Paul turns from his description of the world in rebellion against God, and addresses the Jews, Christians, and the other “Good People” who condemn the world. “You do the same things,” he says, “even though you condemn them. And thus, your condemnation of them is also a condemnation of yourself. How do you think you will escape God’s Judgment?”Paul here describes a basic trait in human nature; we can be very judgmental about others’ shortcomings, and at the same time, blind to our own. We tend to use our own comparison scale. “I know I’m not perfect, we say, but at least I’m not as bad as that person.”

Jesus Himself described it as our trying to pull a splinter or a spec out of our brother’s eye, while we are oblivious to the beam in our own eye. And, in the same sermon, He pointed out that God’s standard is completely different than our own. All of us agree that actual, physical murder is a terrible sin; Jesus pointed out that nursing a murderous hatred against another is in fact murder.

And so Paul, knowing that there is a real possibility that some would read his description of the world, say to himself, “Thank God I’m not like them”, and completely miss his own need of a Savior and thus his own salvation, writes these passages in Romans.

In His wonderful plan of salvation, God has included everyone. He included everyone as a sinner, in danger of His judgment; and He included everyone in the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and the forgiveness and new life He now extends to all who will believe in Him.

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