· Based on reading the list of character traits in the previous chapter (vv. 29-31), there is no way they can sit in judgment of people who do the same things they are doing.
· God is righteous and as such has every right to judge people who practice, or approve of those who practice, evil ways.
· Judgmental hypocrisy is not something Paul is taking lightly
· God gives the kindness of mercy for the sake of repentance from sin
· Judgment is according to works
o Fire and wrath will come for those who seek self and are unrighteous
o But salvation will come to anyone who seeks glory and honor and well doing
· The Jews have the law, and gentiles don’t, but both will fall under condemnation of sin.
· It isn’t just outward sin that God will judge by, but also inward sin of conscience
· The Jews have the law but fail to practice it while they instruct others how to practice it. This is again hypocrisy. Practice what they preach.
· They fail to practice the law they proclaim and will be judged for it. Their boasting in God is voided by their failure to obey Him.
· Circumcision is what was supposed to represent the Jews as being set apart by God, but to truly be set apart by God you must behave has set apart by following the law.
· It is only the people who practice obedience to the law that are truly God’s people.
· Paul makes a final point that being truly set apart as God’s person is done by the Spirit and not by the law.
· The Jews were God’s chosen people and he gave them the Law to follow. They knew the law and taught the law and prided themselves in it. How much of God’s word, the Bible, do we hear, and memorize, and study, and talk about but it never results in us trying to follow it? If we are going to follow Jesus, we should do our best to imitate the example Jesus gives us so that the Spirit, through prayer and practice, can transform us.
· We, who call Jesus King and Savior, are ambassadors of him, and just like in verse 23, we should give others, people who don’t know Jesus, an accurate picture of what a Jesus follower looks like.
· To call ourselves Christians, to go to church on Sunday, and judge others for their actions, is not an appropriate representation of Jesus. Only those who are truly seeking Jesus, humbly, asking for Him to change us as we do our best to follow Him, will be called “God’s people” because calling yourself a Christ follower isn’t enough – we must actually follow Him.
Living perfectly according to your Word is impossible. Please continue to grow us closer into the image of your Son, knowing that it will only be the Spirit who produces godliness in us, but knowing that we also have a responsibility to follow you. Please increase our faith, increase our humility, increase our love for others and please open our eyes and ears to better understand our role in being the light in dark places.
Posted on Fri, May 15, 2015
by joel king