Condemned By the Law- Romans 2:17-24

We're in Romans 2, and we're going be looking, depending upon our time at verses 17 to 24. I want set the context before I read the verses. Just to remind you of where we are in the Book of Romans, as you recall, the whole Book of Romans is about the Gospel. In Chapter 1, Verse 1, Paul writes that this is about the Gospel of God. We're in the first main section on the Gospel, which is the need for the Gospel, the necessity for the Gospel, and no one will ever be saved until they know what their true need is for the Gospel.


Paul is laying this foundation, and it's a massive foundation. The taller the skyscraper, the deeper the foundation has to be. What Paul is getting ready to tell us and teach us about the Gospel, it's going to be soaring to the heights of Heaven. There's has to be a firm base, and that's what he is laying. We're in this first section that in one word, it would be reduced to condemnation. Now I know how negative that sounds, and it is negative, but there is no true desire for the positive until you know what the negative is. You have to know what the bad news is before the good news. It's really great news. Grace will never be amazing grace until you know what the bad news is, so that's where we are in the Book of Romans. We're in Chapter 2, and we're in the very middle of this section on condemnation and our desperate need for salvation. When we get to salvation, Paul is just going to soar to the heights of Heaven, so just know that that's coming. But he's tightening the screws right now and he's driving these nails down deep in the board so that they're very securely fastened in our thinking.


As we come to verse 17, the transition is from the Gentile to the Jew. Last time in verses 12 through 16, Paul addressed the one without the law, and that the law was written upon their conscience and upon their heart, and that refers to the pagan Gentile, who is without the law, who has never heard the law, has never heard the Gospel. Now as we come to verse 17, you'll note the very first word of verse 7, "But," and that's a sharp contrast. That's a sharp pivot point. Whenever you see the word 'but', the argument's going to go in a different direction. So beginning in Verse 17 he says, "But if you bear the name Jew." Paul is putting his arms around all of humanity. He has addressed the one without the law, the Gentile; and now he is going to address the one with the law, the Jew so that whether you are without the law or with the law, whether you've never heard the Gospel or whether you have heard the Gospel, all are in desperate need of salvation.


Beginning in verse 17, he now addresses the Jew. Now before I read this, I want – I just wanna get out ahead of our thinking in this regard. If you're like me, as soon as I hear Jew, I immediately go, "Well, I'm not a Jew, so this doesn't really apply to me. I'll start listening when we get back to the Gentile." Well I want to head that off at the pass, okay, before we go down that road, because the similarities between the Jew and you and me are nevertheless very closely tied in that the Jew grew up in a very privileged nation in which there was great exposure to the word of God, in which there was some degree of external morality, and that's – that is you and me living in America with great exposure to the word of God. Now, I know there are those watching around the world right now that – you don't live in a nation like that. But for us here in America, and especially what I would call the buckle of the Bible Belt, here in the south, southwest – Dallas, Texas – I mean there's almost a church on all four corners of an intersection.


They are everywhere, and people grow up hearing the truth of at least an outward framework or morality and righteousness, though many never hear the true Gospel. But as we look at this in verse 17, this is really some mail that is still nevertheless addressed to us, because we can put ourselves into the sandals of these Jews who have grown up in a privileged place of hearing the word of God, but as Paul will argue, if you do not act upon this word and believe in Christ, in reality you're worse-off, because it will be a greater judgment that you have had the light but then don't act upon the light. Having said all of that by way of introduction, let me read verses 17 through 24.


"But if you bear the name Jew; and rely upon the law; and boast in God; and know His will and approve the things that are essential being instructed out of the law; and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal? You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law through your breaking the law, do you dishonor God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you," just as it is written.”


Now, those verses are rather hard to follow. These were rather hard to track, and one benefit of an outline is it helps you walk through a passage that is difficult to get your arms around. I'm going to give you the outline.


All you need is the outline, okay? It's a killer outline, but it will help us walk through this passage to see the framework. Here is how this lays out. In verses 17 and 18, four privileges. Then in verses 19 and 20, four practices. Then in verses 21 and 22, four charges. And then in verses 23, and 24, one judgment. How simple is that? Four privileges, four practices, four charges, one judgment. And that outline really serves like a skeleton that will help us put the meat and the flesh on this skeleton.


