“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” -Romans 2:1 (NIV)
Crime has become something characteristic of life in this fallen world. In every society, in every culture, and in every age, we are made aware of the prevalence of criminal activity. Whether it is through historical documents, popular movies, or even today’s news, we cannot escape the reality that deviance exists and will continue to exist as long as humans populate this world. Yet when we see images of thieves and murderers we become inflated by self-righteousness. Though we may acknowledge the depravity of their actions and look down upon them in disgust, we blind ourselves to our own innate wickedness. How many of us, in envy and jealousy, have desired to take that which was not ours to take? How many of us, in our rage, have wanted to act in violence toward another person? Sin according to Christ is not defined by sole outward action, but by the very thought, and under that definition we are all criminals.
To redeem us from our sinful nature, Christ came so that by His death and resurrection we may be free from the bondage of sin and clothed with His righteousness. But we often forget to put on these clothes which He has given us. While we may think that we are wearing these clothes and are standing up for the holy standards of Christ, we are actually naked if we have done so in a judgmental spirit. Usually we end up using our self-proclaimed righteousness as weapon to slander others and boost our own pride. Truly wearing the garments of purity Christ has given us means humbling ourselves knowing that while we were bound as sinners and still chose to indulge in sin, Christ has forgiven us in His love. Nothing will be able to snatch us from the love of God and He will continue to remain faithful to the redemptive work He wants to carry out in our lives. When we have submitted ourselves to Christ’s Spirit and have allowed His righteousness to be made manifest in our lives, we will remain unapologetic in His view of sin while at the same time displaying His love. He will prompt us to remember that just as He has forgiven us of much, we are to show mercy and love by His enabling; drawing others into the hope of being restored by Him.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.