Summary: God’s judgment on the religious man
April 18, 2010
Tonight we’re going to continue through our study in the book of Romans. Last time we finished the first chapter as we saw God’s judgment against the wicked Gentiles who knew of God yet suppressed their knowledge of Him. If you remember Paul sums them up by saying that they were
filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
The religious Jew reading this letter gave a hearty “AMEN!” at reading this and rested comfortably in his morality.
And then Paul throws a sucker-punch at these men as he plows ahead making all men equal. Tonight we’re going to read about…
God’s Judgment on the Religious Man
1. God judges man’s self-righteousness (:1-4)
Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment,
The good and moral people reading this letter were no doubt pleased at reading of God’s judgment passed on those dirty sinners who deserved what they were to receive.
Then Paul says, “Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment…”
Those of you reading this and nodding in agreement who feel safe in your morality and in your perfect church attendance and in keeping God’s law should rather be quaking in fear!
for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
These Jews were just like the rest of us; they stood guilty before God. They were all the things Paul described in chapter one, but they failed to see themselves that way.
This is the great failure in many churches and evangelism practices of our time. We’re so focused on morality that we’ve lost sight of our own wickedness. We’re so concerned with getting everyone to heaven that we’ve lost sight of hell. We’d rather preach cute self-help sermons that draw the masses than show the wicked lost who they really are.
As a result our churches fill up with good and moral but lost people who think they’ve got a leg up on the wicked Gentile who sleeps in on Sunday from his hangover. Go back and read 1:29-31 again; how many times do you see yourself?
filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful
We all think the wrath of God is reserved for the hookers and the pimps and the drug dealers and the pornographers. We read God’s word (like the Jew), we agree with it morally (like the Jew), we pass judgment on those who disagree and disobey (like the Jew), we await God’s fire and brimstone to fall on their heads (like the Jew), and yet we are guilty of the very same crimes against God (like the Jew)!
2And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.
We all agree that that the wicked should be repaid according to their wickedness.
3But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?
Isn’t it strange that the lost don’t even have God’s word and yet we hold them to the same standard as we who have it? Isn’t it even stranger that we have God’s word and somehow we think that knowledge will save us from wrath? Aren’t we even more accountable?
Paul says here, “You sit in your judgment seat ‘amening’ God’s wrath, but little do you realize your guilt and that as murderers and idolaters and adulterers and rebels and gossips and sinners you will stand before Him to pay the price.”
The religious man is just as guilty as the irreligious man.
God judges self-righteousness.
4Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
Don’t you see here that repentance is the only means to salvation? Those of us who are saved are saved by grace through faith.
It literally has nothing to do with praying a prayer, walking an aisle, attending a church or agreeing with a certain religion.
God judges good and moral men for what they really are—wicked and depraved men who have rejected Him; He judges them as men who have turned to morality and to spirituality in hope of salvation rather than to fall before Him, call Him Lord, and repent in faith.