I realize I should have assigned both chapters 1 & 2 of Romans as we look at the first two verses of chapter 2:
â€œTherefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.â€ (Romans 2:1-2)
When reading the Bible it is always important to find out what the therefore is there for. Paul spent the second half of the first chapter explaining to the Roman church that salvation comes through justification which is by faith. He then goes into his explanation as to why Godâ€™s wrath was coming on the unrighteous.
Paul now begins defending Godâ€™s righteous judgment. He shows how so many self-proclaimed righteous people are oh so good at condemning others for sin and excusing their own. We deceive ourselves when we think weâ€™re justified in condemning others, but God condemns â€œaccording to truthâ€, aletheia truth. And God is justified because He is a God of Truth. Look at Mosesâ€™ declaration about God:
â€œFor I proclaim the name of the LORD: ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.â€ (Deuteronomy 32:3-4)
God is sometimes accused of being unfair and while that may seem true, the truth is our God is Truth and He is just. Life isnâ€™t always fair and it was not God who brought judgment into this world; it was sin. But make no mistake; it is God who will judge sin. The psalmist declares that everything God does is done in truth:
â€œFor the word of the LORD is right, and all His work is done in truth.â€ (Psalm 33:4)
So often I think of myself as being judge and jury over mankind and God has to show me that this too is pride and hypocrisy in my life. This happens when I try to take Godâ€™s glory when I know that all is His:
â€œNot unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy, because of Your truth.â€ (Psalm 115:1)
When we focus on Biblical truth, aletheia truth, through the reading of Scripture, the Holy Spirit reveals in each of us where we are missing the mark with God. The more I read the Word the less I find myself condemning the world.
So Bro Dave, are we not supposed to speak out against lies and injustice? No, of course we are, but let us speak Godâ€™s truth and give our opinions less a lofty position. With our new venture Aletheia Group we intend to pursue the truth, to keep on watch for it, but we will do so in the light of Scripture and history. It will not be IAWDâ€”in accordance with Dave. It will be in accordance with the Word and the Truth.
I must be careful when I try to be Jesus. Jesus is indeed our model of righteousness and I am to model my life after Him. But I must be careful not to judge as Jesus did for He is the Righteous Judge and all He did and said was from a pure heart and pure motives. I am not capable of such purity; my heart is not like Jesus:
â€œThe heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.â€ (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
The Prophet Jeremiah is teaching me that my motives, from my heart, can deceive me into believing that I am being righteous when I condemn others for their sins. I like what John Phillips writes in his commentary on Romans 2:1-2:
It is all too easy to be indignant at other peopleâ€™s sins and indulgent of our own. This is the very essence of hypocrisy. â€œHypocriteâ€ comes from a word which means â€œto act a part as on a stage.â€ The hypocrite is a playactor. He puts on a show for the benefit of other people but, as David found out and as Paul declares, the hypocrite does not deceive God.
Truth without mercy is a sledgehammer; mercy without truth is sugar water. Neither is fit for the Kingdom of God. If we are going to be the salt and light of the earth as Jesus commands us to be then let us listen well to Solomonâ€™s guidance:
â€œLet not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.â€ (Proverbs 3:3-4)
I want to be esteemed by God and man because I am found righteous and not judgmental of man by comparing him to me. Too many times I am self-righteous and judgmental when I should be just the opposite: righteous and self-judgmental.
To be otherwise is, well…the very essence of hypocrisy.
Weâ€™ve just scratched the surface of our Heavenly Father as the God of Truth. The Lord willing weâ€™ll look some more on Monday. I pray you have a blessed Sunday. Happy Fatherâ€™s Day to all you Dads. Be sure to call yours this Sunday.
And please remember to go to church on Sunday; this is one of the least attended Sundays.
Letâ€™s change that, shall we?
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Copyright Â© 2011 David Jeffers