SUBJ: The several ways that men
fail and become subject to the judgment of God in that it is the doers
of the Law that are justified thus driving us to the mercy of God in
Christ our Lord.
AIM: That we might abundantly
realize the necessity of mercy in that all have sinned and lack the
ability to perform in the manner demanded by the holiness of God.
INTR: We again encounter the
necessity for a proper manner of life: one that answers to the work of
grace in the hearts of the Lord’s people – His redeemed.
1. In the
preceding verses only two conclusions were allowed: either “eternal
life” or “indignation and wrath.”
2. This ended in the thought that
“there is no respect of persons with God.” This is, of course, an issue
with men and so presents difficulty with them in the presence of God and
3. As the Bible is wont to do, the passage that
follows doubles down on universal failure among men leaving none with an
THESIS: We are brought
to consider two classed of people – those with the Law and those without
leaving mercy as the only avenue to the attainment of satisfaction with
I. With and without the Law (vv. 11-12)
1. The fact of
“no respect” is not used here in the usual sense. It is that men of all
classed stand equally condemned – not the meaning of the Declaration of
2. Those sinning without the Law:
1) The fact that
these had enough of the revelation of the existence and right of God to
have responded favorably were sin not the ruling factor in their lives.
2) Thus, for sin against their nature, such light as they have had and
divinely ordained government shall be so judged.
3. Those under the
Law are subject to judgment accordingly:
1) Those having the Law
thought themselves to be accepted with God on the basis of that
2) They were schooled from their youth and skilled in the
matters of the ordinances.
3) In the case of the Jews, the Law
contained in it the consequence for disobedience and although they asked
for it – they were never able to or inclined to keep it. The Law simply
revealed their guilt and it prescribed the judgment.
explanation (vv. 13-15)
1. We note that this is all in parenthesis
indicating that Paul breaks of in thought for a further word of
2. Such passages of this often cause difficulty with the
concept of justification indicated.
1) Justification must be dealt
with on two fronts – legal and experiential.
2) Legal justification
is accomplished by the blood atonement of Christ our Lord.
Experiential justification is that in which the life and work of the
individual answers to the legal claim – He is accepted of God in that
his life is born out of faith in the finished work of Christ our Lord.
3. It would be folly on God’s part to accept the person of one who
continued in the practice of sin while claiming justification by faith.
4. To illustrate the point, the Gentiles are called to account:
The observation is that there are many who never heard of the Law that
do the very things the Law demands (howbeit, not perfectly by any
2) They have a sense of right and wrong on basis of
creation and being created in the image of God.
3) To be noted is
that they are accountable to their performance with respect to
4) The preexistence of the Law is indicated here and what
we see under Moses is the codification of that which was already
III. The sentence completed (v. 16)
1. The nature of
the day of judgment
1) There is a day
2) It will bring every sin
into account along with all the secrets of men’s hearts.
seems to be a knowledge of this fact and men persist in their wickedness
3. The ultimate standard of judgment
1) Is Jesus Christ our Lord
2) See: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the
world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he
hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the
dead. Acts 17:31
3) According to Paul’s Gospel!
4. It is a marvel
that as we read this and come to realize that all men alike are held up
to an impossible standard, Jesus Christ, that we discover the standard
is also our standard bearer.
1) The very judgment determined on all
without exception is
2) Was endured by Him on the Cross and
become the objects of mercy and grace as a result. That is Gospel