February 5, 2018

Topic Day|Gospel

The Gospel: God's Rescue Plan

Romans 2:6–16

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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.

God's Judgment and the Law

12 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. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

Footnotes

[1] 2:8 Or contentious

In Context:

1 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. 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 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. 12 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. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. 17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal?

The Gospel: God's Rescue Plan



Bio | Randall Miller

Good morning. My name is Randall Miller, and I'm so glad you are diving into the Word today! I grew up in a small town in southeast Louisiana (yes, we had gumbo for Christmas dinner), went to Mississippi College, and finished law school in Lexington, Virginia. Along the way, I met a girl from Nashville, and we got married about a week before moving to Dallas. While we both practice law, we live by grace. I agree with Steven Curtis Chapman—life is a great adventure. So, saddle up your horses! We've got a trail to blaze!

Central Truth

Jesus is more than a teacher; He is a Savior. Jesus didn't just talk about God; He became the way for us to know God personally. We're not saved by what we do; we're saved by trusting in what Jesus already did on the cross. 

Devotional | Gospel

Are these verses telling us that doing good and obeying God's law will make us innocent in the eyes of God on judgment day? What if we've done good things and bad things? Will God weigh our good deeds and...

Are these verses telling us that doing good and obeying God's law will make us innocent in the eyes of God on judgment day? What if we've done good things and bad things? Will God weigh our good deeds and our evil ones to determine if the good outweighs the bad?

By no means!

Scripture is clear that we cannot earn salvation based on our good works; salvation only comes through faith in Jesus (John 3:16, 14:6; Romans 3:28, 10:9-10). As followers of Jesus, we don't do good things to be saved, we do good things because we are saved (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:22-32). This passage reminds us that God will judge everyone equally based on His perfect standard regardless of our race, culture, background, age, socio-economic status, etc. (Romans 2:6-11). We have no excuses for breaking God's law (Romans 2:12-16).

God is holy, just, loving, and wise (1 Peter 1:16; Isaiah 6:3, 30:18, 55:9, 63:7; Psalms 9:7-8; Proverbs 3:19). He created us to have a relationship with Him. But when sin entered the world, our relationship with God was broken. We were no longer perfect and could not enter into the presence of our holy God (Genesis 3; Romans 3:23). Because God is just, our sin must be punished (Romans 5:12). Unfortunately, the punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). 

But God, in His infinite wisdom, devised a rescue plan—captured in the gospel—to restore our broken relationship with Him. God sent Jesus to die in our place. Before enduring the cross, Jesus predicted He would die and rise from the dead (Matthew 16:21, 27:62-64; John 2:18-22). And Jesus did exactly that (Matthew 28:5-6; Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:6). He willingly endured God's wrath against sin on the cross to pay the punishment for our sins (Isaiah 53:5-6; Matthew 26:39; Romans 5:6). His resurrection from the dead proves that He has the authority to forgive sin and power over death, and He endured the entire punishment for our sins.

What love! What good news—a gospel of grace! To God, you and I are worth dying for.  

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Discussion Questions

1. God loves you and wants to have a personal relationship with you. What questions do you have about the gospel?

2. Have you put your faith in Jesus (Romans 10:9-10)? If yes, does your life reflect your faith (Hebrews 12:1-3)? If no, what is holding you back? 

3. Do you believe Jesus is who He claimed to be (John 14:6; Matthew 16:21, 24-27)? Why is Jesus not just another good teacher? In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, "A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher; he'd either be a lunatic—on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg—or else he'd be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." Do you agree with Lewis? Why or why not?

4. Why is the bodily resurrection so important to the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:16-22)? How do we know Jesus rose from the dead? What proof exists to support the fact that Christ rose from the dead (John 20:11-18; Luke 24:36-43)?

5. Why does sin separate us from God (Psalm 5:4; Isaiah 59:2)? Why is Jesus the only one who can save us and restore our broken relationship with God (Isaiah 53; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5; John 14:6)?

18 Comments available

Lyn Pollard 10 months ago

Today’s devotion and the questions that follow are great reminders that God has given us His Word as a means of sharing the gospel with those around us. This post includes an awesome collection of key scriptures useful in sharing gospel truth. SO good that I just took a screen-shot and saved it in my iPhone as a great reference tool for those moments when I need go-to verses at my fingertips to point the way to salvation in Christ. Thanks for this, Randall!

Michael Scaman 10 months ago

This section is to underscore the coming judgement. It is prelude to a way of grace but we aren’t there yet. My song of the day is ‘Sinner where is room for doubt Has not Jesus love been proved’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MZJ_QV8lWw

Michael Scaman 10 months ago

@gregg Yes this section starts with judgement and ends with judgement

Elizabeth Lariscy 10 months ago

Thank you, Randall! Great deco anddiscussion questions. I kept going back to the HEART acronym that JP used a few weeks back for questions 3 & 5. Perfect answers!

