Agonizomai: Romans Chapter 2<br>Excuse #4 - But I Am A Special Person

Friday, January 02, 2009

Romans Chapter 2
Excuse #4 - But I Am A Special Person
Response: God's judgment is without respect of persons.

Romans 2:9-11 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.

It makes no difference to God what a person's status in life is. The poor man's poverty will be no excuse, and neither will the rich man's distractions. He of little responsibility sins against God in small ways and he of great responsibility sins against God in greater ways - but all have sinned, for all are sinners by nature; and the penalty of breaking God's perfect law in one point is the same as for breaking it in all - that is eternal death and torment.

And if I am foolish enough to think that my status or riches (if I have them) indicate some sort of divine approval of a life that is actually lived apart from Him I am twice deceived and still bound for hell. Temporal material blessings or a lack of them have absolutely no bearing upon God's impending sentence of wrath upon all mankind, or upon the allocation of His graces.

So when you preach the gospel to another, do you pick them on the basis of their wealth? Not necessarily their monetary wealth. They may be rich in other ways, such as intelligence, likability, human goodness, social responsibility, accomplishment or popularity. Do you gravitate to these sorts of people and avoid the simple, abrasive, bad, selfish, unlettered, unsung and unpopular ones, as if you were acting a sort of pre-filter – a gatekeeper – for God’s grace?

Or do you secretly despise the rich, accomplished, smart, kind, lovely people out of some secret hatred or jealousy? Do you think of them as without the need for God? Are you intimidated? Do you instead make B-lines for those you think yourselves superior to – those you think you can add something to, or who are more likely to listen?

This may be what we are sometimes like in our weakness, but it is not what God is like. We are always drawn to carnal and worldly ways of seeing things, but the Christian is spiritual and ought to walk in the Spirit. We dare not presume upon what God will do, or what He has ordained. He does not look upon outward things the way we do – the way we were trained by the flesh for so long to do – the way we still will act, if we are not attuned to His leading. We must not be respecters of persons, just as God is not. We must let Him lead us whithersoever He will, regardless of our personal tastes, preferences or prejudices. How exciting! How humbling!

We have all met people who are either like the Jews, who considered themselves superior on account of having been chosen by God and entrusted with the oracles and the law – or the Greeks, who considered themselves superior on account of their culture, their philosophers and their great history. Neither of these groups knew and honoured God. The Jews became so vain and self-centred, so xenophobic, so exceedingly narrow that they strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel. The Greeks became so vain, so sophisticated, so urbane, so exceedingly eclectic, so broad minded that they became cynical about the truth and victims of their own thinking.

In a sense, these groups weren’t anything special. They are still with us in people of every nation and heritage, of every social strata and political stripe. That is because they were displaying corruption – the same corruption that is in every man, whether rich or poor, smart or dumb, nice or nasty. God alone judges these things, but He shows neither favouritism nor discrimination in His judgments. He condemns all alike that are not in Christ.


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