Summary: How are we believers to relate to the law today?
What to do about the law? Romans 2:12-16
11“For there is no partiality with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;
14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
This section begins with verse 11 which says, “For there is no partiality with God.” In other words, the last day, the day of judgement, it won’t matter how much you’ve accumulated, it won’t matter what country you came from, it won’t matter who your parents or grandparents were, it won’t even matter how old you were when you died, it won’t even matter what church you belonged to or what denomination your church was part of, or whether or not they followed certain religious practices. The only question that will be asked is, are you saved or are you not.
If someone is partial toward someone else it means they have based their evaluation on an assumption and then treated them accordingly. James gives us a great example when he says, “For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,' while you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there,' or, ‘Sit down at my feet'. . .”
In our day, we might see a man and his wife drive into the church parking lot with a brand-new Cadillac and then a guy in jeans and a t-shirt pull in beside him in a rusty ten-year-old Volkswagen. So, which one are we going to make sure we introduce ourselves to?
When we say, there is no partiality with God that means He doesn’t give preference to anyone regardless of their color, language or even their religious background. God has no favorites.
Sometimes when we read the Old Testament, it seems as though God favors the rich and powerful. After all, we have Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon and Daniel who all were very wealthy and in positions of power. But then we have the prophets and none of them seem to have more than the shirt on their back. In the New Testament we have the disciples and most of them were fisherman.
We also have Lazarus who was so poor he sat and begged by the rich man’s gate until the day he died. We don’t know how he died or even what happened to his body but you won’t find anyone more destitute than he was, and yet, it says that when he died the angels came and carried him off to heaven. Can you imagine his arrival and everyone wondering who was this that he received such specialized service? What had he done? Was he one of the great preachers? No, he was simply faithful in spite of his circumstances.
But listen, there’s no partiality with God. He doesn’t choose the rich on the basis of what they give and He doesn’t choose the poor based on their poverty. God’s choice has nothing to do with anyone’s financial status.
The goddess of justice in the Greek pantheon had a blindfold over her eyes so she wouldn’t judge based on appearance. Her scales for balancing truth were accurate without bias. Her sword judged all equally. But as we know, justice is only as good as the one who holds the power and the power in our world is money. The rich can hire the best lawyers to defend them and these lawyers will find every legal loophole and if they know they can’t win, they’ll simply pull every trick in the book to delay justice. Anything to win.
Someone once said that the best definition of a jury is: “Twelve people who couldn’t come up with a good excuse to get out of jury duty.” And lately I heard they’re, “Twelve people who have been chosen to decide which side has the best lawyer.” But in spite of who the jury is, people are literally getting away with murder and every other crime imaginable because the law is broken and often it favors the guilty over the poor.