God’s Righteous Judgment
1 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? 4 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? 5 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. ESV
V1. “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, everyone who judges…”
We are all without excuse. The creation itself testifies to the existence of God. The Psalmist wrote,
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Psalm 19:1-3 KJV
When the crowd in Lystra wanted to declare Paul and Barnabas gods because of the miracles performed through them, Paul declared to them,
You should turn from these vain things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he did not leave himself without witness, in that he did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. Acts 14:15-17 KJV
Now about judging, we have no excuse to judge for we are all sinners. It really irks me to see my sins being done by others, especially by my adult sons. I just get kind of frustrated and boy I could really lay into them in the flesh, but by the grace and peace of God I’ve matured some over the years. By walking with The Lord and being disciplined by Him I’ve learned something about doing it His way and that means walking it, not talking it and you know what, it makes a bigger impression on them. They actually ask for my advice and listen. Maybe they’re just at that age where they think, ‘The old man’s not half as stupid as I thought he was?’ and I pray I’m not.
Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you. Luke 6:37-38 NKJV
“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure…”
This is one of the misquoted scriptures in the Bible by prosperity theology types. First of all The Lord is not talking about money, He is talking about forgiveness. As humans when we sin we cry out, ‘Have mercy on me Lord’, but just let someone offend our sensibilities or worse we cry out, ‘Justice Lord’. Oh what a big legalistic trip we can get on when someone sins against us. That’s because we hate to see our sins being done by others, but what’s worse is when we see sins that we don’t have a problem or stumbling block over, then we can really get carried away with judging, because we can now try and justify ourselves by thinking thoughts like… Well I’m not so bad, my sins are small compared to theirs… That’s an abomination and I just got a little sin… You know, I just barely missed the mark, but they can’t even hit the broad side of a barn….Wow I’m so much better than them.
Well sin is sin and we are all sinners.
We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind. Isaiah 64:6 NKJV
The Hebrew word translated here as filthy is transliterated,`iddah, pronunciation, id·dä’.
Thayer’s Lexicon defines it,
a) filthy rag, stained garment (fig. of best deeds of guilty people)
So that is how our self-righteousness appears to The Lord. It is only through Jesus the Christ that our sinful nature can be transformed and into His Divine nature. That we can put off the old man and be a new creation in Him.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 NKJV
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18 NKJV
The Greek word translated here is metamorphoō, Pronunciation, me-tä-mor-fo’-ō from which we get our English word metamorphosis, such as in the case of the lowly caterpillar and how it becomes a beautiful butterfly. The Greek word is used four times in the New Testament. In these two passages about the change that takes place in the true believer in Christ through the inner working of the Holy Spirit and twice in regards to The Lord’s transfiguration on the high mountain. (Matt. 17:9 and Mark 9:2).
V2-3. “…the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things…”
Not only those who practice sin, live in sin and will not repent of their sins and simply ask The Lord to be their Lord and then He can be their Savior, but also those who hinder the gospel message from going forth. At the time Paul was speaking of the self-righteous Jews, but now in the church age it can be applied to all who hinder the Truth of the gospel message.
In chapter two Paul moves from those who are outside God’s covenant to those who are inside namely the self-righteous Jews. In Judaism of the first century there were two major schools of teaching. Beit Shammai (House of Shammi) a very conservative Jewish rabbi and Beit Hillel led by a more liberal rabbi. These two great Jewish sages and their differing opinions dominated Judaism in our Lord’s day and is still the dominant views held today, although the teachings of Hillel and his grandson Gamaliel, who was Paul’s rabbi when he was a young man (Acts 22:3) and who’s advice is recorded in Acts 5:34, have gained ascendancy.
An interesting encounter recorded in the Babalonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat, 31a. “On another occasion it happened that a certain heathen came before Shammai and said to him, ‘Make me a proselyte, on condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot.’ Thereupon he repulsed him with the builder’s cubit which was in his hand. When he went before Hillel, he said to him, ‘What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbour: that is the whole Torah, while the rest is the commentary thereof; go and learn it.'”
V4.”…God’s kindness is to lead you to repentance…”
Repentance; literally to change one’s mind, to turn around your thinking. God’s kindness, His love for us and not only us, but the whole cosmos, for the creation itself longs to be redeemed. This is essential theology, God desires for all to be saved! He desires to reconcile all of creation and the creation knows it. There will be signs in the Heavens and on the earth.
For God so loved the world (Gr. kosmos) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not parish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 NKJV
Because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Romans 8:21 NKJV
V5. “…you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath…”
There are a lot of differing opinions about God’s wrath. My friends who attend or lecture at ‘Prophecy Conferences’ have many differing views of this wrath to come; when His wrath is poured out, and what the wrath of God is. It is clear from the scriptures that, “the wrath of God’s righteous judgment” is found in the second advent of Jesus the Christ when He returns with His Holy angels to judge the world.
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. John 3:36 NKJV
For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Thesolonians 5:9 NKJV
May the Grace and Peace of our Lord be with you always, may His Word be a lamp unto your feet to guide you in these dark days so that you will not stumble.