There will be suffering and pain for all those who do what is evil, for the Jews first and also for the Gentiles. But God will give glory, honour, and peace to all who do what is good, to the Jews first and also to the Gentiles. For God judges everyone by the same standard. (verses 9-11)
Read Romans 1:28 – 2:11
Often there is dissatisfaction with human judgments, whether given by a judge, a magistrate, a principal or a parent. Some think the punishment is too lenient, others that it’s too harsh.
What about God’s judgments? St Paul assures us that God judges everyone by the same standard. That sounds like good news, because we want fairness. But the problem for us is that the standard by which God judges us is a perfect standard. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, ‘You must be perfect—just as your Father in heaven is perfect’ (Matthew 5:48). By this standard of perfection, every human being stands condemned. The list of bad things we do is endless.
There would be no hope for any of us if it weren’t for the really good news that God puts us right with himself through Jesus Christ. That’s what the letter to the Romans is all about. It shows us that when God judges people who have faith in Jesus, he sees Jesus, and he judges them as if they were Jesus.
Yes, God judges everyone by the same standard, but not everyone is the same. Some, by God’s grace, have become believers in Jesus, and God pronounces them to be righteous. The gift of righteousness through faith in Jesus is the greatest of all gifts, because it leads to glory, honour and peace.
Cleanse and cover me with your righteous, dear Jesus, and make me good. Amen.
by Kevin Schmidt, in ‘Refreshment for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2003)
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