Trust God to Be the Judge
2 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 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? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
If you are condemning others and not yourself, you do not understand the bad news about yourself or the good news about Jesus.
The good news of Jesus Christ that Paul presents is for those who recognize that they are deserving of the wrath of God. That their struggle with the flesh, their lack of understanding of God’s ways and will are an indication of their need to follow Christ. And then there are other people who, because they are blind, do not think that they need the good news about Jesus. Tell the story about the Holy Spirit booklet and the girl in high school.
When addressing people who are passing judgement on other, Paul is going after folks who do not think they need the gospel. Maybe others do, but I am doing well. This attitude is very dangerous, and there is no excuse for it. So, let’s begin by looking at the danger of comparing ourselves with others that Paul sets out in this passage:
- The Danger of Comparison With Others
- God sets His personal standards
God is Creator and Judge The very first bit of information in the Bible is that God is the Creator of all that is. This means that it is His world and therefore, I am His. Because of this, I am responsible to Him, He is the Judge.
If God is the Judge of people, then I am not. I can judge actions, (Actually, I must judge actions whenever I make decisions.) I can judge according to God’s word, but I cannot condemn others, I cannot say that folks are without hope. I am not to withdraw love. I am to be as patient, merciful and gracious as the God who send His Son to die for me, when I was still a sinner. Jesus on the Cross: “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing!”
Say this about people in politics. Say this about people who will persecute you. Folks are blinded by the wrath of God.
Romans 9: 22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
When God’s program is judgement, you won’t be able to miss it!
- Your judgements are not helpful
God’s word judges. Hebrews 4:12-16
I Tim 3:16-17 Rebuke, correct, teach and train.
Matt 7:1-2 Judge not, lest you be judged, with the standard you measure it will be measured to you!
James 2:1-4 as example of poor standard, therefore poor judgement.
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
- Do not hold God in contempt
4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
Contempt for His standards
Contempt for His patience
Contempt for His enduring mercy
Contempt for His salvation
II Peter 3: 8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.
When we are proud about ourselves, when we think we are better than others in our essence, then we are holding all of these aspects of God in contempt.
- God’s Judgment Described
- “Vengeance is mine, I will repay!”
Micah 5: 15 I will take vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations that have not obeyed me.”
Isaiah 63: 2 Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress?
3 “I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me.
I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath;
their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing.
4 It was for me the day of vengeance; the year for me to redeem had come.
5 I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm achieved salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me.
6 I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk
and poured their blood on the ground.”
Storing up wrath. This means that God’s patience is not forgetfulness! We forget, God does not.
“I will repay.” Emphasize I
“I will repay.” Emphasize will
“I will repay.” Emphasize repay
- All people, even you, will be judged
v.6 God will repay each person according to what they have done.
v.11 God does not show favoritism
Luke 12: 47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Jews, people raised in church, will be judged more strictly!
- Trouble and distress vs. Glory honor and peace
Judgement and reward: Regardless of the nature of judgement and what it looks like, we are called upon to be ready. Matt 24 and 25!
Parables of Matthew 25:
Ten virgins: Be ready. Be about a life that requires the power of the Holy Spirit: service to God and others.
Talents: God has given you abilities to use for His kingdom purposes. View yourself as a partner in ministry. In your family, at your church, at your work, with your friends and in your community at large.
Sheep and Goats: Caring for the needs of others who are in need is fundamental to the ministry of Jesus.
III. What Does God Want from Me?
- Rely on His righteousness for salvation
Stubbornness and an unrepentant heart as it relates to forgiveness of sin.
- Rely on His righteousness for blessing
Stubbornness and an unrepentant heart as it relates to living well.
- Understanding, fidelity, love and mercy
Specifically understanding the nature of the kingdom of God.
- All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus. 2. We may still suffer at the hands of the beast, false prophet and harlot of our age.
- Patient endurance of the saints. We are to suffer as Jesus did! We are to recognize the need for the patience of God. When we lose we do not lose unless we move away from patient endurance to wrestling with flesh and blood.
- Our weapons are powerful for the pulling down of ideological strongholds and taking captive every thought and making it obedient to Christ.
II Cor 10: 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Realize that when we decide to give up on patience that we have moved ahead of God into judgement mode. It’s not a question of people deserving it! It is a question of God’s patience. Mercy is costly. We are going to pay the price for God’s patience and mercy. Embrace this in the power of the Holy Spirit and draw near to God in humility. He will draw near to you.