January 29, 2018

How Good Is Good Enough?

Romans 2:6–11

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He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking1 and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 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.


[1] 2:8 Or contentious

How Good Is Good Enough?

Central Truth

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.

Devotional | Romans 2:6–11

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...

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.

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Bio | Debbie Padilla

Welcome to today’s journey through the book of Romans! My name is Debbie Padilla, wife to my best friend, Jose, and mom to two beautiful daughters, Daijah and Delilah. I have the privilege of serving women through Someone Cares (Watermark Community Church's post-abortion recovery ministry).

My story is this: I once was lost, living a life of selfishness and self-destruction. I was completely blind to the wickedness of my life. But now, I am found! God, in His goodness, forever changed the course of my life. I can finally see the love, joy, peace, and abundant life that only He can give.

Discussion Questions

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.

29 Comments available

William Breazeale 10 days ago

I like the statement that my works won’t be compared to others, but placed in front of God’s perfect and holy standard. Wretched man that I am! My works fall utterly short on even my most holy of days. They are but “filthy rags” in the sight of God. But thanks be to God that he sent a provision on my behalf. A perfect provision, by the name of Jesus Christ. Grace abounds for the sinner!

Andi Guevara about 2 months ago

#3 Living out his commandments, loving his people and serving those around me. Showing the love of Christ to others so that others may come to know Jesus as their savior. Ephesians 2:8-10

Michael Scaman about 2 months ago

I like what Piper says about this, This passage teaches that eternal life will be “according to works.” But this does not mean that it will be earned by works…But eternal life is rendered according to our works. … “According to works” means God will take the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and the “good deeds” by which we let the light of our faith shine (Matthew 5:16), and he will accept them as corroborating evidence of our faith. "

Autumn Zevely about 2 months ago

I really loved this devotional! Thank you!

Lisa Olsen about 2 months ago

Thank you, Debbie! But for the grace of God go I…

Lisa Olsen about 2 months ago

Thank you, Debbie!

Michael Scaman about 2 months ago

I like what Sinclair Ferguson says “you work out what God worked in” All of Jesus parables about the final judgement have a judgement of works. First, the works show a person has a nature of a goat or a sheep - that a gospel transformation has happened. Second, for believers, God will graciously reward imperfect works of genuine believers and reward how a person cooperated with the spirit living to God and dying to self

Alma Barber about 2 months ago

“There is nothing Jesus can’t cover.” Whew! Am I ever thankful for that! When I think about the life I’ve lived… thinking of no one else but myself, living only to satisfy the desires of my flesh, the many terrible choices I have made, and the way those choices, not only have affected me, but have affected others-and continue to-and be able to stand before you today, knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am forgiven, (and LOVED!). That God, in His incomprehensible mercy and grace, has saved a wretch like me, doing absolutely NOTHING to deserve it, is what makes it possible for me to forgive, offer grace and love others. I want to love like He loves and share His grace. May we freely give what we have freely received.

greg jones about 2 months ago

A great devotional today talking about our standing before God. I always want to be careful about considering the things that make God angry and to keep them in context. In exodus Moses has his encounter with God speaking from a burning bush. 3:6b says that when Moses realizes who he is speaking to he hid his face because he was afraid to look at God. The end of a long conversation ends this way. 4:13 Moses: Pardon your servant Lord. Please send someone else. 4:14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses. Fear of God that causes us to be afraid is not the motivation we need to live as we should before God. A love of God that causes trust, the kind of trust that gives me a healthy “fear not” relationship with God is what I really need.

Georgia Littlejohn about 2 months ago

Q3- for a while now I’ve been asking the Holy Spirit to guide me in my career and I feel the guidance and out of fear I don’t follow through. Today I would like to listen and follow through God has a plan for me I feel it I know it and it fear that keeps me from it.

Georgia Littlejohn about 2 months ago

Q3 - listening to the Holy Spirit and not following through because of fear. That has been an issue. I hear but truly don’t obey or listen. I have been askin*

Georgia Littlejohn about 2 months ago

Q3 today listening to the Holy Spirit and not being

Jennifer Borgne about 2 months ago

Debbie, many thanks for your truth today. He will look at what I really Did, not what I intended, hoped or wanted to do. Sobering to see that it’s not about whether I’ve known His will, but whether I’ve DONE it. Grateful for Christ. Thankful He’s paid that bill.

Ronnie Oldfield about 2 months ago

Thank you for being our point person today. Verse 11 hits home with me - should I have a moment when I think there is another way. My hope is in Christ alone. The world’s hope is in Christ alone. Thank you for a daily reminder that this is the undeniable truth.

