Summary: We’re real good at making excuses for our bad behavior...but have you noticed how easy it is to see bad behavior in others but really think the best about ourselves?
1. By now in Romans, it’s easy to look at CH 1 and breathe a sigh of relief… thinking: “Wow, I’m glad I’m not that bad!”
a. I’m sure there were those in Rome, maybe even those who are reading & studying this book today thinking…
b. “Yes, others, sinners, unbelievers, backslidden people are really, really, really bad… but not me.”
c. “I go to church. I’m good. I give my tithes to God.”
d. Thoughts swirl around like I’m not one of them!
e. I’m a real good & moral & upright person!
NOTE: But we’re real good at making excuses for our bad behavior.
• Have you noticed how easy it is to see bad behavior in others but really think the best about ourselves?
Romans 12:3 (NKJV) 3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
• THERE R Always: Excuses. Reasons. Explanations. Justifications.
AN EXCUSE: (‘to grant an exemption OR to release from’.)
• They are often our response to conviction & confrontation.
• You are a gossip! (NO I’m not, I’m just trying to help.)
• You’re just lied! (NO I didn’t, I just stretched the truth a little.)
• You stole that! (NO I didn’t, I just borrowed it for a time.)
NOTE: So much of our potential falls by the wayside with excuses.
• So much of what God wants to do in and through us simply disappears with a explanation of why it can’t happen.
• It seems like the easy way out at times… The quick fix!
• YET the Lord Jesus Christ is looking for that man or woman who will rise above the excuses, the reasons, the exemptions.
2 Chronicles 16.9 "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…”
NOTE: It’s my prayer that He finds those men and women here, in our fellowship, in our spiritual family!
I think of King David was anointed of God to rule & reign.
• 1 Samuel 11 opens with David at home…
• He sees a woman bathing, requests her, commits adultery with her, a baby is produced… and thus begins the cover-up.
• Bathsheba was the wife of one of his mighty men… so he recalled the man home so that he might sleep with his wife to cover…
• Then he sends him back into battle with orders to put him on the front lines… where he died. To cover…
• AND for a time all seemed to be going well and it seemed as if he covered his sin as he continued to rule and reign, giving leadership and judgment in Israel as if nothing happened!
• THEN SUDDENLY & SEEMINGLY out of nowhere Nathan shows up!
It’s all too easy to become angry & judgmental at other’s people’s sins and very explanatory of our own!
• That’s where Paul is as he opens CH2… addressing the moralist, the person who thinks he’s OK with God by comparing himself with others. Even though the Bible teaches…
2 Corinthians 10:12 (NKJV) 12 For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
• TRULY the moralist lives in a cloud of hypocrisy!
I. (2:1-3) NO ESCAPING GOD’S JUDGMENT
1. (1-3) You Condemn yourself.
a. The first chapter ended with a list of grievous sins…
b. And it’s so easy to look at them and condemn the sins and the sinners that commit them…
c. But 1:32 is key isn’t… because the issue is not just outward, but it’s really inward!
d. You don’t have to do them personally, in order to be guilty of them… all you really need to do is APPROVE OF THEM.
This is where Christianity really meets the heart of a person.
• It’s all about our hearts and what we approve of…
• Get the study last week.
APP: The judgment of God, notice, is according to truth! (v2)
• God’s judgment doesn’t come democratically by a vote!
• God’s judgment doesn’t come by popular opinions of the day.
• God’s judgment doesn’t come to others and not us.
• It comes by truth…
But there is that inward tendency in us to DENY OUR GUILTINESS.
Let me list 4 different ways we conveniently avoid our guilt.
#1 – We simply IGNORE them. I can’t be guilty because what I’m doing isn’t wrong.
#2 – We make EXCUSES by renaming our sins.