but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.  For God shows no partiality. (ESV)
Glory and honor and peace are for the recipients of those who do good. It does not matter if you are a Jew or a Greek. This sounds wonderful. When the average person reads this, who really longs for glory and honor and peace, they would likely begin to do what they feel is good. There is one problem. Our definition of what is good and God's definition are not the same.
It is interesting to note that verse 11 mentions that God shows no partiality. Partiality is the fruit of comparing. Those who show partiality have compared themselves to others and deemed themselves better than the other. This fault of comparing ourselves is also at the root of our defining what is good. We think that we are good because we are better than someone else.
For most people, comparing ourselves to others is the measuring stick we use to define goodness. To God, the measuring stick is his perfect holiness. If we understand that glory and honor and peace are for everyone who does good, and God is the one who defines what is good, this verse does not sound like good news at all. We are not as good as God requires.
One of the most beautiful things that we discover in Paul's letter to the Romans is that he points us to our desperate need for the Savior. Jesus Christ came to make alive those who were dead in sin. As we look at God's holy standard of goodness we realize just how far short we fall. God shows no partiality. We all need the sacrifice of Jesus Christ so that we can be made holy, and then do good.
How do you view yourself? Are you good? Is your goodness based on comparing yourself to others? Or do you use God's standard of goodness? I pray that you admit your need of your great Savior.
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