You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Romans 2:1 (NIV)
OUCH! Just to be clear here: Paul says that when (not if!) I pass judgment on someone besides myself, I have no excuse for doing it because I do the same things!
The â€˜thereforeâ€™ comes because in Chapter 1 Paul has just told me that all of us are guilty of sins. Yes, me. The list of sins is because we are evil and wicked. We are in need of a Savior.
They want what others have, and they murder, argue, cheat, and are hard to get along with. They gossip, say cruel things about others, and hate God. They are proud, conceited, and boastful, always thinking up new ways to do evil.
These people donâ€™t respect their parents. They are stupid, unreliable, and donâ€™t have any love or pity for others. Romans 1:29-32 (CEV)
Yes, I can find myself in this list. Paul is the master debater. He knows how to bring me into his net of truth step by step. He begins with the â€˜theyâ€™ and lists general terms and quickly comes closer and closer into specific areas that â€˜theyâ€™ â€“ oh, no, thatâ€™s me too! Paul doesnâ€™t bring on his perfect debate just to convict me and he doesnâ€™t condemn me. He wants me to recognize my sins and see the need for a Savior. Paul does not want me to despair. That could happen if it was only about Godâ€™s law and His holiness. I would quickly be overwhelmed by how great my sin and how wide the gulf between us! It is about Godâ€™s love and His plan to save me.
I was created to have a relationship with God above all others in my life. Is that a hard or troubling concept? My relationship with my husband and my children is beyond words to describe. It would be superfluous of me to say that I would give my life for them. And there is where the tears come to me. GOD feels the same way about me! How do I know? Because He did die for me! He did it to save me from certain and final death. He did it so I would live!