SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Paul begins by calling out the readers for their hypocrisy. He points out that they judge other people's sins when they are living the same way as those they condemn. He reminds them that only God's judgment is based on truth; our judgment of others may make us feel better about ourselves, but it does nothing to absolve us of our sin.
- Paul then gives another harsh criticism to Jewish teachers: Teaching others about the law and what God desires does not make one right with God. We must actually live out his teachings.
- Circumcision was and is a procedure in the Jewish culture, symbolizing being "set apart" for God. But we learn here that being from the right lineage, or doing the ceremony when you are a child, is not what matters to God. God is looking for people who have truly given their hearts to him.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- No one can follow God's law perfectly, and because God is righteous, he must judge those who do not follow the law perfectly. That means all of us will be judged! Sounds depressing, right? Well, hold on and keep reading. There is hope for all of us in chapter 3.
- Paul reminds us that God is kind and patient; He patiently waits for us to turn to him. And when we do, God will give us eternal life. But, if we are self-seeking, God will punish us.
- We may think that we are right with God because we have Christians parents, or because we grew up in a place of faith, or because we go to church. But that's not enough. God is looking for our hearts.
- Christians will sometimes look down on people they consider more sinful, but it is only God's place to judge.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Where is your faith? Have you given your heart to God? If not, what will it take to get there?
- No one is perfect, not even you! So, do you still judge others for their sin? If so, know that the only sin we're to pay attention to and feel responsible for is our own. Deal with your sin, and don't worry about the sin of other people.