Romans 2:1-11: The Unlikely Verdict

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.
— Romans 2:1-11

By Sarah Morris

I like how Paul keeps telling us we have no excuse to behave the way we do. I know that more often than not I try to find an excuse as to why I do something or don’t do something. I believe that we all try to at different points in our lives. The last passage said we had no excuse to go against God’s will, outright doing things contrary to His plan. This time, we have no excuse to judge others for doing these same things, because we all do them. Would you trust the verdict of a judge who had stolen something who was condemning another for theft? Or how about the ruling in court of finding someone guilty for a DUI when the judge had been caught drinking and driving? We all mess up. And yet, when we judge others we glance over our faults. There is only one true Judge. God is the rightful Judge, who has never sinned. He is compassionate and just, giving mercy and grace. But that is meant for us to realize that we all need a Savior, not for us to feel like we can do whatever we want and then get wiped clean, just so we can deliberately do it again. He will give us an unlimited amount of grace if we truly seek after His own heart. We are meant to learn from our past and history. Not to be defined by it, but to grow closer to God who washes us clean. God loves us, and He wants us to all be with Him. But He gave us a choice in free will if we choose to accept Him or not.

    Sometimes humans see God as a Judge that only wishes to condemn, finding someone guilty. They wonder why God would have anyone go to hell. But why are we so quick to become mad at God when we would be upset if a judge didn’t send a murderer to jail? If human traffickers and drug lords weren’t put behind bars or any other person doing a crime wasn’t punished, would we be mad? Why do we say, ‘Well, God should let everyone go to Heaven,’ or ‘God must not be good if He would let His children be condemned?’ But God has another component that earthly judges lack. If we truly seek Him and His will, surrendering ourselves and asking for forgiveness, He will wipe the slate clean. We will be saved. He wants us to be saved. But we have to truly seek after Him. Not just say, well I’ll be covered, so I can mess up. But really seek His forgiveness and wish for Him to live inside of us.

    He is the Judge who will shower compassion and justice. He is the judge who in loving us lets us have free will to choose if we will follow Him or turn away and do our own thing. He forgives us so we can draw closer and closer to His heart, for all of eternity. And that should be a verdict worth fighting for.