6/11 Romans 2:3-4

3 Do you suppose, O man-you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself-that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

Paul had pointed out how wickedly the Gentiles behaved, but then he asked all who would accuse them to examine their own hearts. We are usually the most disgusted with the evil in which we see our own weaknesses. Do we suppose God will judge others because they dive into their temptations but not judge us because we only fall now and then? Does God judge on frequency, or is rebellion simply rebellion? Jesus tells us that even to contemplate evil in our heart is equal to committing the act (Matthew 5:28).

Paul goes on to ask if we presume upon the kindness, forbearance, and patience of God, as if somehow He will overlook our sins but not those of others. Do we see the patience of God to this point in our lives, look at all our blessings, and then think we must be God's special chosen ones? Being aware of the kindness of God should not cause us to overlook our sins, but rather to be grieved that we could continue in them. The patience of God is His gracious attempt to get us to the point of realizing the wickedness in our own hearts. Those who are constantly criticizing others have yet to understand this passage. We are all sinners. Pride is just as rebellious toward God as adultery. The fact that we are not all cast into hell this second is the kindness of God leading us to salvation in Jesus.

If our trust for life eternal is placed in anything we do, other than receiving the salvation offered to us in Jesus, we are simply deceiving ourselves and living in the rebellion of pride. God is patiently waiting for us to wake up to our condition, humble ourselves, and repent. To trust in our own faithfulness is to fail. To trust in the faithfulness of God is to gain life eternal.

Consider: Do you recognize that the things you condemn in others are often the very weaknesses in your own heart?