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.(Romans 2:11-16)
The subject of Romans 2 is the judgment of God. The final Judgment will be according to Truth, that is, we shall be examined by an absolute standard. The day will reveal the hearts of those who truly lived their lives wanting to please God and sought the things of God, as well as those who spent their lives resisting God,contentiously fighting for their own way.
Paul now addresses another area of self-deception, that deludes many to the point of inoculating them from seeking mercy from God. This is called “trust in the Law”, and it is a temptation particular to Jews and cultural Christians. The fact that we have been given the Word of God, should not deceive us into thinking that we are thereby “In the Right” with God.
The Torah is the great gift of God to the Jews. It is a privilege, the chosen people have been enriched by it in every possible way. The Law is so much more than a set of statutes, it is the way, the teaching , Wisdom, piety, worship, destiny, etc. But having the law is not the same as being Righteous.
The Same is true of nominal Christianity, the Bible has given us our wonderful western civilization, our values of compassion and humaneness, thrift, hard work, etc. We can’t begin to even calculate what the religion of Jesus Christ and the Jewish prophets have given to the west.
But Judgment day is not a matter of what church you went to or whether or not you knew the Torah, rather it is intensely personal, and relates to the goal of the Torah, and of the New Testament, , it asks the question of you and me as individuals, “Do you Love the Lord Your God with all of your heart, and Soul, and Mind and Strength ?” And if not, then “Why Not? You should have…”.Also, “ Do you love your neighbor as much as you already manifestly love yourself? ”
Paul posits that there are people who do indeed eat pork, shrimp, being uncircumcised gentiles, but through believing in the gospel of the Jewish Messiah, have come to love the Jewish God, with all of their heart, and soul and mind and strength, loving His Word, believing in the Jewish prophets, and having been forgiven, loving and forgiving those who they once hated. Is this not the very goal of the Torah?
Furthermore he posits that there are very scrupulous Jews, scrupulous about Kosher, keeping all of the feasts, exemplary in tithing,etc, but of whom it could not be said that they “Love the Lord their God with all of their hearts, Soul ,Mind or Strength”. Neither do they necessarily “Love their Neighbor as themselves“. What was the point of the Torah, the prophets, the Wisdom of the scripture,if not that?
Will God elevate a man who though circumcised , and Kosher, is contentious with God every step of the way, and disregards his neighbor, over a man who has found redemption through the Jewish God, believes and loves the Jewish Bible, and Loves the Lord His God with all His heart and His neighbor as Himself? The Answer is in the text- God is no respecter of persons.
Only the doers of the Law, and the doing of the Law has been distilled from 614 commandments to 3 by Micah,
He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6)
And it was further distilled by our Lord Jesus,
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, andwith all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thyneighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.(Luke 10:25-28)
The only ones worthy of eternal Life are those who can say that they do this, these are the only keepers of Law, Torah or for that matter the New Testament. Do you know anyone who qualifies?