Word for Wednesday

Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. Romans 2:1

Take a good look at your hand the next time you point to someone to tell them that they have done or said something wrong. First, notice how that index finger looks so menacing and accusatory as it stands out there aimed at the wrongdoer. Next, notice how your thumb so discretely covers up the fact that the three other fingers are pointed directly back at yourself! It is highly possible that God designed our hand this way so we could be reminded of the truth in today’s text.

Actually, this text is leading from a description in the previous chapter of the bad people. And they are bad: Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful – Romans 1:29-31. We shy away from this description, because we would never be like this or even associate with people like this. Or would we? Our text declares ‘thou that judgest doest the same things’. But, you say, this verse is talking about those who are not saved, those who are still living in sin. Before I grant you that argument, let me ask you two questions: First, were you always saved and not living in sin? Second, are you now living in complete rejection of everything that is in those three verses from Romans 1? The Lord Jesus would allow stones to be thrown only by those who were without sin. And He would allow eye-mote removal only by those with no beam in their own eye. It may be true that we as Christians have left behind the worst of the sinful lifestyles that marked our unconverted days. But it is only by the grace of God that we have done so. And a close scrutiny will reveal that we are still holding onto (or have returned to) some of those things that our salvation ought to have delivered us from.

I have met some wonderful Christians during my lifetime, and so have you. Some of them have obviously drawn very close to their Lord, and have become very like him. But if you ask them about it, they will tell you that the more they become like Christ, the more they will realize how little like Christ they are. Sadly, the opposite is also true: those Christians who have drifted away from their Lord usually fail to realize how unlike Christ they have become. The sins that are listed in Romans 1 should apply only to those who are not yet in Christ. We should have nothing to do with them.

Our text is reminding not only to stop judging others, but to also start judging ourselves -Jim MacIntosh

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