Romans 2:17-29 / The Self-Important Hypocrite (Sermon – Notes and Audio)

Posted on June 13, 2013


This is the thirteenth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Romans. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of June 9, 2013. This message deals with hypocrisy, and trusting in religion rather than Christ. This contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

AUDIO – Listen Now:


Romans 2_17-29 outline


Romans 2:17-29

The religionist:

He professes religion rather than the Savior.

He rests in the law (not in Christ).

He professes God but he does not posses God.

He knows God’s will and law

He knows God’s will, but won’t do it.

Man must accept Christ (this is the beginning of God’s will).

He is able to discern the good things, he knows right from wrong

He is taught God’s word (knowing God’s word is not knowing God, or putting His word into practice)

Ephesians 4:20-24

He is confident of his own knowledge and influence.

He is sure that he is a light to the blind, but he is not a true guide, he himself is blind.

John 1:6-9

Matthew 15:14

Religion itself is not the light of the world, Jesus Christ is the light of the world

Because they possessed the law, the Jews were confident that they were spiritually superior teachers: guides to blind pagans.

wise in Gods ways, and able to teach the immature.

Matthew 23:24-28

They were totally convinced of their own importance, they had a very high opinion of themselves.

1 Corinthians 10:12

Proverbs 28:26

By the way, how important are you?

Here is a series of questions designed to contrast the practice of these Jews, with what they knew and taught.

He does not live what he professes
He tells others how to live, but he doesn’t live it himself.

Paul points out their hypocrisy.

This example of hypocrisy (v.22) refers to a common practice—in direct violation of Gods command (Deut. 7: 25) —of looting pagan temples and selling the idols and vessels for personal profit Acts 19: 37 under the pretext of religion.

In short, they were taking what they claimed to abhor, idols, and using them for profit.

Hypocrisy is one of the terrible sins of religion

Mark 7:6

Titus 1:16

James 3:10

Matthew 7:21

This is a quote from Isaiah 52:5.

Because the Word of God had first been entrusted to the Jews, they bore the responsibility of setting the right example.

They had failed, and so they bore responsibility for the blasphemy among the gentiles.

The church today, is the keeper of God’s Word. We bear a similar responsibility.

Like the Jews, we often fail, and others are damaged because of our poor testimony.

Ritualism will not bring the favor of God, it takes a changed heart.

An outward symbol of godliness is nothing without a transformed heart.

God will regard the believing Gentile as favorably as a circumcised, believing Jew.

A believing gentile, through humble obedience should serve as a stern rebuke to a Jew who, in spite of his great advantages, lives in disobedience.

A true believer is defined not just the outward appearance, but in the heart “not by works”

Titus 3:5

Ephesians 2:8-9

This statement does not mean that the church and Israel are one in the same, or that the church has replaced Israel.

A Jew transformed by the Spirit would really be living up to the name he bears.

“Jew” comes from Judah, meaning “praise.”

He would be praiseworthy in the eyes of God, fulfilling what the law requires but cannot produce.

Romans 8:3-4

The true believer abides in Jesus, not religion.

1 John 3:24

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