Faithlife Sermons

Judgment and a Hint of Hypocrisy and Dilemmas

A Study through Romans  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts

Introduction

Rationale

My job is in education - specifically, online education. My love for learning has grown since I started this job this time last year and it has carried over into how I teach. Not that I am going to introduce online education to you all and make you take tests or submit papers, but in that I adapt how I teach different audiences and that i mix up my teaching style. I’m especially impacted when other people teach – I take notes on their teaching style and on their content.
For example, this past year I have been a rather consistent co-teacher for my young adult group. I had to deliver many lessons that would go the course of an hour and trust me, it took a tool on a full-time student, part-time intern, part-time student worker, and full-/part-time whatever else I can come up with. Besides, some people like listening to lectures, watching videos, participating in discussions, or going off on their own.
So with that, I would like to teach the Bible creatively and cater to all different learning styles and preferences the best I can so that the Word of the Lord may be cherished in each one of your hearts.
So, whereas the last time I mainly taught the whole time, this time I would like to introduce more discussion oriented activities. This is also beneficial because a lot of you bring perspectives and culture and ideas to the text that we would have non otherwise thought of!
Also, do not be afraid to ask questions and bring up comments – we, especially I, would like to hear them!

Recap

So, let’s recap. What did we go over last week and what have we learned from the whole letter in general?
Learned about Paul
Purpose of the letter
Attribute of God – Wrath
Nature of Sin
Nature of Man
Redeemed Man

Introduction

Now, we approach a new topic. Whereas last month we discussed the doctrine of sin, this time we will discuss the doctrine of judgment. A benefit of doing an expositional study (studying through a book of a Bible) is discovering and discussing topics we would not otherwise discuss. Sin and judgment do not seem to be nice topics to cover, but they are necessary because God has revealed them to us so we should study them to see what he wants us to know about him and us. Plus, covering judgment is a natural progression (and you’ll see why in a bit) when we start with out sinfulness. Would someone like to read the text for us nice and loud?
What images come to mind when you hear about judgment? Positive? Negative?
Discuss
Let’s see how these images compare to what the Lord has to reveal to us with the help of his Holy Spirit. Would someone like to pray for our time together?
Pray

Hypocrisy (v. 1-3)

I’m sure we’ve all run into hypocrisy in our lives. In fact, it is one of the main reasons why people become disenfranchised with the church and end up leaving and not returning. This is sad and this is wrong because this is not how the Lord wants judgment to be. The Lord, who is the standard of judgment and justice, wants judgment to be precise – it is not wrong. Let’s look at what Christ says in – would anyone like to read this passage for us?
v. 3
(Jesus iterates this principle in the next story of the Woman Caught in Adultery if you want to read this at a later time.)
You see, what Jesus was doing here was correcting the Pharisees on their judgments. They literally just said that Christ was possessed by demons in v. 20! Clearly, they didn’t think he was possessed by the Holy Spirit. We, of course, know that now because we know Christ.
If we judge according to what God has revealed to us through his Law – the 10 Commandments (which he references here in v. 19 and their hypocrisy in not keeping it) – then it is righteous judgment.
However, we are sinners. Sometimes our judgments will look hypocritical because, sometimes, we do the very things we judge people for. This is a hard contention because we want to proclaim what God reveals to us, but we also want to follow God and what he has said. So what do we do?
Perhaps our judgment of sin looks more like an encouragement for the person to repent. Not encouragement to keep on continuing in their sin, but saying “Friend, because I care deeply about you and your spiritual well-being, I want to show you something in the Scriptures. Would you take time to hear what the Lord has to say?”
( is another interesting passage to study on judgment, but we can save this for another time.)
Ultimately, when it comes to our judgment, it comes down to motivation. Are we judging because we think we are showing God how good we are by being him? or are we motivated by the spiritual well-being of our brother or sister?

God (v. 4-8)

