Thursday, December 11, 2014

God's grace covers us--all of us

"For though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened." Romans 1:21 (NRSV).

"Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others, for in passing judgment on another, you condemn yourself." Romans 2:1 (NRSV)

"Do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience?  Do you not realize that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?" Romans  2:4 (NRSV).

In Romans 1:21, Paul is explaining to the Romans that all sin comes from the same root, which is honoring ourselves before God.  WE ALL STRUGGLE WITH THIS!  Moreover, we struggle moment by moment with it.  When we spend our money redecorating our homes instead of obeying the nudge to give money to aid the destitute, we are glorifying our possessions before glorifying God.  When we are addicted to drugs and alcohol, we are glorifying our own needs and desires over the righteousness of God.
This is how Paul can say in Romans 2:1 that the house decorator cannot judge the drug addict because although the house decorator may not be a substance abuser, the decorator is still guilty of not putting God first. 
How then should we respond to those who so blatantly sin?  In Romans 2:4, Paul reminds us that we need to respond to the sin of others the same way that God does--with kindness.  If we ask God to show grace to us when we repent, then we must expect God's grace to lead others to repentance. 
We do not have to worry about the hardness of another person's heart.  God's grace has it covered.