Today’s reading is Romans 2.
Paul seems to give us a plan. He explains that everyone who does evil, obeying unrighteousness, whether Jew or Greek will suffer wrath and fury. However, those who seek glory, honor, and immortality by doing good will receive eternal life. Then he follows it up by saying “For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.” Wait a minute!!! The hinge between Paul’s teaching about the difference between the death-bound and the life-bound and this statement is “For God shows no partiality.” In other words, it doesn’t matter who you are, if you are good, you get life; if you sin, you get death. And that is the kicker. Romans 2:6-11 seems like an explanation of how to be saved. Instead, it is an explanation of why every one of us is lost. Sure, everyone who does good by seeking for glory, honor, and immortality by obeying truth gets eternal life. But everyone who sins whether under the Law or outside the Law perishes and is judged. Where does that leave me? I’m toast! I am a sinner. The news for me is bad. I need some good news. Praise God, Paul will be bringing some as we keep reading. Today, let the weight of the bad news settle on us, but don’t despair, Good News is coming.
Tomorrow’s reading is Romans 3.
A Word for Our Kids
Hey kids, I’m just going to lay out something you need to grasp about Bible study and teaching. Always look at the context, which means look at everything the author says around the verse or passage you are reading. I don’t know how many times in my preaching I’ve gone to Romans 2:6-11 to claim people go to heaven based on how well they seek for glory, honor, and immortality by doing good and obeying the truth. Now, don’t get me wrong, we do need to be people who seek for glory, honor, and immortality by doing good and obeying the truth. However, that is not really Paul’s point. It seems like it when all we read are these six verses. On the other hand, when we read these verses in context, we realize Paul is actually saying we are all in trouble because none of us have actually done good or obeyed the truth or sought for glory, honor, and immortality. Instead, we have all sinned, we have all obeyed unrighteousness, we have all ignored truth, therefore we are all on the path for judgment and death. Paul is setting us up to know we need the gospel of Jesus Christ. My point for you today is to always keep every passage in context. Don’t jump on some surface meaning, having ripped a verse away from all the things around it. Read the whole thing. It takes time and experience to develop that skill. So keep reading, keep studying, keep learning. You’ll get there.