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Romans 2:1


Darlene

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Heavenly Father,

 

I sense Your Spirit moving more intensely and powerfully in our lives lately. Not just mine, but so many others that I know. I sense this urgency that while time is running short, that there is still time. I sense that the glory and majesty that is You will be becoming more apparent...as the darkness gets darker, Your Holiness and Truth will shine even more brightly. I sense You calling Your children into alignment as the Body of Christ, each person exactly where You've placed them, and many times in a different position that they may first have thought. And as this all starts to come together, I sense a precision, a fluidity as the Body marches to war. May we all keep our eyes lifted up for the Head of the Church to appear, and may each step we take, be taken in obedience, humility and great thankfulness before Your throne.

 

Oh Father, half the time I don't even know why I write what I do anymore...but by the power of Your Spirit, may Your perfect will be done because You are God. You are my God, our God.

 

I love You Father.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

 

 

 

William Newell titles the entrance into Chapter 2 of Romans as, "The Great Principles according to which God's Judgment of Human Action Must Proceed."

 

1. Wherefore thou art without excuse, O man, - any one judging [others]: for in the very matter in which thou judgest the other man, thou are giving judgment against thy very self: for the same things thou art practising, - thou who art judging!

 

In tracing the history of the human race...its iniquity and idolatry (especially since the Flood), we have seen the 20 'counts' we have been indicted with at the end of Chapter 1.

 

The rvbv talks about the enormous statement that is made in Romans 2:1. It states, "We now enter upon the greatest passage in all Scripture as to the principles and processes of God in His estimate, or judgment, concerning His creatures. If God is "Judge of all," and if the whole world is to be "brought under the judgment of God" (3:19), God will surely take pains to make known the great principles of His action, so that men may know beforehand how He will decide and act. Otherwise, men would "imagine vain things" about the true God, and hug their delusions to their own damnation."

 

Like wow...that sure makes sense. One cannot say that God is not fair. He's been very explicit from the beginning, as to the choice our will can make....Him or the world.

 

The rvbv talks about how the personal character of God's relations towards men, regardless of whether it's about salvation or damnation, is becoming watered down and forgotten by this generation. Yet, as I've heard so many times, if God is Who He says He is, He must be the Judge of all. The rvbv says, "Back of the whole revelation of His works and ways, in His Word, is God Himself."

 

Now THIS is a concept I've never really thought about before: "God created man "in His own image." Since we are persons - so is God. Since we have personal feelings, - so has God." I've heard people talk about since we have humor and laughter, so does God, but I've never really looked at the fact that He would have feelings...that He would hurt, etc. I'm going to hafta ponder this a little to let it sink in...it kinda is too big to take in right now.

 

The rvbv writes, "Now every creature stands in relation to God according to what God is. God cannot change. Daniel Webster, in answer to the question: "What is the greatest thought that ever entered your mind?" said, at once, "My responsibility to my Maker!" You must meet God, and that as He is, not as you might wish Him to be. If you have Christ, you have already met him! If you have not Christ, you have still to face God in His infinite holiness, and that arrayed against you, at the Judgment Day."

 

The rvbv goes on to state, "Now, this second chapter of Romans deals with those who do not believe that the awful things of the first chapter mean themselves. Consequently, we find two sets of such self-appointed "judges" of others in Chapter Two (the Greek verb for "judging" in the first verse does not mean to estimate a man's value but to condemn his person):

 

First, Those who discountenance the "openly bad" of humanity, considering themselves "better" - because of race, civilization, environment, education, or culture; and,

 

Second, Those who discountenance the bad, thinking themselves "better," because of their religion, - the possession of the Divine oracles: these, of course, were, in Paul's day, the Jews (2:17).

 

Concerning the first class, the "respectable" sinners, who esteem themselves "better," God lays down six great principles of His estimate or judgment of men; and adds a seventh concerning the second class, the "religious" sinners; of whom God declares that the world itself despises inconsistency between practice and religious profession.

