Romans 2 – Judging
This morning we are going to continue in the Book of Romans, looking at Romans Chapter 2. Last week we where in Chapter 1 where I spoke about the Apostle Paul speaking to the followers of Christ in Rome, about God’s view of sin, and what God does with those who want to persist in it and totally reject Him. It’s not a pretty thing when you read about God’s view on sin, and how He takes action against it.
The Apostle Paul bringing this up, yes led by the Holy Spirit but speaking from his view of Roman society at the time, because he was Roman through purchased citizenship, but he saw much on his travels around the Mediterranean. He was cautioning the believers to flee from sin at all cost, because there is a cost if you want to continue in it.
Our God is a just God, who will do what He says concerning sin in an unrepentant heart, He will judge, and in the end He with no mercy. We don’t like to hear that, but Jesus was pretty plain about it when He spoke, because He spoke about the unrepentant being thrown in the fire, that does not sound like fun, and talked about hell as a place where you would gnash your teeth in agony. That does not sound like fun either. Hell, a place God created by God for fallen angels, but now a place also for His unrepentant human children.
Now I don’t like talking about that stuff, and I do not know any pastors friends that like to talk about it either, but you have to. You can’t only speak from the pulpit about the good things of God and there is much of our Father in Heaven that is so awesome. God is good, and loves us, and merciful, and gives good things to those who love Him, but you have to preach about the God of justice too. We must preach the whole Word of God. There is a payment for sin. That’s why God sent His one and only Son Jesus as a payment for those who would repent and believe.
Lets look at Romans 2 beginning with verse one.
Rom 2:1, “Therefore you are without excuse, O man, everyone who judges; for in that in which you judge another, you condemn yourself, for you who judge do the same things.”
Its surprising the Apostle Paul had just spoke about the wrath of God on those who rejected Him, and now Paul is basically saying, “don’t judge those people”.
I like what the Passion Translation says, “No matter who you are, before you judge the wickedness of others: you are without excuse for you to are guilty.
And we are guilty.
We may not have committed some of the more grievous sins that the Apostle Paul spoke of in Chapter 1, but we are guilty of sin. “I was speaking to my Father in Florida about sin, and he said surprisingly, I always looked at others that the Gospels and teaching on sin applied to them and not me.” I’ll talk more about that conversation later, but I think we think that way at times. We appear to like to put sin at levels.
This one is bad, this one is really bad, and that one is bad, but not so bad because I do it, and I am not bad. Or whatever we think. When we see what are issues in the States today, primarily homosexuality and abortion, we are all over that and those who practice it. Yes bad. “But then we gossip, or we lie even little lies, even though a lie is a lie, or you have unforgiveness because some one who hurt you!” All are sin. So in reality, we are all in the same boat.
Jesus even said:
Matthew 12:36-37, “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."
Just Wow! Condemned by our words, and our actions, and even our thoughts.
Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-28, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
There is those thoughts condemning us. Sin of the mind. We can’t escape can we? How can we point the finger at anyone else? “He without sin, cast the first stone.“ Right!
Pharisees like to point out the sin in others in an attempt to see themselves at being better than others, because they are very self-righteous. But truth be known, it is not the outside example that Jesus looks at, but what is in the heart. Jesus called them white washed tombs. Looked good on the outside, but dead on the inside.
Jesus even said in Matthew 7:1, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Jesus said, before you bring something up about some one else, you had better deal with your own stuff.
Luke 6:42, “Deal with the log in your own eye before dealing with the speck in your brothers eye.”
So I guess things have not changed for thousands of years. People still like to point fingers. But from the Psalms 14, repeated in Romans 3 by the Apostle Paul,
“The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. “
Thank God we have His grace and mercy of God if we believe, and walk in His truth, but we really know inside of us who we really are. Don’t we? I am a Pastor, a confessing Christian, and I know I am corrupt. I am being real here.
