Summary: We will be held accountable for what we DO KNOW not for what we DON’T KNOW.
1. When we were studying the book of James, we learned that it is sinful for us to show partiality.
Proverbs 28:21 (NKJV) 21 To show partiality is not good, Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress.
It’s true, partiality has been used to divide & destroy for years.
• It definitely wasn’t the life that Jesus lived.
• Jesus loved & taught & reached out to everyone.
• To rich… & poor. The well… & sick. The humble… & prideful.
THINK of how many sick people came to Jesus with eyes oozing, limping, groaning, reaching out…
• Some w/ their hands missing fingers from the ravages of leprosy.
• Some unbelieving, uncaring, hopeless and hurtful.
• There was one woman who was sick for 7 years, outside of society, unclean…
• There was another woman who was thrust down before Jesus, caught in the act of adultery.
• Then there was Zacheus, up in a tree. That’s an interesting place to meet Jesus. I’m coming to your house tonight.
• (Jesus invites Himself over to dinner, very Scriptural I think!)
YES, Jesus met people all over the place in all sorts of conditions from all sorts of backgrounds… Jews, Gentiles, Samaritans.
• He met religious leaders, military folks, rich, poor, you name it.
• Basically, Jesus hung around with everybody.
Now… Paul says in 2:11, the judgment of God is without partiality.
• That is, everyone, will be judged righteously & fairly.
• Back to v2, God’s judgment is according to truth!
• There will not be anyone anywhere that will be able to accuse God of judging unfairly.
John 5:30 (NKJV) 30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
The word PARTIALITY in v11 gives us the picture of ‘not being swayed by a person’s face.’
• That is, our position in life, our intelligence, our education, our good works and good deeds will not sway God’s judgment.
• No, all of us will face the RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT OF GOD.
This phrase would have shocked the Jewish listener in Rome.
• He thought himself in a special class, that he deserved special treatment because he was chosen of God.
• But Paul says that the Jewish Law only made the guilt of Israel that much greater.
NOTE: Paul is speaking of the righteous judgment of God that will be based upon our deeds, our works. (look back at vv6-11)
• But wait a minute, aren’t we justified by faith?
• Didn’t Paul say, the just shall live by faith? YES & YES
• We are saved by grace through faith…
• But judgment is according to works!
If you’re an UNBELIEVER, you’ll be judged by your works.
• They won’t measure up to God’s holy standard and the work that will be the final straw is your rejection of Jesus Christ.
• Flip over to John 3:16-21
If you’re a BELIEVER, you’ll be judged by the work of Jesus on the cross. It is sufficient to save us and by faith you’re saved!
2. (12-16) God judges according to truth.
a. God never judges person by a standard they haven’t known.
b. If a person lived apart from the Law, then God will not use the Law as a standard.
c. But if you have known it, then that will be your standard.
d. REALLY Whatever we know will be the standard uses!
APP: This is important for us because we will be held accountable for what we DO KNOW not for what we DON’T KNOW.
Here’s the danger we all face:
• Because we love the Scriptures… and we study the Scriptures… and we spend much time in the Scriptures…
• We love the Word, it’s powerful, it’s comforting, it’s wonderful!
• But the danger is this: We begin to think that hearing the Word automatically implies that we’re doing & obeying the Word!
Well I was in Bible study today… but did you obey what you heard?
Well I had great devotions this morning… but did you do what God spoke to your heart?
Well I went to church… but what did God say right to your heart and how will you respond!
AND so whether it’s in your devotional time, or in a Bible study, or whenever you have the Word flowing…
• Ask the Lord to give you ONE THING to do… not just to write it down or think about it, but to put into action.
Psalm 40:8 (NKJV) 8 I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.”
Here’s what happens when God’s word is not mixed with faith… we may know the Lord, and know about our Lord…