Summary: Paul is addressing the Jews in chapter two but he's addressing all of us.
Excuses are like elbows, everyone’s got two Romans 2:1-11
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.
In the book of Romans Paul is writing to people he had never met before, except for the few he mentions in the last chapter; so, we might wonder, why was he blasting the Gentiles in chapter one and then doing the same to the Jews in chapter two.
One thing to consider is that the early church was made up of Jews and Gentiles and this particular church was in a very Gentile dominated world. So, in chapter one he’s addressing the Gentiles and reminding them that the way in which they had been raised in Rome was totally depraved; and their lives had been immersed in every kind of sin imaginable.
And then, in chapter two he’s speaking to the Jewish members and he’s reminding them that those who were so quick to condemn the Gentiles for their background were just as guilty of sin as they were.
Keep in mind that the Jews were quite proud of the fact that they had known the scriptures; but they were just as sinful as the Gentiles from God’s perspective.
We tend to classify sinners as the very bad and those who are trying to be good; but God doesn’t see any difference between an unsaved pervert or an unsaved church member. They’re both lost and on their way to hell.
So, he’s addressing believers and the first thing he says in verse one is, you have no excuse and my question is, why would they even need one? But he says, “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.”
I want to build this message around three points and the first is, the excuses people think they have, the second is, judging as a Christian pastime and the third is, the rewards for those who think they’re saved but aren’t. I like to use alliteration because it sounds good but I couldn’t think of any, and besides most people will forget the points before they leave their seats.
I The excuses people think they have
He begins by telling the Jews that they have no excuse when it comes to judging others because they are guilty of the very things, they’re condemning others for. And this applies not only to the Jews but to the rest of us as well.
We say, I wasn’t judging anyone, I was just making an observation. I wasn’t judging I was just sharing about their sin so others could pray for this person. Or the really spiritual say, I wasn’t judging I was just inspecting spiritual fruit. Listen, judging isn’t simply evaluating someone but underneath our spiritualizing we’re condemning, passing sentence and then announcing a verdict. As much as we might hate to admit it, it makes us feel better to put someone else down.
As one writer said, “The self-righteous scream judgments against others to hide the noise of skeletons dancing in their own closets.”
Paul tells these believers; you have no excuse. Did you know that the three most common excuses are: “I forgot, no one told me ahead of time and I just didn’t think it was that important?” What all three have in common is they saying, what was so important to you; wasn’t to me.
There are several people in the Bible who were well known for their excuses. I think the most memorable one in Old Testament was Saul. The passage that summarizes his attitude is found in 1 Samuel 15.