June 17, 2019 by Arlin Sorensen
In Romans 2:1-3 Paul gets pretty direct with us. He lays it right on the line – we have no excuse and can’t raise ourselves above others for any reason, because we are equally guilty. “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges.” In the first chapter of Romans, Paul points out a number of the things we might consider are big sins. But now he speaks to those of us who are generally moral in the way we live. A good example of this mind set is Jesus’ illustration of the Pharisee and the Publican. If we take those figures from Jesus’ parable, Paul spoke to the Publican in Romans 1 and now he addresses the Pharisee.
We can’t be good enough on our own. We can compare ourselves with others, and find some who may seem to be more sinner that we are. But sin is the great equalizer. All of us have and will sin. So none of us is worthy of eternity with God based on His standards. We all fall short. And the least sinner is equally as guilty as the one who sins most – guilty and condemned. “For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.” When we judge others, we need to look in the mirror and realize that we are also judging ourselves. We fall short of God’s requirements of godliness, holiness and righteousness. We cannot make it on our own.
It isn’t the judging that makes us guilty and condemned. It is the fact that we too are sinners in need of a Savior. We practice the same sinful things, maybe in different ways or on different levels, but sin is sin no matter how you try and put lipstick on it. It isn’t that we necessarily do the exact same things, but we fall short of God’s perfect requirements. Our sin is all the same (singular), but our sins are not. We will all stand before God and face judgment based on our one sin of falling short of His requirement. We won’t escape God’s judgment. “We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.”
Paul asks a rhetorical question to those listening – do you think you can escape judgment? The answer is clearly no, but he gives those listening the opportunity to come to that conclusion on their own. The point is clear. We are sinners who will stand before a just and holy God and come up empty. Our sins are not the issue – our sin is – that we heart is not pure and we are guilty. We can run. We can hide. We can pretend that none of this will apply to us because we’re basically good. But the truth is, we’re all guilty and going to be judged. “Do you suppose, O man–you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself–that you will escape the judgment of God?”