January 26, 2018

Often We Hear, "Judgment Is Coming." Today, I Tell You, "It Is Finished."

Romans 2:1–5

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God's Righteous Judgment

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.

Often We Hear, "Judgment Is Coming." Today, I Tell You, "It Is Finished."

Central Truth

Because God is just, He must ultimately judge our sin. But because He is also love, He provided a way.

Devotional | Romans 2:1–5

The first part of this passage speaks to our judgment of others. It reminded me of the first 20 or so years of my life. I knew I was saved by grace, but had believed that beyond that it was up to...

The first part of this passage speaks to our judgment of others. It reminded me of the first 20 or so years of my life. I knew I was saved by grace, but had believed that beyond that it was up to me to be a “good girl.” Until about 17, I was doing a pretty good job (according to MY standard). It was very easy to look at others around me and judge their weaknesses and faults.

Thankfully, God allowed me to go through a time when I was the one being tempted, when I could no longer be the “good girl” on my own. I had come to the end of my works-based self and saw my desperate need for a Savior, not just for my eternal salvation, but also for my everyday life. This began the process of the Lord teaching me that only He can change me, only He is good, and even my best efforts are like “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6, NLT) to Him. God has used my mistakes, unmet expectations, marriage, parenting, and fostering to continually show me my need for Him. Because I know I need Him, when I’m tempted to look at others in judgment, I’m reminded of all of our need for grace.

The second part of this passage talks about God’s judgment. Taking this out of context, we might see God as a dictator or an angry father sitting in heaven ready to zap us for our sin. But the Truth of His Word shows us something much different. We will see as we journey through Romans that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) and that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). But God, in His great love for us, sent His Son to die for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8); and if we believe that, we will spend eternity with Him (John 3:16). Our judgment is no longer based on our works, but on His Son's work on the cross. He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Our faith in His grace has set us free from the judgment of sin (Ephesians 2:8-9).

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Bio | Sarah Fifer

Hey, Journeyers! I'm Sarah. I'm wife to Christman, mom to Abby and Kingsley, and a foster mom to babies. As I write this, our second foster son is living with us, but by the time you read this, only God knows! God has used foster care to teach me more about His love for His children and His desire for me to trust Him completely. When I'm not snuggling a baby, watching my girls play sports, or hanging out with family and friends, I love to teach preschoolers at Watermark's Women's Bible Study on Wednesday mornings!

Discussion Questions

1. How easy is it for you to judge others with a standard that you don't even hold for yourself? Are there areas where you need to repent and admit your tendency to judge those around you?

2. Have you recognized your sin and need for a Savior? Have you accepted God's amazing gift of grace knowing that when you do, He no longer judges you?

3. What are steps you can take today to lead you to trust Him completely and allow you to see others through the lens of His grace?

13 Comments available

William Breazeale 4 months ago

My righteousness is filthy rags. The only good in me is Christ!

Andi Guevara 5 months ago

Thinking that I’m so righteous bc I don’t do this sin or that sin. But it’s all the same, and passing judgement on others makes me seem like I don’t need Jesus. Isaiah 64:6 was oh so convicting to my heart. So grateful for this devotional!

Andi Guevara 5 months ago

I read this on Saturday and was so convicted. I didn’t have an opportunity to write my response. I was able to process this devotional with my husband bc he’s so good at helping point out things I don’t like to see. I came to the realization that I tend to pass judgement on my customers at work more often than I’d like to admit. I passed it off as gossip but if I’m honest it’s also about passing judgement. In my current step of ReGen( Step 6 Repent) and wrapping up confession (Step5) of my inventory God has truly shown me my dire need for a savior.

Abigail Voorhees 5 months ago

Hi Sarah! Wish I had read Friday’s JTJ on Friday so I could have shared with you on Sunday during meet and greet how much your authenticity in this has encouraged me. Hope to run into you more at church!

susan jordan 5 months ago

After becoming a believer, I tended to judge (still do) those ‘overt’ sins instead of the hidden sins of pride and judgment. I just thought I had the gift of ‘discernment’! Instead, God teaches that my judgment, hyprocisy looked a lot more like the Pharisees’ views of others (and myself) than His truth. God have mercy on me (and you!) a sinner!

