Title: Religion God Does Not Want

Focus: The Jews were no better off than the Gentiles because they knew God’s law and did not keep it. In God’s impartiality, he condemns Jew along with the Gentile. So we are all in the same boat and need a savior

Function: To motivate the hearers to be supportive and loving to each other Proposition: God is not interested in empty religion

Text: Romans 2:1-16

1.  Better neighborhood today, after all, it is Sunday of resurrection
2.  Jews better off than Gentiles right?  They enlightened
3.  They offering the wrong kind of religion to God
4.  Paul describes 3 kinds of religion God rejects

I.  (Rom 2:1-3)
	A.  Notice the question he asks - But do you suppose...
	B.  There were those who condemned the wickedness of Gentiles
		1.  What does condemning it do?  Made them look better
			a.  What does it actually do?  Condemned themselves
			b.  How?  Because they practiced the same stuff
			c.  But they were were not like those pagans
		2.  Let’s look at that list again (Rom 1:29-31)
		3.  Jews condemning Gentiles = pot calling kettle black
			a.  Ever known anyone critical of those critical?
			b.  Negative ones condemning the negative
		4.  Paul is talking about Hypocrisy
			a.  Def:  Used of actors in a play
			b.  It is when you put on mask and “get in character”
	C.  ILL (Luke 18:9-14)  Jesus told as story about this
		1.  That Pharisee was “acting a part”
		2.   He appeared to be very religious by 
			a.  practicing “religion”
			b.  condemning the sinners.  
		3.  Ever noticed how hypocrisy and arrogance hand in hand?
	D.  God is not interested in the religion of appearance.
		1.  But wait, I’m not like that anymore.  Why is that?  
		2.  (Rom 2:4) – God leads to repentance
			a.  None of us have anything to brag about.  
			b.  God’s trying to lead them to repentance as well.
		3.  Result is humility, not condemning arrogance

II.  (Rom 2:5-10)  God is not interested in the religion of knowledge
	A.  Don’t misunderstand, God not promote ignorance
		1.  Revealed self to Gentiles so they could honor him
		2.  Revealed self in special way to Hebrews so they honor him
	B.  The Hebrews became the people of the book
		1.  Rabbis devoted to study of God’s law
			a.  Could tell you how many words in each book
			b.  Knew middle verse
			c.  Some memorized whole thing to music
		2.  But God’s main concern is not just knowledge
			a.  With our emphasis on Bible study, can miss the point
			b.  NOT - God render each one according to his knowledge
			c.  God rewards those who “do” good
		3.  Can know book from cover to cover, but not do any good
	C.  ILL:  Guy with 5 Masters and 4 PhD’s  
		1.  Inheritance while in school, so stayed in school 
		2.  Perpetual student, not to anyone any good in life
		3.  So much knowledge, but it all useless
	D.  (Jas 2:19;  4:17) - God not want us to spend life amassing knowledge
		1.  If it about knowing, then demons would be saved
		2.  God gives us his word so we can “practice” it

III.  God is not interested in the religion of partiality
	A.  But didn’t God have his “chosen” people?  (Rom 2:11-16)
	B.  When it comes to salvation and judgement, God shows no partiality
		1.  Big picture - God chose Israel for whole world’s benefit
			a.  They to be a light to the nations in Isaiah
			b.  Demonstrate God’s glory by obedience to law
		2.  Irony
			a.  Gentiles instinctively did things of the law
			b.  Jews who had it in black and white did not
		3.  Being God’s “chosen” people did not excuse them
		4.  Why?  When have more, then have more responsibility
	C.  ILL:  Self Aid and Buddy Care Training in the Air Force
		1.  Instructer said can be held liable if know CPR and not
		     save a person
		2.  But person not know it not held responsible
		3.  Why different standard?  One had knowledge and training
		4.  Jews God’s people, bore more responsibility than gentiles
	D.  It all equals out
		1.  Gentiles in sin and under God’s wrath
		2.  Jews no better off
		3.  Thought uptown be better neighborhood than downtown
		4.  No such things as good neighborhood of this world

That is why Paul will emphasize the Gospel.

1.  Application ?  We entrusted with the Gospel.  great responsibility. 
	a.  Matthew 5:14-16 we the salt of the earth and the light of the world
	b.  How?  
		- Not by the religion of appearance, knowledge, or favoritism.  
		- By obedience to the Gospel.  
	c.  There is no place for arrogance or condemnation.  
		- But there is a place for bearing one another’s burdens
		- There is a place for prayer and mutual support.  
		- There is a place for encouragement and love.
2.  Examples of encouragement
	a.  The encouragement cards
	b.  Financial help
3.  Religion of appearance, knowledge, and favoritism blocks all of these
	If you have been practicing theses then make a change.  
4.  This is why Jesus came, died and rose from the grave.  
	a.  Not just so we can come to church on Easter Sunday, 
	b.  But so we can be the nice neighborhood.  
		- There is no nice neighborhood of this world, 
		- But his kingdom is not of this world.  
		- It is a nice place.  It is a place of righteousness, peace, and love. 
5.  As a matter in fact, the day will come when he will come and take his kingdom
to Heaven.
	Do you want to go there?