Who Authorized You to Sit In the Seat of Judgment?

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome. More specifically today’s passage is found in the second chapter of this New Testament book. “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, w hosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despises thou the riches of his goodness and forebearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteousness judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish upon ever soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:1-11).

 

For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a low unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another) in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel” (Romans 2:12-16).

 

Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, and knowest his will, and approves the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; and art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? Thou that preaches a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfill the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Romans 2:17-29).

 

            When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find that which builds on the language contained in the previous chapter. Upon reading the opening words of the second chapter of this epistle you will immediately be struck with the sheer weight and magnitude of the words which are used within the verse—“Therefore thou art inexcusable.” Please to not miss the tremendous significance and importance of the words which are presented here at the outset of this chapter for they are intrinsically and directly linked to the words which are presented before us in the previous chapter. If you turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the previous chapter beginning with the eighteenth verse you will find the apostle Paul writing unto the saints at Rome concerning the wrath of God and its being raised up and directed against all those who walk in blatant defiance and rebellion before Him in the earth. The words which we find in the opening chapter the epistle written unto the saints of Rome are actually quite astonishing when you take the time to read them for the apostle Paul comes to the same conclusion that is found in the opening verse of the second chapter. The opening verse of the second chapter of this epistle bring us face to face with the apostle Paul declaring unto that one who judges and condemns themselves is without excuse or “Inexcusable.” Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for we are brought face to face with the tremendous truth that man is without excuse before a living and holy God. What’s more is that not only is man without excuse but that men who chooses to judge others is also themselves without excuse in the sight of the living God 

 

            If there is one thing I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated by when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s who the apostle Paul is declaring is inexcusable and without excuse. The apostle Paul opens the second chapter with the powerful statement that the one who read his words are inexcusable—those who judge others. Moreover the apostle Paul goes on to declare that wherein one judges another they condemn themselves for although they sit in the seat of judgment they themselves do the very same things they are judging another for. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for it is truly remarkable when you take the time to consider it. The apostle Paul is opening the second chapter of this epistle by emphatically and boldly declaring unto that one who would see to judge another is themselves inexcusable for they actually condemn themselves and are under the same judgment because they do the very same things they are condemning others for. The words and language found and contained in this passage of Scripture must be recognized and understood—not only as it is directly linked and connected to the words which are found in the previous chapter but also the words which our Lord Jesus spoke which are recorded in the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew as well as in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the physician Luke. In fact I am absolutely convinced that in order to and before we even begin seeking to understand the words and language that is found in the second chapter of this epistle it is absolutely necessary that we first direct our attention to the words presented in the previous chapter. The words which are found in the previous chapter call and draw our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding that which man can be guilty of before the living and holy God. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the opening chapter of this epistle:

 

            “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but because vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:18-25).

 

            “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men, working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Romans 1:26-32).

 

            It’s quite remarkable and astounding when you read the words found in this passage of Scripture for within it you find the apostle Paul writing unto the saints of Rome and declaring unto them how the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. The apostle Paul then goes on to describe the fruit or outworking of this unrighteousness and ungodliness as men hold the truth in unrighteousness. Moreover the apostle Paul also goes on to declare how that which may be known of God is manifest in those who do unrighteousness and ungodliness for God has showed it unto them. Furthermore the apostle Paul goes on to declare how the invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made—even His eternal power and Godhead. Because the invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by and through the things that are made man is without excuse in the sight of the living God. What’s even more striking about the words found in this passage of Scripture is that the apostle Paul goes on to declare that those who knew God glorified Him not as God nor were thankful but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened. These individuals professed themselves to be wise and yet became fools. As if this weren’t evil enough they would also change the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts and creeping things.