Hudson Jobe 10 months ago

Thanks for the great devotional Randall. "They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

Hudson Jobe 10 months ago

Thanks for the great devotional Randall. “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.” This is such a great reminder that we inherently know what is good, but cannot pursue it perfectly, and grace is our bridge over that infinite moral chasm between us and God.

Lisa Olsen 10 months ago

Thank you, Randall! I loved your line about practicing law while living by grace

Lisa Olsen 10 months ago

(Part 2) Jesus is the only one who can save us and restore our broken relationship with God because He is the only one without sin who could be both God and man in the flesh, and able to take on our sin as clean and pure sacrifice. Only God can forgive sins and also provide a sacrifice pure and holy enough to be able to take on the sins of the world. Jesus was the only way to save mankind and restore us back to God. Our life as believers should be lived out in such a way that we remember this daily and live with gratitude and praise.

Lisa Olsen 10 months ago

Thank you, Randall! I loved the line in your bio about how you and your wife both practice law while living by grace. So awesome. Q5. I believe the Word teaches that sin separates us from God because one must be perfect, pure and sinless as God is, to have a relationship with Him. We cannot be in the presence of a Holy God as unholy people. To have the intimate relationship He longs for us to have with Him as His children, we need to be like Him, yet, we’re not. When sin entered the world and then each and every human heart by nature afterwards, we are created by God, but spiritually dead and separated from Him from from the beginning.

greg jones 10 months ago

Two bookend thoughts in verses 16 and 6, and four points Paul seems to want to make between these two thoughts. Verse 16 the conclusion, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. Verse 6, (what Paul will say) He will render to each one according to his works. Point) verse 11, God shows no partiality. Point) verse 13, it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law. Point) verse 14, when those who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves. Point) verse 15, they show the work of the law is written on their hearts, their conscience bears witness, their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.

Ronnie Oldfield 10 months ago

Thank you Randall, very thorough Devo this morning. You have “made your case” in 350 words or less. I pray to stay focused on reading through your quoted scriptures. I pray anyone who has doubts about you conclusions will read the scriptures and accept the undeniable truth-Jesus is who He says he is, and is sinful man’s (Ronnie’s) only hope. Thank you Randall.

Trey Collins 10 months ago

The gospel of Christ to save us from our sins! May that bring us all joy in the midst of our circumstances.

Michael Scaman 10 months ago

God even judges what you greave over and what you really rely on.

From Amos 6 "Woe to those who are at ease in Zion …Woe to those who lie on beds of ivory and stretch themselves out on their couches, [couch potatoes]

and eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall, who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp and like David invent for themselves instruments of music, who drink wine in bowls and anoint themselves with the finest oils, [not wrong in itself if done in thankfulness]

… but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph! [not being saddened at the spiritual state of others who are on a bad course]

Michael Scaman 10 months ago

In the book of Amos God judged many things, including people’s leisure while the poor suffered, injustices went on and human trafficking.

Hope Harris 10 months ago

GM Friends, I have been thinking a great deal about the gift of our conscience. It judges a man’s soul in three areas—attitude, conduct, and behavior. It’s like spiritual radar sending out signals that danger is near. This is how eternity is written on our hearts.

God has given every person a conscience to guard and guide them. This is not the same as the Holy Spirit because He only dwells in those who have believed in Jesus Christ for salvation. However, once we’re saved, the Spirit then works through the conscience to remind us that some attitudes, thoughts, words, and actions don’t fit our new identity in Christ. The more committed we are to Him, the louder our conscience will be. We cannot violate our conscience and walk in God’s will or enjoy His blessings.

Sue Bohlin 10 months ago

Thanks, Randall! I wonder what it’s like for attorneys to read passages about the law like today’s—your perspective has to be quite different because of having marinated yourselves in civil law! Today’s topic of the gospel reminds me of why I believe it is God’s supernatural rescue plan—because there’s no way human beings would have invented it! For God Himself to do ALL the work Himself, pronouncing it “finished” and “paid in full”?? That crazy-great grace gift is beyond our ability to invent.

Lindsey Driscoll 10 months ago

Randall, Thanks for blazing the trail through the wild blue yonder of God’s Amazing grace with us today! We see through this passage that the Jews could never be perfect to keep the law, and the gentiles could never be perfect to follow the conviction of their hearts. Verse 16 sums it all up saying our sins will be judged in order to be in right relationship with a perfect and Holy God. But, verse 16 says we get judged through Jesus Christ, our judgement is through grace. What an incredible grace we get to live under.

Hugh Stephenson 10 months ago

God’s rescue plan. A crazy and amazing way to describe the Gospel. It has taken me a long time to begin to understand what “rescue plan” means. I was a lifeguard in high school and college. I thought I was the rescuer. Even when I needed rescuing myself, I was sure I could do the job with no help. I had grown up hearing the gospel but it never made it from my head to my heart. I was betting on universal salvation; not the truth of John 14:6. In some ways, I am more thankful for the patience of God than the grace of God, (2 Peter 3:9). If He was not patient, I would not have lived long enough to experience His grace.

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