Romans 2:1-16 – The Righteous Judgment of God
Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things. You say, “We know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is in accordance with truth.” Do you imagine, whoever you are, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. For he will repay according to each one’s deeds: to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; while for those who are self- seeking and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be anguish and distress for everyone who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.
All who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but the doers of the law who will be justified. When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.
There’s a lot about “sides” in this passage. There’s a lot of Jew and Greek, those under and outside the Law, those righteous and unrighteous in God’s sight, and so forth. We like sides, don’t we? We like to know who is on “our side” and who is on “the other side.” With election day coming up, we are seeing and experiencing more and more of that. The message in this passage ultimately, however, is that in God, there’s no partiality. Paul says it here. He says it many other times elsewhere in his letters.
This shot is the end of a chainlink fence that has been surrounding our local middle school that is under renovation. The project is coming to completion and the fences are starting to come down. Where once was “in” and “out”, the walls are coming down…