Let God alone judge!
Romans 2:1-16 (Pastor Heo)
God’s Righteous Judgment
2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism. 12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
Remember last week, a bad story? Idolatry, etc. This is the continuation of that story.
Let me ask a question: difficult/easy:
- When you stand before a mirror, what is the first thing you see? (Myself) Is that right?
Likewise, whenever we stand before the Word of God, the first thing we MUST see is Myself (in God). We can, of course, see the world, others, the future, and many other things. But the FIRST thing we must see is MYSELF. This is a spiritual mirror:
James 3:23-24 “Anyone who listens to the WOG, but doesn’t do what it says is like a man who looks in the mirror but goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”
2 couples heard the same message in the same place in the same seminar.
- One became stronger, happier, and more faithful to God.
- Another became worse, fighting more, and complaining more.
What is the difference?
- One couple SAW THEMSELVES (“I must love my wife more. I must respect my husband more.”)
- The other couple SAW THEIR PARTNER. (“THAT person must love/respect ME more!!!”)
This is the difference.
Jesus said this, “Once, two men went to the temple to pray. One man said, ‘Thanks, God, I’m not like THAT MAN!’ The other man said, ‘God, have mercy on me, I’m a sinner!’“
- The first man saw the other man and justified himself, and returned home condemned.
- The other man saw himself, repented, and walked home justified.
In this passage, we can see the word “YOU” 15 times.
First, Paul is addressing the Jews.
Previously, we saw a terrible, grim, ugly picture of humanity (last Sunday). This world was under condemnation by God. At that time, the Jews totally agreed with that condemnation – but they never dreamed that THEY ALSO were under such condemnation. They always thought that they were privileged before God. They thought God only judged the Gentiles, but protected them. They thought that Abraham sat at the gates of hell and would not allow even evil Israelites to go to hell.
Actually, God loves ALL nations. But they believed at that time that God judged all nations except their own. That’s why we need chapter 2.
Also, last Sunday, if you thought “Oh, this is not MY story, but someone else’s story” then we NEED chapter 2. Who cannot find in himself at least ONE terrible sin (of 24 listed there)?
1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
Today’s topic: Let God alone judge!
What shall we do?
If we say, “Let God judge” then we also must be ready/prepared to be judged by God. Are you ready?
Let me tell you WHY we cannot judge others. There are at least 4 reasons.
#1: We have no authority to judge
This is common sense. The Creator judges his creation. Creation does not judge its Creator. The Master judges his servants, not vice versa.
Please remember, we have no right to judge others.
#2: We have no power to judge
In order to judge without shame, I must be PERFECT, sinless, faultless, errorless, stainless, blameless in my character, personality, actions, ideas, thoughts. I must be PERFECT 100% to judge without shame. Who can say “I am perfect 100%”?
#3: We have no knowledge to judge
In order to judge RIGHTLY, correctly, I must have 100% knowledge about his background, ideas, motivation, hidden history, etc. I must know WHY he did it. Nobody can say, “I’m omniscient (all-knowing).”
#4: We have no permission to judge
We are not permitted by God to judge. Yes, Jesus says directly, “Do not judge or you will be judged. In this same way, you will be judged. With the same measure you use, you will be judged. He has a speck of sawdust in his eye. You have a plank in your eye.”
Of course, I can see my neighbor’s eyes, but I cannot see my own eyes. Therefore, we cannot judge others.
God hates judgment because judgment belongs to GOD ALONE. He has the right, privilege, power, and permission to judge all.
- “Nothing is hidden before the eyes of God, everything is revealed, made bear before him.”
- Ecclesiastes conclusion: “God will bring ALL THINGS into judgment – including all hidden things, whether good or evil.”
In this passage, God alone judges.
Let me share 3 items regarding this:
God judges according to:
- Truth (v. 2)
- Our actions – what we have done/been doing (v. 6)
- Our secrets (v. 16)
v. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is **based on truth.**
This means, God has ONLY ONE standard. There is only ONE principle. There are no double standards for differing people. God is the God of ALL. He does not show favoritism – he is a universal God.
God judges according to Truth = “inward reality as a foundation of outward phenomena”
So, before God, the invisible, spirit God, looking at some woman lustfully = committing adultery with her in his heart.
