Chapter # 2 Paragraph # 2 Study # 5
March 1, 2005
Lincolnton, N.C.

<104> Thesis: There is a confidence that absolutely destroys. Introduction: As Paul turned his attention, in Romans 2:17-29, to the issues that particularly fit his kinsmen according to the flesh, he was turning his attention to the sigularly most difficult issue in the world: the problem of masked pride. That it is a problem of pride is without debate when one looks at the root: a man's confidence that his behavior will stand the scrutiny of God in light of the issue of the "secrets" (the motives) behind those actions. Only towering arrogance could make such a claim. That it is masked is also indisputable. Naked arrogance appeals to none because it is transparently "me-destructive". Thus, those whose souls are in terror of the scrutiny of God cannot embrace naked arrogance. It must be masked for the soul to rest. This evening, as we pursue Paul's teaching of the "Jewish" condition, it will be helpful if we have it clearly in mind that the "Jewish condition" was one in which the "soul" was taking its rest under the "spirit's" assurances that it was capable of meeting the requirements of the justice of God. In this light, the fact that Paul broached the idea of "confidence" is perfectly understandable, for it is "confidence" that gives the "soul" rest. So, let's continue our look into the Gospel's implications for the deeply religious by a further consideration of the Jew's convictions.