Part 3 – Judgment, Observation, or Discernment?
In this second chapter of Romans we find that the apostle Paul gives his readers seven principles regarding God’s judgment. So far in our study of this chapter we have mentioned three of them:
God’s Judgment Is…
- Based on Truth
- Based on the accumulation of guilt
- Based according to works
In this portion of Romans 2 we come across three other principles regarding God’s judgment. The fourth overall is:
- Not based on favoritism – the Lord doesn’t save or bless individuals because they are ‘favorites’ in the sense that they come from a special family, ethnic group, race, or country. ALL are guilty; ALL deserve the wrath of God; but according to His pleasure and good purposes He saves some. We are all in the same sunken ship together and it is only by God’s grace that any of us have been or will be saved.
- God’s judgment is based on obedience, not knowledge. The Jewish believers in Rome (and all Jews, for that matter) had the Old Testament given to them, and a lot of them even memorized it. BUT the Lord is looking for those who are obedient to His Word (those empowered by His grace), and not just those who have a lot of book or head knowledge. We can be obedient in our own strength; we must depend on the Lord’s grace, Spirit and His Word working in our hearts.
- God’s judgment is based on the Gospel and the Righteous Judge and Savior Jesus Christ. The Lord knows the secret things of the heart and they will be revealed on that last day. Christians are judged at the cross and are shown mercy through the sacrifice of Christ. There is no wrath for Christians because Christ took it all. We will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ regarding what we did or didn’t do with the gifts He gave us; but this isn’t to determine if we remain saved or not, but rather what our roles and responsibilities will be in the New Heavens and New Earth. Unbelievers will be judged by their deeds – or not of perfect deeds – and the secret things of their hearts will be revealed. And this will all be accomplished by the Judge of all the Earth – Jesus Christ.