Paul jumps from all the root cause of sin and their various manifestations to how we as Christians can get caught up in a heinous sin too: Being Judgmental. Our guilt and sin is personal and individual, thus our evil desires to judge come from our self-seeking and not Christ seeking (8:1). God does not care about our pedigree, and no one is immune! It is ONLY by what Christ has done that we can be saved. Our sins have been neutered on the cross and covered by His righteousness, thus we have been judged by God's standards of holiness with Christ taking our place in judgment (John 5:24). So we have no right or basis to judge others. This transpires to how we treat others. Even when we are saved we cannot say it is by what we did. And this transpires to how we judge, because we should know better so we do not sin. The Roman church was a mix of Jews and Gentiles, thus disagreements and prejudice arose and Paul had to address them.
- When we are focused on seeing the corruption and deceit in others, it is because we are filled with it ourselves, and we do not take the Word of God seriously. What if God judged us as we do others?
- So the answer is, Don't! Yet Christians can be the most critical and arrogant people on earth! Let God remove your pride!
- Salvation is by His grace, condemnation is by our works.
- Are you grateful for what Christ has done or do you take it for granted (Luke 15:17-19)?
- To despise God is to refuse to acknowledge His sovereignty and work, as well as His generous gift of grace. Refusing to yield your life over to God's will, will cost you greatly in judgment and in life; as God's ways are better than ours!
- Do you base your comfort on what you do, your works?
- Works do not earn, they only prove. Do you obey God and pursue righteousness? Never forget that salvation is a gift not a reward (II Cor. 5:10)! As driving a car is a privilege, not a right!
- It is imperative that we live what we preach; being a hypocrite is a disgusting obsession in the face of our loving and gracious Lord as well as our witness to others! The Jewish leaders in Jesus' time felt it was an insult to God to live one way and teach another, yet few of them obeyed this precept, saying "since everyone else does, why I shouldn't do as I please regardless of what I teach!" Sound familiar? Hopefully this is not your mindset too!
- God will not just judge your actions, but also your motivations!
- The law is written upon our hearts vs.15, therefore we have no excuse to avoid judgment or refuse grace (Gen, 1:26-27).
- God judges people accordingly to what they know. Even if you never heard of the 10 commandments, or the name Jesus, God and His standards are already the operating system written into your soul. He is your source code!
- God judges us by the knowledge of what we have learned. Staying ignorant, thinking "I will not study His Word so I will not be held accountable" is an even a greater offence. It is not the amount of the revelation we have, it is our response to it that matters vs. 16.
- He knows the truth about each of us, there is nothing to hide, so confess and repent!
- There is no escape from God's judgment (1:18)!
- Salvation is a gift NOT a reward (5:15-17; 6:23)!
God has pure intentions, pure uncorrupted love, mercy and omniscience knowledge, so He knows all things and how everything and everyone is intertwined into each other relationally in the past, present and future. We have no such knowledge. We see the bark of a single tree, while He sees the entire forest. Thus we cannot judge based on our blind imprudence.
Is your heart hard or soft? Do you hide in the comfort of your parent's faith, or in the activity of the church? External worship and faith does not guarantee what is inside! God searches our heart, what will He find in yours?
God is more concerned with our obedience than our knowledge! The law comes before grace, for without the law and the righteousness of God we have nothing to be saved from. The bad news of judgment is shadowed by the good news of grace! The good news is the just will find honor.
- Have you ever had a pet that had a pedigree? If so what purpose did it have such as to show or stud?
- Why would people think they are special and will go to Heaven and receive no judgment when they reject Christ?
- Most people think Judgment is about our actions and behaviors. So what about our motivations?
- Have you ever considered that the law is written upon our hearts, if so how does that make a difference to your behaviors?
- God judges people accordingly to what they know and have learned. So how do you feel knowing that the more you learn the more you are responsible for? Eager to learn? Indifferent? Scared?
- Knowing that we are indeed responsible for our learning and knowledge, what gives you the motivation and comfort and confidence to be persistent in your Sanctification that is spiritual growth?
- Staying ignorant, thinking "I will not study His Word so I will not be held accountable" is even a greater offence. Why is this true?
- Do not ever think damned if we do and damned if we don't! We have grace! We also are on this planet for such a short time we are to make the most of it, our true life is still to come, and that is eternity! Does knowing that this life is just a mere rehearsal and preparation to what is to come in eternity, give you great comfort? Or do you just want to live for this life now and today and are not concerned with what is to come, the reason for our existence?
- Do you base your comfort on what you do, on your works?
- How can you live your life with more integrity knowing that God knows the truth about each of us, so there is nothing to hide?
- How is it that being judgmental is extreme foolishness? Is it like throwing a boomerang of condemnation that comes back to hit you back harder than you had thrown it?
- Because God is all knowing (omniknowledge / omniscience) with pure intentions, pure uncorrupted love, and mercy so He knows all things and how everything and everyone is intertwined into each other relationally in the past, present and future. How can we then judge fairly?
- Why do we do it anyway when we have no such knowledge?
- How can you prevent greed and misunderstanding from clogging your judgments and decisions?
- Why do people cover-up their own sins and frailties by attacking and criticizing others?
- What if God judged us as we do others?
- Have you taken Christ's love for granted? Or has His love pulled you closer? How?
- Do you hide in the comfort of your parent's faith, or in the activity of the church? External worship and faith does not guarantee what is inside! God searches our heart, what will He find in yours?
- It is said by many ex-church goers that Christians can be the most critical and arrogant people on earth! Do you think this is a harsh statement if so why, keep in mind Paul's tone? So how then can we make our churches the place that Christ died for and called us too?
- Do you practice what you preach, that is, do you condemn others for what you do in secret? What can you do to be better so you are not being judgmental?
©1998, 2001, 2005, Rev. Richard J. Krejcir, Discipleship Tools www.discipleshiptools.org