I.               FOUR PRIVLEGES


Paul begins in verse 17 – this is kind of an unusual section, the way it's laid out, but it's a powerful argument. He begins with four privileges and he says in verse 17, "But if you bear the name Jew." The word 'but', as I've already mentioned, pivots from the Gentile previously mentioned without the law now to the Jew who has the law. And he says, "If you bear the name Jew" – and there's a little bit of sarcasm there, meaning, well, you're not a true Jew. You're only a Jew in name only.


A true Jew would be a born-again Jew. A true Jew would be one who is not only circumcised in the flesh, but circumcised in the heart. And Paul will talk about that at the end of this chapter. When he says, "But if you bear the name Jew," there's a little bit of distance saying that Paul wants to make here that you really are a Jew in name only, by your heritage, by your birth, by your upbringing. And so he says, "But if you bear the name Jew" – and now he gives the four privileges. Number one, "...and rely upon the word." Now this is the number-one privilege, and there's a reason why this is number-one, because of the importance of special revelation. Remember we said no one can be saved without special revelation, and the law is a part of this special revelation. Now I want to mention the law here, because I took a copied page of my Bible yesterday and took a yellow highlighter and just highlighted every time I saw the law. It's kind of interesting.


In these verses, verses 7 through 24, the law is mentioned four times. In verses – in the previous section, verses 12 through 16, the law is mentioned 10 times; and in verses 25 and following – verses 25 to 27, it's mentioned five times. That's a total of 19 times in just this cluster of verses. The law is dominant in this section of scripture, so I think we need to think for a moment. When he says the law, what's he talking about? Because we don't normally think about the law, and I don't think we don't – I think we don't think about it enough. Now the law is referring to the law of Moses, given to Moses, divided out into three sections: moral law, ceremonial law, civil law. You've gotta make those three distinctions. Moral law is how you're to live, ceremonial law is how you're to worship and approach God, civil law is how you are to function as a nation and society.


If Paul is mentioning the law here, he's referring to the moral law. He is referring to the embodiment of the moral law as found in the Ten Commandments, and the Ten Commandments are still directional in our life today. Nine out of the 10 are repeated in the New Testament. If we had time, we could trace down every one of those. And the only one that has been fulfilled I think is the Sabbath Requirements. I do think you can eat in a restaurant on Sunday. I do think you can mow your backyard on a Sunday. I don’t think we're still under the mosaic requirements on the Sabbath. But the other nine, these are still in play in our spiritual lives, and we would be antinomian if we did not hold to the teaching of the Ten Commandments. I mean who's going to argue with that, that God should be number-one in your life, that you shouldn't have graven images of God, you shouldn't take God's name in vain, that you ought to honor your father and your mother, that you shouldn't steal, you ought to tell the truth, you shouldn't covet within your heart? I mean who here would argue that, no, that doesn't have an affect upon my life? No, it must. The law is very important.


Now what are the purposes of the moral law? I want to give you five purposes of the moral law only because, in this section, the law is so emphasized and it's still a part of our lives today, the Ten Commandments. Number one, it reveals the holiness of God. It reveals the character and the attributes of God. We see in the Ten Commandments God's holiness, we see His righteousness, we see His sovereignty, His right to command our lives, we see His love and that it directs us into the center of His will. We learn much about God by simply looking at the Ten Commandments. You learn a lot about the author by looking at what he writes. Second, the law reveals the sinfulness of man. We are measured by the law and we are found that we have fallen short of the Glory of God.


Spurgen uses the analogy that the law is like tin plow sheers that plow up the hardened soil of our heart so that the seed of the Gospel may go down into our heart. When our heart is just hardened, the seed of the Gospel just bounces off. Even in our evangelism, there is a place for the use of the law to bring about conviction of sin. Look at Jesus when he talks to the rich, young ruler. How did Jesus do evangelism? He appeals to the law. There is a place, a rightful, proper place for the use of the law to reveal the sinfulness of man. Third, the law is to be a tutor to lead us to Christ. Galatians 3:24 talks about this, that the law is that which points us away from itself to Christ, because Christ alone is the one who obeyed the law perfectly, and Christ alone is the one who can forgive us our offenses of the law. Then fourth, the law is a restraint to evil in society. It is a limited restraint, but nevertheless it does serve as some degree of a restraint.