Sue Bohlin about 2 months ago

Super devo, Debbie! You have a gift for making things clear. I was struck by how powerful this is: “There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil.” With the burgeoning #metoo movement, where people’s evil acts are being dragged into the light, I hope that the souls of those wounded by sexual abuse are comforted by God bringing justice to their pain by first exposing the evil acts inflicted in darkness and secrecy.

The last part of today’s reading, “There is no partiality with God,” makes me smile because I know what the Word says, so I know it’s true, but WM Plano so enjoys God’s blessing on our people and our ministries that sometimes I wonder about the “no partiality” thing. [smile]

Hope Harris about 2 months ago

So this is my first time truly considering the aspect of judgement. My head is spinning and I have more work to do to understand the concept and passage. Here are my thoughts for today.

Self-righteousness is man living without God’s perspective. This is a thinking error, to embrace the error of self-righteousness; is to say we are without sin. Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:10 tell us otherwise. Paul is stating that our eternal state is judged not by what we believe about ourselves but by how we live before God.

Tonni Shook about 2 months ago

Hi Debbie! Such a sweet gift for the women in Someone Cares! I always believed I wasn’t good and it was my lot in life to end up in hell. Now that I’ve accepted Christ as my Lord, I’m still not good, but He took care of it for me. I’ll spend eternity with Him! Thank you, Jesus!

temitayo harriman about 2 months ago

thank you Debbie, for all you do and for spurring your husband on as well. I’m blessed to have heard yall’s Regen testimony last week. (From Jose’s perspective) Yes, thank you Jesus | in my own flesh, no. According His blood and mercy (Titus 3:5). | to be grateful I can continue in reliance on Him, trusting His way is best. | Christ is hallowed over every aspect of my life I can perceive. He’s made a home of my heart. I pray He would reveal more of me for which I am to surrender today, amen.

Nikkie Milner about 2 months ago

Thank you Debbie! It’s so great seeing the Padilla family guiding us this morning! (Shout out to Plano!!)

Rita Satagaj about 2 months ago

Good morning Debbie! Thank you for writing such a beautiful and clear devo today. Verse 6 is very convicting. “According to what we have done” kinda hits ya right between the eyes. I’m so thankful for a loving God, who sent his Son that day to pay for all my sins. I’m so very thankful as there is NOTHING I could’ve done to become clean enough or good enough. My prayer is that God will show me daily how to be more and more like Christ.

Kristi Lichtenberg about 2 months ago

It sounds a lot like Galatians 6:9!

Kristi Lichtenberg about 2 months ago

Patience in well-doing.

Robert Owens about 2 months ago

Thank you for your thoughtful message and thorough insight. Well done.

Christopher Hyland about 2 months ago

Thank you Debbie. God is so patient and long suffering. When I consider my own insolent rebellion and how I ran to destruction I am amazed at the goodness of God. That He would save a wretch like me! My prayer today is that I would use all my gifts to live for another world.

Michael Scaman about 2 months ago

A judgement according to works regarding works that evidence saving faith. I see that the people of Jericho had faith of sorts, their hearts melted with fear of what they heard God did and they were willing to fight to the end - not saving faith. Rahab heard, had a faith where she wanted to switch sides and even protect as many people as she could stuff in her little house. Her works proved she had saving faith

Michael Scaman about 2 months ago

From Ps 62. “He will render each man according to his works” Sometimes a psalm revolves around a theme expressed in the center verses. Here salvation rests on God “6 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. 7 On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.” The word only or alone regarding God is used 5 times Ps 62 is a very God centered psalm

Ted Mattos about 2 months ago

Thanks for your devotional this morning, Debbie.

Lindsey Driscoll about 2 months ago

Debbie, thank you for serving with a greatful heart in someone cares! Q3- Romans 2:7-8 has me asking myself how I serve others. Is it out of gratefulness for Christ’s grace that I find persistence in doing good? Or when I serve am I self seeking, wanting the glory for myself which usually ends up wth anger in my heart towards others.

Hugh Stephenson about 2 months ago

The opening verse is convicting.

One of the more sobering truths from Paul and all scripture is that my sins are stored up as they accumulate guilt on my record and that there will be judgement for 100% of them.

This is like the credit card bill that accumulates rapidly and never gets paid. I have a nagging sense that it is there but I keep ignoring it. I get external notices of the balance as it accumulates, but I ignore those too. One day the envelope will be opened and each charge will be read out to me. “Take a chair Hugh, this will take awhile”.

Dr C quotes Mickelson - “God’s anger stored up in heaven is the most tragic stockpile a man could lay aside for himself.”

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