 

            Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the tremendous and powerful truth that man is without excuse before and in the sight of the living God the invisible things of God which were from the foundation of the world have been clearly seen. The apostle Paul boldly declares how that which may be known of God is manifest in men for He has indeed showed it unto them. Despite the fact that the invisible things of God have been shown and made known unto men by God Himself those who knew God chose not to glorify Him as God, nor were thankful. Perhaps the single greatest truth that is found in these verses is the truth surrounding man being without excuse because the invisible things of God which have been in existence from the creation of the world are clearly seen and understood by the things which are made. For the apostle Paul there was enough evidence of the living God in creation—in anything and everything that was made by the invisible hand of the living God. We know from the first and opening chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis that God spoke and created something out of nothing. We know from the words which are found in the eleventh chapter of the epistle written unto the Hebrews that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. It was by faith and through faith the elders obtained a good report and it is through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Moreover it is in the eleventh chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews we find that without faith it is impossible to please God for those who come to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

 

            It is quite remarkable and astounding when reading the words found in the first chapter of the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome for the apostle Paul clearly declares unto them how the invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by the things which are made. The apostle Paul recognized and believe that the eternal power and Godhead is and has always been clearly seen and visible by and through the invisible things which are clearly seen through those things which are made and were made from the creation of the world. The apostle Paul declared how that which might be known of God is manifest in men for God had in fact showed it unto them. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular truth for it brings us face to face with the words of the opening chapter of the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis. It is in the first and opening chapter of the book of Genesis we are brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything which therein lies. There is something which must be understood when reading the second half of the opening chapter of the epistle written unto the saints of Rome as well as that which is found in the second chapter of the same epistle for within them we are brought face to face with the absolutely remarkable and powerful truth that we are indeed without excuse in our knowledge and understanding of the living God. For the apostle Paul there was absolutely no excuse for our not glorifying God as God for the invisible things of God and His eternal power and Godhead are evidenced and manifested in those things of creation which are clearly seen and made known unto us through creation. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the opening chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis beginning with the first verse:

 

            “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. And God said, Le the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the. Night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the even and the morning were the fifth day. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:1-25).

 

            I am absolutely convinced it is necessary to read and understand the words which are found in the opening chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis—specifically that which is found in the first twenty-five verses—for within this chapter we are brought face to face with the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything which therein lies and is present. It is of the utmost importance we recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in this chapter for absolutely everything that is laid out before us calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything that lies therein which are indeed a powerful witness and testimony concerning the nature of the living God. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words found in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the creation of everything that is and can be seen in the heavens and the earth. Moreover we are brought face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that in everything we see within and upon the earth we are do in fact see the invisible things of the eternal and living God. There must be absolutely no mistake about it when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture for everything that was created during those first six days of creation—everything which still exists within and upon the earth—clearly demonstrates and shows forth the invisible things of the living God. For the apostle Paul everything we see before and all around us are a powerful demonstration of the invisible things of God—even His eternal power and Godhead. It is this very reality that brings the apostle Paul to the place where he can emphatically write how man is without excuse because of creation itself. The apostle Paul believed that creation itself was the most powerful witness for the existence of the eternal and living God for in creation the invisible things of God including His eternal power and Godhead are clearly seen and manifested.

 

            What makes the words which are found in the first chapter of this New Testament epistle so incredibly captivating when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the fact that the apostle declares how in the gospel of Jesus Christ the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. Having made the declaration that in the gospel of Jesus Christ the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith the apostle Paul also goes on to declare how the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. In the opening chapter of this epistle we encounter the tremendous truth surrounding the righteousness of God and the wrath of God and how they are revealed within the earth. The righteousness of God which is from faith to faith is revealed in the gospel of the Lord Jesus while the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Pause for a moment and consider how we are essentially brought to the place where we must needs choose between two different types of revelations in the earth—either the revelation of the righteousness of God from faith to faith as it is found in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ or the revelation of the wrath of God which is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness of men. Perhaps one of the greatest truths we must needs recognize and acknowledge within our hearts and lives is which we are going to choose in this life for we are either going to choose the wrath of God which is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness and ungodliness or we are going to choose the righteousness of God which is revealed from faith to faith in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for when we come to the second chapter of the epistle we find the apostle Paul going on to declare how man is without excuse in the sight of the living God concerning this righteousness and wrath—and not only concerning righteousness and wrath but also concerning judging others.