We can carry this persona on the outside that we are good, but on the inside, there can be anger, lies, a person who wants control, arrogance, pride, hate, lust, fear, unbelief…. the list can go on.
Yes, by God’s grace, our minds have been set free from some ungodly life patterns, but others remain to be given up to Jesus, and it is upon us to go to Him to break union with that sin and the lies we believe about it. That can only be done through Christ Jesus.
When we read the first part of chapter 2 in Romans, we do not always put ourselves in the camp of those who are being judged, kind of like my Father said. But we are judged. We are judged into repentance, and confession. The Holy Spirit judges us because He knows our hearts as well as or better than we know our own, and when we continue in our sin and have union with it, He will shove it in our face. That’s what He does. He calls us to repentance. He calls us to change and break union with the sin that seems to beset us.
My Father in Florida called me July 4th. He said he had a problem. I was “okay, what’s up?” I was thinking what problem could you have? I thought he was joking. I’m thinking, “You’re okay in Florida.” Yes he is elderly and can’t get around that great anymore, but he has nothing to worry about.
Anyway, he says, “Pray for me.” I’m like, “I do all the time, you need it.” Laughingly. But he was dead serious; he had been reading the “Parable of the Unforgiving Servant” in Matthew.
The last verse of that parable is:
Matthew 18:35, “So my heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
You see my Father has been angry at his brother, my uncle for ~ 30 years because of a bad business deal. Unforgiveness, it’s a sin. Many “Believers in Christ” are going to go to hell because of it. My Father had a hard heart of unforgiveness for years. I believe it affected his relationship with God. My father is an ex pastor. When he has brought it up his anger over the situation in the past, I was like “dad you need to get over this.”
Well the Holy Spirit shoved it in his face when he read it July 4th. It was time.
My Father knew in his heart that he had to break union with this anger that was like hate against his blood brother. He read plainly what the Word of God said. He felt, as well as knew the judgment of God was on him, and at 85, he was repenting.
Now he didn’t want to. That is what sin does, and especially anger. You think you deserve to be angry over something. But Jesus says no. We forget what the Lord says about vengeance. He says vengeance is His, He will take care of it. Now, my uncle had been judged for the situation, I knew it, my dad in his anger did not see it because sin blurs reality.
I spoke the Word of God to my Father and told him you are in judgment right now, you have judged yourself by your unforgiveness and now you have to ask for forgiveness from God first, then call your brother and ask forgiveness from him for your actions. Not his. You have to do what is right in God’s eyes concerning yourself; he will have to do the same. You need to be concerned with you. And that is true for all of us. I will not stand before God for anyone else, I will stand before God by myself, for myself.
I led him what to say and said you need to take the steps I told you. I gave my Father my uncle’s phone number and said I will be praying for you. About an hour later he called me back. I could tell when speaking to him, it was like the weight of a thousand camels was lifted off his back because he confessed to God, then called his brother and made things right.
What he did was lift the judgment of God off him. He had a weight, and it was the willful sin of unforgiveness.
In Romans 2, the word judge in the Greek is the word Krino (kree’-no), Strong’s and Thayer’s say the definition is” Properly to distinguish, that is, decide (mentally or judicially); by implication to try, condemn, punish: to decree it in your mind.
Thayer continues to state “to make or decree an opinion and pronounce censure. Basically, we are making a decision to condemn someone for something they did.
Looking at the word Judgment, like God’s judgment, it is the word Krima and it comes from the word Krino, its a decision has been made, a lawful one, to avenge, condemn, bringing damnation. Now that is a strong word.
So when we judge someone we are condemning them. And we condemn them by our own thoughts or our words. God is saying, that’s my job. I made the rules, and by trying to be Me, (because that is basically what we are doing) He says, I condemn you because you sin too.
My dad was condemning himself by judging my Uncle, as well sinning himself. And don’t worry about my dad being used as a sermon reference, it doesn’t bother him.
Continuing in Romans 2, moving to verse 2, it says:
In the NIV, in “Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.
God does not judge based on hearsay. Not like us, or by what we think, or from our perceptions, and even if we have seen something with our eyes, but do not know what is behind what we see.
God’s judgment is based on truth. By what He sees.
3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?”
I like what is in Romans verse 2 in the Passion Translation, that the writer says, “We know that God’s judgment falls upon those who practice these things. God is always right, because he has all the facts.” We don’t have all the facts, so we have no right to judge people. Even if we think we have them all. To tell the truth, we don’t. It does not matter how close you are.
We have no right to point fingers. We have no right to be ugly, or even say anything under our breath. God has it. We have enough to deal with concerning ourselves. Right! I have enough to worry about in my own life, then to worry about someone else’s. If they need my help, yes I am there without judgement. And that is hard for many people, especially Christians and people who are on the other side of the spectrum. If Jesus thought that way, this world would probably be gone by now, because God would have destroyed it.
Jesus said, “love one another as I have loved you.” John 13:34. That spits in the face of judging someone. Jesus on the Cross asked God to forgive those who were crucifying Him, and He said for they know not what they do.
That should be our view to those who do not know Christ. They know not what they do, because they have no Holy Spirit within them to guide them. We do, and in many instances, we don’t listen to Him, and when we don’t listen, and do stupid things, and thanks be to God that we can go to Him and ask forgiveness and He does it. Amen!
Its time the followers of Christ stop being hypocrites and Pharisees, and become the Church of Jesus Christ as He intended. Paul said in:
Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will. NIV
Romans 12:1-2, “Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship. Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.” TPT
When we have a total reformation on how we think because we have surrendered our minds to the Word of God, which is truth, and because of our relationship with God through His Holy Spirit so we are in tune with Him, our ideals and opinions will only line up with His truth.
God’s truth. The culture around us will have no hold on us. When we see or hear things we disagree with, the only way it will affect us is to have mercy on those who need Jesus. It won’t be to judge. It will cause us to pray for hope for them.
Remember Jonah? In the Book of Jonah, chapter 1, “The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. “
Jonah had judged Nineveh. So, we know about the ship for him to get away in, Jonah being thrown overboard, the three days in the fish, his prayer, him being vomited out on the shore, preaching to Nineveh, they repent, and Jonah being ticked because God didn’t zap them off the face of the earth.
After God relented in wiping out Nineveh, Jonah became angry and prayed to the Lord, “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.”
Jonah knew it, but because he judged Nineveh, and wanted them judged, he ran, and got mad. We know it too concerning people, who come from the opposite spectrum from us. Jonah and the people of Nineveh were on opposite spectrums concerning the things of God.
And like Jonah, I think that we would rather see some one judged for their actions then see them repent and come to Christ.
God asked Jonah, “is it right for you to be angry?”
Jonah sat down and waited to see what would happen to the city, I guess thinking that God would zap them anyway. I want to read the rest of Jonah because I think it can be us at times and I will close with this.
Jonah 4:5-11, ‘Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city.
I thought this was funny, because God already made a decision and He doesn’t go back on His word. I guess Jonah thought he would because, he Jonah was mad.
Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.”
But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” “It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.” But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
Jonah got smacked right there by the Word of God. Ouch. It wasn’t about Jonah. He was just a messenger. But he did not have the heart of God. Our Father in Heaven loves His creation and does not want one of them to perish. Should we? Even if they do vile things? Nineveh was pagan. In most respects, so is Kenosha, and the US and the rest of the world. Does God think anything less today? Should we. We need to get over ourselves.
We need to break away from the standards of thought in this world, and in most respects the standards that the church has made concerning others. It isn’t an us and them, its all us. Creation is all us. We know Jesus, they don’t. Our heart should be that they all will know, and us loving people even when they stink of sin. Not looking them as something vile, which they may be, but looking at them as someone who needs a freedom that only comes from Jesus Christ. Guess what, like Jonah, we are the messengers.