When people who have never been exposed to the laws of Moses commit sin, they will still perish for what they do. And those who are under the law of Moses and fail to obey it are condemned by the law. 13 For it’s not merely knowing the law that makes you right with God, but doing all that the law says that will cause God to pronounce you innocent.Romans 2:12-16 (TPT)
For example, whenever people who don’t possess the law as their birthright commit sin, it still confirms that a “law” is present in their conscience. For when they instinctively do what the law requires, that becomes a “law” to govern them, even though they don’t have Mosaic law. 15 It demonstrates that the requirements of the law are woven into their hearts. They know what is right and wrong, for their conscience validates this “law” in their heart. Their thoughts correct them in one instance and commend them in another. 16 So this judgment will be revealed on the day when God, through Jesus the Messiah, judges the hidden secrets of people’s hearts. And their response to the gospel I preach will be the standard of judgment used in that day.
In verse 11, Paul wrote, “God does not show favoritism.” Today’s verses offer further explanation.
As Paul reminds us, the coming judgment and wrath of God (Romans 2:6) is a part of the gospel message. He is reminding the Roman Christians that he has had to defend what he called “my gospel” against critics who accused Paul of preaching grace so much that he neglected the value of good words (Romans 3:8)
Renowned preacher Charles Spurgeon suggests that leaving this concept out of the gospel would be like a surgeon who wants to heal his patient without telling him that he is sick. The patient will think he is well and refuse the prescribed cure. Spurgeon insists that such a doctor would be murderer, as we are if we don’t warn people about God’s impartial judgement and point them to Jesus offers of forgiveness to those who repent.
To help us understand, let’s make a graph of this part of Paul’s letter.
- BASIS OF JUDGMENT. What will God look at on Judgment Day?
- KNOWLEDGE VS ACTION. So, you’re a know-it-all. Is that enough?
- CONSCIENCE: RIGHT & WRONG. Are those who never heard about God judged for sins? How does that work?
- WHAT DO WORKS REVEAL? Do we earn our salvation by good works?
- DAY OF JUDGMENT? God has this scheduled. Why do you think He hasn’t give us the date and time?
What does this paragraph in Paul’s letter point to in your life? What do you think God wants you to focus on when you read them?
Draw, doodle, or find a picture that you can use to help you explain what these verses mean to you.
As I do each Monday, I invite you to check in again on Tuesday to see how God’s words were alive and active in you. Share your insights in the comment section or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.Hebrews 4:12, NIV