 

When you come to the second chapter of this New Testament epistle you will find the apostle Paul boldly writing unto his audience and readers declaring unto them how they are inexcusable who judge others. The apostle Paul boldly wrote how that man which judged others is in fact inexcusable wherein they judge another for in their judgment they actually condemn themselves seeing they who judge do the very same things. Essentially that which we find in the second chapter of the epistle written unto the saints of Rome was not only language concerning judging others but also language concerning hypocrisy. We cannot and must not read the words found in this passage of Scripture and not come face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the language used by the apostle Paul therein. The apostle Paul declared unto those to whom he was writing that they are and they were without excuse who judged others and yet condemned themselves. The underlying reason they were without excuse was because they who sought to sit in the seat of judgment actually condemned themselves. Those who sought to judge others were actually condemning themselves because they did the very same things which they accused, condemned and judged others for. Oh what makes this all the more intriguing when you take the time to think about it is when you consider how incredibly easy it is to not only accuse others but also to judge and condemn others. If you read and study the four New Testament gospels you will find example after example and time after time the chief priests, the scribes, the elders of the people, the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the religious community accusing Jesus—and not only accusing Jesus but accusing Him of violating the Law of Moses as well as their traditions.

 

            The more I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in the second chapter of the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome the more I am brought face to face with the tremendous truth that we are not only capable of accusing others—regardless of whether or accusations are founded and indeed just or not—but we are also capable of judging and condemning others. There is perhaps no greater example of this judgment, this condemnation and accusation found in the four New Testament gospels than the words and language that is found in the eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John. It is in the eighth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative we are brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding a woman who was caught in the act of adultery and brought by the Pharisees unto the Lord Jesus as He sat in the Temple teaching the people. When the scribes and Pharisees brought this woman who had been caught in the act of adultery into the Temple and before the Lord Jesus they not only accused her of her offense—namely, committing adultery—but they also demanded that she be judged and punished according to the Law of Moses. This woman was not falsely or wrongly accused for Scripture makes it perfectly clear that she was caught in the very act of committing adultery. According to the Law of Moses those who committed adultery were guilty of death and deserved to be stoned. When the scribes and the Pharisees demanded of Jesus that this woman be stoned they were calling for the Law to be fulfilled and exercised in that moment against this woman and her offense of adultery. There in the Temple and there in the sight and presence of Jesus this woman not only stood accused but also guilty according to the Law of Moses.

 

            I feel a tremendous need to pause here for a moment and consider just how incredible the words and language found in the eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John truly are for the words which are presented before and unto us therein bring us face to face with a woman who was not only accused of adultery but also guilty of adultery. It would have been one thing for this woman to not have been guilty of adultery and yet to have been accused of the scribes and Pharisees of it in the court of the Temple and the presence of Jesus. The truth of the matter, however, is that not only was this woman accused of offense and wrongdoing—even offense against and according to the Law of Moses—but she was also guilty according to the Law. This woman was accused of violating the Law of Moses and this woman was also judged and found guilty of violating the Law of Moses as she had not only committed adultery but was also caught in the act. The Pharisees and scribes were not incorrect in their accusation nor even in their call for judgment against and upon this woman. The scribes and Pharisees knew what the Law of Moses stated and knew that this woman was not only guilty but also deserving of death. Stop and consider the tremendous truth surrounding this woman who was caught in the act of adultery for this woman who was caught in the act of adultery was not only guilty according to the Law of Moses but was also judged according to the Law of Moses. This woman was in fact guilty of that for which she was accused and the scribes and Pharisees brought this woman who was both accused and judged according to the Law of Moses that they might see if Jesus would uphold the Law of Moses and that which he wrote according to the revelation of the eternal God.

 

            What I absolutely love about the words found in the eighth chapter of this New Testament epistle is that although this woman was indeed accused according to the Law of Moses and although this woman was indeed judged according to the Law of Moses Jesus would deliver her from the accusation lobbied against her. Moreover—not only would Jesus deliver her from the accusation lobbied against her but He would also deliver her from the judgment which would have been enacted against her. Undoubtedly the scribes, the Pharisees and perhaps others who were present in the court of the Temple were ready to stone this woman who had not only violated but was also guilty of violating the Law of Moses. Initially Jesus stooped down to the ground and began writing with His finger as though He had not heard the words which were spoken by the scribes and Pharisees. When the scribes and Pharisees persisted in their accusation and judgment against this woman Jesus stood up from the place He had knelt and emphatically declared that those or that one who was without sin could indeed cast the first stone. Immediately after speaking these words Jesus would once more stoop down to the ground and would continue writing. Scripture is entirely unclear what Jesus wrote in the dirt and upon the ground there in the Temple, however, we do know that after Jesus had spoken those words each of those individuals who stood to accuse this woman—and not only who stood to accuse this woman but also those who stood to judge this woman—would depart from the Temple beginning with the eldest on to the youngest. Eventually and ultimately this woman would be left there in the company and presence of Jesus to which Jesus would ask her where her accusers were. What I so love about the words which Jesus spoke unto this woman is not only that He asked her where her accusers were but when she responded that her accusers were no longer present He would declare unto her that He did not condemn her.

