Summary: Man’s judgment is blind. We all have blind spots in our character others may see, but we can’t. God’s judgment is perfect. He has no flaws, no character deficiencies, so His judgment is perfect because His character is perfect.
I get a lot of funny things over the internet, some funnier than others. The other day, someone sent me a list of interesting questions. One of them really stuck out in my mind. If a man is standing out in a forest all by himself, and there are no women around, and he speaks, is he still wrong? Here is another interesting question. How is God going to deal with a person who is morally good and pure, an all-American citizen, a good person, but never really had time in their life for God? I am not talking about the murderers, the idolaters, I’m not talking about the people who sinned wickedly, I’m talking about these good people we all know. The answer to that question is right here beginning in Romans 2. Romans 1 is pretty harsh. It is an excoriating narrative against all kinds of terrible sins, and Paul is really talking in the third person. He is talking about “them” or they are without excuse. This was a letter written to a group of Christians in Rome. They were located in a pagan culture, kind of like America, and they were saying, “That’s right, Paul, preach it. What about all this wickedness around us? You know, like we have been talking about the last few weeks, like murder and homosexuality and idolatry and greed. Yeah, we need that kind of preaching.” But, suddenly, Paul changes direction and quits talking about them, and starts talking about us.
Romans 2:1. “You, therefore, have no excuse. You who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now, we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So, when you, a mere man pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or, do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance.”
I. THE DANGER OF JUDGING OTHERS
Now, in this passage of scripture, we are going to look at three topics that Paul addresses. He’s going to talk about the danger of judging others. Have you ever had someone come up to you and say, “Well, you know what the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not judge.’” Well, the Bible never says don’t judge period. The Bible says be careful how you judge because the same judgment you use will be the standard used against you. The word here for judging is not a word that means evaluate, nor does it mean form an opinion, it’s a word literally meaning to condemn someone in judgment. It’s when we as Christians become the judge, the jury and the executioner, and that kind of attitude is very dangerous. I want to say again, it does not mean you stop evaluating people. Dr. John Stott, an eminent, viable scholar wrote about judging others:
“This verse is not a call to suspend out critical faculties or to renounce all criticism and rebuke of others as wrong. It is rather a prohibition of standing in judgment on other people and condemning them, which as human beings we have no right to do, especially when we fail to condemn ourselves.”