No Excuse—Romans 2:1

No Excuse—Romans 2:1

"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things" (Romans 2:1)

Recently, my cousin commented that she had a hard time believing I struggle with the same sins she does because I have been a Christian for a long time. In her mind, my relationship with God somehow makes me more holy and less likely to sin. Sometimes, the longer we are believers, the easier it is to adopt this attitude and start judging others by comparing them to ourselves.

When we judge others, we prove that we have awareness of right from wrong and this knowledge makes us liable for our actions.

At the end of Romans 1, Paul is building a case to prove the Gentiles (those outside of God’s Covenant people) were guilty before God because of their refusal to acknowledge Him. In this chapter, he turns the table and focuses on the Jews. The Jews were God’s special people, and because of this relationship, they thought had the right to judge and condemn others. Paul is showing them that they are just as guilty, if not guiltier, than the Gentiles. Paul’s assertion is that the Jews had no right to pass judgment on others because they were just as guilty of exactly the same things.

From a human perspective, it is easy to start comparing ourselves to others. It is also easy to assume that the longer we walk with Christ, the more we have the right to judge others, but this simply isn’t so, even if we are not participating in the same offenses as those we judge. The Book of James explains “Whoever keeps the whole Law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10). Therefore, it is in our best interest to leave judgment to God as all of us at one point or another have disqualified ourselves from this role.

Here’s the logic behind this observation: When we judge others, we prove that we have an awareness of right from wrong, and this knowledge makes us liable for our actions. Paul explains that at whatever point we are passing judgement, we are proving the case against ourselves that we, too, are guilty.

Here’s the good news in all of this—instead of condemning us, God extends us grace. The Apostle John wrote, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17). If we recognize Jesus as our Savior, we will escape God’s judgment against our sin. Because we have been extended grace in place of judgment, we, too, should be quick to offer grace to others.


Previous: Romans 1:32  Next: Romans 2:2

Original article published June 1, 2009.

Juli Camarin

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