Before we look at today’s passage in Romans 2, let’s recall the first chapter.
When Paul begins his letter to the Romans, he starts by thanking them for their faith. He wants them to know that he realizes that “God’s Good News” about Christ, is being revealed through them and talked about all over the world (1:8). He uses the words of the prophet, Habakkuk, to end the first section of chapter one and before he goes into the second section to ensure that they (we) understand “God’s Anger at Sin”: “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.” (2:4)
In today’s passage, we see that Paul is not finished with teaching about sin as he goes on about “God’s Judgment of Sin”. He ended chapter one with a list of sinful and wicked deeds, but he wants everyone to know that even if they can cross off every sin he listed, they are still guilty of sin, because we are all born with a sinful nature, and far too often we all judge our fellow brothers and sisters. The only sinless One is Jesus, Who is also the only Judge. No one can avoid God’s judgment. All religious leaders, all non-religious leaders, all religious people, and all non-religious people will one day face Jesus for judgment, and as Paul reminds us that “day is coming when God, through Christ, will judge everyone’s secret life” (2:16) because only Jesus knows the true motives of our hearts.
Friends, we must stop doing what is evil. Paul gives us the list and he also reminds us to stop judging others with our minds, hearts, words, actions, and inactions. We need to be walking out our salvation every second of every day and asking Jesus to strengthen our roots in Him so our faith and relationship with Him can grow deeper and more intimate. We know there will be trouble for those who keep on doing what is evil, but we also know there will be glory, honor, and peace from God for all of those who do good (v.9-10). Good does not mean good works, Paul tells us that good is seeking after the glory, honor, and immortality that God offers (v. 7). This offer is to spend eternity with God, and if we truly want it, we must allow Jesus to have His way in and through us so others can see Him and be drawn to His unending love and eternal kingdom today!
Romans 2:1-11 (NLT)
God’s Judgment of Sin
1 You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. 2 And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. 3 Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? 4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
5 But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 He will judge everyone according to what they have done. 7 He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. 8 But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. 9 There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 10 But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, reveal to me the areas of sin that I need to work with You to correct within my life. I want to grow in my faith, and in my relationship with Christ, and I know that sin will hold me back. Jesus, thank You for Your forgiveness. Help me to put a watch over my words, I want to speak more like You. Help my actions to be in alignment with Your actions. I want my heart to be in oneness with Your heart, and for people to see You in and through me. Please use me to grow Your Kingdom. I ask all of this in Your Name, Jesus. Amen.