Alma Barber 5 months ago

Before I came to know the truth of who God is,-and my identity in Him, I lived by what others said and thought of me. My parents rejected me and abandoned me. My mother’s favorite words for me were words I cannot put down here. I took on the identity they gave me. Living it out, leading me to make MANY wrong choices in my life. But God… In His incomprehensible mercy and grace, has forgiven me, washed me clean, and given me a new identity! I figure, that if God, THE God of the universe, The creator of heaven and earth, can forgive me, be merciful and gracious to me, who has done absolutely NOTHING to deserve it… The least I can do, is to do the same to others. I’m challenged to love like Him. To tell others…of His amazing grace.

Michael Scaman 5 months ago

There is a sense where we should not condemn or judge hearts. All sin will be paid for at the cross or at final judgement and it isn’t our job. We do have discernment about things and although Jesus said ‘do not judge’ he also said in the same context ‘don’t throw your pearls before swine’ As DA Carson says ‘someone still has to call a pig a pig.’ Our judgement needs to be in line with God’s and we need to judge rightly.

greg jones 5 months ago

“Taking this out of context, we might see God as a dictator or an angry father sitting in heaven ready to zap us for our sin. But the Truth of His Word shows us something much different.“ Amen. Thank you Sarah. We/us wadding up a piece of paper and throwing it at God, then God rolling up a newspaper and smacking us on the head is not a good picture of God’s judgement. His wrath is unwadding what we wadded up, his judgement is reading what we wrote. One thing is a counter to our actions, the other is a judgement of our heart. Understanding that leads to a fear not in our short comings and lessens our need to point out the shortcomings in others. Thank you for that devotional picture.

Michael Scaman 5 months ago

God has riches of kindness forbearance and mercy and expects us not just to be merciful but to ‘love mercy’ (says Micah).

Hope Harris 5 months ago

In rereading this week’s passage, I am reminded of another thinking error covered in my critical thinking class “entitlement.” The statement I deserve _______, indicates entitlement.

In short, entitlement is demanding and self-focused. The big E has a mindset of it’s mine and I am above that. It pursues, pleasure and comfort above all. Think of the seagulls in Finding Nemo: “Mine, Mine, Mine.”

Truth, none of us deserves anything other than death and hell. Whatever we have in this life is a gift and to be stewarded and used wisely for Gods Kingdom. Our greatest gift is the gift of salvation and grace we don’t deserve it but God extends it to us.

Sue Bohlin 5 months ago

Thanks for your devo, Sarah, and for loving on littles on Wednesdays. Since we’ve been in these few verses all week, it’s hard to miss Paul’s call to recognize what a problem it is for anyone to judge others. I think our culture is so marinated in comparing–ourselves to others, ourselves to an impossibly high standard set by the advertising industry–that we just naturally go through our day checking how we, and others, measure up. (And then there’s social media, right?) The thing our increasingly secular culture DOESN’T do is encourage us to compare ourselves to God.

If we did that, we’d know how sunk we are apart from His grace and mercy.

Hugh Stephenson 5 months ago

Judgement and grace. I also loop in mercy. I used to think it was the same thing as grace. Now I understand that mercy is not getting the judgment I deserve and grace is getting the forgiveness I don’t deserve. A seemingly small difference that was enormously helpful in my sanctification.

Our recent passages in Romans has incinerated any remnant of the idea that I’m “good enough” so that God will surely grade me on a curve.

In my daily prayers I pray for God to show me my sin of pride so that I might die to it, (Luke 9:23). Yet, I sit in judgement many times during the day, (Matt 7:1).

As was said in JTJ awhile back, “I want grace for me and judgment for them”.

Now I say, like the tax collector in Luke 18:13, “'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Lindsey Driscoll 5 months ago

Sarah, thank you for your devo and for sharing the gospel with little humans! Q1- Today I’m repenting of being impatient with coworkers. We read in 2:4 God is kind, tolerant, and patient; and we read in 2:5 that man is stubborn and unrepentant. Ugh! Why would I want to be like man? Yet, I find myself being stubborn and impatient with others. Lord, thank you that you were patient with me. Thank you for that you love us in our sin to send Christ to die (Romans 5:8) that we may accept his grace and that would change our heart to be more like you God.

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