It will be sufficient merely to mention the use of the verb ‘account’ (λογίζομαι) in the sense of ‘reckon,’ ‘deem,’ ‘consider’ (Ro 8:36, 1 Co 4:1, He 11:19, 2 P 3:15). Simple uses of the nonn are found in Ac 19:40, when the ‘town-clerk’ (q.v.) of Ephesus warns his fellow-citizens of the difficulty of giving ‘account (λόγος) of this concourse’; and in Ph 4:17 ‘the fruit that increaseth to your account.’ The only significant passages where the word is found are those dealing with the Judgment.
The declaration in Ro 14:12, ‘Each one of us shall give account of himself to God,’ must be studied in the light of the paragraph (vv. 7–12) of which it is the conclusion. Those who are themselves liable to judgment must not set themselves up as judges of one another, either to make light of sincere scruples or to reprove laxity. For one man to judge another is to usurp the prerogative of God, to whom alone (as universal sovereign and object of worship) man is answerable. The passage should be compared with 2 Co 5:10, where the ‘judgment-seat’ is called Christ’s; see also 1 Co 4:5.
St. Paul applies this doctrine, which is found in the Synoptic Gospels and was an integral part of primitive Christian teaching, to Jew and Gentile, to himself and his converts, to those who have died before the Parousia and those who are alive at it. The life in the body provides the opportunity for moral action, and by the use they have made of it men are sentenced (cf. Gal 6:8). A. Menzies (Com. on 2 Cor.) calls attention (a) to this aspect of the Judgment in contrast with that which represents the saints as judging the world and angels (1 Co 6:2f.; cf. Mt 19:28); (b) to the inconsistency between the doctrine of justification by faith alone, and the doctrine of final judgment of men according to their actions. There is, however, in the present writer’s opinion, no inconsistency here. The NT generally represents the saved as judged as well as the unsaved.
The judgment of the latter, however, is retributory and involves rejection; that of the former is for a place, higher or lower, within the heavenly Kingdom; and this place is in accordance with the faithfulness and quality of their service while in the body. St. Paul, as the above references prove, is emphatic as to the fact and nature of this judgment (cf. 1 Co 3:12–15), and shows that, however true it is that salvation is by grace, there will be gradations in standing and in reward in the after-life. This is in harmony with the teaching of our Lord in the Synoptics, especially in the parables of service and reward (Lk 19:18–20 etc.; cf. Mk 10:40). Cf. also, as to the fact of the saints having to give an account of their earthly stewardship, He 13:17, 1 P 4:5: ‘[evildoers and slanderers of Christians] shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead’ (in 1:17 to the Father, in 1:13 and 5:4 to Christ).
These may be regarded as special instances of the General Judgment already referred to. The expression ἀποδιδόναι λόγον generally implies that defence is not easy.
q.v. quod vide, which see.
lit. literally, literature.