Faithlife Sermons

The Just Judge

Righteousness: God's Gift to Humanity  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:48
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Judges the Religious

READ vv.1-4
Many Jews thought themselves immune from the wrath of God.
Many religious people today think they might fool God because of their religion.
A Jewish tradition claimed Abraham sat by the gate of Hell keeping Jews from entering.
Wisdom of Solomon bears out that same thought:
Wisdom of Solomon 12:22 NRSV
So while chastening us you scourge our enemies ten thousand times more, so that, when we judge, we may meditate upon your goodness, and when we are judged, we may expect mercy.
Imagine how these self-righteous Jews thought about the pagan Romans?
These Jews never imagined they’d fall under the same condemnation.
God, however, is not fooled.
Religious people don’t fool Him.
They are condemned just like everybody else who sins in their heart.
Even today the religious think they are immune or better than others.
Perhaps they’ve not murdered or committed adultery, but they thought about doing it.
Maybe they don’t steal or lie and cheat, but they think about it.
We might say we “stretch the truth, embellish the story, or perhaps we borrow or protect our rights.”
Some might claim not to be prejudiced, but to hold firm convictions.
Do you hear me?
Religious people are often blind to their own faults because of self-righteousness.
Do you recall the prophet Nathan approaching King David after Uriah’s murder?
David responded to Nathan:
2 Samuel 12:5–7 CSB
David was infuriated with the man and said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! Because he has done this thing and shown no pity, he must pay four lambs for that lamb.” Nathan replied to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from Saul.
David was blind to his sin while mad at the sin of someone else.
Note, also, David is judgmental to the extreme!
People are quick to condemn sin of others while guilty of the same or worse in themselves.
Simply attend any Christian gathering and hear others talk about people not present for the conversation. Gossip is a great indicator of a person blinded by their own sin.
Because of this, the Good News is constantly hurt; judgmental Christians; self-righteous religionist, think its okay to condemn the unrighteous.
v.4 is interesting. Some even think God’s tolerance is Him saying, “its okay.”
Sure God brings people to Himself by bringing them to the end of themselves.
But, also, God brings people to repentance even when they are not in some sort of “bad way.”
Never assume you or anyone is okay with God because things are going nicely.
TRANS - So we see some are unaware of their sin, blind to it, and judgmental.
God is not fooled and His judgement is perfect.
God sees all, knows every intention, about everyone.
Even a good person, without Jesus, one who is upright and morally good, one sure of their own “goodness” who dies without Jesus has no excuse.
Even the best of the religious do not fool God.

Judges Impartially

READ vv.5-11
“no favoritism”
God judges all people.
God judges impartially.
ILL - Society falls for a pretty face. Television, printed advertisements, and even popular You-tubers are mostly good-looking people.
The word for “favoritism,” suggests God is not swayed by a pretty face.
Some might think they are somehow “more” special to God; that they have the ability to sway God’s mind to make exceptions in their favor.
Some think their role in society, their level of achievement, their academic achievement, or how nice they are to others will make God favor them more than others.
The only thing that causes God to move is the blood of Jesus.
On what then does God base His judgement of us?
v.6 says “according to his works.”
Being clear, nobody is saved by works. The finest person will die and go to eternal punishment without believing in and confession sin to Jesus.
according to his works” is directed at believers and non-believers.
Religious and otherwise will be judged according to God’s standard.
Things like, “I grew up in church,” or “My family were Christians,” these things will not matter.
Nothing we say or do will sway God’s standard of righteousness.
God is holy and will not be moved.
TRANS - We noted religion and self-righteousness will not gain us entry into heaven.
We touched on God’s unilateral treatment of all persons.
And, we see that their is more to being a Christian than responding to an invitation.
Let’s look not to God’s own perfection when comes to how He judges.

Judges Faultlessly

With or without God’s Word, all people are judged by their works.
READ vv.12-13
Some think this unfair because some have God’s Word while others do not.
Paul helps us understand God still judges perfectly.
READ vv.14-15
While some don’t have God’s Word, they have the have a conscience; they know God’s moral standard.
God judges those without His Word by how they live according to their sense of right and wrong.
The perfect judgement of God considers the moral understanding of people in regard to judgement.
None escape condemnation; all fall short.
Nobody meets even their own idea of moral conduct much less God’s Law.
Nobody will ever accuse God of unfair treatment.
God takes all things into consideration and perfectly views even the moral understanding of every person.
TRANS - Religion won’t gain your entrance into heaven.
All people are judged by what they do.
No person is ever good enough, even by their own measure of moral conduct, to meet the standard of God’s righteousness.
God perfectly considers the conduct of every person in the same way and judges all people by His same standard.
Let’s end with considering how this is all exactly as things should be.


What does all this mean to humankind?

To the Christian this means...

We will give an account for our lives.
How might this appear?
God will look at what we think and do:
our envious attitudes
our prideful attitudes
our judgmental attitudes
Yes, these too are included.
What do we do now?
Be honest at all levels before God.
Don’t rationalize like the lost.
Pray for deliverance.

To the non-Christian this means...

Without the righteousness that comes through faith in Jesus, the punishment for sin is on them.
God will judge them with the same standard.
Things such as:
everybody does it
to err human, but to forgive divine
I’m only human
These things will not make a difference.
v.16 says:
Romans 2:16 CSB
on the day when God judges what people have kept secret, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus.
God will judge even what people keep secret.
Judgement is coming for everyone of us: for me and for you and for all others.
Now is the time to “settle out of court.”
Jesus said that people that do not believe Him will die in sin. (Jn 8:24)
Also, the Bible says:
John 1:12 CSB
But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name,
How is this possible?
This too is answered in the Bible:
1 Peter 2:24 CSB
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
God challenges all humankind.
Christians are challenged to live a life of righteousness both outward and inward.
Unbelievers are challenged to seek righteousness that comes from God by faith.
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