GOD – Part 7
GOD as Righteous Judge
Sunday, February 24, 2019
John 8:1-11, 12:44-50, 1 Corinthians 4:3-5
Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Is there no one to condemn you?” She said, “No one, sir.” Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on, don’t sin anymore.”
We’ve heard a million sermons on how it is not our place to judge. We know what Jesus says about the log in our own eye preventing us from clearly seeing the speck in the eye of a brother or sister (Matthew 7:1-6).
On the other hand, we know that God does judge our actions. This truth is uncomfortable for several reasons.
The idea of judging someone has such a negative connotation that we don’t want to think of God as being “judgmental.”
We know we are saved by grace, not by works, so why would our works be judged?
Jesus says explicitly that he did not come to judge or condemn, but to save (John 3:17, 12:47).
And we’ve only scratched the surface.
In the infamous story of the woman caught in adultery, Jesus demonstrates that he is the only one righteous enough to enact true justice, and in the case of this woman, he declared her “forgiven” (John 8:1-11).
We must be careful not to mistake judgementalism with justice, righteousness and consequences.
God’s judgment is just and true, not judgmental. Where judgmentalism is often subjective, opinionated, condescending and condemning, God’s judgement stands as an objective, factual standard of what is right and good.
Dr. Robert Mulholland described God’s justice like gravity. If we choose to step off the roof of a building, we will fall. We will be hurt. We may even die. This truth does not imply that gravity had anything against us. The laws of nature were not punishing us. Rather, the fall is the natural consequence of our choice to act in a way that is contrary to the laws of nature.
In the same way, when we act against the moral laws rooted in the righteousness and love of God, we are bound to fall. This is why Paul writes that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). God is not out to condemn us, destroy us, or to harm us in any way. God desires that all might come to salvation.
And yet God’s perfect nature stands as a moral standard by which our lives are judged and by which natural consequences result. All sin leads us down a path of death and destruction, whether physical or perhaps emotional, mental, relational or spiritual.
As righteous judge, God forgives our sin, but the consequences of sin are ours to bear.
What emotions do you feel when you think of God as judge?
How do you see God as a judge in your life? Where do you feel convicted and where do you feel forgiven?
In what ways do you try to step into God’s role as a judge over others? How does your judgment of others differ from God’s pure and perfect judgement?
“Judgment will again be founded on righteousness, and all the upright in heart will follow it.” (Psalm 94:15)