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Romans blog 15: before you accuse me

July 27, 2015

  “Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself” – Eric Clapton – Before you accuse me (from the album  ‘Journeyman”)

Romans 2:1

Ooh it’s been too long since my last post in Romans. A busy schedule of preaching has meant my readers have had to suffer the longer in depth stuff. Now into the summer a chance to ‘catch up’.

In chapter 1 we marvelled at the power of the gospel but then tumbled downwards into the frightening wrath of God against mankind. Sobering stuff!

Chapter 2 opens with words that understandably follow from chapter 1!

“You have no excuse”.

We have been thinking about people guilty of all sorts of sinful behaviour and then Paul says “don’t think you can get away with it”. 

I find that instantly unsettling ( especially after a long break) so I need to get back to the context.

This letter is written to the Roman church. “Loved by God”, “called to be holy”. Everyone knows about their faith.

They’re good Christian people. So when he says “you’ve got no excuse” is he addressing all Christians in Rome. I don’t think he can be. although maybe the warning is there for all.

Like most churches we read about in the New Testament letters there is an element that is not so good.

What makes people without excuse is that they are hypocrites. They point the finger at other people’s sins when actually they’re doing the same stuff themselves. Those are the people who have no excuse.

Like everyone else they know God’s law, but they should know it all the more through receiving Christ. But no, what they believe does not shape the way they behave. There is no connect.

As a Christian there must be a connect between what I believe and how I live my life.

If the people outside the church are judged then so are you and I.

If we’re honest we Christians are all hypocrites at one level or another.

But to remind ourselves, the sins Paul has been talking about included sexual sin, envy, gossip, unloving.

Our churches are not immune to these things. 

The imperative is to share the gospel but the need is there too to look at ourselves. Though not in such a way that we never go out with the good news.

Look in the mirror and then go and help the other sinners.

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