THE IMPARTIAL JUDGE

Scripture Reading:  Romans 2:6-11

“There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also he Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.  For God shows no partiality.”  (Romans 2:9-11)

Paul is speaking here of two groups of individuals — those who are seeking to honor God by obeying Him and those who disregard God by living according to their self-seeking ways that lead to dishonoring God.  The fundamental principle is — “He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immorality; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury” (vs. 6-8).

This sounds like works salvation.  But we must remember the most fundamental rule for interpreting the Bible — let Scripture interpret Scripture.  From many other passages, we understand that obedience is the result of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit’s work produces a change of heart and a new spiritual life that enables one to love God and to obey Him.

In the second chapter of Romans, Paul is primarily addressing the Jews who were trusting in their Jewish heritage and traditions to save them.  Throughout Romans Paul makes it clear that all, Jew and Gentile, are justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  None of us can stand uncondemned before the judgment of God based on our works.

Paul’s primary point in this passage is the impartiality of God’s judgment.  It really does not matter what kind of background one comes from — Jew or Gentile — for God shows no partiality.  It doesn’t matter whether we are religious or irreligious, we will all face the impartial judgment of God.  Our only hope is Jesus Christ who bore the judgment of God on our behalf.

Holy God, righteous Judge, I know that there is no partiality with You.  All of us deserve Your judgment and wrath.  But thanks be to Jesus Christ, who came to deliver us from our sins and who bore Your judgment for us.

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