 

Now just because the history of our race has been so black, as shown in Chapter One ("God gave them up - God gave them up - God gave them up -"), we who read the record are ourselves in peculiar danger, for the doors into the death-chamber of self-righteousness so easily open to us! We readily fall into the delusion that God is speaking in this chapter concerning heathen idolaters, who finally descended to worshiping "creeping things," - and that He cannot be speaking to us!

 

But will you remember that God comes quickly, through this sad history, to man's settled state. For at the end of the history, the announcement concerning men is, "being filled with all unrighteousness!" By and by God will announce that there is "no distinction" as to sinners, and will publish the fact that there is but one way of salvation for all men alike, - and that through the shed blood of a Redeemer. But here, as we ahve above said, God is heading off from escape first the proud "judges" of others, of every sort, - the moralists, the moral philosophers, all the "moral" folks, - the "whosoevers" that "judge"; and second, those who would escape the consciousness of guilt and judgment by running under a "religious" roof - whether a Jewish shelter, as in Paul's day, or a "Christian" one, in our day.

 

SEVEN GREAT PRINCIPLES OF GOD'S JUDGMENT

 

1. God's judgment is "according to truth" (verse 2)

2. According to accumulated guilt (verse 5)

3. According to works (verse 6)

4. Without respect of persons (verse 11)

5. According to performance, not knowledge (verse 13)

6. God's judgment reaches the secrets of the heart (verse 16)

7. According to reality, not religious profession (verses 17-29)

 

 

Holy Father,

 

May Your Spirit move over this study today, opening our spiritual eyes to see the truths that You, and You alone, would have us see, and comprehend.

 

I'm nervous Father, and there will be some that will know why. But it is Your Word, not mine, and I will trust You.

 

In Jesus Holy Name I pray,

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Now this makes me ponder one of my life long ponderings... distinguishing between being 'judgmental' and fruit identification. What I mean is, while we aren't to judge a persons heart, we are to identify a persons sinful behavior? Right?

 

You know, we are to identify a fruit tree by it's fruit. If someone is living in sin, for the sake of discussion, let's say adultery, are we to pretend the sin doesn't exist. Or can we somehow strike a balance where we recognize the sin but don't determine the person who is sinning as any worse than us in our state of unforgiven sinfulness.

 

Well, I think I just made that about as clear as mud. But, regardless, it sure got me to thinking. and thinking is good.

 

 

Thanks!

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In looking into a couple of commentaries, it states:

 

Matthew Henry's Commentary: I. He arraigns them for their censoriousness and self-conceit (v. 1): Thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest. As he expresses himself in general terms, the admonition may reach those many masters (Jam. iii. 1), of whatever nation or profession they are, that assume to themselves a power to censure, control, and condemn others. But he intends especially the Jews, and to them particularly he applies this general charge (v. 21), Thou who teachest another teachest thou not thyself? The Jews were generally a proud sort of people, that looked with a great deal of scorn and contempt upon the poor Gentiles, as not worthy to be set with the dogs of their flock; while in the mean time they were themselves as bad and immoral—though not idolaters, as the Gentiles, yet sacrilegious, v. 22. Therefore thou art inexcusable. If the Gentiles, who had but the light of nature, were inexcusable (ch. i. 20), much more the Jews, who had the light of the law, the revealed will of God, and so had greater helps than the Gentiles.

 

Adam Clarke's Commentary: Dr. Taylor makes the following sensible observations at the commencement of this chapter.