            I am absolutely convinced the words which are found in this passage of Scripture must needs be carefully examined and considered—particularly and especially in light of that which is found in the second chapter of the epistle written unto the saints of Rome. It is in the eighth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we are brought face to face with a woman who was not only accused in the sight and presence of the Lord Jesus according to the Law of Moses but also a woman who stood to be judged according to the Law of Moses. The scribes and Pharisees not only stood in the seat of accusation but they also stood in the place of judgment calling for this woman to be stoned to death. What we find, however, is Jesus choosing not to align Himself with their accusation nor even aligning Himself with what was written in the Law of Moses. Undoubtedly Jesus knew the Law of Moses and knew what was written and yet He chose to deliver this woman from the hands of her accusers and those who would stand in the place of judgment. What’s more is Jesus would also deliver this woman from the judgment which the Law of Moses commanded and permitted. This woman was indeed guilty of judgment according to the Law of Moses and yet Jesus deliberately and intentionally chose to deliver this woman out of and from the judgment commanded and permitted within the Law of Moses. One can’t help but wonder if when Jesus stooped down to the ground He wrote that which was contained in the Law of Moses or whether or not He wrote the names and offenses of each and every one of those who stood to accuse and judge this woman in the court of the Temple.

 

What is so absolutely remarkable about this interaction between Jesus, the scribes and Pharisees, and even this woman who was caught in the act of adultery is His appeal to their own standard and measure of righteousness. Upon reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find Jesus standing up in the midst of them and inviting those who were without sin to cast the first stone against this woman. If there is something to be noted about this particular encounter it’s that not a single one who was present there on this day cast a stone at this woman. What’s more is that not only was there a single one who cast a stone at this woman but one by one beginning with the eldest onward to the youngest they all departed from the Temple. Eventually and ultimately this woman would be left alone in the presence of Jesus having been accused according to the Law of Moses and even found guilty according to the Law of Moses. Oh stop and consider just how tremendous this passage is for within it we find a woman who was accused according to the Law of Moses and who was even guilty according to the Law of Moses and yet when she was left alone with Jesus she stood completely absent those who accused her and who had found her guilty according to the Law of Moses. Oh how absolutely incredible it is to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and consider the fact that this woman had been accused according to the Law of Moses and had even been found guilty according to the Law of Moses and yet she would be able to stand up after her accusations and guilt were declared in the presence of Jesus. It is truly something worth thinking about and considering how this woman stood accused and judged according to the Law of Moses in the company and presence of the Lord Jesus and yet after all was said and done she would be left alone in the company and presence of Jesus having survived the accusation and judgment according to the Law of Moses.

 

            There is something truly remarkable and astonishing about the words found in this passage of Scripture for what we find contained therein is a picture of a woman who was indeed and was in fact accused according to the Law of Moses and was even guilty according to the Law of Moses and yet she was delivered from those who accused her and those who would have judged her according to the Law. Oh stop and consider how truly wonderful and powerful the words within this passage of Scripture are for within them we are brought face to face with a woman who stood in the presence of Jesus accused of an offense and being found guilty according to the Law of Moses. Being guilty according to the Law of Moses this woman would indeed and would in fact be guilty and deserving of death by stoning. Instead of this woman being judged according to the Law of Moses she would stand free of her accusers and free from her stones. Oh Scripture is not clear whether or not those who stood round about and before this woman to judge her according to the Law of Moses had stones in their hands, however, if they did in fact have stones in their hands I can’t help but wonder what it must have sounded like as the stones which were held in the hands of those who were present in the court of the Temple fell to the ground. Imagine being this woman knowing that you were guilty according to the Law and knowing that the penalty and punishment of that for which she was guilty was death by stoning. Consider what it would be like for this woman as she perhaps thought her life had come to an end because of her offense and yet finding herself absent anyone to accuse her and standing alone in the presence of Jesus. WITHOUT ACCUSERS AND UNCONDEMNED BY JESUS! Oh there is something truly remarkable about the words and language found in this passage of Scripture for within it we are brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding this woman and how after Jesus spoke but a few words she was not only left absent her accusers and those who would judge her but she would also stand uncondemned by the Lord Jesus.

