Posted by: Jerry Lindsey on Sat, Jul 29, 2017JUDGMENT ACCORDING TO WORKS — Romans 2:6-8 In this section Paul contrasts knowing and doing. His point is that works evidence or demonstrate either the reception or rejection of truth. Does the moral man really do what he says? Paul maintains that deeds reveal the true attitude of the heart. "Who will render to every man according to his deeds." Every man will be judged according to his works, and those works will prove inadequate for salvation. Some take this verse out of context and think it means that God will reward all men for their works. This is a judgment passage, not a blessing passage. Many people think God has a scale in which he weighs a person's good and bad deeds, and that if the good outweigh the bad, the person will go to heaven. This simply is not the biblical picture. Good works cannot get a person to heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph 2:8-9).
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Tit 3:5).
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness’s are as filthy rags" (Isa 64:6). Men will ultimately be judged by even their good works. Works that are "good" in human terms are still not good enough to be meritorious for salvation. All those works will be insufficient to save:
"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Rev 20:11-15). "To them who by patient continuance [perseverance] in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life." Here Paul contrasts the works of the saved with those of the unsaved. He is not speaking of how a person is saved, but of the evidence or outward demonstration of an inward reality. Only the saved man is producing works acceptable to God, but even these are not able to save. The Christian will never be judged for his sins because Christ has paid that penalty, but he will be judged for his works. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Cor 5:10). These works can never bring salvation. The unsaved man will be judged for his sins and his works. He will plead his works, but there will be no forgiveness for his sins. The believer has immortality, glory and eternal life in Christ, but by exercising faith in his daily life he seeks the reality of these things he already possesses. "But unto them that are contentious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath." Those who do not obey the truth, that is, the light God has given them, stand under the wrath of God. God will judge according to the result of obedience or the lack of obedience to truth in a person's life.
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