Now, let’s transition like Paul does here. He has gotten down showing us how flawed our judgment looks. But, he uses this to show us how perfect God’s judgments are!
Notice in v. 4 here. A question often asked: “Why doesn’t God judge sin or evil now and get this all over with?” What do you think the answer is?
Discuss
God sometimes delays his judgment because he wants his people to be saved. Plus, we, through Adam, have brought ourselves into this condition – who are we to make demands upon God for his judgment?
The reason why God doesn’t always judges hypocrites – or everyone right now as a matter of fact – is because he wants his goodness to bring some of his people in. Sure, God uses judgments to bring his people to him, but he can equally and as effectively use his goodness to bring his people to him.
Now, don’t fret over this delay. Often we have people who sin against us and we want God’s justice through his judgment in this situation. As John Calvin said, “For as there are some men whose crimes he does not punish in this world, but whose punishment he delays till the future life, that he may inflict on them more dreadful torments.” And this is true because of what Paul writes in v. 5-8.
God is just, he will see that justice is served in all situations correctly – whether now or in the future or in the day of judgment because when we get to the New Creation, there will be no more injustice.
Paul shows the judgment of God in contrast to man. He shows how man judges and how God’s judgment is better.
Paul shows the judgment of God in contrast to man. He shows how man judges and how God’s judgment is better.
God is judging with good judgment those who judge with bad judgment.

Results (v. 9-10)

Wicked

The wicked - those doing evil - deserve judgment and the consequences thereof. For they have offended God and his holiness and his law. We know that this is true, too. When someone breaks the law here - especially some of the heinous things we have been seeing in LNP recently - they deserve judgment and the jail time that comes from it. In fact, you and I both deserve it, too. We all deserve the judgment of God and the punishments thereof.

Good

But we don’t. If we are found in Christ, we do not receive harsh punishments. Sure, we are judged. However, we are judged on the basis of what Christ has done for us. When God looks at us, he sees his Son. So, rather than punishing us, he shows us mercy. He will raise us up in the last days and we will reign with him since we are co-heirs with Christ (and we will get to this later in Paul’s letter).

Tricky Situations (v. 11-16)

Anthem (v. 11)

So this next section of verses (v. 11-16) are rather tricky to work through and are extremely challenging because they touch on sensitive issues for many of us. And I think Paul knew this, too. Not that he had 2018 American citizens and all of their issues in mind when he penned his under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – but he was probably thinking of what his audience was going through then and some of the possible objections they would raise at this point in his letter. But, Paul seeks to silence these objections and proclaim the truth by proclaiming the equity – the justice of God’s judgment. No matter who you are, what you have done, where you are from, what your story is, God’s judgment is just. He has demanded this of his people from the very beginning when he demanded Israel to show no partiality toward those who were rich versus the poor. He will administer judgment on those who deserve it and show mercy to those who do not deserve it.

Dilemma 1 (v. 12-16)

So, our first dilemma is one that is perhaps not all that unfamiliar to us. What about those who have never heard the Gospel? Do they go to heaven or hell?
Perhaps this is the wrong question to be asking. People are not going to heaven or hell based on whether they heard the gospel or not – but based on whether they sinned or not. And they have, and they also have Adam’s sin upon their head.
What about those who never hear the gospel – what is their destiny?
v. 14 – People know that there is a law, and in many cases, it is their own personal law. They do not follow the law that God has given us.
This is just like in v. 1. People judge. But because they judge, they know that there is a God. For, how can one judge right or wrong without a standard?
[Bring up v. 1 when it comes to knowing what God has said]
People have a conscience. They know right and wrong because God’s Law is written on their hearts and his Spirit is omnipresent. However, their conscience can become so seared that they know longer know what God’s right and wrong are.
[People know that their is a law, whether they do the law that God has given us, or they come up with their own law]
This passage puts a heavy emphasis on . We need to preach the gospel to all so that they do not perish in their sins.

Dilemma 2 (v. 13)

Let’s look at v. 13 here. This verses raises an interesting question. What place does works have in our life and salvation?

Notes

Works do save us – the work of Christ is what accomplished redemption and its application to our lives.

Judgment according to God

We work after our salvation to show ourselves approved to God and testify of our redemption.
This does not mean that this is the whole of our life.
The whole of our life is to glorify God and to enjoy him!
(For a more in-depth study of work, you can read James.)

Conclusion

Ask:
I hope that this study of God’s Word has not frightened you. I hope it has impacted you. I hope that God’s Word has fostered a care for proper judgment in your hearts as you interact with one another here over the next month and as you go out into this quaint little community and love and serve others through your Savior. Take comfort in that if you are a child of God, you will experience his kind judgment and you will receive the many benefits and blessings and happiness of being care by the God of all things, who sent his Son to die for you, and whose Spirit is ever present with us. Amen.
Ask: What did we cover last week?
Ask: Would anyone want to read the text?
Ask: Is our faith simply a works based relationship? (v. 13) Works as in salvation and works considering our current standing
Ask:
Ask:
Ask: How often do we judge?
Reiterate: God’s kindness as well as his judgment lead us to him
Reiterate: God’s kindess as well as his judgment lead us to him
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