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September 17, 2017

"THE AWFUL SIN OF JUDGING"

TEXT: Romans 2: 1-5
READING:  Psalm 2: 1-12

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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 individuals.
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.
2. The 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 punishment.
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 (v. 1)
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 punishment.
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.
3. 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 jurisdiction
3) Malfunction in the legal process
4) Escape from prison
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 judgment here:
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 excluded
5) Behold the Lamb of God.

III. No other way (vv. 4-5)
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; Hebrews 1:2.
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.