Summary: We sometimes criticize others unfairly. We don't know all their circumstances, nor their motives. Only God, who is aware of all the facts, is able to judge people righteously.
The Letter to the Romans Chapter 2:1-11
“Criticize others Carefully”
November 1, 2009
We sometimes criticize others unfairly. We don't know all their circumstances, nor their motives. Only God, who is aware of all the facts, is able to judge people righteously.
When we see a brother or sister in sin, there are two things we do not know:
1. First, we do not know how hard he or she is trying not to sin.
2. Second, we do not know the power of the forces attacking him or her.
3. Also do not know what we would do given the same circumstances.
John Wesley told of a man he had little respect for because he considered him to be miserly and covetous. One day when this person contributed only a small gift to a worthy charity, Wesley openly criticized him.
After the incident, the man went to Wesley privately and told him he had been living on parsnips and water for several weeks. He explained that before his conversion, he had run up many bills.
Now, by skimping on everything and buying nothing for himself he was paying off his creditors one by one. "Christ has made me an honest man," he said, "and so with all these debts to pay, I can give only a few offerings above my tithe.
I must settle up with my worldly neighbors and show them what the grace of God can do in the heart of a man who was once dishonest."
Wesley then apologized to the man and asked his forgiveness.
In Romans 2 Paul confronts the Jewish Christians, who due to their past experience in Judiasm, are improperly judging and looking down on the Gentile Christians who have not had the benefit of their Jewish upbringing with its traditions and moral life style.
The gentile Christians appear much more worldly compared to the Christian Jews, but they have a much larger burden to over come in the way of changing their life style, while on the other hand the Jewish Christians have further to go in overcoming their legalism.
Romans 2:1 Therefore, you are inexcusable, O man, all judging, for in that you judge another, you bring down judgment on yourself, for you who judge practice the same things. 2 Now we know the judgment of God is according to truth upon those who practice the same. 3 But you reckon this, O man who judges, that the same practices also you do things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?
Romans 2:1 Therefore, you are inexcusable, O man, all judging,
Therefore – points back up to verses 1:28-32 (because you do these things)
You are inexcuse - áíáðïëïãçôïò - without a defense an – in, apologatos - apologia
O man, all judging – God points to the fact that those who judge others are mere men. – points back to Genesis 3 where Adam and Eve had eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and their eyes were opened to judging good and evil. Judging their nakedness to be evil, they hid in the garden. God is walking through looking for them and when they answer, saying that they hid because of their nakedness, God says, “Who told you, you were naked?” At which point God says to the other Godhead, “man has become as one of us, judging good and evil.
A form of “Self Idolotry” – setting oneself up as God
for in that you judge another, you bring down judgment on yourself, for you who judge practice the same things. – Points to the Pharisaic attitude: Those who deem themselves godly, but are only religious in pointing fingers at those who have not attained their religious standard (the ladder between Heaven and earths standard)
In his little book Illustrations of Bible Truth, H.A. Ironside pointed out the folly of judging others. He related an incident in the life of a man called Bishop Potter. "He was sailing for Europe on one of the great transatlantic ocean liners. When he went on board, he found that another passenger was to share the cabin with him. After going to see the accommodations, he came up to the purser's desk and inquired if he could leave his gold watch and other valuables in the ship's safe. He explained that ordinarily he never availed himself of that privilege, but he had been to his cabin and had met the man who was to occupy the other berth. Judging from his appearance, he was afraid that he might not be a very trustworthy person. The purser accepted the responsibility for the valuables and remarked, 'It's all right, bishop, I'll be very glad to take care of them for you. The other man has been up here and left his for the same reason!'"