That's why you would want laws in a general way to say you cannot kill, you cannot steal. If you come into a courtroom, you should tell the truth. The law does function as a restraint of evil, somewhat limited, admittedly. Then fifth, for us as Christians, the moral law of God reveals the will of God. It points us into the very center of God's will. It tells me how I should relate to my parents. It tells me what I should teach my children. It shows me how I am to work. It shows me how I'm to be content. It shows me how I am to use my mouth and my lips. The moral law of God is like a moral compass that is pointing us into the will of God. That's just a brief footnote, just a brief caveat to remind us of the importance of the law. Please know, Paul is still talking about the law in the New Testament.


Let's come back now to Romans 2. He says in verse 17, "But if you bear the name Jew, and rely upon the law" – and when he says rely upon the law, he is saying that you have a knowledge of the law. You have a knowledge of the word of God and you are relying upon your head knowledge of the law. "And boast in God:" you boast in having this special relationship with God, because you have the law. Then the third privilege: you know His will. Well how do you know His will? The law. The law reveals the will of God. And then he says, "And approve the things that are essential." How would you know the things that are essential? He says at the end of verse 18, "Being instructed out of the law."


Paul is not here in New Testament times just discarding the law and setting it aside. No. He is saying that the law is written upon every persons' heart. He is saying that the law reveals the things that are essential. The law gives the knowledge of the will of God. This is very much a privileged position to know the law and to have access to the commandments of God, those things that are pleasing to God and those things that lead us into the very center of His will. These are the four privileges, and this is where he begins. Those of us who live in this part of the world and in this part of the United States, we have these very same four privileges also.


II.             FOUR PRACTICES


Now, he advances his argument from four privileges to four practices, and these Jews who have the law are not inactive, but they are active with the law. They are ministering the law. They are teaching the law. They are preaching the law. They are passing down the law to their children. Note now the four practices. He says in verse 19 that you are confident that you yourself are. Now let me just stop right there. This confidence brings about a false assurance that just because you have the law, and are using the law, and telling others about the law does not mean that you have taught yourself the law. You are very good at passing it on to others, but you yourself have not applied it to your own life. That's where he's headed, but for right here the four practices of the law – and these come in rapid fire succession. I mean there's no verbs here. It's just all statements here of pithy, short statements. You are confident that you yourself are, number one, a guide to the blind.


The blind here refer to those who are without the law. It refers to the Gentiles. It refers to the Pagans. It refers to those who are outside the community of the faith. To be a guide to the blind means you're a teacher to those who are without the law. You bear witness to those who do not have special revelation in the written word of God, so he says you are a guide to the blind. Now as Paul says that, in reality the Nation of Israel at this time was not exactly a missionary force to the world. I mean they had become a spiritual cul de sac that they had become a self-contained holy huddle. They weren't going out into the world. They weren't trying to reach the surrounding nations. They were very self-content in just sitting on the law, and just hording the law, and just keeping it to themselves.


Even as Paul says this, there is a bit of sarcasm almost prodding them, almost shaming them by saying what they are doing when in reality it's what they should be doing, but – and really are not doing – that they have just become an inner circle unto themselves a holy huddle. That's an awful place to be. Look at these four practices, and in reality this is what you ought to be and should be doing with the law. A guide to the blind; and then second, a light to those who are in darkness. Now the darkness here refers not to physical darkness. It refers to spiritual darkness, and it refers to those who are without the knowledge of the law. And even in Isaiah 42:6, it says that Israel was appointed to be a light to the nations, and Christ himself becomes the ultimate fulfillment of this Isaiah 42 passage, that Christ will be a light to the nations when he says in John 8:12, "I am the light of the world," and then sends out the disciples to preach the Gospel to all the nations.


