Friday, February 19, 2010

By Christ Jesus

February's Scripture passage for month-long consideration is Romans 2:12-3:20. I read it every day. On the weekend I read the whole book of Romans. The point is to live with this "pinnacle epistle" (I think it was R. C. Sproul who called it that) for a whole year. Through thick and thin. And by the way, this past week has been pretty thick.

Anyway, the ESV heading for this section is (as you will see if you follow the link) "God's Judgement and the Law." The key verse of the passage (the coup de grace, if you will), comes at the very end, at 3:19,20:
Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
It occurred to me this morning that there's quite a bit about "judgement" in this passage. At 2:16 Paul says the judgement of God is "according to [his] gospel." In other words, it's good news.

It has taken me years to think of it that way. Furthermore, I don't know about you, but I'm really grateful that every mouth will be stopped. Can you just imagine that? A first in human history. Every mouth silent! And I'm particularly grateful, first of all, that my own mouth will be stopped. It will be so obvious, in that moment, that all my self-pardoning, my excuse making, my sublte prevaricating, back-filling, niggling qualifiers, and careful "re-interpretations" of the truth would be utterly useless. More, they would only prove my utter blindness to the glory before me, and the glory of His judgement of me (and the world) by Christ Jesus.

Let me say that last bit again: God is going to judge me, and you, and everyone, by Christ Jesus.

And Paul says, at the start of this passage, that this is good news.

Here's the thing. At this moment in my life, at this moment in my week, at this moment on Friday afternoon, I can't wait till every mouth . . . and especially my own . . . is silenced before the judgement seat of the Almighty, and in that universal hush we know profoundly, as never before, as the wounded Lamb smiles upon his many brothers and sisters, that we were indeed lost, but now are found!

Even so, come Lord Jesus.

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