Romans 2:12-16 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.
Let’s start with the truth of Romans 2:16, “…God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.” Do you have any secret sin that only you and God know? Everyone does! Our text today instructs us that we sin with or without the Law (the instruction of God). We know we sin if we have the Law to highlight our sin and all have the Law whether written down to read (Jews) or written
on our heart (Jew and Gentile). All are guilty of sin and will be judged by Jesus.
Note that it is not the people who hear the law who are righteous, but the people that do the Law who are righteous. James 2:10 instructs us that if anyone breaks one part of the Law, he has broken the entire Law. To be righteous by doing the Law, we must never disobey the Law. Disobeying the instruction of God is the definition of sin. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father in Heaven. How can one man condemn another for not keeping the Law and not be self-condemned? He can’t. All will need a pardon when standing before Judge Jesus. We get that pardon, not by living according to the Law, but by believing Jesus lived perfectly according to Law and died on the cross, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God (1Peter 3:18). Real faith or saving faith gives us the desire to obey and the power to obey (Romans 1:5; Ephesians 1:13-14, 19-20; 3:20; James 2:14-26). Real unity is achieved when each believer realizes all people have sinned and will stand before Judge Jesus guilty and in need of pardon.