- Posts: 53
- Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:39 pm
Condemnation according to divine standards
In any generalization such as the preceding blanket indictment of pagan humanity (Rom_1:18-32) exceptions to the rule always exist. Obviously some pagans had high ethical standards and moral lifestyles and condemned the widespread moral corruption of their contemporaries. In addition the Jews morally stood in sharp contrast with the pagan world around them and freely condemned the Gentiles. Both groups of moralists might conclude that God’s condemnation did not apply to them because of their higher planes of living. But Paul insisted that they also stood condemned because they were doing the same things for which they judged others.
Therefore, Paul declared, at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself. Everyone in the entire human race has turned away from God and commits sins even though there are differences of frequency, extent, and degree. In addition the entire human race, especially moral pagans and the Jews, stood condemned before God (and have no excuse [cf. Rom_1:20]) because God’s judgment is based on three divine standards — truth (Rom_2:2-4), impartiality (Rom_2:5-11), and Jesus Christ Himself (Rom_2:12-16) — which are absolute and infinite, condemning every person. It is very easy for us to see sin in other's lives when many times we are unable to see the very same sin in our own life. Many ministers have the attitude that they are exempt, because they preach. The same law applies to us all. There are not 2 sets of rules; one for the congregation and one for the preacher. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Everyone needs Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Both Jews who was Paul’s primary audience here, and moral Gentiles who think they are exempt from God’s judgment because they have not indulged in the immoral excesses described in chapter 1, are tragically mistaken. They have more knowledge than the immoral pagan and thus a greater accountability.
“Condemn thyself:” If someone has sufficient knowledge to judge others, he condemns himself, because he shows he has the knowledge to evaluate his own condition.
“Doest the same things:” In their (the Jews) condemnation of others they have excused and overlooked their own sins. Self righteousness exists because of two deadly errors. (1) Minimizing God’s moral standard usually by emphasizing externals; and (2) Underestimating the depth of one’s own sinfulness.
The first divine standard of judgment is truth. Nowhere in Scripture is God identified as “Truth” as He is as “Spirit” (Joh_4:24), “Light” (1Jn_1:5) and “Love” (1Jn_4:8, 1Jn_4:16), though Jesus did call Himself “the Truth” (Joh_14:6). But God is called “the God of truth” (Psa_31:5; Isa_65:16). Truth — absolute, infinite truth — is unquestionably one of God’s essential attributes. God will not punish anyone on hear-say evidence. God judges in Truth. He knows what the Truth is even before we begin.
“According to the truth”: The meaning is ‘right.” Whatever God does is by nature right.
As a result when God’s judgment of people is declared to be based on literally “According to” “truth,” no escape from that judgment is possible for anyone. All are without “excuse” (Rom_2:1) and without “escape.” One may be moral and he may even judge his contemporaries as totally enmeshed in a depraved lifestyle, but yet he is judged by God because he does the same things (cf. Rom_2:1). This was covered in depth in verse one above. “Condemn thyself:” If someone has sufficient knowledge to judge others, he condemns himself, because he shows he has the knowledge to evaluate his own condition.