Finally after much travail and slow as cold molasses progress, the volume 9 BIC commentary is advancing at a step the Romans commentary with 156 pages of commentary on chapters two and three of Romans. It is now posted at cranfordville.com under the BIC commentary, volume 09, section 01:Rom 2:1-3:20.
The central theme of these two chapters of scripture text is "sin." They continue the discussion of a pagan world and God turning loose of it, which is found in 1:18-32. But in chapters two and three the focus is upon the religious person who feels himself superior to these pagans because of his religious habits. Such postures constitute sin which brings down the wrath of God.
Paul begins with an emphasis upon God's wrath on Judgment Day (2:1-11). Doing the Law rather than possessing it is what matters before God (2:12-16). Even some pagans have a sense of morality matching that in the Torah. This pericope slides the discussion on to the main target of elitism: the pious Jew who felt secure before God because of his having been circumcised and having possession of God's Torah. First in 2:25-29, stress is given about genuine circumcision verses physical circumcision. Then in 3:1-20, the religious situation of the Jewish people is presented. It climaxes with the contention that the ground before God's throne is level for both Gentile and Jew. God will treat both the same way. His wrath will fall on all who ignore His demands -- both Jew and Gentile alike.
The discussion on sin will continue into chapters four, five, and six, but with different angles being presented. Paul never gives a specific definition of sin. Instead, he paints a dramatic 3 dimensional portrait of sin as both a deadly disease impacting us inwardly and also leading to misbehavior in what we do and say. Sin touches humanity both inwardly and outwardly.
This perspective stands in strong contrast to most of humanity's ideas about sin. We usually stress only deeds and then seek to water down the seriousness of our favorite sinful deeds. In the process we ignore the critical inner issue of sin's stranglehold grip on our life inside out. The apostle had come to the realization of sin as a malicious virus saturating our inner self. That problem must be solved first, and then the outward behavior can be solved.
In these first six chapters of Romans you will find the most detailed discussion of sin and evil anywhere in the entire Bible. It deserves our most careful attention. Understanding sin from the apostle's perspective will unlock doors of fresh, correct understanding of the cross / resurrection, how to live the Christian life biblically, and what to anticipate on Judgment Day and beyond.
The file containing the commentary on chaps. 2 and 3 is formatted in the pdf format. Your computer should have a pdf reader installed on it; most come with one pre-installed these days. If not, I recommend the Adobe Acrobat Reader which is free at Adobe.com. Caution! The version of the pdf file used is the current one. PDF Readers that are several year old most likely will not load this file.