12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

Romans 2:12-13

Hmmm….hmmm…hmm. What to make of today’s verses? A couple different things come to mind, but each brings its own set of conundrums (or conundra, if that’s the proper plural form).

First of all, let’s tackle the obvious thing that comes to mind in verse 12: if we sin under the law, we die; if we sin not under the law, we die. In other words–I don’t like to use this word, and I never do, but it’s eminently appropriate here–we’re screwed either way.

If you’re reading verse 12 that way, I think you’re sort of thinking about things the right way. If we sin with or without the law, we’re done for, and we definitely sin, so basically we’re done for. That reading makes sense from a gospel perspective: we cannot rely on our own righteousness for our salvation; we must rely instead on the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

But then, WHAT THE HECK DO WE DO WITH VERSE 13?!?!

[Please let me add here that this isn’t some disingenuous rambling. I’m really really interested if anyone has any insight into this, because I’m genuinely a little confused.]

Memory Movie (check out this post if you’re confused)

John Quincy Adams today: “All under, for sight.”

This post is day 10 in a 31 day series about memorizing Romans 2. If you’d like to start at the beginning of Romans 2, please check out this post. Overall, this post is day 70 in a 366 day series. If you’d like, check out one of our “Getting Started” posts to learn more about our overall mission to memorize the book of Romans in one year.

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