We as fallen human beings will tend to judge according to the knowledge we have. The more you know the more responsibility you have! That is why Moses was not let into the Promised Land; he disobeyed God in a minor matter as we see. As God sees the matter as not important, because Moses knew better! Thus the offence of striking the rock was bad enough for him to be excluded from entering the Promised Land. Because of all the people who ever lived, Moses knew better. Moses had been face to face with God and knew his duty and call. His anger broke the trust he had with God, resulting in grave consequences. Fortunately for us we have grace to further protect us (Ex.17: 6; Num. 20:8-11)!
Those who judge others, and disobey God themselves, are inexcusable, and will not escape the judgment of God. The measure of God's dealings with Jews and Gentiles will be the same, as there is no difference in ethnicity. It is what is in the heart not the skin that matters to God, even in the OT! All will appear on the day of judgment. Paul solemnly admonishes the Jews, who only trusted in the law and their relationship to Moses, and yet they still broke it.
Being judgmental will not work; it will only backfire on you. And shows that our external works will not gain us anything, without a renewed heart through grace. God will accept even in the uncircumcised, that which the Jew finds offensive. God looks at the trust in His work, the Jew looks to the comfort of their work. The Jews felt they where outside of God's wrath and judgment, just as some Christians feel today. Who take comfort in their church membership and not who they are in Christ.
All have sinned, no one is immune therefore we have no right to judge!
- Beware of judging others (Psalm 18:25-26; 62:12; Matt. 7:1-5)! Because all we end up doing is covering ourselves with the critique of others failings or our misperceptions of others. When we need to be covered by Christ's righteousness!
- No one is justified by their work and righteousness, or moral standards or deeds. Thus we have no balance to weigh a judgment on someone else! In the OT only by God's grace was repentance possible yet people still were responsible to act on it (Duet. 5:29; 10:16; 30:6).
- Indignation and wrath, our Judgment from God is based on our relationship with God. How is your relationship (Isa. 2:11-12; 13:6-13; Ezek. 30:2-3; Joel 1:15; 2:1-2; 31; 3:14; Amos 5:18-21; Obad. 15; Zeph. 1:7; 1:14-2:2)?
- The chapter starts out with a 'therefore', which is a conclusion to the previous chapter (Rom. 1:18-32). Thus because of our uncleanness and our deserving of death we are saved anyway, therefore why are you being judgmental?
- Do you judge yourself or others? If so, all you do is judge yourself!
- Despise (NKJV)' / contempt (NIV) vs. 4, refers to the refusal to yield to the knowledge and trust of God's goodness and His right of judgment. That we refuse to use His goodness as a guide to see the sorrow for our miss-actions and compassion towards others for theirs (within reason, there is no license to keep sinning) (Psalm 136). That God is generous with His grace, so we should be generous toward each other and be thankful. And finally to refuse to see His goodness and turn from sin, is the ultimate contempt to our loving Lord!
- Treasuring up (NKJV) / storing up (NIV) vs. 5 is referring to ultimate in stubbornness. The flat-out refusal to yield to Christ our Lord. He is there offering His grace, do you accept it, or harbor resentment and then perish in your sin. Then thinking you are innocent and deserve Heaven and good things on this earth. Therefore we are storing up His wrath to be unleashed in hell, or having it pleased by accepting Christ.
- Being judgmental is extreme foolishness, because what you are in fact doing is throwing a boomerang of condemnation that comes back to hit you harder than you had thrown it.
- God judges according to truth, we judge according to greed and misunderstanding.
- Do you value others in the same way you do yourself, is the scale balanced?
- Do you cover-up your frailties by attacking and criticizing others, to throw the dogs off your scent (Matt.7:1-5;21-23; 25:31-33; John 5:22)?
Do you struggle with self-centeredness? If so you should take careful note of this, this mindset is one of the best ways to find the wrath of God! This is something you may not want to experience! We have to know there is only One God and you are not it! A Christian must practice what we preach. We cannot be "two faced" doing one thing and saying another. If you like to do this or find comfort in it you need to know that this is a great way to bring up dysfunctional children! This is a great way to destroy the work of God in your church. It is also a great way to keep the neighborhood away from your church. But of course this should not be you goal. Self-centeredness only makes you lose out on life's precious opportunities. Now we need to ask ourselves do I do this, am I self-centered? Do I condemn others for what I do in secret? If so, what are you going to do about it? Paul's point is this, everyone should know better than to sin!
Note: This is Paul's first discussion of law and its implications. This will be expanded upon in the next lesson.
- Do you or do you know people who take a passionate comfort in their heritage with pride?
- There is nothing wrong with being glad with your heritage, but when does it get to the point that it turns into pride and sin against our Lord?
- How does God see the different ethnicities all over the world? Does He have His favorites?
- Many Americans feel that God favors Americans and we are His special people today instead of the Jews, what do you think of that?
- Why do people put others down when they are different such as skin color or social status?
- What are the factors that cause prejudice, from not being friends and associating with people who are different than you to being a Hitler or Stalin who kill millions they feel are "human weeds"? What does Christ think about that?
- Have you ever experienced prejudice against you? If so how did that make you feel?
- Do you obey God and pursue righteousness?
- How can you be on guard from judging others yourself?
- What can you do to gain more favor with God?
- What ways can we judge others?
- Why would someone 'despise (NKJV)' or show 'contempt (NIV)' vs. 4, to God?
- Have you ever refused to yield to the knowledge and trust of God's goodness?
- How do you feel about God's right of judgment?
- Because God is generous with His grace toward us, so we should be generous toward each other and be thankful. What do you think of that statement?
- Do you think that people, who refuse to see God's goodness and turn from sin, are the ultimate sinners who are living in contempt to our loving Lord? Many Christian theologians say this is the unpardonable sin!
- How and Why do we store up wrath?
- How and Why can we get rid of the wrath?
- How does refusing to yield your life over to God's will cost you greatly in judgment and in life; as God's ways are better than ours?
- How can you prevent yourself and others close to you from despising God and His generous gift of grace? How would this help you from are not being judgmental?
©1998, 2001, 2005, Rev. Richard J. Krejcir, Discipleship Tools www.discipleshiptools.org