 

            What we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture is that when Jesus spoke unto those who sought to accuse and judge this woman according to the Law of Moses He declared unto them that those who were without sin could indeed cast the first stone. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for the words presented here clearly reveal the scribes and the Pharisees believing themselves to be able to judge this woman—even judge her according to the Law of Moses—and yet Jesus would declare unto them that he who was without sin could cast the first stone. Stop and consider how absolutely powerful this encounter is for there seems to be every indication that what Jesus was calling and drawing their attention to was standing in the place of judgment when they themselves were not innocent—even innocent according to the Law of Moses. If I am being honest with you who might be reading these words it’s how I can’t help but wonder what these individuals were indeed convicted in their conscience were convicted of. We know that those who were present on this particular day were each convicted in and by their own conscience and we know that beginning with the eldest onward to the youngest they departed from this woman leaving her alone in the presence of Jesus. There is something to be considered when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture for the apostle John clearly states how these scribes and Pharisees brought this woman into the Temple and into the presence of Jesus accusing her and calling for her judgment according to the Law of Moses and yet they themselves would end up being convicted in and by their own conscience. Pause for a moment and consider how absolutely incredible this truly is when you think about how those who accused this woman and sought to judge her according to the Law of Moses would themselves be convicted in the sight and presence of the Lord Jesus.

 

            There is something we must needs recognize and understand concerning those who stood and accused this woman and those who would judge her according to the Law of Moses for their interaction with Jesus seemed to underestimate and ignore their own iniquities and transgressions. This encounter with the Lord Jesus would find them seeking to accuse this woman of her crime and offense and call for her judgment according to the Law of Moses and yet one thing it would ignore was their own guilt and offense before the Lord Jesus. That which this passage seems to clearly indicate and reveal is the scribes and Pharisees standing in the place of judgment against this woman absent consideration of their own iniquity, their own wrongdoing, their own offense and their own sin. The scribes and Pharisees accused this woman of her crime and offense and even stood to judge her according to the Law of Moses and yet what we find instead is Jesus inviting those who were without sin to cast the first stone. What a truly awesome and powerful truth it is when reading this passage and seeing how not only did this woman’s accusers depart from the Temple one by one but they would depart having been convicted in their own conscience. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for it calls and brings us face to face with the tremendous truth these who sought to accuse this woman completely, utterly and largely ignored their own iniquity, their own transgression and their own wickedness in the sight of the living God. Essentially they placed themselves in the seat of judgment against this woman while at the same time ignoring their own iniquity, their own rebellion and their own wickedness.

 

            What is found in the second chapter of the epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome is a powerful declaration concerning those who would seek to judge others not revealing how they are actually condemning themselves for they do the very things they would judge others of. If there is one thing I can’t help but wonder when reading the words which are found in the eighth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by John it’s whether or not any of those who stood to accuse and condemn this woman who had been caught in the act of adultery were themselves guilty of adultery. We know that adultery and fornication was indeed possible among the priests of the Lord for in the Old Testament book of First Samuel we find the sons of Eli the high priest—Hophni and Phineas—being guilty according to the Law of Moses for they fornicated and committed adultery with the women who came unto the house of the Lord in Shiloh. Lest we think that it is not possible for priests and even for those in the religious community to not be guilty of adultery and fornication we must needs remember and recall the account of Hophni and Phineas and how they were priests of the Lord who were guilty of committing adultery and fornication—and not only committing adultery and fornication but committing such acts at the house of the Lord at Shiloh with women who came unto that place to worship. Oh it is with this being said I can’t help but wonder if there were any of the chief priests, the scribes and the Pharisees who stood to judge and condemn this woman of adultery according to the law of Moses who themselves were guilty of doing the very same thing.

