Romans 2:1 (ESV) Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?
There is a steady stream in the church today who judge on a pharisaical level the things that don’t sit quite right with us. In many cases these are not major doctrinal issues, but they are trivial in the great scheme of things.
This is a series in the book of Romans, for the home page in our study and to see other studies then please click here or our main epistle page is here. My aim is to go through the Book of Romans as the LORD wills.
We have to look at the bigger picture as to what will have a greater impact for the Kingdom of God. What type of witness will we have to Non-Christians if all they see is bickering between people who have the same common faith. Let me assure you, as a former sceptic, nothing drove me further away from Christianity quicker than Christians arguing petty dogma.
I know that as a defender of the faith of Jesus Christ I am grieved when I read futile arguments by brothers and sisters that will never bear fruit. I am sure that it grieves the heart if the father also.
We are told in Matthew 7 the following:
Matthew 7:1 (ESV) “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
Those are the words of our LORD Jesus Christ. What higher authority could you ask for?
In this letter, the Apostle Paul, after 20 years of ministry, whilst still in communion with the Colossian church, he writes to the Roman church, a church that he didn’t plant to address this important issue. This issue is as relevant today as it was then.
I address you all dear Christian as a group, because we all have that wee “inner Pharisee” in us. We all have that wee hot button that causes us not too. We are of course sinful beings.
That is not an excuse, but simply an explanation to why we mess up in this area. We read in James 2 not to show respect among persons. In my experience (I am normally the one overlooked as my talents are very few) the beautiful, the talented, the ones from good families usually are favored over the “rough diamonds”.
We have to be careful that we do not mistake our holiness due to our conversion as something that we can boast of, but we are simply a product of Gods grace.
We get a false moral superiority and that gives us a false moral high ground that we use to judge people for those who fall at things that we have overcome (through the strength of the LORD)
Likewise we use this to make similar judgements on those still living in the world. I quote the Roman passage as many of the Roman church were converts who were Gentiles. (There were also Jews) the Gentiles had no moral prior obligation to the Law, but this didn’t stop the judgement.
We can learn so much from these few verses. I am personally convicted on what I judge on. (Also in some cases the standards I try to hold others too)
I suppose a question we could ask as a Christian is “where is the heart behind the judgment we make?” If we are passing judgement on a teacher, is he a false teacher? Is he leading people away from Jesus it is he simply doing Jesus a different way?
I ask these questions as I see more and more Pastors being attacked by bloggers and social media enthusiasts (who are still Christians) because they have a style of fulfilling their calling that doesn’t sit well with them, folks who are doctrinally sound but they use techniques that would not sit well with the person presiding judgement.
God won’t be mocked and he knows the heart (even of this author) of every thought, deed and action we do. He desires that his followers advance the kingdom of God, can we do that by judging the way we do?
If you have a “righteous reason” to “call someone out” make sure it is Biblical, we have to be careful not to use bias, preferences or personal reasons.
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