Romans 2:16b (ESV)
“…God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.”
If the unbeliever asked themselves the following questions, and honestly based the answers solely upon what their “secrets” or their thought life actually is, what would the answers be?
How do I measure up to God’s standard (Jesus Christ)? Would God’s judgement be good or bad for me? Would God consider me to be holy… or evil? Am I arrogant enough or even foolish enough to even entertain the notion that being “holy” could possibly describe me? Since Jesus is not only the Son of God, but He is also God (‘He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power.’ Hebrews 1:3), then the real question is, since my “secrets” are judged in comparison to God, am I just kidding myself by delaying the acknowledgement of the obvious description of who I really am? Or, more simply…
Am I… evil?
On Sermon Audio, Evangelist/Missionary Paul Washer has a sermon entitled: “What is the Gospel?, Part 1”. In the sermon, he illustrates a truth which is given in the second half of Genesis 8:21…
“…for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth.”
“You know, I hear people say sometimes that we should just let the children lead us. My dear friend, whoever says that has never had children… knows very little about children. Let me give you an example, an illustration, to prove to you that this text really is true, it is validated by our daily lives. Let’s take a three-year-old or a four-year-old child. Put them in a room. And, let’s put around them every magnificent toy that can be found. And, let’s let them play and select toys until they have found their favorite toys. And then, let’s take the toy that they most do not want to play with. That they most reject. And, let’s put it in their hands. They throw it away. We pick it up again, and we put it in their hands. And, they throw it away. We do it again. And, they throw it away. They do not want the toy. But, there is something that we can do to make them want the toy. What do we need to do? Let’s bring another four-year-old into the room, and set that child down, in front of the first child. And then, let’s take that toy, which the first child did not want to play with at all, and put that toy in the hands of the second child. What’s going to happen? World War III. You know it’s true. This is just a small illustration of why there are wars today; why there are divorces; why there are murderers; why there is hatred. You see, the problem is not outside us. The problem is in us.”
So, what’s the obvious answer to this simple question?
I’ll get to it in a moment…
The verse that I started with, Romans 2:16 (written by the Apostle Paul), has been on my mind a lot lately. It pierces me. It slices into my innermost core. It awakens me to the reality of who I am, and it’s doing its job… just as scripture says that it’s meant to do…
Hebrews 4:12-13 (ESV)
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
Washer goes on:
“The Bible says that we are fallen… that we are broken… that we are evil… that we are rebels; and that we must turn to God… to be fixed… to become something else.”
Without Christ, I must admit… I am evil.
It’s a reality that we believers must all come to terms with everyday. We must continually repent (change our mind about who we are in comparison to Christ Jesus) and preach the Gospel to ourselves everyday. Because, if we don’t, all we really are, are just an angry four-year-old, attempting to hoard what we don’t even want from another four-year-old.
Later, in his sermon, Paul Washer makes the point that…
“We may not realize that it was just one sin which condemned the whole world. Not many sins, but just one.”
This sparks a question that we (Christians) must ask ourselves:
Why do I, in light of this fact, still sometimes attempt to justify myself in my mind, regarding my sins?
It seems a bit silly, doesn’t it? I mean, since it took only one sin to contaminate us all, why do we so often in our mind quibble over and make excuses for the many sins that we still commit? Just to put it into more perspective…
Each and every single one of them (alone) was sufficient enough to put the entire universe into chaos.
We need to be continually reminded that it took just one sin by Adam to pollute us all, and to stop pointing our fingers and evaluating each other like angry little children. But, we also need to be reminded of who it was who brought the resolution:
Romans 5:1-19 (ESV)
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”
Godspeed, to the brethren!
Excellent post! I have heard that message by Washer, and it moved me a great deal. Thanks for sharing your musings!
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