            The more I read the words and language found in the second chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the saints which were at Rome the more I am brought face to face with those who would seek to judge another and yet condemn themselves because they are guilty of doing the very same thing they were judging another for. If I am being honest with you who are reading the words found in this writing I would dare say that there are essentially two distinct and two different types of judgment toward and against another. There is that judgment where we seek to judge another not realizing that we are actually condemning and are condemned ourselves because we are guilty of doing the very same thing(s) we judged them for. There is another form of judgment where we seek to judge another and although we are not guilty of doing that which we are judging them for we nonetheless condemn ourselves because we are not without guilty. In fact it would be the apostle Paul who in the third chapter of this epistle who would emphatically declare that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Moreover it was David in the Old Testament psalm who emphatically declared there is none who do righteousness, no not one. It is absolutely unmistakable when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture that there is a judgment against others not realizing or recognizing that we ourselves are guilty of doing the very same thing and there is a judgment against others not willing to admit that we ourselves are guilty of violating and trespassing against the Law of Moses. Within this passage of scripture the apostle Paul clearly speaks of judgment and hypocrisy and how more often than not judgment and hypocrisy go hand in hand. It is within this passage of Scripture we are confronted with the instrinsic link that exists between judgment and hypocrisy and how more often than not hypocrisy and legalism is at the very heart of judgment. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew as well as the words which are found in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel written by Luke:

 

            “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:1-5).

 

            “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch? The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceives not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out firs the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye. For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:37-45).

 

            The words which are presented before us in these passages of Scripture bring us face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding Jesus’ warning unto His disciples and followers concerning their motive, intention and desire to judge another. When speaking unto His disciples and followers the Lord Jesus instructed them not to judge lest they themselves be judged. Moreover Jesus would go on to instruct them to condemn not lest they themselves be condemned and come under judgment. To illustrate this point even further the Lord Jesus would speak unto His disciples and followers concerning their beholding the plank or log that is in the eye of their brother and feeling the need and even the justification to not only point it out but also seek to remove it. What Jesus speaks of in terms of this reality, however, is those who think they can point out and even make an attempt to remove the plank or log that is in the eye of another when they are unable to see the mote that is present within their own eye. In essence that which we find within these two passages of Scripture is the very same thing the apostle Paul writes in the second chapter of the epistle written unto the saints of Rome. That which we find in the epistle written unto the saints of Rome is a powerful warning and word of caution unto those who would seek to sit in the seat of judgment against others whilst they either knowingly or unknowingly condemn themselves. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s that there is a form of judgment and condemnation that surrounds our judging others while we do the very same thing(s) we are judging others. Not only is this a form of judgment but there is also another form of judgment where we do not necessarily judge others for what we ourselves do but rather knowing that we ourselves are violators and trespassers of the Law of Moses.

 

            If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s that one who is guilty of breaking one of the commandments of the Law is indeed guilty of breaking all the commandments of the Law. Within Scripture there appears to be no distinction between those who merely break one commandment of the Law and those who break many if not all the commandments of the Law. We would like to think there is somehow a distinction between breaking and being guilty of breaking one of the commandments of the Law versus breaking multiple commandments of the Law. The truth of the matter, however, is that if you break one of the commandments of the Law you are indeed guilty of breaking all the commandments of the Law and are therefore guilty in the sight and presence of the living God. James makes it very clear there is no distinction that exists between breaking one commandment of the Law versus breaking all the commandments of the Law for if you break one you do in fact break them all. What’s more is it has already been mentioned within this writing that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Moreover it was David who did in fact declare that there is none who do righteousness—not a single one. Oh we must needs recognize and understand this particular truth and how absolutely necessary it is for us when thinking about judgment and sitting in the seat of judgment against and upon another. The scribes, the Pharisees, the elders of the people of Israel, the Sadducees and the religious system during the days of Jesus loved sitting in the seat of judgment and loved accusing according to the Law of Moses and even according to the traditions of men. Time and time again the scribes and Pharisees stood in the seat of judgment and sought to accuse and condemn the Lord Jesus—not only according to their own traditions but also according to the traditions of men.

