Journal Ro 2 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Therefore, you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges (condemns). For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself…because you, the judge, practice the very same things.
We know that the judgment of God rightly (judiciously) falls on those who practice such things.
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? Or….do you PRESUME on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” Ro 2:1-4
Observation: Why do Believers fall into this error: Assumption of moral superiority that FINALLY I have been made better than my former mates, and/or Presumption that God has made me morally able to put my “lessers” in their place? What is the difference between humility and hypocrisy?
Analysis: I remember a time in my life where my nose was tilted like a ski slope. I was the walking, talking epitome of the story about the Rich Man and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14), “I am so glad that You have justified me, and I am not like that tax collector: dirty, rotten, scoundrel that he is…”
I am still like the rich man, although I fight to mortify that sin every day. I am growing to be like the tax collector, knowing richly I am a sinner, will always be a sinner, but also knowing that I have a Savior who redeems me from my sin.
Key? Cultivating humility; real, biblically based, candidly and personally understood, humility.
For me to understand and communicate, I must break down doctrines into component parts. The most basic categories are possibly God’s Sovereignty and Human Responsibility. I think that no matter how any particular, individual scripture is phrased, the two categories remain as holy guidance.
I am guided to understand that biblical humility is not the mental picture of sackcloth and ashes, “a woe is me” attitude, “I am only dirt” mental attitude. Biblical humility can be understood as the difference between Creator and Created (among other descriptors).
Paul is making sure an emphasis on communicating believers is told plainly that, despite being in that category of Saved, there is still a sin component that resides within, that must be put to death, that is just like every other person, and with every condemning judgement against another, is condemning myself. There is a verse: “How can I judge the one who falls, when I know in my heart, I am just like them all…My righteousness only resides in You.”
That is why humility will begin with a fierce, candid look in the mirror—not condemning oneself—because without faith in the Atonement, we are already and always condemned in the Sight of Holy God. It is Jesus that changes that reality for us.
With that understanding of Sin, deserved Wrath, and Merciful Atonement, we can preach the Gospel to ourselves and then to others without hypocrisy.
Prayer: Ah, shucks, Lord: whenever I start to write, this is what pops up. It is like a “whack a mole” fair/circus game. But I can’t get away from how important this is!! I am no Spurgeon but even he hammered on the Gospel every chance he got. I am no John Owen, but he devoted scads of time peeling apart Sin—not the sin of unbelievers, but the Doctrine of Sin as applied to believers.
Help me to understand and communicate with ever increasing clarity.
Heal my wife.
Ricky Two Shoes