Summary: What is the standard that we judge people by? What do we think is "good and bad"? This message examines that it doesn’t matter; all that matters is living by God’s standards and following Christ!
Romans, Part 5
- Previously, we discussed the importance of understanding Paul’s writing
- He was writing to the church in Rome to encourage, and to educate them
- This letter is given to the believer who is interested in growing in Christ
- It is not a rebuke, but an education from Paul who is living in Christ
- He is encouraging the church to grow; to seek; and to obey God’s will
- Stand and read Romans 2:1-16 / Pray
Point 1 – What’s the Standard for Good and Bad?
- Question: How do you judge who is good and who is bad?
- APP: Do we have a sin checklist that we bring out to rate one another on?
- If we are to be honest, most of do have something that we judge one another on
- For example: How would you rate the following (good or bad):
-- Adolf Hitler
-- Charles Manson
-- The Unabomber
- Most would say that these men are “very bad” – but by whose standards?
- This is why its important to be able to stand firmly on what God says to us
- Verse 3 is normally where we begin to feel uncomfortable about ourselves
- We are able to judge others, but do we see the need for Grace in one another
- The same Grace that we expect to come from the Throne, must flow from us
- APP: This is the key to our lives in Christ, and where we must allow Him in
- Verse 4 is the key here … and we must grasp it fully in order to grow
- It is not about growth as we believe it should be; nor about tracking others
- It is not about taking control and willing ourselves to grow and mature
- It is about setting aside our desires and allowing the Lord to lead/guide
-- The kindness that God displays to us is what leads us to repentance
- It is the only necessary formula for success in this life … and it is what we need to give to one another in order that we can experience Jesus in each other
Point 2 – Accounting for Yourselves
- Paul is teaching a very important lesson here that should be required learning
- When he writes that God will give to each what he has earned, it’s a promise
- Paul knew that there were negative things in his life that he would answer for
- He was aware that the stoning of Stephen and other acts would be accounted
- Verse 5-6 is the very righteousness of God being revealed to us
- God’s goodness/God’s holiness compared to what we bring to the table …
- There are not enough scales in eternity to measure up; hence the need for Christ
- Imagine a great courtroom, filled with all the books of time laid out
- Consider that the Law does not waiver, there are no objections or loopholes
- There are no last minute confessions or legal maneuvers to be had
- Before you stand a prosecutor bent on tearing you apart, hurling insults
Rev 12:10, “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”
- And after all is said and done, and the room falls quite, all that is left is you
- It is just you and God, discussing your life and receiving what you’ve earned
- Pretty scary, isn’t it? Consider now if you had no defense attorney!
- To expect God to punish those things that you do as well brings you judgment
- Harbor in your heart that God would smite someone else brings judgment to you
- Last time we discussed the importance of (v8) what happens to self-trust
- It leads us to a path of conflict with God; and we must be aware of this path
Point 3 – What is Judgment under the Law?
- V12 has caused quite a stir amongst the faithful but it is actually simple
- But first, you might ask, “How can someone be punished for breaking rules that he/she has never been taught or has no idea?”
- Consider for a moment what we talked about in Gen 1:26 (creation story)
- Were we not created in the image of God?
- Do we not each bear the witness and the resemblance of God Himself?
- Granted, it is smeared with sin – but the image and likeness of God is there
- Part of that image, is the still small voice telling us what is right and wrong