 

            If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words which are presented in the opening chapters of the epistle written unto the saints of Rome it’s how the apostle Paul is seeking to lay out before them how all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. In the first chapter the apostle Paul writes and speaks of the wrath of God being revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness and then goes on to describe what that righteousness does in fact look like in the world. The apostle Paul clearly sets forth the tremendous and powerful truth surrounding the guilt of men and how all men stand guilty before and in the sight of the living God. What makes the danger of accusing, judging and condemning others so absolutely incredible and great is when those who would seek to do so either ignore or are unaware of the fact that they themselves are guilty in the sight of the living God. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand from Scripture it’s that we have never been given the license nor have we ever been given the authority to judge another. The scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the religious system during Jesus’ day thought and believed they were qualified and positioned to judge others and more often than not they did so from a place of legalism and hypocrisy. The religious system which was present during the days of Jesus judged according to their own legalism—that self-righteousness which is mentioned in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Matthew as well as that which is written in the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke concerning the publican. It is in the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we find the self-righteousness of the scribes, Pharisees and others concerning their giving, their fasting and praying while in the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke we find the Pharisee boasting of his own self-righteousness in the sight of God and even condemning the publican in prayer before the living God.

 

            Perhaps one of the greatest truths we must needs recognize when it comes to our accusation and judgment of others is that it is centered upon our own legalism or self-righteousness. There is not and there has not been a single one who has judged absent and apart from either of these two realities—either judgment from a place of legalism or judgment from a place of hypocrisy. There is a judgment that is rooted in one’s own legalism and self-righteousness as that particular individual boasts of their own self-righteousness in the sight of both God and men. This is what is evidenced and manifested in the parable of the publican and Pharisee for it is in that parable Jesus speaks of the Pharisee who not only boasts of his own righteousness but also condemns the publican in prayer in the sight, presence and hearing of the living God. With this being said we must needs recognize and understand that judgment also occurs from a place of hypocrisy as we don’t judge based on a righteousness we perceive ourselves to have but rather based on doing the very same thing we are judging someone else for. There is a judgment that is rooted in hypocrisy which is what is at the very heart and center of the words which are written and recorded in the twenty-third chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew. It is in this particular chapter we are brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the scribes and Pharisees and how the Lord Jesus referred to them as hypocrites because of the difference and disparity which existed between their words and actions.

 

            Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for the entire passage is centered upon the truth surrounding the scribes and Pharisees and how they sat in the seat of Moses—the seat of judgment—and did so from a place of hypocrisy and legalism in the sight and presence of the living God. The Lord Jesus recognized the scribes and Pharisees as being those who stood to accuse, judge and condemn and He therefore sought to instruct His disciples and followers to not be those who would seek to judge, condemn or even accuse others. In all reality we must needs recognize and understand that there is not and there has never been any means which justifies and permits us to stand in judgment against others in this world and generation. Regardless of whether or not we would like to think we can judge others we must needs recognize and understand that we have never been granted the license or the freedom to judge others. What’s more is judgment of others is highly discouraged by the Lord Jesus—and not only the Lord Jesus but also by the apostle Paul and even by James. If you continue reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture in the second chapter of the epistle unto the Roman saints you will find the apostle going on to speak unto those who would dare teach and preach unto others concerning violating the commandments of the Law of Moses when they themselves are guilty of violating the same commandments of the Law. This is something which must needs be recognized and understood for we are all without excuse, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of the living God, and we are all guilty before the living God and in need of grace and mercy. This is precisely what the apostle Paul seeks to set forth in this epistle as he writes unto both Jews and Gentiles alike in the city of Rome.

 

As I bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the words of the apostle Paul and how the apostle Paul strongly discouraged the saints in Rome against judging and accusing others. The apostle Paul was intimately aware of his own guilt and how he had indeed persecuted the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul knew what it was like to be extended and offered grace and mercy from the Father through the person of Jesus according to the Holy Spirit based on the free gift given unto Him. Essentially that which the apostle Paul is instructing his readers and audience to do is to be vessels and conduits of mercy and grace unto those before and around them. The apostle Paul sought to instruct and guide his audience and readers to be those who would forgive, those who would give unto others, and those who would extend mercy and grace to those who men and women might be deceived into thinking they don’t deserve. The apostle Paul sought to bring his readers and audience into the place where they recognized and understood that they were all guilty of the judgment and punishment of the living God and that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of the living God. Perhaps the greatest question we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we are not only willing to be recipients of grace and mercy but also vessels and conduits of grace and mercy. Are we willing to receive grace and mercy from the heart of the Father ourselves and as such are we also willing to extend such grace and mercy unto others knowing that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of the living God? Oh that we would recognize and understand that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life and that we have been invited to be those who are vessels and conduits of grace and mercy unto others regardless of what we think or feel they might be guilty of.

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