Scripture: “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…Do you suppose, O man…that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience?
But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed…for God shows no partiality.” Excerpts from Ro 2:1-11
Observation: Paul sets up the expanse of the Gospel’s power and reach in Chapter 1. Continuing, Paul starts to build the foundation so that the Gospel can be understood from God’s perspective.
Analysis: Previously, at the end of Chapter 1, there is a bunch of identifying marks and statements about sinful behavior. In my biblical data gathering days, it was the rage to feverishly embrace those so that I would have a ready quiver full of scripture arrows for attack or defense, whatever was needed.
I had also used that (as well as other scripture) to create a checklist of sorts for the face in the mirror: I don’t do [that]—check. Or [that]—check. Still struggling with the other [thing]—confess and ask forgiveness—check. Repeat as necessary; but O my goodness, certainly don’t to [that], [that], or that other [thing].
I would also use that checklist in looking out the window at either broad sections of folks or a particular individual: Woe to that guy who is doing [that], [that], and [that].
And I would think: Thank God I don’t need deliverance from that kind of stuff—Jesus set me free. But those heathen; they certainly do.
And what I have just set up is a distinction.
There are two phrases in the scripture selection: 1) “…no excuse…every one of you who judges…”, and; 2) “God shows no partiality.” What is in the core of the Gospel? All men everywhere and in every time are judged by God as traitors and are condemned. All men deserve God’s righteous wrath.
It is the word “deserve” that should be paid attention to. All men, everywhere and in every time. The last thing that I want to do is “presume on His kindness, forbearance, and patience.”
Presumption: to rely on something without facts or evidence. It is different than faith. Presumption will include such sentences as “God will love me, no matter what…”
Will God not love me? Isn’t God a god of Love? Certainly is. He is equally Holy and is a righteous Judge because of His Love and His Holiness.
It is good to daily remember: His Judgement towards me is unswerving; I am condemned. His Love for me is shown at the Cross, where His Son was given all of His Full, Righteous, Furious, Wrath of punishment about sin because of my sin.
I must daily approach the Cross, for my faith in the Atonement isn’t a one and done approach.
Hammer point: Sin has no hierarchy. What I think as small and insignificant is equally as deserving as the sin that is culturally abhorrent.
Prayer: Father, I daily must pound on the Gospel to my heart. Daily I want to dissect the attributes of the Gospel because I don’t want to be uninformed to a point where I presume on your mercy and grace. I also want to judge (evaluate) properly. How can I ever celebrate the Gospel, that you died for the world without asking in the same breath: “But, why did you die for me?” AMEN