Slides: Religion Without Relationship

Religion Without Relationship
Romans 2:17-3:8

Who needs Jesus’ blood?

1. Rotten rebels (1:18-32)
     Reject revelation and morals

2. Judges of morality (2:1-16)
      Stress conscience and consequences

3. Champions of religion (2:17-3:8)
      Boast of God’s law and family heritage


Religion Without Relationship

1. Hypocritical: Talk without walk (2:17-24)

2. Ritualistic: Ritual without reality (2:25-29)

3. Argumentative: Griping without grounds (3:1-8)


1. Talk without walk

17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth—21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. 24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”


Dead and rotten inside

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Matthew 23:27-28)

2. Ritual without reality

25 For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. 26 So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law.

28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

Heart religion

Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. (Deut 10:16)

And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. (Deuteronomy 30:6)

See the Savior in the signs

Baptism and Lord’s Supper are signs of Jesus and His sacrifice, not magic rituals.

If now, with eyes defiled and dim,
We see the signs but see not Him,
Oh, may His love the scales displace,
And bid us see Him, face to face!
                   (Charles Spurgeon)

3. Griping without grounds

3:1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 By no means! Let God be true though everyone were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”

5 But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could God judge the world?

7 But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8 And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

Religion Without Relationship

1. Hypocritical: Talk without walk (2:17-24)

2. Ritualistic: Ritual without reality (2:25-29)

3. Argumentative: Griping without grounds (3:1-8)

Requirements for a right relationship

  1. Satisfy God’s righteousness by keeping his law perfectly and/or by paying the penalty. Jesus has perfectly obeyed, and Jesus has paid the penalty in full. Trust in Him!
  2. Have a heart that is alive with love for God and people. Only the Holy Spirit can give such a heart. Ask the Spirit to live in you.
Last modified: Wednesday, December 2, 2020, 11:53 AM