Lesson 4 - Romans 2:1-16 The Self-Righteous Man

In the court room of Romans 1 we have seen the first group of prisoners brought into court and tried. Now the representative man of the second group—the self-righteous moralist—appears on the scene. He listens with complacency to the sentence pronounced, in fact he takes a seat beside the Judge. Looking down from the heights of his morality he condemns the bad man. He would object strenuously to taking his place with the culprits. But listen to the voice of the Judge.

“You face the Judge, O man, whoever you are! Judging others you condemn yourself for you are guilty of the same,” see vs. 1.

We now listen to the solemn words concerning the judgment of God in vs. 2-16, and notice four things with regard to it.

1. “The Judgment Of God Is According To Truth.” vs. 2-5.

When the wrath of king Ahasuerus was upon all the Jews. Mordecai said to Esther, “Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house more than all the Jews.” Esther 4:13. For “how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation.” Heb. 2:………. That is exactly what this man does. He despises the riches of God’s goodness vs. 4. He does not fear the day of doom and refuses the grace that would lead him to repentance.

Refusing God’s goodness, he hoards up wrath against himself vs. 5. God is dispensing grace but He is treasuring up wrath. Every sin committed is a deposit in the bank of God’s wrath. In the day of reckoning the sinner will receive both principal and interest. A poor, old, colored woman when taunted with the folly of believing in a “lake of fire and brimstone” because “no such an amount of brimstone could be found in one place,” exclaimed solemnly, “Everybody takes his own brimstone wif’ him!”

2. The Judgment Of God Is According To Works, vs. 6-10

There are two classes of people in the world. They are described in these verses. One class is looking upward. They continue in well doing while they seek after glory. They will receive eternal life. Of course every one in this group is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. When the question was asked “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God” the answer was given, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” John 6:…….,……

The other class takes sides with self and sin against God vs. 8, 9. They do not obey the truth but obey unrighteousness, yielding themselves to what is wrong. The harvest from such sowing will be wrath and fierce anger, trouble and anguish. At the great white throne they will be judged “according to their works.” Rev. 20:12 and be cast into the lake of fire.

3. The Judgment Of God Is Impartial vs. 11-15

“For there is no respect of persons with God” vs……….

I read of a French nobleman who thought that “the Almighty would hesitate before He condemned forever a man of a marquis condition.” And I have known many who thought they were especially favored and had a better chance than others with God; as if there were some by-way of privilege or something that would influence God in their favour. Increased privilege means increased responsibility. We learn that from what the Lord Jesus said concerning the cities where He did His mighty works. It will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment than for them. Matt. 11:……… The standard of judgment is according to responsibility, vs. 13-15.

4. The Judgment of God is According to the Gospel vs. 16.

The same message that brings joy to the repentant sinner’s heart warns the unrepentant of certain doom. The gospel bells ring out a welcome to God’s heart and home, they also sound a warning to all who refuse the welcome. Salvation is sure for the believer but wrath is as certain for every unbeliever. Think of the unsaved meeting the Saviour they rejected and having all their sins exposed, for God will “judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ.” The blaze of that judgment throne will be as unwelcome to the sinner as the glare of the noonday sun to crickets suddenly exposed to it by the removal of their hiding place.


1. Fill in blank references

2. Why is the moral man of Chap. 2 without excuse?

3. What is the goal of the believer?

4. What four things are noticed with regard to the judgment of God?

5. Who will be the judge in that great day of wrath?