World English Bible translation
2:5But according to your hardness and unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 2:6 who "will render to every man according to his works:" 2:7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruptibility, eternal life; 2:8 but to those who are self-seeking, and donít obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, will be wrath and indignation, 2:9 oppression and anguish, on every soul of man who works evil, on the Jew first, and also on the Greek. 2:10 But glory and honor and peace to every man who works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 2:11 For there is no partiality with God. 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without the law. As many as have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 2:13 For it isnít the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be justified 2:14 (for when Gentiles who donít have the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are a law to themselves, 2:15 in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying with them, and their thoughts among themselves accusing or else excusing them) 2:16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men, according to my gospel, by Jesus Christ.
In Today's Scripture Paul advances the idea that God has only one standard. "There is no partiality with God." Jews and Gentiles will all be judged. Paul is still addressing primarily religious people, particularly Jewish Christians. Many Jews of Paul's day believed that they would escape judgment because they had been born into the people of God. They had been lulled to believe that only the Gentile sinners would be judged. But Paul reminds them that all men must face God's judgment, the Jew first and also the Greek.
"But according to your hardness and unrepentant heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath" in the day of God's judgment. God will judge everyone according to their works. Your works and mine will all be judged one day. Our society frowns on the idea of anyone "judging." One of the harshest social criticisms we hear is that someone is "judgmental." But God is our Creator. He has the right to judge us because he is the one who created us. And His judgments are just because He has no partiality. God's justice cannot be "fixed."
Paul writes that everyone who "by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruptibility" will be given eternal life. All who are judged disobedient and unrighteous will receive eternal judgment. Those who are under the law will be judged by the law. The Jews had received the Law of Moses and they would be judged by it. But, even though Gentiles did not have the law they did have a revelation of God through His creation. They will be judged by the revelation that they have.
Gentiles show that they have a conception of good and evil when they do good. Even when there is no specific law we know when we have done right or wrong. We even have a word for people who show little comprehension for understanding right and wrong. We call them a "sociopath." Sociopaths are considered the exceptions to the rule. Even so, as a society, we even hold those whom we define as "sociopaths" responsible for their actions.
Paul states that one day God will judge all men's secrets. God will judge all of your works, no matter who you are or to what position you were born or held in this life. And all of your secrets will be judged. Not just those that people saw and not just those that you would wish to be judged upon. If you have lived up to the revelation that God has given you, if you have done all that God has given you to accomplish then you should have no concern. God is holy and righteous and your works will be judged fairly and competently.
I don't know about you, but such a judgment scares me to death. I have no doubt that I have not lived up to the revelation that God has given me. I cannot live up to the revelation that God has given me from one moment to the next much less from one day to the next or for my whole lifetime. I can anticipate God's judgment of my works.
Thankfully this is not God's final word either. But, before we can receive the revelation of God's grace, we must realistically see our prospects on our own. If your life was judged by the perfect righteousness of God today, do you know what the consequences would be? How would your works be judged?
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