Read - Romans 2:24
Message - Alan Burke
Back in my school days there were many many times I remember the entire school getting a rollocking from the Head Master or the Deputy Head because of how the school was getting a bad name because of our actions. Now it wasn’t all of us but everyone knew fine well who it was and it was never me and I know it wasn’t me because I took my blazer and tie of and put a hoodie on. If every one else had the same sense we’d have avoided those school assemblies. What had happened that caused the rollocking, well the reasons were many and varied but the schools name was mud because of some individuals.
The result of the attitude among the Jews in v17-23 was that it had caused God’s name to be blasphemed among the Gentiles, God’s name was mud, it was mocked but it was much worse than my schools name. This is not a new indictment that was being labeled against the Jews, this had been said of God’s people before in salvation history. In Isaiah and in Ezekiel the Lord’ through the prophets had condemned His people for how God’s name was blasphemed among the Gentiles (Isa 52:5, Ez 36:22). Because of the sin of God’s people it caused the name of the Lord to be blasphemed. The issue here in Romans was one of hypocrisy, claiming to have a higher standard as God’s people than is met with reality. This last inditement on one level is not shocking but it is heart wrenching, that the sin of God’s people was such that it led to the name of God being blasphemed among the Gentiles.
Sadly today there are many who cause God’s name to likewise be blasphemed. “If that is what a Christian is, I want nothing to do with it”. Ever heard that? I have heard it and understood why it was said and the result is much worse than the school I went to getting a bad name rather it is our God getting a bad name because of His people. In part for the Jews that Paul singles out it was because of a deficient understanding of God and His law that they were hypocritical, claiming to have a higher standard as God’s people than is met with reality and for us it can be any number of reasons. There is one that it shouldn’t be for though, and that is claiming to have a higher standard as God’s people than is met with reality.
While Scripture is clear that we will always fall short of the Glory of God in this life but that should not be an excuse, when we sin we should confess it, we should bear one another burdens, if we are harbouring hate against another it needs to be dealt with. If we have a broken relationship try to mend it, are we paying our bills on time, are we good at knowing everyone else business, are we always coveting, do we think our sin doesn’t matter because they don’t hurt anyone, are we full of judgment against others, only happy coming to worship when it suits our seclude, there are so many ways that we can regularly cause the name of God to be blasphemed because of our example and witness. On this side of glory we will never be sinless, we should show that for us, while we are sinners that the accusation of hypocrisy is not valid because we are not pretending to be sinless, to be something that we are not. When we are confronted with our sin we should be those who are willing to do something about it otherwise the name of the Lord will be blasphemed because of us.
Q106 What do we pray for in the sixth petition?
In the sixth petition, (which is, And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, (Matt. 6:13)) we pray, That god would either keep us from being tempted to sin, (Matt. 26:41) or support and deliver us when we are tempted. (2 Cor. 12:7–8)
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