Actions Speak Louder
Posted 4/9/2003 7:33:15 AM
Words are powerful things. Especially when said in less controlled ways, like in anger or in accusation, they reveal the inner thoughts and motives of the person speaking. In times of stress they open a remarkably candid window into the mind of a person.
But then, on the other hand, actions are even more powerful. Paul rails on those who think they can tell others what they should be doing, while they themselves don't do the very thing they're ranting about Rom 2:1-4. He makes it clear that God will judge each and every person by what that person has done Rom 2:5-6. God doesn't stop at the actions, for he knows what a person is actually working towards, and is completely impartial in the process Rom 2:7-11.
Then, there is the Law. Paul spends the rest of Romans 2 discussing the ramifications of the Law to salvation in Christ Jesus. There are two conditions:
- Under the law (a Jew)
- Without the law (a Gentile)
Under the LawKnowing the Law does not bring salvation. It does bring additional condemnation, for knowing it brings greater responsibility Rom 2:12-13. God is interested in doers, not talkers that don't act Rom 2:13.
Knowing the Law doesn't impart superiority. The Law is perfect, but those who live by it most certainly are not. Maintaining consistency in life is difficult at best, and when one lives by a Law that dictates every aspect of life, the sinful nature will most definitely reveal itself. Inconsistency between what one says and what one does does nothing but bring dishonor to that person and God Rom 2:23-24. Breaking the Law is no different from not living by it in the first place Rom 2:25.
For those who don't have the Law written out and given to them, there is no excuse. God made them with built-in consciences, with a basic understanding of right and wrong Rom 2:14-15. These will have a different standard to be judged by, but the goal is the same: obey the Law. If these obey the Law, the part they know of it (and not their own), it is as if they are living by the whole Law Rom 2:26. God knows the heart, and the heart's condition is what matters to Him Rom 2:29. Why not? The inner man, the soul, is what lives forever - the body just passes away after a few years. God is keenly interested in the part of us that lasts forever, and would like us to spend that forever with Him.
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