If you have ever suffered prejudice, you can really appreciate just how wonderful the truth is that God is fair. That’s right. When we come before God, nobody gets special treatment ahead of you (or behind you) because of their connections, social status or race. That’s right, being daddy’s little girl won’t help or hinder. Being a member of an ethnic minority will not make it any better or any worse. The manner in which God will judge the world is the same for us all.
The Principles of God’s Judgment
Without favoritism, God gives to each one according to what that individual has done. Romans 2:6,11 If someone strives to do good, God will give that person eternal life. But if someone is self-seeking and rejects the truth thereby following evil, he or she will suffer God’s wrath. Romans 2:7-11
But is this truly fair? An astute person might observe, “since not everyone has had an equal access to a clear understanding of what God wants from us, do not some people have an advantage over others? For example, it would seem that by giving His Law to the Jews, this provided the Jews with an advantage over other nations.”
Paul responded that even those nations which did not receive God’s Law show by their consciences that they are aware of God’s laws. Since God will only judge each person by what he or she is aware of, God is fair! Romans 2:12-15
Those who did not have the Mosaical Law will be judged upon the basis of their conscience’s understanding of God’s ways. If they are aware that they have sinned, then they will be condemned based upon their own understanding. Those who had access to the Mosaical Law and who sinned will be judged by that Law. So, in the end God is fair. All are judged by what they know.
Good News Turned Bad?
But just how much hope for me (or for anyone else) does such a fair system of judging inspire? Can either you or I claim to be without sin? Can anybody, based upon their knowledge of right and wrong, say, “I am perfect and have lived up to the standard of God’s glory?” As Paul wrote, “For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law; and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law.” Romans 2:12
Since everyone has sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and since neither Jew nor Gentile has an advantage in judgment before God, God’s righteous judgment is not particularly wonderful news to our ears. If we could be saved based upon our own goodness, this would mean that we would be saved by works.
God is Fair When He Saves Through Grace All Who Believe
The story of the gospel is utterly amazing and reveals the justness of God. On the one hand, the gospel tells us that Jesus’ sacrifice provided atonement for sin. Because God has made it possible for sinners to be cleansed in Christ, God is not corrupt when He declares a sinner to be righteous in Christ. The gospel reveals that God is just and fair. Romans 3:22-26
On the other hand, the gospel teaches us that Jesus’ sacrifice is for all people since all have sinned and have fallen short of God’s glory. Once again God is shown to be fair and just. By making this priceless gift of salvation available to all who trust in Jesus’ blood, God has not shown any unjust favoritism. Romans 3:22-26
It does not matter who we are or what we have done, Jesus’ sacrifice can handle our sin if we will trust in him. Nobody deserves to be saved, but God justifies everyone who comes to His Son.
Is this not great news? I am justified not upon the basis of who I am, but who Jesus is! If we have responded with the obedience of faith (Romans 1:5; 16:26), we have reason to exult in God because we are no longer going to be judged by God’s Law but have been saved on the basis of the grace that comes from Jesus’ sacrifice. Romans 5:1-2, 6-11; 7:6
Wow! Now this is something to get excited about and praise God for.