A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD
Loving Lord, help me to find my identity in You first of all. I want to center my life on You and Your will for me each day.
Read Romans 2:1–16
God’s Righteous Judgment
2 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”[a] 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
- Romans 2:6 Psalm 62:12; Prov. 24:12
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners’ (Mark 2:17). How aware are you of the moral failures of others? How aware are you of your own?
It is far easier for us to cast judgment on others than to concentrate on our own wrongdoing, and we often act hypocritically by judging others for issues that we struggle with in our own lives (v 3). ‘Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?’ said Jesus (Matthew 7:3). Today’s passage reveals that all of us have a deep need for God (vs 4,11).
After focusing on Gentile wrongdoing in the previous passage, Paul turns his attention to Jewish believers, warning them of the dangers of a self-conscious moralism or religious hypocrisy. Jewish believers are not to think that their status as God’s chosen people automatically saves them from God’s judgment (see vs 3,9,11).
A righteous God cares about our behavior (vs 6–8) and knows the truth about all of us. None of us can hide behind a religious moralism, for God is able to see beyond the facade – he sees our inner lives and he knows our hearts (v 16).
Ask God to save you from religious hypocrisy and to reveal to you areas of your life that need to be changed by his Spirit.
Lord, You dwell in the heart that longs for You, and in the mind that humbly seeks You. Show me the sins in my life that I may truly repent.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.