Paul's Gospel—Romans 2:16
"This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares" (Romans 2:16)
This is quite a statement! In the past few verses, Paul has unequivocally proven that humans are excuseless before God—both Jews, who have the Law, and Gentiles, who have the essence of the Law written on their hearts. As everyone has an intuitive knowledge of God and His standards, we also have a knowledge of our condition apart from God.
As everyone has an intuitive knowledge of God and His standards, we also have a knowledge of our condition apart from God.
At the end of time, when those who do not believe in Jesus stand before God for final judgment, there will be no excuse available. God will judge using their secret, hidden thoughts. Even if they manage to disregard and suppress the knowledge of God in the present world, all secrets will eventually be revealed. Our conscience bears witness of the need for Jesus (Rom. 2:15), and so this will be proof enough to condemn.
Humanity Is without Excuse but Not Without Hope
The purpose of this letter is not to condemn but to explain the gospel, the power of God to save and make us righteous (Rom. 1:16-17). To do this, Paul systematically tears down all arguments that counter this message.
Paul’s mission in life was to preach the gospel (Rom. 15:20). It was so intertwined with his life that he called it his gospel—the message he received by direct revelation from Christ Jesus (Gal. 1:11-12).
Here’s why it is so important to tear down every excuse one could give God. Because when we are excuseless, then we will fall on God’s mercy and in this act find everything. What we find is Jesus, the one sent to rescue us. The simplest explanation of the gospel message is this: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17).
We may be without an excuse, but we are not without hope—our hope is Jesus!
Original article published June 9, 2009.