THE AMEN CORNER:
EQUITY for ALL
August 5, 2018
Today, we continue in Unit III, PAUL TEACHES ABOUT NEW LIFE in CHRIST. The lesson for today was entitled, EQUITY for ALL. The SCRIPTURE for today’s lesson was from Romans 2:1-12. The KEY VERSES were from verses 10 and 11 which read, “Glory, honor, and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: for there is no respect of persons with God. (KJV)
God Is Kind, but Not Soft!
2 1-2 Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done.
3-4 You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness, he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.
5-8 You’re not getting by with anything. Every refusal and avoidance of God adds fuel to the fire. The day is coming when it’s going to blaze hot and high, God’s fiery and righteous judgment. Make no mistake: In the end you get what’s coming to you—Real Life for those who work on God’s side, but to those who insist on getting their own way and take the path of least resistance, Fire!
9-11 If you go against the grain, you get splinters, regardless of which neighborhood you’re from, what your parents taught you, what schools you attended. But if you embrace the way God does things, there are wonderful payoffs, again without regard to where you are from or how you were brought up. Being a Jew won’t give you an automatic stamp of approval. God pays no attention to what others say (or what you think) about you. He makes up his own mind.
12-13 If you sin without knowing what you’re doing, God takes that into account. But if you sin knowing full well what you’re doing, that’s a different story entirely. Merely hearing God’s law is a waste of your time if you don’t do what he commands. Doing, not hearing, is what makes the difference with God.
“God is no respecter of persons.” We hear this Biblical quote often. This statement simply means that God does not show favoritism. We are all the same in God’s eyes. This view of mankind is different from man’s view of himself and his fellow man.
While in the United States Air Force, I served several tours as an Independent Duty Medical Technician or IDMT. The IDMT was usually assigned to a GSU or Geographically Separated Unit. Saying that a location was a GSU was the Air Force’s way of saying that it was “way the heck out in the middle of nowhere”. Serving as an IDMT was challenging because we were usually the ONLY medical personnel assigned to the site. We performed many medical and health functions. Primary among these functions was that of routine and emergency medical care for the site’s sick and injured, and we had to accomplish this function with limited equipment and supplies.
There were many things that we were trained and equipped to handle. We had an ambulance for transporting the sick and injured, splinting and casting supplies and tools, incubators for growing throat cultures, microscopes for counting red and white blood cells, emergency cardiac and medical medications, and much more, but one thing we did not have was an X-Ray machine.
If a guy was playing basketball, jumped after the rebound, but landed awkwardly and twisted his ankle—barring having the bone sticking out of his skin or an obvious dislocation—we could not diagnose whether the bone was fractured. We were not equipped nor qualified to make that JUDGEMENT. We would have to transport the patient–by ambulance–to the nearest military base or civilian hospital with X-ray capability.
Likewise, man is neither equipped, nor qualified to judge other men. Man does not have spiritual nor physical X-Ray vision! God does!
Man uses different criteria than God does to judge people. God’s judgment is fair and unbiased man’s judgment is not. God can see what is in a person’s heart, man can only see what shows outwardly. Man uses the wrong criteria. We judge people by external criteria like:
• the color of skin,
• level of intelligence,
• social status,
• economic status,
• physical appearance,
• political affiliation or view
Upon close examination of these criteria—especially the last one—I was inspired to pick the following heading for my subtopic for today:
GOD IS NOT A DEMOCRAT!
Wait a minute Republicans, Libertarians, and whatever other political party you identify with! Don’t get too happy just yet. God is not a Republican nor Libertarian either! Sorry Evangelicals. God is not any more on your side than He is on any other person’s side. Remember? God is NO respecter of persons. God does not show FAVORITISM nor does He choose sides. In the end, we will ALL be judged the same.
Neither will there be BIG SINS and little sins. Sin is sin! God does not see a difference. The big old “Bernie Madoff” kind of liar will go to the same hell and experience the same eternal fire as the “Little White Liar”. The shoplifter of a one dollar item, will go to the same hell and experience the same punishment as the “White Collar embezzler” of millions.
Just one glance at any news channel, at any time of the day or night, will reveal to you people judging other people; Republicans judging Democrats, Liberals judging Conservatives, and so on. Anytime we give preference to someone because of some external criteria, we violate God’s mandate to love others as we love ourselves. Judging others is a sin and we all know what happens to sinners; large and small.
While we’re pointing judgmental and accusatory fingers at others, God is pointing His at us. Michael Jackson’s song implores us to “Take a Look at the Man in the Mirror”. Before you go looking through the glass of your window into your neighbors’ yard, look into the self-reflective glass of a mirror. If you’re being honest, I’m sure you will see fault that needs your attention much more than what’s going on at your neighbors’ place.
A man went to the psychiatrist’s office with a scrambled egg on his head and a strip of bacon over each ear. He said, “I need your help…it’s about my brother.
Don’t be that guy!