Why do we need this gospel which grants us the “righteousness of God?” Well, that’s the question that Paul spends the next portion of his letter answering. From Romans 1:18 all the way up to Romans 3:20, Paul explains why everyone needs the gospel. In Romans 1:18-32, we looked at why the irreligious and Gentile pagan need the gospel. Last Sunday in Romans 2:1-16, we discussed why the moral, self-righteous need the gospel. Today, we’ll be looking at Romans 2:17-29 in a message we’ve entitled, “God and the Religious,” discussing why the outwardly religious, whether it’s Judaism or Christianity or any other religion, will not make us right with God. The religious need the gospel!
We live in the middle of the Bible Belt. I thought about titling this sermon, “God and the Bible Belt.” Because people who live in the Bible Belt need the gospel. Just because you’re an flag-flying, BBQ-eating, church-going, American, that doesn’t mean you’re right with God. True Christianity is not about religion, but a relationship. Outward religion does not please God. In Romans 2:17-29, the apostle Paul told the Jews that their outward religion would not make them righteous before God. We can recognize that outward religion will not make us righteous before God.