Sunday School Material 7-3-16: Needing More Than the Law

(Romans 2:17-29; 7/3/16)

Introduction: Paul is setting up to talk to the “Jews” in this Sunday School material. He refers to them as those who see themselves as relying on the law. They see themselves as having been instructed in the law. They are guides to the blind and light to those in darkness.

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Applications –

- How we refer to ourselves. Notice in vss. 17-20 that we should be careful how we refer to ourselves.

First, the higher up we place ourselves, the further we are subject to fall. None of us are dotting all of the “I”s nor crossing all of the “T”s. We have all sinned and continue to sin.

Second, as believers, not Jews, are confidence is in God’s grace, not our obedience. We strive to obey as our way of telling the Lord “Thank You for Your grace.” We are not trying to earn or keep our salvation by way of good works. Let’s work on being careful how we refer to ourselves.

Read Romans 2:21-23

II. Betrayed Calling. Paul now raises questions about the “Jews” living by what they teach others. In our Sunday School material he ask about are the teachers teaching themselves. He asks about those who teach against adultery committing adultery themselves.

Applications –

- Practicing what we preach. Notice in vss. 21-23 that the Jews of the text are essentially not practicing what they preached. First, no one lived up to all of the Law, except Jesus.

Second, as believers, we should strive to practice what we preach. It is sinful to tell others what they should and should not do without our trying to do the same. Think about teachers and Deacons telling others to tithe and they don’t tithe.

Third, the truth is the truth with or without our example. In other words, even if the teacher is guilty of gossiping, gossiping is still sin. Let’s work on trying to practice what we preach.

Read Romans 2:24-25

III. Sad Results. In our Sunday School material Paul talks about how the Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of the “Jews.” The Jews in question have experienced physical circumcision. However, when they break the law, they become as though they had not been circumcised.

Applications –

- Influencing honor, instead of dishonor. Notice in vss. 24-25 the idea that our lifestyles can influence people to dishonor God. When we say that God is the source of our joy and our provider but then we walk around sad and broke, it influences people to think and say that there is nothing to this Jesus stuff.

When we don’t practice what we preach, not only do people see us as hypocrites, but they are likely to make some negative judgments about God. Let’s live in ways that bring glory to God, not dishonor.

This application calls for us to make sure that we are saved and that we are striving to live lives known for loving God and others, as we love ourselves.

- Rituals without obedience. Notice in vs. 25 that going through rituals without obedience leaves us lost. We cannot come to church every Sunday, sing some songs, memorize some scriptures, and think that our work is done.

An example for believers to consider is the water baptism. If we get water baptized as our way of identifying with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus but make very little effort to live for Jesus then our water baptism is essentially a lie.

God is calling us to submit every area of our lives to Him (i.e., being sold out for the Lord), not just a couple of hours on Sunday. Let’s work on living for the Lord, beyond our Sunday morning time at church.

Read Romans 2:26-29

IV. True Sign. In our Sunday School material Paul now talks about the importance of having one’s insides right. The person who has physical circumcision and the code but doesn’t live by God’s law is uncircumcised spiritual.

The person who is not circumcised physically but lives by God’s will is more of a real “Jew.”

Applications –

- More than outward rituals. Notice in vss. 26-29 that living by God’s will is more important than simply carrying out the rituals.

If God had to choose between someone who wears “church clothes,” knows all of the verses to the hymn, and can quote 20 scriptures but they live by none or a person who has no church clothes, cannot sing, and have no scriptures memorized but they are striving to love God and people as best they can, God would rather have the latter.

Let’s strive to be real Christians. “Real Christians” strive to live by God’s principles for every area of their lives. Every area includes our attitudes, health, finances, relationships, and contributions that we make to others and our communities.

Conclusion: Let’s work on being sold out for the Lord. God has much for those who obey His will.

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