12 Some people do not know God’s law when they sin. They will not be judged by the law when they die. Others do know God’s law when they sin. They will be judged by the law. 13 Hearing the law does not make a person right with God. People are considered to be right with God only when they obey the law. 14 Gentiles do not have the law. Sometimes they just naturally do what the law requires. They are a law for themselves. This is true even though they don’t have the law. 15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts. The way their minds judge them proves this fact. Sometimes their thoughts find them guilty. At other times their thoughts find them not guilty. 16 This will happen on the day God appoints Jesus Christ to judge people’s secret thoughts. That’s part of my good news.
“People will be judged on the day God appoints Jesus Christ to judge their secret thoughts. That’s part of my good news.”
On its own it doesn’t sound like good news, but in its way it’s the key to receiving the good bit of the news. Whether I know God’s law by heart or only know in my heart what I should do, if I can recognize that my efforts to become righteous have already failed, it becomes obvious that I need what Jesus did for me. Receiving that gift becomes the only rational conclusion.
Recognizing that my efforts are inadequate is liberating. Instead of filling my life with futile attempts to do it myself, I can fill my life with the sonship Jesus bought for me. Instead of endless legalistic arguments about which bits of the law I’m under, I can step into the fullness of the life Jesus gives me.
So long as I hear the whole of the good news.
Written by David Cornell