Read Romans 2:1-3:20
To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. Romans 2:7-8
God had given Israel great material and spiritual riches: a wonderful land, a righteous law, a temple and priesthood, God's providential care, and many more blessings. God had patiently endured Israel's many sins and rebellions, and He even sent them His son to be their Messiah. Even after Israel crucified Christ, God gave the nation nearly forty more years of grace and withheld His judgement. It is not the judgement of God that leads people to repentance, but the goodness of God; but Israel did not repent.
In verses 6-11 of chapter 2, Paul was not teaching salvation by character or good deeds. He was explaining another basic principle of God's judgement: God judges according to deeds, just as He judges according to truth. Paul was dealing here with the consistent actions of people's lives, the total impact of their character and conduct.
True saving faith results in obedience and godly living, even though there may be occasional falls. When God measured the deeds of the Jews, He found them to be as wicked as those of the Gentiles.
Applying God's Truth:
- What are some obvious blessings of God that people--even many Christians--tend to overlook too often?
- How does the goodness of God lead people to repentance?
- Unsaved people can certainly do good things. Do you think they can consistently have good character and conduct? Explain.
Devotions for Renewal and Joy ©2005 by Dr. Warren Wiersbe. Used by permission of David C Cook. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.