Romans Lesson 3 Day 2
My answers to BSF study questions
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor. Matthew 7:1-5 MSG
3. So you can see there are no excuses for any of us. (Voice)
In chapter one, Paul explains why Gentiles are guilty before God even though the law was given to the Jews.
Now, Paul explains that the Jews (the religious) pointed their fingers rebuking the Gentiles, assuming they are patting themselves on the back because they aren’t like them. The Jews who insisted the Gentiles needed to circumcised, convert to Judaism, and obey all the laws and rituals would be no better off.
Jesus’ example of the tax man and the Pharisee illustrates this point very well.
The Pharisee posed and prayed like this: ‘Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven forbid, like this tax man. I fast twice a week and tithe on all my income.’ Luke 18:11-12 (MSG)
…whenever people condemn one another, they are showing that they have a knowledge of right and wrong and therefore can no longer claim ignorance for their own offenses. As Romans 2:2 explains, we are better off to leave the judging to God. (Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary)
Seneca, the Roman politician, moral teacher and the tutor of Nero . . . would agree wholeheartedly with Paul regarding the morals of most pagans, but a man like Seneca would think, “I’m different from those immoral people.” (Guzik)
Many Christians admired Seneca and his strong stand for “morals” and “family values.” “But too often he tolerated in himself vices not so different from those which he condemned in others – the most flagrant instance being his connivance at Nero’s murder of his mother Agrippina.” (Bruce) (If I was on FB I would comment with the “wow” emoji.)
God bases His righteous judgment on the truth.
Guzik says the phrase “according to (or based on) the truth has the idea of according to the facts of the case.” (emphasis added)
4. Judgment — Pointing our fingers at others
“KRINO.” It is speaking of a harsh, condemning type of judging that was warned against in Matthew 7:1.
Matthew 7:1 (AMP)
DO NOT judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves.
There is a Greek word, “ANAKRINO,” that signifies discernment, which is encouraged in Scripture (see note 46 at Matthew 7:1). Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary
God judges based on truth because He knows everyone’s motives. He knows which actions are intentional and which ones aren’t. We can see and know that someone did something wrong. But like God, we should still love them and offer forgiveness.
I’ve been stuck on this question for two days. I should have just moved to the next day, but for some reason, here I sit.
My natural tendency leans toward identifying a problem and looking for a solution. Unfortunately, that means my radar picks up on the negative. Sometimes that means I’m critical of someone’s behavior.
Confrontation is something I avoid, so my critical remarks aren’t said to someone’s face or posted on Facebook. But saying them to my husband isn’t okay either.
I think we often point fingers to justify ourselves saying, “Well, at least I’ve never done that, or I never would do that!” I know I’ve thought that.
Jesus knows our hearts and my biggest issue that leads to passing judgment is I assume I know what motivated someone’s behavior. A colleague once said, “Trying to figure out why someone does what they do is a waste of time.” I think that’s true. Why meditate on someone else’s’ challenge? Just bless them.
I wish I’d read the following sooner. I could have moved on with this question.
It’s not wrong to judge that something someone else has done has bothered or offended us. That’s just reality. However, we are not to judge why they did it. We don’t know what’s in others’ hearts. We don’t always know why we do what we do.
For instance, it’s not wrong to tell others you were offended by something they did, but when you say “I know why you did this; you don’t love me anymore” or “You just want to hurt me” or “You NEVER listen to me,” etc., that type of judging is wrong. It’s possible you took an offense when none was intended, or maybe that other person was just having a bad day and they didn’t treat you with love, as they should have.
When people cut you off in traffic, you can say what they did was wrong, but you don’t know why they did what they did. Maybe they just came from the doctor and found out they or someone they love is going to die. If you could understand why people do what they do, you would tend to be much more compassionate in your judging. So, you can judge that something is right or wrong. You have to do that. However, you shouldn’t impugn the character of others until you know their side of things. Andrew Wommack (emphasis added)
5. God is “wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient” with me. (Romans 2:4 NLT)
It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance.
God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness, he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change. MSG
A friend of mine who went from atheist to hearing God’s voice overnight writes that from day one, the Holy Spirit constantly reminded him to “be nice” when he is tempted to react harshly. The following is a quote from his book Hearing God’s Voice Made Simple. (Used by permission)
“It’s difficult to describe what it’s like to someone who hasn’t experienced it. There was a soft, whispering voice blowing gently through my soul. It wasn’t my own mind. They weren’t my own thoughts. They belonged to someone else. The thoughts were distinct and different from the type of thoughts I would think. There was a quality to the voice that was unlike anything I’d ever heard. It was soothing to my soul. Then suddenly, I remembered what happened the night before. I asked God to give me a voice to follow and this voice seemed to be exactly that.
I went downstairs to the dayroom and met a firefighter. I was about to say something to him, but the voice gently reminded me to be kind. When I met another firefighter, the voice reminded me to say something nice instead of something sarcastic. With each person I met, the voice gave me direction. “Be nice.” “Be kind.” “Don’t be grumpy.”
What was going on? I wondered. Who was this voice and how long would it be with me?
Eventually, I came to realize that the Spirit of God had come to live inside of me. There was no other plausible explanation. The voice I heard was the voice of God. The Jesus I had always hated was living inside me and had come to be my friend. The Christians I had always despised were now my family. I went to bed an atheist and awoke in the morning a born-again Christian. Although this can be a gradual, barely perceptible experience for some, mine was a dramatic, overnight transformation.”
Some days and moments go well.
Sometimes I bite my tongue and other times it gets away from me. I long for my heart to consistently respond from a pure heart, filled to overflowing with love.
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45 ESV
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MY answers — not THE answers — to BSF study questions on Romans Lesson 3 Day 2 ~ Romans 2:1-4