airplane pilots.  We are only as good as our last landing!

Here the warning from Dr. Adam Clarke:

“What signify your pretensions to knowledge, and the office of teaching others, if you have no regard to your own doctrine?  What are you the better for preaching against theft, if you are a thief yourself?  Or for declaring adultery unlawful, if you live in the practice of it?  Or for representing idolatry abominable, if you are guilty of sacrilege?  What honors or singular favors do you deserve, if, while you glory in the law and your religious privileges, you dishonor God, and discredit his religion, by transgressing his law, and living in open contradiction to your profession?  And this is more than supposition; notorious instances might be produced of the forementioned crimes, whereby the Jews of the present age have brought a reproach upon religion among the Gentiles; as well as those Jews of former times, of whom the Prophet Ezekiel speaks, Ezekiel 36:23 : And I will sanctify my great name, which was Profaned among the Heathen, which ye have Profaned in the midst of them.”

Romans 2:20 - Professor of Hypocricy

Romans 2:20

"a corrector3810 of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth," (NASB)

"An instructor3810 of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law." (KJV)

"You think you can instruct3810 the ignorant and teach children the ways of God.  For you are certain that God's law gives you complete knowledge and truth." (NLT)

"an educator3810 of the senseless, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the essential features of knowledge and of the truth —" (NET)

From G3811; a trainer, that is, teacher or (by implication) discipliner: - which corrected, instructor.

"Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined3810 us, shouldn't we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?" (Hebrews 12:9 NLT)

This word occurs only twice in NT

INSTRUCT'OR, n. A teacher; a person who imparts knowledge to another by precept or information. 1 Cor 4.

1. The preceptor of a school or seminary of learning; any president, professor or tutor, whose business is to teach languages, literature or the sciences; any professional man who teaches the principles of his profession.


1. One who corrects; one who amends faults, retrenches error, and renders conformable to truth or propriety, or to any standard; as a corrector of the press; a corrector of abuses.

2. One who punishes for correction; one who amends or reforms by chastisement, reproof or instruction.

3. That which corrects; that which abates or removes what is noxious or inconvenient; an ingredient in a composition which abates or counteracts the force of another; as, an alkali is a corrector of acids.

Turpentine is a corrector of quicksilver.

ED'UCATOR, n. One who educates.

The hypocrisy of the Israelites here embody the same attitude we see today in a great many religions.  The attitude that we possess the only true knowledge!  But for the Christian the true Word is Jesus Christ and He possesses us.  It is easy to tell someone else how they must live while at the same time living in the quagmire of self-deceit.  Our hope is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that sets us free lest we too become the hypocrites of the faith putting the Bible under our arm to use as a seven-day deodorant pad.

"Such people claim they know God, but they deny Him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good." (Titus 1:16 NLT)

A Soldier's Wish
By profession I am a soldier and take pride in that fact, but I am prouder to be a father.  A soldier destroys in order to build; the father never destroys. The one has the potentialities of death; the other embodies creation and life. And, while the hordes of death are mighty, the battalions of life are mightier still.  It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle, but in the home, repeating with him our simple daily prayer, "Our Father Who art in Heaven...."
-General Douglas MacArthur

Romans 2:19 - Dim Lanterns

Romans 2:19

"and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness," (NASB)

"And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness," (KJV)

"You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness." (NLT)

"and if you are convinced that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness," (NET)

Like the Jew, we too let our opinion of ourselves wax great! We are convinced we are superior in knowledge to the rest of the world, while holding great confidence in our religious prowess. We think ourselves qualified to teach those of lesser blessing how to live their lives while our hypocrisy climbs to greater heights.

Pro 26:12 "There is more hope for fools than for people who think they are wise." (NLT)

Isa 5:21 "What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever." (NLT)

Isa 56:10 "For the leaders of My people—the LORD's watchmen, His shepherds—are blind and ignorant. They are like silent watchdogs that give no warning when danger comes. They love to lie around, sleeping and dreaming." (NLT)

Mat 6:23 "But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!" (NLT)

Mat 15:14 "so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch."

1Co 3:18 "Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world's standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise." (NLT)

1Co 8:2 "Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn't really know very much." (NLT)

Romans 2:18 - You know what is right

Romans 2:18

"and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law," (NASB)

"And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;" (KJV)

"You know what He wants; you know what is right because you have been taught His law." (NLT)

"and know his will and approve the superior things because you receive instruction from the law," (NET)

Ignorance of the law is no excuse! Not only has it been written upon our hearts, but the Hebrew had been instructed from childhood in its tenets. The keepers of the law. Are we not the same today when we put a Bible under each are and sin mightily? Do we expect that just by attending Church, singing songs and feeling good that we are benefactors of the promise?

