Lesson 4- God Will Judge Our Secrets

 God Will Judge Our Secrets

Lesson Aim: To show human nature is to serve God and do things His way.

Scripture: Rom. 2:12-16.

Word Definitions:

Conscience – (greek, suneidesis) a knowing with one’s self.
Thoughts – (logismos) computation,reckoning.
Instinctively – (phasis) nature.
Secrets – (kruptos) hidden, concealed.


There is an act used by those who practice magic that goes something like this.  The magician will attempt to entertain his audience by revealing the thoughts of a person in attendance.  This act is performed in different ways, and to the delight of all, he somehow appears to actually know some secret of the volunteer.  We may not have caught on to the secret of his magic but we highly suspect there is a trick being used in his supposedly power.  The Bible proclaims that God, the Father, and Jesus actually possess the power to know our thoughts.  They, unlike the magician, use “no sleight of hand” trick.   They really do have the power (John 2:23, 24; Rom. 2:29). 

A day is coming called Judgment Day on which God will make judgment about things we are able to keep secret from others (I Cor. 4:4).  God will make this judgment through Jesus Christ (Rom. 2:3; John 5:22).  It is for this reason we should search our hidden thoughts and motives for the things we do.  For various reasons we have a tendency to hide things from others.  Some people have a very bad habit of hiding things from themselves (I Tim. 5:24, 25: II Cor. 13:5).  They seek to keep this shadow of themselves hidden at all times and at all costs.  If someone inadvertently, or purposely, exposes their shadow they may seek to do them harm.  Jesus exposed the evil in the Jewish leaders while on earth and they had the Romans kill Him (Luke 11:37-54).

Our reason for hiding our flaws is we like to think of ourselves as all good – the perfect person.  When we think or do something that we know does not meet the approval of others, or ourselves, we try to keep it secret.  Christians realize it will not make any difference what others think about us now or on Judgment Day.  We know it only matters what Jesus thinks.  Therefore, we live as if everything we do and think can be seen by everyone.  God, the Father, and Christ, who really matter, can see all things anyway, so why try to keep evil secrets?

Let us discuss again the statement “that some of us have a very bad habit of hiding things even from ourselves.”  It is a fact; a people will actually lie to themselves.  We will make excuses and blame others when we are the one to blame.  This is very dangerous because we can get to a point where we don’t really understand ourselves.  We need to be open and honest because even if we have convinced ourselves and perhaps others we are all good; God knows our secrets.

What can we do to be more honest with ourselves and others?  Perhaps we need to understand ourselves better. How we are made?  What is expected of us?  Why were we made?  Some of these questions have already been answered in this series of lessons in Part Two.

When we accept the truth about God as the Creator and accept the truth about His nature, we know God is in charge and He is a Person. When we accept the truth the Bible is divine, we learn from the Bible how we are made in the likeness of God.  We also learn God’s purpose for us is we are to live with Him eternally as His children.  Please read Rom. 8:18-25.

Now let us investigate our lesson text and learn some more things about ourselves.  The Jews were given the Law from God through Moses.  The first two commandments told them and us how to feel about God and man.  This is why “all the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matt. 22:37, 40.  How we feel is the basis for our habits.  The remaining eight of the Ten Commandments told the Jews how God wanted them to behave.     

The Jews got along better with themselves and others when they followed the Law.  God’s righteousness was revealed in the Law.  When the Jews read the Law they knew about God’s righteousness because they could plainly see it written down.  They should have sought God’s righteousness by faith – some did, most did not.  See Rom. 9:30-33.

The Bible reveals a rather startling phenomenon concerning the Gentile.  Please carefully read and study Rom. 2:14, 15.  The Gentiles did not have the Law but somehow they also knew what God wanted them to do and some did it.  How could they do this? Did they have a magician who, by some trick, could know God’s will for them?  No, this is a power God gave mankind.  We can see it in children.  It appears they do have, by instinct, the power to know “the things of the Law.”   Listen to children’s discussion about right and wrong on the playground. 

The “things of the Law” are God’s will.  It is His way of doing things.  God’s righteousness is His will – His way of doing things.  We, like the Gentile, are born with the power to know something about God even if no one tells us.  Our conscience and thoughts act like a monitor in relation to God’s righteousness.  As long as our lives go along with God’s way of doing things, our conscience says, “Okay, on course;” however, when we go against God’s righteousness our conscience says, “Ouch, stop it!”  Children are taught to call evil, good, by the culture of mankind.  They are not born in sin.

In the operating room of a hospital they have an oscilloscope.  It is used to monitor the heart beat while the operation is taking place.  It tells the staff the patient’s heart is functioning properly.  To some degree this is the way our conscience monitors God’s righteousness.  Our thoughts re-act to the things we do according to the pictures it gets from the conscience.  If an act is wrong according to God’s righteousness, then our thoughts accuse us.  When our thoughts accuse us because our monitoring device makes judgment that our act does not correspond with God’s righteousness, we feel guilty.  If an act is right, then our thoughts defend us and we feel good about our lives.  We know if we are sinners.  We know when we do right (I John 3:10). 

Our monitoring device is our conscience plus the knowledge of good and evil stored in our memory.  From childhood and throughout our lives we add to our list of good and evil.  We may not get it all right; however, we still make judgment on ourselves and others from what we believe is right (I Cor. 8:2).  Even though we develop our own list of what is good and evil, mankind has an innate understanding of what is right.  This means God created it within us.  This innate capability is evident in children.  They are very righteous in their judgments, especially of others.  A criminal will declare his belief in God’s righteousness if another criminal steals from him.  

This is how the Gentiles could keep the requirements of the Law by following their conscience and thoughts (Rom. 2:26).   It is also why they are without excuse when they did not keep the requirements of the Law.  Mankind got the knowledge of good and evil because Adam and Eve broke God’s covenant.  They became aware.  As mature people, we need to be fully aware of what is good and what is evil according to God’s will (Rom. 16:19; Heb 5:14).  

God’s righteousness is now clearly revealed in Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:21).  Many people don’t know this but their monitoring device is still working just like it did for the Gentiles during the administration of the Law.  If they will give attention, it will cause them to seek God.  He will no doubt call them with the gospel.

As Christians, we have two improvements added to our monitoring device (conscience and thoughts).  We have God’s righteousness revealed in Christ.  We read it in the Bible.  We also have the Holy Spirit to witness with our faith in God’s word (Rom. 8:16).  We now have a super monitor.  Of course, it adds more responsibility for us to live our lives according to God’s righteousness.  Our conscience is more sensitive to sin. 

We cannot keep anything secret from God.  We have to harden our hearts in order to keep anything secret from ourselves.  We must not try to keep a single evil act a secret.  Christians must confess and repent of all sin of which we become aware in our lives.  We must ask God to forgive us and He will (I John 1:5-10).

Questions for Discussion

1.    Who has the power to know the secret thoughts of others?

2.    When will all secrets be revealed?

3.    Why do we try to hide things we do that are evil from others?

4.    Do people try to hide things from themselves?  Why, or why not?

5.    What is the best way to live our lives?

6.    What are some questions we need to ask about ourselves if we will better understand ourselves?

7.    How did the Gentiles fulfill the righteousness of the Law without having the Law?

8.    Describe how mankind’s monitoring system functions.

9.    What is the evidence that shows people have an innate capacity to know about God’s righteousness?     

10.    What are the additions Christians enjoy for the improvement of our monitoring system?

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