Its Time To Get Out of the Judge's Chair (SERMON NOTES)
- Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. -Romans 2:1
- 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? -Romans 2:4
- Imagine a passenger who is sitting in coach on an airplane telling the pilot to relinquish his seat and give him the controls. Imagine an unelected citizen walking into the Oval Office and telling the President to relinquish his role as Commander in Chief and hand over to him all authority. Imagine a defendant who is accused of a crime in a courtroom ascending to the judge's seat and telling him to move aside, saying "You are not capable of judging correctly." This would be preposterous. Yet, while most of us are not literal judges, while we might not have a literal gavel, this is what we often do with the Lord. We make the audacious claim to sit in His seat. We do not trust our Father to be just, to be our Advocate, to be our Defender, so we attempt to sit in the Judge's seat and do His job for Him.
- At the Durkin house right now all of our dining table chairs have to be removed from the dining room and put into the living room. Why? Because our 18-month-old baby Liam loves to use Mom and Dad's seat to climb up on the table. When Liam is on the table he spills drinks, throws food, breaks dishes and is in danger of falling down and hurting himself. We have to take the chair away from him because Liam cannot handle it. When he's in the wrong seat things get messy, things get broken, and he gets hurt. The same is true when we attempt to ascend to the Judge's seat. When we judge others, without first realizing our own sin, we make a mess. When we condemn others, we break relationships, and hurt ourselves.
- JR Miller "“It is better to have eyes for beauty – than for blemish. It is better to be able to see the rose – than the thorns. It is better to have learned to look for things to commend in others – than for things to condemn. Of course other people have faults – and we are not blind. But then we have faults of our own – and this should make us charitable.”
- We are all made in the image of God. God has given us powerful analytic faculties to think, to create and to develop. We are called to hold one another accountable in love. Our sinful nature, though, takes our analytical nature and transforms it into a critical nature. We are often too busy judging one another when we should be loving one another.
- We all have a tendency to maximize other's sins and minimize our own. We all have a tendency to wish faster retribution for others than we would want for ourselves. We all have a tendency to wish for harsher retribution for others than we would want for ourselves. If it's true that "misery loves company," then judges love to find other jurors. Gossip can be the vehicle unhealthy judgment travels by.
- On the cross, Jesus descended from the Judge's seat and offered himself on the Mercy Seat. In the Old Testament, the Mercy Seat was the space between the Cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant. It was the place Jews believed God would take His Seat in the Holy of Holies. This Mercy Seat is also the same place the High Priest would sprinkle the blood of the passover lamb to signify the penalty of sin being paid and the people of God being forgiven. Now in the New Covenant, Jesus serves as Judge, High Priest and our Propitiation / Atonement / Spotless Lamb. Jesus absorbed the judgment of the Father, interceded for sinners as High Priest, and offered His perfect life for ours. Hear him say from the bloody cross, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." It is there we see the riches of His kindness and it leads us to repent of our judgmental sin.
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