FOOD FOR THE SOUL


A VERSE-BY-VERSE STUDY ON ROMANS 2


I. ON THE JUDGEMENTAL ATTITUDES OF THOSE WHO ARE IN THE CHURCH

Rom 2:1
1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. (KJV)

The word “therefore” in verse one tells us that Paul is continuing with his discourse from Romans 1. In the days when the New Testament was written, there were no chapter and verse divisions. The letter to the Romans was simply one long letter. Chapter and verse are good for us, in the sense that they help us locate a particular spot in the scripture, but sometimes Chapter divisions cause us to lose the continuity of the thought being conveyed.


Paul had just described those who have been given over to their sins, to do those things which are not convenient, because, while they held the truth, they rejected it, and chose instead to pursue unrighteousness.
After he had described the results of becoming reprobate, (or not standing the test), he states that the ones he is referring to were not acting in ignorance, but they fully knew that they were rejecting the Will of God for their lives.
Now he says that the one who would judge these people as being worthy of going to Hell, condemning them for their ungodliness, is himself inexcusable, because whether the individual’s sin is as blatant as those just described, or is more “subtle”, we can be sure that we have occasions where we may hold the truth, but choose sin over the truth.

Jesus’ mission was not to condemn the world. How can we as mere vessels of clay pronouce sentance on anyone if even Jesus did not come into the world to do such a thing. We know that those who do such things are worthy of death, but we are not to pronounce judgement on them. Otherwise, we become guilty of putting ourselves in the position of God, Who is the only True and Righteous Judge.

John 3:17
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (KJV)

The Greek word here translated as “condemn” is the same word used in Rom. 2:1 which is translated as “judgest”. See the broad spectrum of meaning it carries with it:

2919 krino-
1) to separate, to put asunder, to pick out, to select, to choose
2) to approve, to esteem, to prefer
3) to be of an opinion, to deem, to think
4) to determine, to resolve, to decree
5) to judge
a) to pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong
to be judged, that is, summoned to trial that one's case may be examined and judgment passed upon it
b) to pronounce judgment, to subject to censure,
used of those who act the part of judges or arbiters in matters of common life, or pass judgment on the deeds and words of others
6) to rule, to govern
to preside over with the power of giving judicial decisions, because it was the prerogative of kings and rulers to pass judgment
7) to contend together, of warriors and combatants
a) to dispute
b) in a forensic sense;
to go to law, to have suit at law

Taking the definitions given in Thayer’s concerning the word “krino”, we can see many ways in which people can judge others:

1) to separate, to put asunder, to pick out, to select, to choose

By looking at people and preferring to fellowship with them, over another person. The “Clique” mentality in a church. Say what you want, if you prefer to hang with a small group of people, rather than embracing all with unpreferential love, you are guilty of putting yourself in a position of Judge.This type of judgement is what denominationalism fosters.The disciples themselves were in danger of falling into that type of error.

Mark 9:38-40
38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
40 For he that is not against us is on our part. (KJV)

On the positive side, we need to understand that there is nothing wrong with using our abilities to discern good from evil. We are told to choose between good and evil, between light and dark. We are to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but we are to reprove them.

2) to approve, to esteem, to prefer

The Word of God says that God is no respecter of persons. In James we see this type of judgement being given, (preferring one above another) and being condemned:

James 2:1-4
1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? (KJV)


Preferential treatment should not be given to people, but certainly it should be given to GOD.

3) to be of an opinion, to deem, to think

We become very opinionated in our ways, and sometimes our opinions are only that: Opinions. Often times our own understanding of a matter becomes flawed. The Word of God tells us

Prov 3:5-8
5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. (KJV)

4) to determine, to resolve, to decree

Each of these words bring the meaning of being steadfast in a thing, to make a firm decision. We can fall into the error of being so sure that a person is going to hell because of their sinful ways, that we can become unforgiving, or unmerciful toward them.
It defies my understanding (see 3) that a man like John Wayne Gacy or Ted Bundy could receive mercy toward God, and find forgiveness. But God is the final and absolute Authority, the Righteous Judge, who has decreed that He is not willing that any man should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance. Paul identified himself as the chief of sinners, one who had persecuted the Church of Christ, and who had delivered many Christians to death. But he recieved mercy from God.

5) to judge
a) to pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong (see 3 above).
to be judged, that is, summoned to trial that one's case may be examined and judgment passed upon it
b) to pronounce judgment, to subject to censure,
used of those who act the part of judges or arbiters in matters of common life, or pass judgment on the deeds and words of others (see 4 above).

6) to rule, to govern
To preside over with the power of giving judicial decisions, because it was the prerogative of kings and rulers to pass judgment
Christians have been called by God to be leaders. In following Jesus, we learn how to lead by example, because that is what He did.

We have been given power by the Holy Spirit to be world changers, but so often we settle for being world followers.

