January 29, 2018
Everyone will face God’s judgment one day no matter who you are. And the fact is, we are all guilty, every single one of us. The sentence is death. The good news, however, is that Jesus has already accepted the sentence. The penalty is covered for anyone who accepts Him.
6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking 1 2:8 Or contentious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.
Everyone will stand before God and face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Most of us would consider ourselves “good” people. But how confident are you that you would pass God’s judgment? Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us what God hates, what make us guilty of sin before Him: eyes that are arrogant, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a mouth that lies under oath, and a troublemaker in the family.
Still feeling confident? If we’re honest, we’re all guilty of at least one. So then, how much good do we have to do in this life to be declared innocent before God?
God will judge each of us based on our own works (Romans 2:6). He will not judge our deeds in comparison to the deeds of others. He will judge based on His standard, which is perfection. This means we’ve already fallen short, and no amount of good works can erase our imperfection. On our own, we can never meet God’s standard. We have all been self-seeking and at some point knowingly done something that we knew was wrong. Because of this we deserve wrath, fury, tribulation, and distress (Romans 2:8-9). It doesn't matter who we are; we are all equal in God’s eyes, and His judgment of us is unbiased (Romans 2:11).
God’s standard is perfection. We’ve already missed the mark, and the penalty we deserve is death.
But wait, there is good news! God already knew we were going to fall short, make mistakes, and rebel against Him. And because He is a kind and loving Father, He provided a way for us to be made blameless and spend eternity with Him. That way is Jesus Christ.
Jesus willingly died a death He did not deserve to pay our penalties. Jesus’ death on the cross paid for every wrong we would ever commit—past, present, and future. There is nothing Jesus can’t cover. Alone, we cannot stand before God and be good enough. But because of Christ alone, we are made good enough.
This month's memory verse
1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Have you accepted God’s salvation for you through Jesus Christ?
2. Do you believe you are good enough to be accepted by God? What is that belief based on? Read ahead to Romans 3:23.
3. What can you do today to live out a life grateful for Jesus and His work on the cross?
4. If you have not accepted Christ, what is holding you back? Look deeper into the things keeping you from taking that step.