24th October 2022
Read - Romans 2:1
Message Alan Burke
“It wasn’t me”, “it’s not my fault”, “it was him”, “he told me to do it”! Those are but some of the things that have come out of my mouth over the years when I’ve done something I shouldn’t have. Let’s be honest though we all make excuses from time to time, maybe you don’t because you’re like Mary Poppins and practically perfect in every way but I tell my kids that I’m practically perfect in every way and they believe me and if you believe that you’ll believe anything. Alright, excuse, we make them, we use them to cover up for our failures, wrong decision, our faults, shortcomings, we are all good at making excuses. The thing is though, the excuses we make wont cut it before God, for not only are we without excuse for creation reveals the invisible qualities, eternal power and divine nature of God, well we are also without excuse before God because we pass judgement on others.
Now we’ve established you and I are practically perfect in every way just like Mary Poppins in spite of what my kids believe, yet this continues Paul’s reasoning of why we are without excuse. Although we might have left last week thinking well I’m not full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice, I’m not a gossip, slanderer, God hater, insolent, arrogant, boastful, I don’t disobey my parents… and obviously none of us ever disobeyed their parents ever, after all we are like Mary Poppins, practically perfect…, or that we were senseless, faithless, heartless, or ruthless, we may not have left thinking we were any of those things and we have never been any of those things.
But the issue for us is not whether we have done the specific things listed and of course none of us ever disobeyed our parents ever, I was perfect of course, the important question for all of us is rather, how have we measured to the perfect standards of God? Here, Paul now deals with that basic human characteristic that we have, as we seek to make excuses for our own actions, that we are not innocent for we all pass judgement. Chapter one acted like a mirror, or it should have had, it should have confronted us with our sinfulness and if it didn’t here as chapter two begins we are reminded that as we try to evade the judgement of God we are actually standing in the place of God in our judgements on others. We have all done this, the thing that you may want to do right now is protest, make another excuse, that’s not me, that may be what your’e thinking!
Alright, I’m sure you’ve never got impatient with others, judging them, you’ve not got angry with others, judging them, you’ve never mouthed off in the car to that woman who cut you off, judging her, you’ve never accused anyone falsely, judging them, you’ve not never thought someones behaviour was beneath you, judging them, you’ve never thought that someone looked a state, judging them, any one want to say that they have never done any of those things? We think well of ourselves, we make excuses, our hearts are such by their nature that its never our fault. Our logic is that I don’t do what they do so I’m ok, I’m better than them so I’ll be ok.
Here’s the thing, what we are confronted with here is that I am not ok, you are not ok and we are not ok, not one of us are ok before the Lord God, the sooner we realise that the better. The message Paul wants us to understand at this stage is not airy fairy, it’s not placating our egos, rather he wants to confront us with the reality of who we are by our nature and that before a Holy God we have no excuse, and as we stand in the place of God passing judgement on other we are condemning ourselves. Yet there is good news for us, for while our excuses are futile, through faith in Christ Jesus we receive His righteousness through faith, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last (Rom 1:17). It’s good news for us with our feeble excuse for although I am not ok, and you are not ok by our nature for we are all sinners we receive the perfect righteousness of Christ who needed no excuse for He perfectly obeyed the Father, He is the sinless Saviour!
Q86 What is faith in Jesus Christ?
Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, (Heb. 10:39) whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation as he is offered to us in the gospel. (John 1:12, Isa. 26:3–4, Phil. 3:9, Gal. 2:16)