Impartial Grace: Romans 14

Who are you who judge another’s servant? To his own lord he stands or falls. Yes, he will be made to stand, for God has power to make him stand.

(Romans 14:4, emphasis added)

This is not a rhetorical question. It deserves an answer. Christian friends agree that no Christian should judge anyone anywhere at any time. Believers are convinced that God’s Word is true and that none of us are capable of giving reasonable, favorable judgment about others. I confess that I have judged others. Generally, I judged them according to a standard I built. That is hardly reasonable and surely not fair. I was ignorant. Worse I was arrogant. I have been forgiven and God remembers those sins no more. Amen. It is difficult enough living my own life and to glorify God. I have to stand before God and give account for my life. That’s enough! God will hold me up. He will give me the strength to weather all that my life is subjected to. His plan is to be my plan. His will to be my will.

There should be no allowance made on my part to judge the behavior of any other person. That is what this scripture is admonishing. Further, it is incumbent on me to know that God will hold all men up. He has the power. He has the intent. It is His will that none should perish. This is the Gospel preached. Do not judge. It is a simple as that. Know that God will lift you up and that He will lift up even your enemy. It is a Gospel that preaches God is love.

But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, “‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘to me every knee will bow. Every tongue will confess to God.’”

(Romans 14:10-11, emphasis added)

First we are asked why we assume the authority we take for ourselves. “Who are you to judge…?” We are asked to explain the cause of our judgment on our brother or the cause of our hatred for him. The questions apply guilt to us. These are questions causing introspection. If I pass judgment on others, then I am condemning them to a fate of my creation. If I pass judgment on others, then I am hateful of them. Neither of these are characteristics I want to possess. Christ Jesus teaches, “You will be judged by the measure you use to judge others.”

The Lord our God will judge all men. As a consequence of His judgment “…every knee shall bow…” and “…every tongue shall confess to God.” Confess what? Their sin! All men will confess. All men will repent. All men will be reconciled to Him. This is the message of “The Blessed Hope.” This is Impartial Grace.