S (Scripture): Romans 2:11 For there is no partiality with God. 12 For all who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous before God, but those who do the law will be declared righteous. 14 For whenever the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things required by the law, these who do not have the law are a law to themselves. 15 They show that the work of the law is written in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend them.
O (Observation): Paul – once again – is showing how no person, whether Jew or Gentile, has any leverage over the other in terms of one’s righteousness.
Jews use the Law to determine if they are living rightly. Well, a Jew could easily hear there law, but do nothing with it. A Gentile, who does not live by the Law, could very much live according to the Law and do that which the Law requires simply because that person’s conscience calls him or her to act righteously. So, does a Jew have a better place because he or she is a Jew? No!
What Paul points to here is that anyone has the ability to do the Law. For some, it is already written into their hearts to do the Law. Someone’s status – religious or otherwise – does not automatically make one person more or less righteous in the eyes of God.
A (Application): Do the right thing. Love God, Love People. That is the mission of all Christians in the world. Perhaps better understood, we might say: God loves you so that you can love other people.
The point here is that “doing the right thing” transcends religion. We will experience times when God uses Christians for good, and times when God will use Muslims for good (as I see happening in Murfreesboro, TN), and times when God will use Jews for good, and times when God will use <insert religion here> for good, and times when God will use atheists or agnostics for good.
Sometimes, because we are all made in the image of God, we just simply do the right thing. Not always. But the point is that in all of us, all of humanity, being righteous is possible for anyone.
I am seeing this lived out more and more in my setting, in Murfreesboro, TN, especially through the Murfreesboro Muslim Youth and the Rutherford County Interfaith Council. Great things are happening and we are becoming closer friends, rather enemies to fear. And in fact, many of these folks in these 2 groups are doing greater things than I. I’m not afraid to admit that. They are doing righteous deeds.
P (Prayer): Lord, open our eyes to you grace in strange and unusual ways. Amen.