- Greed = idolatry
- Hate = murder
- Everything not of faith = sin
God judges according to the inward reality of a person.
God judges according to Truth = our attitude toward Christ (Jesus IS the Truth – “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life – and no one comes to the Father except through me.”) Rejecting Jesus = the original sin, the root of sin, the sin of sins. What is your attitude toward Christ? Why? Because THIS ATTITUDE determines how we will be in eternity.
This is the basic principle “God judges”. Also, God judges according to Truth = the Bible. This is the Standard (B.I.B.L.E = Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth…)
“Heaven and earth will disappear, but the WOG will remain forever.”
#2: Our actions / deeds
v. 6 God “will repay each person according to **what they have done.**”
God judges according to deeds DOES NOT mean “we are saved by deeds.” No, we are justified and saved by FAITH alone. But remember, TRUE SAVING FAITH results in obedience and godly living (deeds).
True faith = godly works (deeds)
God says, “Be holy as I am holy.”
God does not judge based on our heritage, but on the lives we live – the total impact of our character and actions – even though there may be occasional faults.
- David = not perfect = murderer, stole another man’s wife – BUT, the TOTAL impact = “a man after God’s own heart”
- Judas = did some good things working with Jesus – BUT, the TOTAL impact = sinful
- Consider agriculture: if we do not keep the laws of farming, we starve.
- Or health: if we do not follow the laws of health, our bodies suffer.
- Like this, we must keep the laws of God to not suffer – to prosper.
13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.
Yes, right now, we have a big blessing to have and possess and hear the Word of God. BUT, this wonderful privilege and blessing makes our responsibility and accountability even GREATER to obey his Word. That’s why God judges according to what we have done.
#3: Our secrets
v. 16 This will take place on the day when God judges **my secrets** through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
What does this mean?
This is a serious issue.
Yes, God is holy, and commands us to be holy like him (like Father, like son). God is not holy sometimes, but is holy ALWAYS. Like this God does not want “sometimes” but wants “all the time.” God does not want sometimes holy things, sometimes worldly things. Actually, God wants us to do spiritual things in this unspiritual world ALL THE TIME. He wants us to be holy in this unholy place ALL THE TIME.
Question: What is heavenly/divine, and what is worldly? How can we distinguish between these two?
- Pray, study the Bible, etc = spiritual?
- Working, shopping, computer, KakaoTalk = worldly?
Is this true? Then we are holy/unholy/holy/unholy all day all the time.
How can we be holy all the time? God judges us according to “secrets” = according to our motivation, final purpose, etc.
- Yes, now, I’m preaching. Do you think I’m doing holy things? Actually, only God knows. If I’m preaching the Word of God without love for you and the glory of God, but rather for MY GLORY, then this is an UNholy thing.
- Likewise, if YOU work, shop, clean the house, etc, with love and for the glory of God, then YOU are doing HOLY things.
“Do everything with love.”
“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of GOD.” – This is a holy thing. We will do this (holy thing) after service today.
God judges according to our secrets = “our methods” or how we handle the truth.
In this passage, “…my gospel” = Paul’s gospel. But honestly, before God, are you able to call this gospel also “my gospel”? Who can call this gospel “my gospel”? God bless us all to be able to call this gospel “my gospel.”
Yes, the gospel is of God, from God, not the message of men but of God. This is the gospel message of God. Also, the gospel is the message of Jesus Christ, especially his death and resurrection. Also, the gospel is the message of the Holy Spirit in that only the HS is able to regenerate a sinner into a child of God.
Gospel = the gospel of
- Holy Spirit
So, WHO can call this gospel “my gospel”?
There are 2 qualifications.
Do you have experience? Have you experienced the power of the gospel in your life? Creating, transforming, life-giving, life-changing power. Have you experienced this? Has the gospel changed even your hobbies? Hallelujah~
Only those who EXPERIENCE the power of the gospel in their own lives can call this gospel “my gospel.”
Commitment: Are you committed? Have you dedicated your WHOLE life to this gospel message?
“The Gospel is GOOD News (of great joy for all the people at the same time forever and ever)!”
News that is not told, announced, is not news.
If you have this gospel, this news in you, is it being declared?
Only those who share the good news can call the gospel “my gospel.”
God bless us to live like this.