Lesson 19 - Chapter 2 Verses 3-4

Chapter 2:3-4

 Verse 3

Do you suppose this uses the Greek verb “logizomai,” which means to think, to consider, to ponder, to calculate, to evaluate or to estimate. It is the self-righteous unbeliever who is producing the action of the verb – he is supposing something to be true.

O man refers to the self-righteous man of verse one who presumes he has the prerogative in judging others. When you pass judgment is the Greek verb “krino” for judgment. The self-righteous person, in order to maintain his/her self-righteousness, must find those he/she considers inferior and judge them.

Upon those who practice such things uses the Greek verb “prasso” for practice, which means to do something habitually. The heathen in Romans 1 produces the action of the verb. The Greek word for such things is “toioutos,” meaning “similar things like that.”

And do the same is the Greek verb “poieo,” which means to do, to make, to manufacture, to produce or to perform. This denotes what habitually occurs in the human race by a self-righteous person if he/she is involved in judging, maligning and slandering others. And this person is guilty of the same sins as the heathen in chapter one. The self-righteous person commits the sin and is just as guilty before the justice of God.

The self-righteous person excuses or minimizes his/her own sins and failures by judging the more outward sins of heathenism or the immoral man. The overt sins of the immoral man are quite obvious while the mental attitude sins and the verbal sins of the self-righteous are hidden behind a façade of legalism and religion. Note the contrast between the two Greek verbs, “prasso” and “poieo.” “Prasso” is for overt, obvious sins, in contrast to “poieo” for hidden sins (mental attitude sins, sneaky sins, sins of the tongue, judging, slandering, gossiping, etc.) Self-righteous people, in building up their self-righteousness, always do it with mental sins and verbal sins.

Under the justice of God, one type of sin is just as much condemned as another. The sins of the self-righteous person are not as obvious but just as sinful. Therefore, the moral, self-righteous person is no more justified than the immoral, unrighteous person. In other words, man’s “respectability” does not minimize man’s sins. The self-righteous man is prone to mental sinning, which compounds and intensifies both sin and guilt before the justice of God.

That you will escape is the Greek verb “ekphfeugo” and means to avoid or to escape. The self-righteous person assumes that because he is self-righteous he is free to assume the prerogative of God and judge others. The more he judges others the more he is certain he will not be judged by God.

The judgement of God uses the Greek noun “krima” with the definite article for the judgment. “Krima” means a decision, a decree, a judgment, the function of a judge or a judicial verdict. It is a reference to the judicial verdict from God. The holiness of God, divine righteousness and justice is not a respecter of persons. The imputation of Adam’s sin placed man under the judicial condemnation of God at birth. Sin is simply the manifestation of the sin nature and the status of spiritual death. All have sinned and all are guilty before the justice of God.

While manifestations of the sin nature may be different, the source is always the same. Both, the moral and the immoral unbeliever, the religious and the non-religious unbeliever, are spiritually dead, possess a sin nature and commit personal sins. Self-righteousness has no advantage over non-righteousness before the Supreme Court of Heaven. The judgment by self-righteous persons of the so-called immoral persons is not valid and is thrown out of court by the justice of God.

 Verse 4

In this verse, the negative volition of self-righteousness is portrayed, which is tantamount to maladjustment to the justice of God. Or do you think lightly begins with the Greek particle “ho,” which separates objects that are mutually exclusive. Here we have a separation between the judgment of God in the previous verse and the blessing from the justice of God mentioned in this verse. In verse 3 we have condemnation from the justice of God. With the particle is the Greek verb “kataphroneo” (kata = down; phroneo = to think), which means to think down, to despise, to scorn, to treat with contempt, to care nothing for, to disregard, to think lightly or to have wrong ideas about someone or something. Several meanings are pertinent here. The verb actually connotes disparagement, and to disparage means to lower in rank or estimation by word or action. The present tense is retroactive progressive present, and denotes what has begun in the past at the point of God-consciousness and continues into the present at the point of Gospel-hearing. The active voice means the self-righteous person produces the action of the verb; namely disparagement.

The riches, is the Greek word “ploutos” meaning wealthy. The word is used here and elsewhere for all the blessings which come to us from the justice of God. This is salvation maladjustment of the unbeliever reversionist described in principle. He disparages or treats with contempt the wonderful blessings and potential blessings which will come to him/her at the point of salvation.

