The Future Judgment
Romans 2:16
In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

I. THE GRAND SUBJECT OF INQUIRY. "The secrets of men." A phrase to be understood in its utmost latitude, including not only matters known only to God and our own consciences, but also things which escape ourselves, or the nature of which may be undiscovered. The hypocrite, who either deceived others or deluded himself, shall then be laid open. And the good actions of the sincere Christian, uncharitably mistaken by the world, or unreasonably censured by his own conscience, shall be vindicated. The expression does not exclude public actions (Ecclesiastes 12:14), which are, in a sense, a secret as to their nature, motives and consequences. Our secret sufferings will also be judged; what we have endured, and in what spirit, whether with resignation toward God, and with gentleness towards men; all which is difficult to determine now.


1. God who alone —

(1) Has a right to judge them; it is His law that is broken.

(2) Can judge them; none other has power to assemble the living and the dead; wisdom, to know all the individuals and their actions, words, thoughts, etc.; holiness to hate sin; justice to pass an equitable sentence.

2. By Jesus Christ (John 5:22; Matthew 28:18; Revelation 1:18; Matthew 16:27; Matthew 25:31; Acts 10:42; Acts 17:31; 2 Thessalonians 1:7).

(1) This appointment is reasonable, as a reward of His obedience and sufferings. If He reward us for ours, how much more is He, who was "made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death," worthy to be "crowned with glory and honour" (Philippians 2:6-10).

(2) This perfect honour is appropriate to Him. The powers of hell employed their force and fraud in opposing the kingdom of Christ, and it is fit He should pass sentence upon them (Revelation 17:13, 14).

(3) With respect to His followers also, it is fit that He should acquit them, who bore their sins; that He should determine their happiness, who purchased heaven for them with its various mansions; that He should present them faultless, who preserved them from falling; that He should judge those who were under His government while on earth.

(Joseph Benson.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

WEB: in the day when God will judge the secrets of men, according to my Good News, by Jesus Christ.

St. Paul and His Gospel
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