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Apr 21, 2024 | Pastor Matt Peeples

The Problem with Religion

Religion is like a broken-down car with a fresh paint job. It looks great on the surface, but it won't get you anywhere. In Romans 2, Paul uses powerful language and images to bring this point home so that we will stop chasing after empty religion and hold on to only the one who can create deep heart transformation: Jesus.

Romans 2:1-6, 12-26

God's Righteous Judgment

2 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 He will render to each one according to his works:

God's Judgment and the Law

12 For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. 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.” 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? 


For Adult Homes & Groups

1. What stuck out to you in this message?

2. Romans 2 talks about the failure of religion to save you. Where have you found yourself trusting in religion over Jesus?

3. Read Colossians 2:11-14. What are some practical ways in which you can hold on to Jesus instead of empty religion?

4. How will you live this out where you live, work, learn, and play?


For Families with Kids

1. We all expect things to happen. What do you expect to happen for your birthday? What do you expect to happen in summer? What do you expect to be doing tonight? What do you expect to happen at church?

2. Read Romans 2. Romans 1 is about unbelievers sins. Romans 2 deals with believers sins and warns us to be careful not to judge/compare others sins to ours in a way that we think we’re better. Have you ever told on your sibling/friend for sneaking an extra snack when you secretly did too? Paul is saying that no one is sinless and we all need forgiveness!

3. Help each other as a family to turn to Jesus in all things, and ask God for help to not compare your sins to others sins. What things are you excited about and expecting to see/hear/feel when you’re with Jesus in heaven because of His grace?

Series Information

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