Friday, November 03, 2006

Romans 2:9-11

There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.

Paul tells us what will become of the self-centered: trouble and distress; He tells us what will become of the God-centered: glory, honor, and peace. Notice that this is for both Jews and Gentiles: God does not show favoritism. In other words, Jews and Gentiles are equally liable to judgment. They are both under the power of sin. Favoritism is: “preferring someone without good reason.” And this verse is a reassertion of the justice of God’s judgment. He will not show partiality. So the criterion of God’s judgment is not privilege. It is not position. It is the character of men’s lives. God doesn’t grade on the curve. Your genetic make-up doesn’t matter; your cultural background doesn’t matter. You’re either self-centered or God-centered, unrighteous or righteous, a goat or a sheep.

Here’s the objection: “God is going to judge all people according to their deeds, and therefore impartially, but, in fact, God gave the Law of Moses only to the Jews, and so they have access to what deeds are required of them, and the rest of the world doesn’t. So how can Paul say that God is impartial to judge according to deeds when he has only told one group of people what the deeds are that they should do?” Paul answers this great objection in the next section, verses 12-15, which we’ll look at next time.

No comments: