September 21.2021 - Romans 2:3-16
There are many opinions when it comes to people who are different than the majority. When someone enters our group who is struggling with mental, physical disabilities, infected with a terminal illness or a very contagious disease, how do we respond? Should we shun, quarantine, or outright deny them access; or should we welcome them and withhold our unsubstantiated opinions?
Paul had stated in the previous chapter that people were under God’s wrath. He now turns his attention to people who are making judgments upon the actions and attitudes of the society God has judged as doomed and under judgment. These individuals have determined that they are of a higher standard and therefore positioned to make a critical judgment on others. Paul immediately challenges their thoughts and states that God’s judgment is also directed toward them in accordance with the law. Their moral and intellectual standing was not sufficient to withhold the judgment of God upon their lives as well.
While they may not have sunk into the flagrant and willful activities of those they were judging, they were guilty of rejecting the “riches of His goodness” and not coming to repentance themselves. The prideful attitude being manifested was one of superiority and arrogance over those guilty of one form of sinfulness while at the same moment not recognizing their own faults and repenting.
Paul’s intent is to demonstrate that regardless of the form of sin manifested, all are sinners. Man is without excuse before a holy and righteous God. In God’s sight it does not matter if the sin is external or internal in nature, both are sin and fall under God’s wrath. Sin committed in the brothels or the backwoods of primitive cultures are no different to God than the ones orchestrated in board rooms and educational halls of power and prestige. The day will come when “God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ …” (v.16).
Today, as we either enter our workday or read this at the conclusion of the day, reflect upon our actions and attitudes. Did we see the people around us as Christ does or were we viewing their actions and attitudes and then judging them based on a sense of superiority or an elitist mentality? Remember, God is observing both attitude and action. Be slow to judge and quick to pray!