Acknowledge God as Judge: Romans 14:10-12
“10) But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? 11) For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall give praise to God.” 11) So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.” Romans‬ ‭14:10-12‬
There is a lot packed into these three verses. Let me try to peal them open just a bit so we can peer inside.
Two things go hand in hand in the Bible. The first is the freedom of choice. God grants every person the freedom to decide their own path through life. He does not force His will on anyone.
The second is personal accountability. We will all one day stand before God and give an account for our lives. This is true for both the theologian and the atheist. God is the ultimate authority. All freedom comes from Him and all accountability is due to Him. He is the judge. The above two realizations leaves me sober minded and respectful of others.
The implication is that we do not need to judge one another. We are called to share the gospel, speak and live biblical truth, point people to a fear and reverence for God and live our lives with a free and clear conscience. Beyond that, we let God do His work in each persons life.
But let’s take another big step in our thinking. The consciousness of the existence of God and future accountability to Him is the deterrence for evil in the world. When God is removed from public consciousness, society rapidly moves into depravity and tyranny takes the throne. In the absence of God, freedoms are lost, personal value and dignity are trampled under foot and government policies become immoral and oppressive. (See Romans 1:18-32) This is the thesis Paul used to open the book of Romans.
The knowledge of the God of the Bible is the single greatest guarantee of freedom and justice in society. Future accountability to Him as the ultimate Judge places every person on notice for their actions. From the President in the Oval Office to the homeless person on the street, each one is equally accountable to God for their thoughts, deeds and actions.
We all fall short, but His grace and help are available to any and all who acknowledge Him and invite Jesus into their life. He can forgive the sin and turn any life around. Salvation changes people. I work harder on myself than anything else in life. As God changes me, everything around me begins to change.
Here is a big kicker in these verses. When we judge other people, we make ourselves into little gods. Those are big shoes to fill. No man or woman is worthy of that role. It assumes we are omniscient and know all things. Only God has that attribute.
The opposite also sometimes happens. Being a pastor, some people change their behavior around me. I tell them, “Don’t try to impress me, my opinion doesn’t matter. God is the One you will one day stand before to give an account.”
Grace is discovering that now so you can make the necessary changes in your life through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Don’t wait until you stand before Him to humbly bow your knee. Confess Him now and seek His grace and help.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global