Though we are to be trend setters, the fact remains that God has placed rulers over us (pastors, teachers, apostles, evangelists, and prophets) so that we can learn to be equipped to become leaders ourselves.
So many strive to be in a position of leadership, that once they get there, they become despots. They get puffed up in pride, and think they are God’s man of the hour.
If other Christians aren’t growing as fast spiritually as they think they are, they despise them, and belittle them with offhand remarks. They use their authority to hold an iron fist over the congregation, not helping them to find their place in the Kingdom, in many cases deeming them “not mature enough” to be entrusted with the things of God. In the book of Revelation, we see a group of people described whose doctrine God hates. This doctrine is called the doctrine of the Nicolaitaines.
The meaning of Nicolaitans comes from 2 Greek words:
“Nico”= to conquer
“laos” = people. We get our word Laity from this word. There are many people in positions of leadership in the ministry who prevent the Christians from finding out what their calling is, because they prefer to Lord it over the flock, rather than being examples and encouraging them to find out thier position in the Kingdom of God.
They prefer the eminent places, the pulpit, which is usually higher than the congregation. They prefer the recognition and the rewards. It’s a modern day Pharisaical tendancy that has run rampant in the Church.
What will those who have supressed their brothers and sisters have to say when they stand before God, and the fruit of their labor is shown in all the accolades they had recieved in their position of prominence, and in their beautiful buildings, and their wonderful testimonies of what “I” did. The fruit of that glory will be dried up and withered, as they stand, protesting, “But Lord, didn’t I prophesy in Your Name, and in Your Name do many mighty works?” We need to be examples, so that the Body of Christ will be equipped.

1 Pet 5:1-4
1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. (KJV)

7) to contend together, of warriors and combatants

a) to dispute
b) in a forensic sense;
to go to law, to have suit at law

Immediately, as I read this definition of the word “krino”, I think about James

James 4:1-11
1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. (KJV)

How often Christians war and fight with one another! In a previous study in Romans 1, I pointed out that the word “lusts” in verse one is the Greek word “hedone”, from which we get our word “hedonism”, which is defined the pursuit of pleasure as the highest goal in one’s life.
Christians today go to court with one another over things of the world. Moth and rust.The bottom line is it is our love for things that gets us bound up and fighting one another. Oh, there are rare occasions where we are justified for our legal actions, but the Bible says this should not be done through secular means:

1 Cor 6:1-8
1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.
5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.
7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
(KJV)

Paul’s attitude, as well as mine, is that rather than taking our matters to court against one another, we ought to just take the wrong done to us. Isn’t that what our Jesus did? But if we fight with one another, and hold grudges, and threaten to sue, we become guilty of judging each other unrighteously. We must believe that our God, who is the righteous Judge, will vindicate us. The Word of God says that Love is the fulfilling of the Law.

Rom 13:8-10
8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
(KJV)

Where there are fightings and legal disputes among brethren, the Love of God is missing.

1 Cor 13:4-8
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.(KJV)

To sum up this study, we must understand that to look down at those who have been given over to a reprobate mind as described in Romans 1, renders us inexcusable, because we are guilty of transgressing God’s will in some way or another. The only difference between us and them is that they have gotten to the point where they willingly resist, and for that, God has given them over to a reprobate mind. We have seen there are many aspects to being guilty of judging some one. If we become too puffed up with our own righteousness, and look down on those who are described in Romans 1, we become guilty of being in the position of that Pharisee who was so proud that he wasn’t like that sinner who stood next to him.

Lance Rowe

crosscountry4jesus@juno.com
6519 Ool-Georgetown Rd.
Ooltewah , TN 37363
United States


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"Father God, I know that I am a sinner, and I know that if I died right now I would go to hell. But I don't want to go to hell. I believe that Jesus died to take my sins upon Himself. I believe that He rose again, to give me hope of eternal life; and I want that eternal life. I'm coming to you, Lord, and I am asking you to forgive me for my sins, and to come into my heart and change my life. I give you the right to be the Lord of my life, and I commit my life to You from now on. Jesus, I believe you have heard my prayer, and I am not ashamed to call You my Lord and my Saviour. Thank you for setting me free from the bondage of my sins...in Jesus Christ's Name I pray, Amen"

If you prayed that prayer and meant it in your heart, be assured that the Word of God promises that whosoever comes to the Lord, He will in no wise cast them out. But that prayer was only the beginning of a Wonderful Life with the God who created you for Himself. Now you have to get to know Him intimately, because He desires to have a personal relationship with you. Find yourself a good Bible believing, Bible teaching church, and begin to be a faithful attender so you can learn about Jesus, and to be in fellowship with your new family, which consists of all the Born Again Christians in the world.

Wonderful Jesus! All of heaven is rejoicing over you today! You are that special to God.

Not only should you find a good church to fellowship at, but you need to read your Bible every day. Personally, I get into a good four hour study each day, but just a half hour of prayer and study is a good start for a new believer. Learn about the Word of God, and hide his word in your heart, and you will find victory over sin.
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Catholicism really can't help you... only Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray to the Lord for wisdom and to lead you to the right church. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Be assured that Satan isn't going to give up on you. He's going to try all he can to cause you to fall, or to doubt your salvation. The Word of God says that if we submit to God, and resist the devil, he will flee from us.


GOD BLESS YOU, CHILD OF GOD.


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