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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 2 - Verse 3

Verse 3. And thinkest thou, etc. This is an appeal to their common sense, to their deep and instinctive conviction of what was right. If they condemned those who practised these things; if, imperfect and obscure as their sense of justice was; if, unholy as they were, they yet condemned those who were guilty of these offences, would not a holy and just God be far more likely to pronounce judgment? And could they escape who had themselves delivered a similar sentence? God is of "purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look upon iniquity," Hab 1:13. And if men condemned their fellowmen, how much more would a pure and holy God condemn iniquity. This appeal is evidently directed against the Jew. It was doubtless a prevalent sentiment among them, that provided they adhered to the rites of their religion, and observed the ceremonial law, God would not judge them with the same severity as he would the abandoned and idolatrous Gentiles. Comp. Mt 3:9; Joh 8:33. The apostle shows them that crime is crime, wherever committed; that sin does not lose its essential character by being committed in the midst of religious privileges; and that those who professed to be the people of God have no peculiar license to sin. Antinomians in all ages, like the Jews, have supposed that they, being the friends of God, have a right to do many things which would not be proper in others; that what would be sin in others, they may commit with impunity; and that God will not be strict to mark the offences of his people. Against all this Paul is directly opposed, and the Bible uniformly teaches that the most aggravated sins among men are those committed by the professed people of God. Comp. Isa 1:11-17; 65:2-6; Re 3:10.

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