Romans 2.6-11 – You only get what you give

The end of the school year was always an interesting time, wasn’t it, when annual report cards were sent home. Funnily, everyone would be wondering what teacher gave them what grade when really, if we are honest, we already knew what we would be getting, because we knew whether we worked hard enough to get a good grade.

Romans 2.6 is one of those verses that, if taken by itself, can mean something totally different to the context it’s in. We read ‘He will render to each one according to his works:’, which sounds like we have to work to get things from God, the good score on the report card. But, if we read the whole passage, we see different, 

6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.

So, rather than working to get that good report from God, we are to work towards seeking glory, honour, and immortality. Tough task to work towards, right? There is only one place to work towards to get that, one single source of all those things (Hebrews 5.8-10, 1 Timothy 1.17).

Our work, then, is to by patience in well-doing seek for Jesus. Relationship with Him. Justification in Him. Sanctification in Him. Glorificaiton in Him. This passage is so clear; we only get what we give. As is true in the classroom so is also true in life – the effort we put in is reflected in the grade we get. 

The best thing about all of this though, the thing that will send us into our day with an attitude of gratitude is this; there has been a deliberate mix up of the reports. When God looks at yours, it has Jesus’ name at the top. Instead of sending it back and looking at you and what you have done, the merited and earned punishment never comes (v.9), because we have put our hope, faith, trust, and obedience in Jesus.


Point to ponder – Am I doing all I can to keep Jesus’ name at the top of my report?

Prayer – Father God I am so grateful that when you look at me, you do so through the lens of your perfect, sinless, and spotless Son, Jesus. Through the power of Your indwelling Holy Spirit help me today to keep the name of Jesus at the top of my priorities, help me to be a believer in Him first, and to have this wonderful privilege influence everything I do today. Amen. 

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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