"To rest in the law, with a rest of complacency and acquiescence, is good; but to rest in it with a rest of pride, and slothfulness, and carnal security, is the ruin of souls." Matthew Henry

But don't be fooled by those who promise you safety simply because the LORD's Temple is here. They chant, 'The LORD's Temple is here! The LORD's Temple is here!'" Jeremiah 7:4

"Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong." Hebrews 5:15 NLT

Romans 2:17 - To Whom Much is Given, Much is Expected

Romans 2:17

"But if you bear the name "Jew" and rely upon the Law and boast in God," (NASB)

"Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God," (KJV)

"You who call yourselves Jews are relying on God's law, and you boast about your special relationship with Him." (NLT)

"But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast of your relationship to God" (NET)

Woes on the impenitent:

We can see here that Paul argues that the very privileges that the Jews boast of will hold them to a stricter standard.  If we extend this to all of God's people we could say that those who have grown up in Christian families may have learned what God's word says.  However, if our lives to not reflect this we are no better than the heathen.  Where is the boating then?  Is it not the attitude of our heart sometimes when we look at the world to click our tongue and point our finger.  But do we ache for the lost?  Are we ready to share the hope within us?

"Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ." 1 Peter 3:15-16 NLT

"What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse.  Yes, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you. And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead." Luke 10:13-15 NLT

"And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few.  From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more."  Luke 12:47-48

Romans 2:16 - Judged According to the Gospel

Romans 2:16

"on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus." (NASB)

"In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." (KJV)

"And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone's secret life." (NLT)

"on the day when God will judge the secrets of human hearts, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus." (NET)

The secrets of men.  The majority of our human lives lies hidden from our fellow-men, but when the judgment comes every secret shall be made known to all.  Christ Himself will be the instrument through which this judgment is delivered.  His judgment shall be according to the gospel which Paul preached.  This same Gospel will ultimately save or condemn.  By the very words of Christ shall everyone be judged.

"Secret services shall be rewarded, secret sins shall be then punished, and brought to light." Matthew Henry

"here specially referring to the unfathomed depths of hypocrisy in the self-righteous whom the apostle had to deal with. (See Ecc 12:14; 1 Co 4:5).  A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown

"God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad." Ecclesiastes 12:14 NLT

"For He will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives.  Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due." 1 Corinthians 4:5b NLT

"But don't be afraid of those who threaten you.  For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all."  Matthew 10:26 NLT

"On secret circumstances depends the real quality of actions, frequently unknown to the actors themselves.  Men generally form their judgments, even of themselves merely from what is apparent." John Wesley

Romans 2:15 - Written Upon Our DNA

Romans 2:15

"in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them," (NASB)

"Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)" (KJV)

"They demonstrate that God's law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right." (NLT)

"Rom 2:15 They show that the work of the law is written in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend them," (NET)

"But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ." 1 Peter 3:16 NLT

One can contrast the work of our conscience with the work of our fallen nature.  We know of the doctrine of "original sin."  The perpetuation of our propensity to sin from generation to generation.  Medical science finds in our chromosomes various codes that sometimes bring with it a weakness toward specific diseases, maladies or the like.  But by demonstration in life and even in the external literature of the time where phrases like "the conclave," "tribunal," "judgment of conscience," are written gives credence that even the unbeliever has the law written upon the heart, DNA, perhaps even our molecules.  We are certainly without excuse but rather betrayed by the existence of our own conscience.  The place where we try to justify our fallen actions with our fallen nature.

Dear God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Father of my Lord Jesus Christ. Each day your Grace grows larger in realization of the fullness of my sinful nature. Thank you for the gift of your Son who makes life with you possible. I entrust to you this day, this hour, this minute knowing that a within me lies no good thing. I wish to be under your perfect yoke and burden.

"For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."  Matthew 11:30 NLT

Romans 2:14 - We know Intinctively

Romans 2:14

"For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves," (NASB)

"For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:" (KJV)

"Even Gentiles, who do not have God's written law, show that they know His law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it." (NLT)

"For whenever the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things required by the law, these who do not have the law are a law to themselves." (NET)

So even though the Gentiles were not the possessors of the law (didn't have a God's written word) they knew in their innermost being its very precepts. Yet in Acts we have the warning:

"God overlooked people's ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now He commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to Him. For He has set a day for judging the world with justice by the Man He has appointed, and He proved to everyone who this is by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:30-31 NLT)

For the Gentiles did not obey the law perfectly any more that the Jews. So neither are justified by the law. No one can escape the judgment of sin! Yet God displays His goodness by giving opportunity to repent.

Romans 2:13 - hearing only doesn't get it done

Romans 2:13

"for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified." (NASB)
"For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." (KJV)
"For merely listening to the law doesn't make us right with God.  It is obeying the law that makes us right in His sight." (NLT)
"For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous before God, but those who do the law will be declared righteous." (NET)

Here is the refute for those who are mere possessors of the law.  This sentiment is reflected in James' words: "But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves" (James 1:22 NLT)  Jesus reminded us of this when He said: "Not everyone who calls out to Me, 'Lord! Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Only those who actually do the will of My Father in heaven will enter" (Matthew 7:21 NLT)

I suspect that we, like Israel, become fooled into thinking that because we own a Bible, read it, and perhaps even study it, that we have somehow become something!  The reality is that we have merely turned our Bible into a seven-day deodorant pad.  The secret then in Christ in us, "to will and to work for His good pleasure."  It is the "doing" that reveals the attitude of our heart!  Joyful obedience for having been saved from the eternal separation from God that we deserve.

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