Where Israel failed, Christ has commissioned the Church to go preach the Gospel and be a light to the nations, but this was expected of the Jew, though the Jew is not fulfilling us. Do you remember Jonah, when God said to Jonah to go to Ninevah and to preach the Gospel there? Jonah was in essence in Dallas, Texas, told to go to New York City and preach the Gospel. He gets on a plane and flies to Japan. I mean he goes in the opposite direction. He tries to go as far away from New York City as he possibly could, because he doesn’t even like the Ninevites, because they're such wretched sinners. They don't deserve the word of God, and so he wants to just horde it and keep it within the nation. The best way he knows to keep it to themselves is he'll just get on a ship and go to Tarshish, which is in reality Spain. It's just in the opposite – it's like a – in reverse.


He says, "You are confident that you yourselves are a light to those who are in darkness," they're not being this, and in reality this is an indictment of the nation that they're not even using the law, passing on the law in the way that they should've been. And then he adds to that in verse 20– and Paul is just driving this nail deeper and deeper into the board as he's stacking these up like pancakes. He goes, "And a corrector of the foolish." Well the foolish refers to those who have worldly wisdom, and in 1 Corinthians 1, we'll talk about that. They are those who sit at the feet of Aristotle, and Plato, and the Greek philosophers; and they think that wisdom is found in the brilliance of the Greek intellectual mind. They need to be corrected of such foolishness. So Paul says that these are – that this is another way that they were supposed to be carrying out the law. And then fourth, a teacher of the immature. Now the immature here refers to spiritual babes who are lacking the knowledge of God's word, and this could have reference even within Israel to their own children, who must be taught.


Deuteronomy 6 says, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord your God is one god," and you shall bind it on their forehead and bind it on the back of their hands, and write it on the door leading into the house, probably a reference here to teaching a new generation that is coming up even within the nation, the law of God. Then he adds at the end of verse 20, "Having in the law." It tells us that being a guide, a light, a corrector, and a teacher has to do with the law. "Having in the law," he says, "the embodiment of knowledge and of truth." That's not a bad thing. That's a good thing. When he says the embodiment of knowledge and truth, he's really referring to the form and the structure of the knowledge of God, and the knowledge of man, and the knowledge of the need of salvation, and the knowledge of the need of Christ, and the knowledge of how a believer is to live his life.


The law contains the embodiment, the internal superstructure, if you will, the infrastructure, we would say, of knowledge and of truth. What a privilege that the Jew has had this embodiment of knowledge and truth and entrusted to them. Men, I can easily say to us before we move on to the next verse that there has been a stewardship entrusted to us of knowledge and of truth. Later this year I'll have the privilege to go to places on the other side of the earth that there is not this knowledge of the law and this knowledge of the truth. You and I are really in the epicenter of a privileged place. I don't know that there's a place on planet Earth right now. I mean just think about that. I don't know that there is a place on planet Earth that is more privileged than Dallas, Texas and the surrounding metroplex of just access to the Bible and to truth, so we could easily place ourselves right here where this Jew is. As Paul will advance his argument, it's very important that every one of us in this room examine ourselves.


Have I been born again? Have I exercised saving faith in Jesus Christ? Do I have more than just the embodiment of knowledge and in truth? Do I have it in my heart through the Gospel of Jesus Christ? What have we said to this point? Well Paul has said there are four privileges and four practices. He now comes to four charges, and really the four practices that we just looked at were a backhanded way of giving four charges. But now he's much more direct and so he says, beginning in verse 21, "You, therefore." Great preaching gets to the 'you'. It becomes very personal; very personal. And Paul is very personal. For those of you who teach the word of God and for those of you who preach, there has to come a point in our preaching and teaching where we become extremely personal and we get to the you. Where are you as it relates to what we've been discussing? That's where Paul is right now in verse 21.




Four charges. Therefore – you, Mr. Jew, with the law – you, Mr. Teacher of the Law, here are the four charges: number one, who teach another, do you teach yourself? You're really good about running everyone else's life. How are you with yourself? You're very good about telling others how they need the Lord. Do you teach yourself how much you need the Lord? This is in the form of a question. I will also say if you're a teacher or a preacher, or even a parent who's teaching your kids, learn the powerful use of the question. To ask the question causes the listener to think, because I'm not giving you the answer. I want you to come up with the answer. Paul puts this in the form of a question, and it's very provocative to self-examination and to run a self-audit of your own spiritual life.


