In verses 1-5 of this chapter, Paul has demonstrated to the Jews that by judging the gentiles for the very same things that they themselves are doing, that is self-condemnation. They will not be spared from God’s judgement. In verses 6-11, Paul gives us more details regarding how God will execute His judgement. Paul says no one will escape this judgement and all will be judged by the same standard. God shows no partiality in judgement.
The Basis of Our Judgement
Romans 2:6 (ESV Strong’s)
6 He will render to each one according to his works:
In executing His judgement upon us, Paul says God will render or reward each person according to His works or that which they have done. One should pause here and say that Paul elsewhere makes it very clear that salvation is not by works. Therefore we cannot interpret verse 6 as salvation by works. Paul is addressing how we will be judged and not how we can be saved. Paul says God’s judgement will be based on our works. Works reflect whether we are saved or not. James says faith that does not result in works is dead. Therefore based on these works, will we all be rewarded. We will all receive what is due to us.
The Outworking of this Judgement
Romans 2:7-10 (ESV Strong’s)
7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.
In verses 7-10, Paul gives us even more detail on how the works based reward or judgement will work. We see two groups of people. Those who will receive eternal life and those who will face God’s wrath and fury. Those who will face tribulation and distress, and those who will receive glory and honor and peace. Who are these two groups?
The first group is described as a group of those whose works, reflect that they are patiently seeking for glory, honor and immortality. It is a group described as a group of those who do good. This is a group of those people who Paul tell us will receive eternal life, and will receive glory and honor and peace.
The second group is described as a group of those who are selfish and disobedient to the truth. This is a group of those who do evil. This is a group of those people who Paul tell us will face God’s wrath and fury and will face tribulation and distress.
Therefore, God will look at our works on judgement day, and He will place us on one of these two groups. A group that will be rewarded with eternal life, or a group that will face God’s wrath and fury and tribulation and distress. Note that twice in this passage, especially in verses 9-10, Paul highlights that this will be the way God will judge, whether Jews or Greek. In other words, it does not matter who you are, what race you are, what sex you are, which language you speak, etc, God will use the same standard of judgment. Paul says every human being will either receive eternal life or face wrath and fury, tribulation and distress.
God shows no partiality
Romans 2:11 (ESV Strong’s)
11 For God shows no partiality.
Having proved his point, Paul now summarizes his point that he is being making in verses 7-10, that God shows therefore no partiality. No one will be treated differently but, rather all will face the same standard of judgment irrespective of who they are.
Paul says that there will be judgement day, where God will judge every human being. Paul says God will use our works as a basis for judging us. Others will receive eternal life, while others will face God’s wrath and fury, tribulation and distress. If our works reflect that we are seeking glory, honor and immortality, and if our works reflect that we do good, we will be rewarded with eternal life. However, if our works reflect that we are selfish and disobedient to the truth of God, and we do evil, then we will face God’s wrath and fury, tribulation and distress. Every human being will face the same standard of Judgement.
What do we learn from this today?
- Judgement day is coming
- God will judge every single one of us without exception
- God will judge us based on our works
- Others will receive eternal life, while others will face God’s wrath and fury, tribulation and distress
- Everyone will be judged using the same standard
- God shows no partiality
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