Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.Romans 2:1(NASB)
Step by step, the book of Romans takes us from the depths of man's sin to the heights of man's salvation. Little by little, Paul guides us from recognising the serious nature of our depravity, our rebellion against God, and the shocking consequences of our estrangement from Him, to the glorious truth that there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. We read that we are justified by grace through faith in the only begotten Son of God, and that we are clothed in His righteousness, redeemed by His blood, made a new creation in Christ, and set free from slavery to the world, the flesh, the devil, and the Law.
But Paul does not withhold his punches when he describes the disgusting depths of depravity and debauchery to which the whole of humanity has sunk. And verse by verse, Paul builds up the blistering catalogue of corruption and perversity to which men and women throughout history have fallen, and the pit of shame into which we all plummeted before the Lord Himself pulled us out of the miry clay and set our feet on the Rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Paul accurately describes the evil intent of humanity's hypocritical heart, and how we who are saved by grace through faith delight to wag our finger of accusation against the misdemeanours of the unsaved in order to publicise our superior standard! It is not so much the specific sins to which Paul is referring but the irrecoverable, fallen nature of our sinful humanity.
When one accusing finger of critical judgement is levied at another, we have three accusing fingers of critical judgement exposing our own sinful heart. The catalogue of corruption that Paul has so articulately presented in the precious chapter is simply a mirror that reflects our own bloodied heart and testifies to our equal and desperate need of God's grace upon grace upon much more grace. And so, Paul charges believers with these words: "Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things."
This sin of self-righteous superiority of the believer is equally if not more offensive to our Heavenly Father, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory and perfection of God. Those who are lost in their sin and blinded to the glorious gospel of grace, should ignite in our hearts a deep compassion, and not a supercilious, critical judgement on their sins.
Heavenly Father, forgive me for the times when I have passed critical judgement and pointed a finger of accusation at the sins of other people, while hiding behind my own smug, self-righteous pride. Thank You that Christ died for me and that I am saved by grace through faith in Him. Thank You that I am clothed in His righteousness. Give me a heart of compassion toward those that are lost, and use me to touch lives with love and not with criticism. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.