He says, "You, therefore, who teach another, do you teach yourself?" and it implies a negative answer, that you have not been applying the law to yourself. You should know how holy God is, and you should know how sinful you are, and you should know your desperate need for one to stand between Holy God and your sinful life, and to be a mediator between the two. You should know of your need for the Lord Jesus Christ and the Gospel. Second charge, he continues in Verse 21: "You who preach" – so he goes beyond teaching to preaching. "You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal?" It is as though Paul is putting the witness on the witness stand and is examining the witness with questions. Where were you on the night in question?" You who preach you shall not steal, do you steal?" The appeal here is to the eighth commandment.


Paul is still dealing with the law. The eighth commandment says, "You shall not steal," and Paul is using the law as an evangelist to drive the Jew away from self-righteousness to one who has a righteousness that they so desperately need the Lord Jesus Christ himself. The answer implies a positive answer here. You who preach that you should not steal, you do steal. And they may say, "Well, we don't break into people's houses and take money from people." Maybe not, but you're still a thief, because you rob God of his glory, because you do not put God in the very center of your life. You rob God of the glory of the Gospel, because you have not repented of your sins and you have not believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ. You have robbed the poor of what you should give to them in benevolence and in kindness. No, you are a thief of a very deep nature in your own heart. You rob from God and from others what rightfully belonged to them.


Now in verse 22, he continues to advance this by asking these soul-searching questions. In verse 22, "You who say" – so please note even the parallelism here. In verse 21, "You who teach," "You who preach," and now in verse 22, "You who say." For those of you who are in any form of communication, please note how Paul alternates his words and does not repeat himself. He layers them out. That's very effective teaching and preaching. That is very effective communication. To you who teach, you who preach, you who say. In a sense he's saying almost the same thing, but he's using alternate words to hold the attention and to pry a little bit deeper into the thinking of the listener. Verse 22, "You who say that one should not commit adultery" – now that's in the law, is it not? That's the seventh commandment in the law. Paul won't let go of the law, and I just want to say again, I think we need more appeal in our own lives to the law: in our evangelism, in our Christian living. The law is not a bad thing; it's a good thing.


"You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery?" and it implies a yes answer, and we can hear Jesus in Matthew 5 say, yes, but you have lust in your heart for someone who is not your lawful spouse, and that is adultery. Paul is bringing these charges, and now he brings this fourth charge. And please note how aggressive Paul is in exposing sin, and I think most preaching today pulls back from this kind of exposure, and I think most witnessing today pulls back from this kind of exposing of sin in the life of other people. He says, "You who abhor idols," well this is an appeal to the law again to the first and the second commandment that you shall have no other gods before me and you shall not have a graven image by which you worship me. That's clearly stated in the first and the second law. Guess what? That's still in effect today. That has not gone away.


"You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?" and the answer to that is yes. And you may say, "Well, we're not running over here to these Canaanite temples and fishing out idols, and breaking the first and the second commandment," but Paul's reasoning is, yes, you do break the first commandment and even the second commandment in that you have allowed other things in your life to become more important than God. An idol is anything you love more than God, fear more than God, and serve more than God, that that is an idol in your life. An idol may be something that's even something good that is elevated to a place beyond what it should be elevated. Your job can become an idol. Your ministry can become an idol. Your family can become an idol. Your health can become an idol.


I mean if that's what you spend your time daydreaming about, and investing in, and being preoccupied, then that has taken a place in your life that should be reserved exclusively for God alone. He says listen, nothing should be more important in your life than God, and for him to be at the very center of your life, and for you to follow God. This is a charge saying, yes, you do have idols in your life, and those things that are more important than God. He is leaving them indicted before God and is charging them with sin just like he charges the Pagan heathen with sin, even those who are within the circle of sitting under the teaching of the word of God and having access to the word of God. But if you have never applied it to your own life, first of all with repentance in faith, then you're in the same boat with the man who's never even heard the Gospel.




