We started the second week of “Not Ashamed of the Gospel” with reading Romans 2:1-11.
The topic: judgement.
Here Paul is addressing the fact that many of the Jews were judging the Gentiles and yet… they were doing the very same things which they were judging.
Paul reminded them, and us, that God will show no partiality, no favoritism. God is absolutely right, and just, and fair in His judgment.
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (verse 4, NLT)
God’s judgment is not meant to be cruel. In fact, His judgment is kind and tolerant because His desire is for change to take place in our lives. His hope is that we will be repentant and turn to Him, letting Him do the work of making us more like Him.
We continued our reading with Romans 2:17-24 and then, Matthew 25:34-46.
In the first passage, Paul points out how the very law the Jews were using to convict the Gentiles, was going to point out their very own guilt as well.
The two readings together, reminded us of how God looks at what is inside us – He sees our secret life – as He sees our hearts and what may lie hidden there.
He sees how we treat those around us when no one else is looking. He sees when we “do” for the reward rather than to simply love.
“Then the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” (verse 40, NASB)
It was the words, “to the extent” which stood out to me. To what extent am I willing to go?
May He open our eyes to see the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, and the stranger!Â They are often right before our very eyes.
We closed out the week with reading Romans 3:1-8 , John 17:3, and James 2:19.
The discussion covered the difference between believing in God and knowing God.
In these passages, we noted even the demons believe in God.
“What do demons believe? For one thing, they believe in the existence of God. They also believe in the deity of Christ. Whenever they met Christ when He was on earth, they bore witness to His Sonship. They believe in the existence of a place of punishment and they also recognize Jesus Christ as the Judge. They submit to the power of His Word. But believing and trembling is not a saving experience. A person can be enlightened in the mind and even stirred in the heart and be lost forever. True saving faith involves something more: a changed life.”
(from The Wiersbe Study Bible, page 1814)
Spend some time thinking about the difference between the two.
Hearts turned towards repentance
come to know God,
and see the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, and the stranger.