Of His kindness is the Greek noun “crestotes,” which connotes God’s gracious attitude and acts toward the human race (goodness). God’s gracious attitude is based on His justice. The same gracious attitude that God has toward one member of the human race He has toward all members of the human race. Kindness is a human characteristic ascribed to God so that we can understand the divine attitude at salvation. The word kindness can also mean generosity. It is manifest in the doctrine of propitiation whereby the justice of God is free to save anyone who believes in Jesus Christ.

And forbearance is the Greek word “anoche,” which means to hold back, to delay or clemency. Clemency means to be compassionate or to be merciful. Clemency is related to divine justice and propitiation. It is seen in the restraint of divine judgment allowing everyone an opportunity for salvation adjustment to the justice of God. Clemency is directed toward the human race in the continuation of history. The fact that many people reject Christ as Saviour does not diminish or destroy the opportunity of others. God does not destroy the entire human race because some members of the human race reject Christ, and therefore are maladjusted. The existence of the unbeliever reversionist or heathenism in history does not bring total destruction to the human race. History moves on in spite of negative volition at God-conscious and at Gospel-hearing, and in spite of heathenistic degeneracy as seen in chapter one. That’s clemency!

And patience is the Greek word “makrothumia,” which means slowest in avenging wrongs. It ascribes to God’s patience to stave off judging us. He uses every plan, apart from compromising His integrity, to stave off judgment.

Not knowing that is the Greek word “agnoeo” (“a” = negative; “gnoeo” = to know) meaning to be ignorant. The kindness of God is the same as earlier in this verse. Here it refers again to the kindness of God, the gracious act of God in not destroying unbelievers without first using every possibility to bless them through His justice. Leads you to repentance, begins with the Greek word for leads, which is “ago.” “Ago” means to lead, to bring or to take along. God intends to save everyone, but it doesn’t always happen because people have free will and they can say no to the justice of God. Here the kindness of God intends to bring the unbeliever to salvation adjustment to the justice of God. Repentance is the Greek word “metanoia” and means a complete change of mind.


The Doctrine of Repentance

The word for repent used in the Old Testament is “nacham.” Often in the Old Testament, God is said to repent. So obviously it doesn’t mean to feel sorry for sin. When God is the subject, it is an anthropopathism and it means that God changes His policy from time to time. This is what we call language of accommodation: ascribing to God a characteristic He doesn’t have in order to accommodate us, so we can understand. In Genesis 6:6, God changed His policy about man. (Exodus 32:14; Judges 2:18; 1 Samuel 15:35; Psalm 90:13; Jeremiah 15:6; 42:10; Amos 7:3, 6)

The Greek verb “metanoeo” is translated repent. “Meta” means “change; “noeo” means thinking. Therefore, repent means to change your mind about something. We also have an emotional verb which is translated repent — “metamelomai,” which means to feel sorry for something you’ve done. In other words, this verb has emotional connotations. It should be translated correctly “regret.” It is often translated repent, but repent does not mean to regret and regret does not mean to repent.

“Metanoeo” and “nacham” are both transitive verbs therefore they must have a subject and must have an object. The subject changes its mind about the object. “Metanoeo” is used in salvation. In each case we have a subject and an object of the verb “metanoeo.” In salvation the subject is always the unbeliever, the object is always God. In each case, the unbeliever is the subject and the object is Jesus Christ as a member of the Godhead. In a few cases God the Father is the object as the author of the divine plan of grace. Because He is the author of the divine plan, some of the passages talk about repentance toward God. Others talk about repentance toward Christ. Actually they are synonymous terms. A change of mental attitude does not save but it is immediately followed by believing in Christ. You change your mental attitude before you believe, you are persuaded before you believe and then you believe in Christ.

So, repentance and faith are not the same. Faith is necessary for salvation; repentance sets you up for it. Repentance causes you to change your mind so that from your own free will you are willing to make a decision. (Mark 1:15; Matthew 12:41; Luke 13:3, 5; 15:7, 10) The unbeliever does not repent toward sin; he repents toward God - God’s message, the Gospel. (Luke 16:30-31; Acts 17:30; 20:21; 26:20; Hebrews 12:17; 2 Peter 3:9) This change of mental attitude is accomplished by God the Holy Spirit. This is the illuminating work of the Spirit, based upon 1 Corinthians 2:14 — the natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God, etc. The Holy Spirit acts as a human spirit in the perception of the Gospel. (Psalm 16:8-11; II Timothy 2:25)