Agonizomai: Romans Chapter 2<br>Excuse #1 - I Am Better Than Others

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Romans Chapter 2
Excuse #1 - I Am Better Than Others

Response: God’s judgment is "according to truth".

Romans 2:2-5 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who do such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man––you who judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself––that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

God is right and just to condemn all men, for all men do such things (note the tense) - and those who point the finger at others are no exception. We are reminded of the words of the prophet Jeremiah here:
"The heart is deceitful above all and desperately wicked - who can understand it?" - Jeremiah 17:8
Any attempt to justify ourselves to God by comparing ourselves to others does not cut the mustard because we all do the same things - it's simply that we are usually willfully blind to those things in us that we see so clearly in others. We are blind because we will not look and we will not look because we are proud, haughty and depraved.

When we become Christians, however, one of the easiest ways to know what we truly are ourselves is by looking at ourselves in the mirror of the person we judge to be so beneath us, or so much more sinful or less spiritual than we. It is in that moment that we are actually seeing ourselves in God's eyes. We begin to walk in the light and to see the truth that we would not look upon before.

Do you think the person you are sharing the gospel with is “good”? Do you believe them to be “not so bad” – certainly not as bad as some villains in the world? Then you don’t see them as God sees them. They are transgressors of His Holy, perfect law. They are self-deceived keepers of their own black hearts that, if they show any grace or goodness at all, is by the mercy of God and the influences of His Spirit.

They are precisely what you yourself used to be before God brought you to salvation. You and they are of the same lump. It is because of this that you can speak the truth to them in love and not judge them, for though you are being made holy, you were no different than them until the grace of God saved you.

Or do you think of yourself as “not so bad” before God saved you? Is that what’s behind your desire to find good in the lost, and thereby to justify them? Are you justifying yourself? Is it that you have never admitted your own depravity? Have you never agreed with God that you are depraved in your own right and turned from what you are?

Do you fool yourself? God is never fooled the way we fool ourselves. His vision is perfect and His judgments are perfect. He is the truth and it is in this perfect, all-seeing light that all men are weighed, and all men are found wanting. Let it not be that anyone naming the Name of Christ secretly denies the depravity of humankind and waters down the gospel. And let it not be that any person is deceived into believing he has repented when he has not.

There is only one standard and only one judge. The standard is perfect righteousness and the judge is God Almighty. Nobody stacks up. You are either completely righteous in God’s eyes, or you are depraved. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. A healthy drink becomes wholly lethal when even a drop of poison is added.

Can you not see that by the single drop of Adam’s sin the whole world of humanity was corrupted and banished from fellowship with the Creator? Are you or your neighbour, now encompassed and engrossed in numberless sins, any less of a pollution?


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