Romans 2:1 – 11 — “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.”
For all those who wish for justice in the world, it will come. For all those who are certain in their exclamation that “Only God can judge me”, they will get their wish. However, from the passage which we are presently studying, we can be certain that this will not go the way the proud self-righteous think it will. It will also not go the way that those who flaunt their sin and proudly boast “only God can judge me”.
Romans 1:32 — “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
Anyone who thinks that they are going to cast themselves before the justice of God, whether self-righteous or flagrantly vile, had better read this carefully. While many today will (mis)use Matthew 7:1 — “Judge not, that ye be not judged” — in an attempt to continue on the road of rebellion that they are on, read carefully what the apostle of Jesus Christ states here, that God will “render to every man according to his deeds”. Remember well also that Paul is not speaking of an alternate way of “getting on God’s good side”, he is writing this as an indictment. God has already settled the case.
Romans 3:10 — “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…”
The verdict is already in folks! Only God is your righteous judge, and He has already rendered His righteous verdict.
Now this passage seems to be written to a person who after reading verses 18 – 32 of the last chapter would say, “Yes, those people are awful.”
The apostle is bringing it home at this point. Thou art inexcusable! This is personal. The one who knows the wrongs that others do also knows, whether admittedly or not, that he too is guilty. We all are. As chapter 1 points out the evils of degraded society, chapter 2 reminds us that we are the members of that degraded society.
Let us look carefully at this: “But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things … For there is no respect of persons with God.” No one is going to get away with anything because of wealth (or lack of it), or status (or lack of it), or any other distinctions. God’s judgment is righteous — perfectly just — and the verdict is in. Some things simply do not change:
Deuteronomy 10:17 — “For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward…”
God’s righteous judgment will also manifest the things done in secret:
Hebrews 4:12 – 13 — “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.”
With the judgment of God being according to truth, that should seriously frighten any “son of Adam” or “daughter of Eve”. But why, you may ask, does sin seem to go unpunished and injustice seems to never be made right? What we are seeing is what the apostle says in verse 4, “the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering”. The depth of God’s forbearance and longsuffering however only deepens the guilt of man in his despite of such grace. No one will be able to say that God never gave them a chance, for the lack of immediate punishment should bring out from man the gratefulness for respite, and repentance from wickedness, but we do not see that. God’s mercy is despised and man stores a treasure of “wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God”.
We then are reminded that God will render to every man according to his deeds; and it follows how he will render to them according to their deeds:
“To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil…”
Now friends, which category do you fall in? Remember the indicting character of this entire passage, and remember that the verdict is already in:
Romans 3:9 – 10, 19 — “What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one … Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
The thought of the tribulation and anguish that will find its place on every soul of man that does evil should make us cry for mercy, and at this point in time God is dealing in forbearance because of His mercy. That God is not breaking through the heavens and now rendering to every man according to his deeds is proof that we are living under the rule of grace. This is known in scripture as the dispensation of the grace of God (Ephesians 3:2). God has given man more than sufficient time to come to God in God’s way. To answer why we do not, it is because of our hard and impenitent hearts. While God speaks “grace and peace”, mankind laughs and shakes his fist at God, saying “my will be done”!
But you do not have to continue in rebellion, nor do you have to run and hide. You could not hide anyway, for “all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him”. The Lord rejoices in mercy and has provided the means of salvation from His righteous judgment, and He will do it without violating His righteousness in the least.
Romans 3:24 – 26 — “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
These are the terms, faith in His blood: It is because Christ died for you that you can have eternal life and be justified before God and have all of your sins, past, present, and future wiped out.
Romans 4:7 – 8 — “… Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”
2 Corinthians 5:21 — “For [God] hath made [Christ] to be sin for us, [Christ] Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”