Today’s sermon was all about excuses. People make excuses every day for reasons why they can’t do things. However, when it comes to God’s wrath, there are no exceptions.
Because regardless of the standard we use, we are guilty.
1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? – Romans 2:1-4
Many people think “I’m really not that bad” because they aren’t a murderer or thief. However it’s not the specific things mentioned in the previous chapter that defines our standard (“envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice..” – Romans 1:28-31), it is how we measure up to God. We often think of sin as a grading system. If we lie that might give us a B-, but if we kill someone we get an F. God’s standard however is more like a pass/fail. If you get 99%, that is still not a passing grade. God’s standard is perfection.
Matthew 22:1-14 tells a parable about a man thrown out of a wedding because he was not wearing the right clothes. At first this story might appear strange but it was custom back then for the king to provide the guests with the proper attire. This man basically figured what he was wearing was “good enough” and therefore declined the King’s gift. The clothes in this story represent salvation. If we reject salvation because we think “we are good enough”, we are like the man in this story.
Because we are amassing wrath all the time.
4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.
- Romans 2:4-5
Many people think that since they haven’t been stopped yet, it must be okay to continue living in sin. People fail to remember that God is patient and doesn’t always implement His wrath right away. We should never take God’s kindness and grace as thinking we are off the hook. Many people conclude God is not there instead of turning to Him when He extends His grace. If you have a huge lack of concern for your sin, it should make you question if your faith is real.
Because God will judge us based on what we have done.
6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”[a]7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism. – Romans 2:6-11
It is important for every person to realize that we are not capable of making it on our own.
- Salvation for Jews and Gentiles is available only by doing good.
- The power of sin prevents both Jew and Gentile from doing good
- Therefore, no one can be saved by doing good.
The truth is that we’re not okay the way we are. We are destined to wrath. We need to stop making excuses and turn to Jesus who won’t excuse us but will forgive us.