Judgement of Works
Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
Paul turns to the Jews in the amen corner
They Exchanged the Glory of God
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Now Paul tells us that the Judgement of God is a righteous judgement which has nothing to do with your race. The Jews are not safe from God’s judgement just because they’re Jews. It doesn’t matter where you were born, what church you grew up in, what denomination you identify with. We will all be judged. And Paul tells us what that judgement is based on, and we evangelical Christians may be surprised at what he says here.
Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
But before we jump to conclusions we must compare scripture with scripture so lets look at a couple of other verses about the final judgement
Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 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.
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.
So does this contradict the gospel of grace?
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.
The answer is of course, no. so lets look back at our passage in Romans to see if we can unpack this a bit more.
Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
So those who patiently continue in well doing seeking for glory, honour, and immortality! This is the work that will be judged.
This is not salvation by works rather this is the work of salvation working in you. If you have believed on Jesus Christ, trusting him for your salvation and you have repented then you are saved. That salvation is the beginning of something within you. So that you seek glory and honour and immortality. And Paul says you will have it.
Now I mentioned before about the Gentiles who exchanged the glory of God for images made like unto the image of corruptible man. Rather than seeking the glory of the incorruptible God they seek the glory of images make like unto the image of corruptible men. That bad copy of a broken copy because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. These are those in vs 8 that are contentious and do not obey the truth but obey unrighteousness and they will receive indignation and wrath.
Now, I wanted to spend a bit more time on this this morning because this is so important for us to understand. True faith produces good works name the perseverance in seeking glory, honour, and immortality. Faith that does not persevere in this is dead faith. As James said faith without works is dead. The idea that is propagated throughout the evangelical churches all over the world sometimes referred to as “easy believeism” is a doctrine that will leave many thinking that they are ok when in fact they are headed toward the judgement of God having stored up wrath for the day of wrath. True faith is faith that changes you and sanctifies you and causes you to persevere. Any faith that does not do this is not true faith. So is there a such thing as eternal security? Oh yes! Absolutely. If you are a child of God you will alway be a child of God. You cannot be unborn again. But you must be truely born again.
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
Vain faith does not keep the gospel in memory, vain faith does not persevere in seeking to apprehend that for which we have been apprehended. So let is not be reported of us that we teach that grace means that we can believe in Jesus and live the life of a sinner and have security in our salvation. But note: there is a big difference between living a life of a sinner and sinning. We all sin. As you seek to apprehend that for which you have been apprehended you will sin, but you will continue to seek glory, honour, and immortality.