 

"The representation of the moral state of the heathen world, in the foregoing chapter, is a demonstration of the necessity of the Gospel for the reformation and salvation of man. And how rich is the favour wherewith God has visited the world! To have destroyed a race of apostate rebels, who had abused their understandings and every gift of a bountiful Creator, would have been justice; to have spared them would have been lenity and goodness; but to send his only begotten Son from heaven to redeem us from all iniquity and ungodliness by his own blood; to grant us a free pardon for all our sins; to put us in a state of mercy and salvation; to take us into his kingdom and family; to give us an inheritance among his saints; to bless us with immortality and all spiritual blessings in heavenly places;-this is most wonderful and exuberant favour. Rightly is the doctrine which teaches it called the Gospel, or glad tidings. One would think it could not possibly have met with opposition from any part of mankind.

 

But the JEW opposed it! He abhorred the Gentile, and contradicted the grace that honoured and saved him. The apostle pleads and defends our cause. His business is to confound the Jew, and to prove that we have as good a right as he to all the blessings of the Messiah's kingdom. And, by his description of the vicious state of the Gentiles, in the former chapter, he has wisely made his advantage of the prejudices of the Jew; for nothing could please him more than the preceding discourse, in which the Gentiles are reduced to so vile and abject a state. Thus the apostle gives him an opportunity to condemn the Gentiles; but he does this that he may the more effectually humble him in this chapter; in which he proves that the Jews, having in an aggravated manner despised the goodness and broken the law of God, were as obnoxious to his wrath as the Gentiles; and if so, how could they, with any conscience or modesty, arrogate all the Divine mercy to themselves, or pretend that others were unworthy of it, when they had done as much or more to forfeit it! Must they not exclude themselves from being the people of God under the Gospel, by the same reason that they would have the Gentiles excluded! But this was an argument highly ungrateful to the Jew; and it would be very difficult to fix any conviction upon his mind. Therefore the apostle addresses him in a covert way:-Thou art therefore inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest; not giving out expressly that he meant the Jew, that the Jew might more calmly attend to his reasoning, while he was not apprehensive that he was the man. This point secured, the apostle, very judiciously and with great force of reasoning, turns his thoughts from his present superior advantages to the awful day of judgment, ver. 5, 6, when God, in the most impartial equity, will render to all mankind, without exception, according to their works. Thus the apostle grounds his following argument, very methodically and solidly, in God's equal regards to all men, in all nations, who uprightly practice truth and godliness; and his disapproving, and at last condemning, all men, in any nation, however privileged, who live wickedly. This was a blow at the root, and demolished, in the most effectual manner, the Jew's prejudices in favour of his own nation, and the unkind thoughts he had entertained of the Gentiles. For, if a Jew could be convinced that a sober, upright heathen might be blessed with eternal salvation, he must be persuaded that it was no absurd matter that believing Gentiles should now be pardoned, and taken into the visible Church. Thus the apostle advances with great skill, insinuating himself, by degrees, into the Jew's conscience. It is reasoning is well adapted to encourage the Gentile, humbled by the dismal representation in the preceding chapter; for he would here see that he was not utterly abandoned of God, but might, upon good grounds, hope for his mercy and kindness."

 

Verse 1. That judgest] Æo krinwn, the judger; thou assumest the character of a judge, and in that character condemnest others who are less guilty than thyself.

 

One of the thoughts that comes to mind is that this 'judging' is one of a positional attitude...like the commentaries say, putting others down as if they are less worthy, because of pride, ego, superiority; condemning others to a lower platform so that our station remains exhalted.

 

For me, when I assess the fruits, it's more of a reasoning of the mind (which is scriptural)...assessing the facts along God's guidelines, and not my own.

 

So yes, I agree with you. Judging and identifying are two completely different things.

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Maybe it's too simplistic, but I always considered "judging" to be thinking less of a person, or -- to put it in even simpler terms -- "if you commit x sin, you are a bad person".

 

It's one thing to point out that someone is doing wrong. It's another thing entirely to LOOK down on that person. We're all sinners. I'm no better or worse than the next guy. So how can I look at a sin and condem the person committing it?

 

As the saying goes, "Hate the sin, love the sinner". I would submit that judging is when you cross the line into hating the sinner.

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