(Indeed, when the Gentiles, who did not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. (Romans 2:14-16).
Let’s review the Ten Commandments of Jewish Law (Deuteronomy 5: 7-21) 1) You shall have no other gods before me. 2) You shall not make for yourself any graven image (idol) and bow down to it or serve it. 3) You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. 4) Observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy. 5) Honor thy mother and thy father. 6) You shall not kill. 7) You shall not commit adultery. 8) You shall not steal 9) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 10) You shall not covet.
We who are not Jewish are not under these laws of the Old Testament, but when God wove us together He put these laws into the fabric of our souls, so that we know right from wrong. Verses 14 and 15 are in parentheses because it is about God judging people’s secrets. He will judge non-Jewish people’s secrets also because the requirements of the law are written in our hearts. We use these laws to accuse other people and to defend ourselves. For example we think: “You are stealing; I don’t steal.” Or “You have bad habits; I don’t.
“God will judge our secrets through Jesus Christ.” God knows everything that we have hidden in a closet or elsewhere. People we have hurt know that we have hurt them, so why burden ourselves with secrets? Once we ask forgiveness from God and those we have hurt, our act is no longer a secret; we are made righteous by God’s gift of grace. He takes our wrongdoings from us, and we are forgiven and righteous in God’s eyes. We will not be judged. But if you choose to keep secrets, this is what Jesus declares in His gospel in Luke 12:2-3 about secret keepers who pretend to be godly: “Everything that is secret will be brought out into the open. Everything that is hidden will be uncovered. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops.”
Personally, I don’t want my wrongdoings shouted from the rooftop. I would much rather apologize and ask God for forgiveness. Then I will be righteous in God’s eyes.