SUBJ: The fact
of depravity and guilt having been established against all in terms of
creation revealed now brought to bear on individuals who must give
account to God.
AIM: That we
might be warned away from the things herein mentioned and that we may
fully embrace the goodness of God that leads to repentance.
INTR: The last
chapter ended in such a way that leaves all without excuse and there are
no exceptions while this one begins by directing the thoughts to
1. The “therefore” in this case is not so much a
reference to what went before as a direction to what follows – there is
a shift in emphasis from the general to the specific.
declaration that it is “the goodness of God that leadeth thee to
repentance” has often been referenced as we would point away from a
harsh and unfeeling presentation of the matters of judgment and eternal
3. The warning here is certainly away from the idea that
men may find ways to escape the judgment of God apart from His mercy and
this is why the Apostle brings it to bear here – the good news is that
there is plenteous mercy with the Lord.
THESIS: While these topics may seem
unpleasant, they are needful that we might properly appreciate our
gracious estate because of the mercy of God; that we may be warned away
from presumption; and that we may realize the precarious estate of those
identified in this way and that not as their judges!
I. No excuse
1. Our Lord included such a warning in the Sermon on the
Mount: Judge not, that ye be not judged. Matthew 7:1.
1) There are
two words used here for judgment and the one in the first verse and this
one means to draw conclusions about one’s worth or deservingness for
2) The other (in verse 2) is that executed by God in the
condemnation and execution.
2. The issue here is that none are able
to escape the matter of guilt and because of their own sin are incapable
of properly judging another without including themselves.
Barnhouse identifies six areas of judgment including race, civilization,
wealth, education, culture, ethics, and religion. We will not pursue
these in depth.
4. The fact is that while we may think or speak
judgingly of others we may be found guilty of the same crime. An example
might be that we judge a man to be a liar while none are excluded from
having shaded the truth in some manner at some time. We are reminded
that Christ took the matter of guilt out of the visible or literal realm
and brought to a spiritual application.
II. No escape (vv. 2-3)
1. There are many avenues of escape as far as the consequences of
lawbreaking are concerned.
1) Undiscovered crime
2) Escape from
3) Malfunction in the legal process
4) Escape from
2. No such possibilities exist with God (although men seek to
explain away the absolute of judgment here.
1) All things are open to
his vision and
2) All things are brought to face the fact of sin and
the revelation of the hatred of God for it.
3. No escape from
1) There has never been and never will be a mistrial
declared in the court of God
2) There will be no deception or
successful influence of or upon the Judge
3) He has assured us that
it will be so: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will
judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained;
whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him
from the dead. Acts 17:31
4) His resurrection has assured us of
eternal life, but the judgment that fell on Him assures that none are
5) Behold the Lamb of God.
III. No other way (vv.
1. The most serious implications concerning judging is given in
verses 4 and 5.
1) See: 11 For the grace of God that bringeth
salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying
ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and
godly, in this present world; Titus 2:11-12
2) There is such a thing
as common grace which includes forbearance and longsuffering – we might
otherwise think of it as space for repentance.
2. These are riches:
And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our
beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath
written unto you; 2 Peter 3:15.
3. How does the goodness of God lead?
(This leading is directed to all)
1) By all the provisions that
should be seen as evidence of His gracious provision
2) By the fact
that He does not execute judgment immediately
3) By the fact that the
Gospel is declared and Christ is set forth as coming into the world to
save sinners –Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he
hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
4. Hardness against such overtures of goodness and grace
is truly the action of the impenitent
5. We who know the Lord realize
that it was the goodness of God when He brought us to face our sin and
to realize that the only remedy was to be found in our suffering
substitute and His mercy and so to repent and believe the Gospel.