“When the Gentiles sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law. And the Jews, who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it. For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in His sight. Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know His law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. And this is the message I proclaim – that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.” – Romans 2:12-16 (NLT)
It is becoming more and more clear to me that the Lord has me focusing on calling people back into the reality of living from the Truth. I am not seeking it out on my own, but everywhere I look in the Word, passages concerning holiness and right living just leap off the page at me. This one in particular carries a huge emphasis this morning.
As is the case in many other places in the Word, this passage completely demolishes the idea that you do not have to do what the Word says. Many people think that simply just hearing the Word and claiming faith in Christ is enough. I’m here to tell you that this is not the case, not even in the slightest!
People say, “We are saved by grace and grace alone.” This is true! But do we actually know what that means? It is by the grace of God that I was saved from my life of sin that separated me from Him. By His grace, He grafted me into His Kingdom. And it is because of this grace that saved me from my life of sin that I now have new life in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). Because of this, I am now able to receive the Holy Spirit into my life. And by the Holy Spirit, by His teaching and guiding and correcting, I am able to do what the Word says. I am able to produce good works through faith, that build my faith.
Saved by grace so I can live a life of faith in obedience to the Word.
I love verse 14 of this chapter where Paul is talking about how Gentiles who instinctively obey God’s law show they have His law written on their hearts. You know what this means? It means that we, those who are created in the image of God, all know subconsciously what is right and what is wrong. It means that even those who are not a part of the Family of Faith still know what it is right and wrong. Deep down they know. Whether they obey it or not, that is up to the individual. Either way though, we will all be judged one day for the rights and the wrongs we have done. For our secret lives. This is why it is so important for those in the Family of Faith to recognize the importance and necessity to live a holy life of righteousness.
“He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But He will pour out His anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.” – Romans 2:7-8
To those who keep on doing good, and those who seek after glory and honor and immortality. We have not received these things yet, and we will not receive them until Christ returns. And this is yet another emphasis on the importance of taking this walk of faith in Christ seriously. We must return to a holy fear for God, walking in righteousness and holiness in Him. Otherwise, we forfeit by our own actions the things that God has promised to those who love Him. And we know who those are that love Him, for they obey the commandments of the Son, which come from the Father (John 14:15).
“But don’t just listen to God’s Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” – James 1:22 (NLT)