This now leads, in verse 23 and 24, to one judgment, one indictment. We've had four privileges, four practices, four charges – you see how logical Paul is in his thinking too? These verses though as I read them may have seemed to be somewhat difficult to follow. In Paul's mind, they are highly structured. Paul is very linear in his thinking. He is very logical in his thinking, and he is laying this out in systematic fashion. There's more perfection here than what originally meets the eye as far as the arrangement of his thoughts and the bringing of his case against those who have access to the law. This now leads to one judgment. Verse 23 and verse 24, Paul now brings this down to a bottom-line summation, and I will say great preaching and great teaching, you have to get to the bottom line. You've got to get beyond the facts to so what does this mean to me?


Well here is now the so what, and please note the very first word of Verse 23, "You,". There is no mistaking who Paul's talking to. Nobody can say, "Well, I wonder if he meant me? I wonder if he was talking to me?" No. It's very clear – very directive. Great preaching and teaching is very directive. It gets out of the we and the us, and it gets down to the you. Verse 23: you, Mr. Jew, who has access to the law; you, who boast in the law, you boast in your possession of the law, you boast in your knowledge of the law, you boast in your ministry of the law, you boast in your teaching of the law, you boast in your preaching of the law, you boast in your speaking of the law. Notice what he says: "Through your breaking the law, you dishonor God." You're a law breaker just like everyone else. You're no better than the man on the other side of the globe who's never heard the Gospel. You're in the same category.


You too are a law-breaker, and because you're a law-breaker, the wages of sin is death: Romans 6:23. "And because you're a law-break, you are under the curse of the law:" Galatians, 3:13. "And the curse of the law is death." You have broken the law. You haven't made a mistake. You haven't made an uh-oh or a boo-boo. You are a law-breaker. You have violated the law of God. You are an offender of the law, and you are guilty of the law, and you are condemned by the law, and that won't go away. When you break the law, note at the end of verse 23, you dishonor God. That's not a small thing. That is a gigantic thing. You dishonor God. That's what you do when something else is placed before God. That is what you do when you break his law. You are a flagrant dishonorer of God. And Paul is so tightening the noose here and so setting the knot that when he will get to the Gospel in the next chapter, people are going to be sprinting to the Gospel. They're going to be running to the Gospel. They're going to be falling at the feet of Christ and begging for mercy.


But he doesn't stop there, and now verse 24, he concludes by quoting from the Old Testament. And the reason he quotes from the Old Testament is to show that this indictment is nothing new, that this isn't just a New Testament thing. This isn't something that just came onto the scene a few years ago with the public ministry of Christ and his death. No. It's been this way all along, even in the Old Testament, and Paul's argument without saying it is, "Oh, I thought you knew the law so well. I thought you were Mr. Old Testament." In verse 24, he now quotes from Isaiah 52:5, and it is a citation from Ezekiel 36:20 and following: "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles, because of you," just as it is written.


Here we see to dishonor God leads to blaspheming God before other unbelievers. And again, there is a note of intended sarcasm here. You who are the guide to the blind, you are blaspheming God to the blind. You who are a light to those in darkness, you are in reality blaspheming God to those who are in darkness. You who are a corrector of the foolish and a teacher of the immature, you're not doing that. You are actually blaspheming the name of God by the fact that you have a superficial religion. It is a religion of all externals. It is a religion simply of selective rules-keeping. You do not have a religion of the heart, and your heart has never been circumcised by this law, and you have never been born again and birthed into the kingdom of God. In reality you have stiff-armed God and kept God at safe distance away from you just so you can continue to live your safe little moral life in which there is no conviction of sin, and no need of repentance, and no need for self-denial, and no need for self-humbling. You just simply have a convenient little religion where you're not disturbed by anything.


In reality, you're a blasphemer and you blaspheme the name of Holy God before the very unsaved Gentiles that you ought to be reaching with the message of salvation. You are compounding your guilt and compounding your judgment when you will stand before God. You who have been given so much, never have so few done so little with so much, to reverse the Churchill quote. You have been given the treasures of Heaven displayed before you and you have buried them just so that you don't have to change your life and alter the course of the way you're conducting yourself; and where you can just keep everything on the outward façade of your life and never allow it to penetrate into the depths of your soul; and for your soul to be opened up by the law, and for it to drive you to Christ in repentance and faith, and to receive his mercy.



Male 1:                        The thing that jumps out at me is the Jew part. The Jews were privileged. I couldn't believe – they were given all of this for hundreds and hundreds of years and they were privileged. And it just shows that we have to do something even more in the grace of God and who we are and –


So how do we sit on it? How do we do the same, we who are privileged?


Male 1:                        Do the same thing? I mean it's them, but it's us too. How can we be – that's us. It's a picture of us. It's a picture of me. It really is.


I mean we just can't horde this.


Male 1:                        Unto whom much is given, much is required. That's what I think of.


Yeah. We have to do all that we can first to examine ourselves that we're born again,

that we have the Lord; and second, to export this to the world.




Male 2:                        Dead, yeah.


Male 3:                        I mean even in our own lives. I mean speaking out but then – my quiet time is really poor and I really struggle with it. It's just sporadic. It's – and that's burying that treasure, in a sense.


Yeah, sure. Yeah. Well we have to discipline ourselves for the purpose of God _____ _____ person before _____. Yeah, no. Thank you for that. Someone else? I went way too long. I meant for there to be more time, but someone hop in – someone else hop in.


Male 4:                        One thing I thought of that we would need to guard against is – reading through this passage, you start thinking about all these pastors and preachers _____ _____ affairs or robbing from their church, and this, that, and the other. And it's so easy to say, "Well I'm not them," when this is section intensely personal. It's you do this every single one of you, so you have no right to push that guilt off on someone else when we are just as guilty as they are. They may doing all these overt things, but the same sin lives in us. It's the same sin _____ _____ _____ that we do.


Now that's a very good observation. I mean Jesus – we've gotta remove the log out of our own eye before we can remove the splinter out of someone else's eye. And he's not saying we shouldn't remove the splinter; just you need to deal with your own eye first and get the log out of your own eye. Then you can remove the splinter from your brother's eye. Yeah. Yeah, someone else?


Male 5:                        Well it makes me think about that fourth charge you said. What are you investing in in your life? And we think about selfish people, myself included. We look at how things are going to effect us. What's best for me? Yet we ignore the greatest investment we can possibly make. And then also I think it's important to think back to last week where it says – and talks about the Gentile, saying – having the law written on your heart. So that really lets us juxtapose ourselves here in Dallas to this – 17 through 24, and if there's any doubt in your mind – I didn't – I'm trying to count, but I was also trying to listen, but I think 'You' is in there 16 or 17 times.


Oh, really? Good. That's a good observation.


Male 5:                        And so it's really –


Intensely personal.


Male 5:                        It's hitting you on the head with a hammer.


Yeah. No, that's good.


Male 5:                        Yeah.


I'm gonna have to go through and get my yellow highlighter back out.



Male 6:                        I've got 8:00.



Let me just close in a word of prayer. Please stay if you can. Father, thank you for this study and your word, and it's very convicting and challenging, which I need and we all need. And it causes us to treasure the treasure even more that's in the Gospel of Christ. So thank you for the way that you led Paul to lay this case and this really solid foundation for our need for the Gospel, and I pray that it would be clearly established in our own hearts today. In Christ's name, Amen.


Audience:                    Amen.

Dr. Steven J. Lawson

Dr. Steven J. Lawson is President and founder of OnePassion Ministries, a ministry designed to equip biblical expositors to bring about a new reformation in the church. Dr. Lawson hosts The Institute for Expository Preaching in cities around the world. Dr. Lawson is also a Teaching Fellow for Ligonier Ministries, where he serves on its board. Moreover, he is Professor of Preaching and oversees the Doctor of Ministry program at The Master’s Seminary, where he also serves on its board. Dr. Lawson is also Professor in Residence for Truth Remains, a work designed to promote and proclaim God’s written Word. Further, Dr. Lawson serves as the Executive Editor for Expositor Magazine published by OnePassion Ministries.