The Secrets of Men

Today’s Reading: Romans 2:12-16

So I am really struggling with the meaning of this passage today.¬† For¬† clarity’s sake, I will include it for you to read:

“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. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 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. 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 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.”

I have read this in a few versions now, English Standard Version, New Living Translation, New American Standard, even The Message.  Here are my immediate struggles.  What does it mean that all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law?  The more I read it, I start to think it is suggesting that they perish without being held accountable to the law.  Seriously, what could it mean?  Why specify that they not only perish, but that they perish without the law?

Now, I’m not suggesting that they are justified.¬† I see a clear line drawn that those who are doers of the law will be justified.¬† Of course, I also know that no one completely does the law.

When it says that “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts“, I think, “That’s really interesting.¬† The WORK of the law.¬† Is this the work of the cross in fulfilling the law?”

All I know is, it’s an internal work.¬† A day is coming when God judges the secrets of men – not our outward doings, but the messy insides that only the blood of a Savior can clean.

Matt Jones

Matt is the lead pastor at Lakeside Church. When he’s not “pastoring” in the city, you can find him “pastoring” at Schneiter’s Bluff Golf Course.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *