I.  The judgment of God:
C. through Jesus Christ (Romans 2:12-16)

“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 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.”

Hearing the law or not hearing the law (the Mosiac Law) does not make a person guilty of innocent. Judgment is according to how you have kept the law whether you have heard it or not.  Even though the Jews read the Mosaic Law as part of each synagogue service, they did not all live by it.  Even though Gentiles did not hear the Mosaic Law some of them lived by a higher standard…”their conscience bearing witness”.

God has given humans a conscience to help them discern right and wrong.  For everyone who listens to their conscience and does not suppress it will see himself as a sinner and ask God for help.  An honest person with a well functioning conscience will always see himself as guilty.  All people need to have their conscience cleared by coming to faith in Jesus (Heb. 9:14). “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Jesus Christ knows the intent of every heart whether right or wrong and He will judge according to Himself.

Lesson – Jesus is the righteous Judge and nothing is hidden from Him!

This brings us back to the question about those who have never heard about Jesus, yet attempt to please God.

First, we can be assured that God will do justly, But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Options –

  1. they will be judged according to what they know and if worthy their faith will be accounted to them as righteousness (like Abraham).
  2. Someone will be sent to them to tell them the Gospel of Jesus (ex. Macedonian man in Acts 16:6-10), or God will reveal the truth of Jesus to them in some other way.

Lesson – Since this is not the normal course of events (because most humans suppress the knowledge of God in their hearts), God in His mercy has called us to go and preach the Good News about Jesus to all the people groups of the world.


I.  The judgment of God
B.  Without Favortism (Romans 2:6-11)

“God ‘will give to each person according to what he has done.’ 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.”

God will judge the just and the ungodly without favoritism.
As the Jews had the power of the Gospel given to them first, so shall they be first in line to receive the judgment of God.  As the Gentiles still received the Gospel so will the Gentiles still receive judgment.  There is no favoritism with God.

These verses are not teaching a work based salvation.  Paul has already made clear in chapter 1 that the Gospel of Christ is the power of salvation.  There is no power in the moralist attempting to live a pure live.  Simply trying to get by with “clean living” is not going to cut it.  Please note that Scripture passages must be taken in context – and the disregard for context has led to many false ideas.

You can know with confidence the state of your salvation by knowing the pattern of your life. If you have turned from what you used to trust in for your salvation and turned from your sinful life and turned to the living God by asking forgiveness of your sins and trusting Jesus as your Savior, and you live a life that is characterized by good, then you can have significant confidence in your eternal state. You can be confident that you have been regenerated and have been made a new creation in God’s sight.

Likewise, regardless of what you have professed or claimed to believe, you cannot have much confidence if your life is characterized (a consistent pattern) by evil. If you have little regard for God, little regard for His Name, if you are living to fulfill your selfish desires, then you cannot have such confidence.

The emphasis of Paul’s teaching here is that all will be judged.  At this point he is not attempting to go into any real detail of what this judging by God looks like, when it will happen, everyone at once or different groups at different times.  We would need to look at other passages of Scriptures to come to conclusions about such things, and we will not be endeavoring to teach all of that in this lesson.
At the end of verse 11, Paul makes clear that there is no partiality with God!  To the Jewish part of Paul’s readership this may have come as quite a shock because some of them thought they were in good standing with God based solely on their genes.

Lesson: God is just in all his judgments and does not play favorites!

I.  The judgment of God (Romans 2:1-16)
A. according to truth (1-5)

Romans 2:1-5 “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, 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 man, 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, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward 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.

When the moralist sees the sin of others it should cause him to examine his own heart, see his own sins, and lead him to repentance. (Repentance:  making a 180 degree turn from self-justification to faith in Jesus Christ; turning from sin with godly sorrow to Jesus as Savior and Lord) Instead he sees only the sins of his neighbors, friends, business associates, and government.  The moralist has deceived himself into thinking he will escape the judgment of God while others will be punished.  He does not realize that the stubbornness of his heart will bring God’s wrath.

Example: Suzy hears about how Jessica has talked about her behind her back, and she is livid.  Later that day she is talking with Laura and says, “Did you hear about Julie?…”  Suzy knows what she is doing is wrong because she has already judged the same sin in Jessica, yet through the hardness of her heart she thinks she is a moral and good person who has nothing to fear from God.

Lesson: Our first and foremost concern about sin should be our own sin!