THE SERVANT GENERAL
ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD
November 5, 2009
Our relationship with each other has to do with our relationship
with God. This is important to understand, because it is easy
enough to know that we should do right by God, but we often
do wrong to others. But as Jesus commanded, we are to love
God and our neighbor, and the two go together. If we say we
love God but we hate our brother, then we are liars.
In today’s reading, Paul expounds on the reality of
First, Paul emphasizes who we are and what our proper relationship
to God is, as this is the starting point. “None of us
lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we
live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the
Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.”
(Rom 14:7-8). Jesus has purchased us on the cross by the shedding
of his precious blood. We now belong to him.
Next, Paul connects this reality of belonging to God to our
relationship with our brethren. “Why then do you judge
your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother?”
(Rom 14:10). If we belong to God, then we are to reflect His
image and likeness, we are to follow in Jesus’ footsteps,
we are to live in the Spirit. As such, those who belong to
God deserve respect and love. Thus we are to love others as
Jesus has loved them. No matter how bad they might be, we
are not to look down on them, because they too are made in
the image and likeness of God, they too are loved by Him,
they too were saved by Jesus on the cross.
In loving our brethren, we are not to judge them. Does this
mean we can never make a judgment on the wrongness of an action?
No. We do recognize sin and wrongdoing. We have the commandments
to guide us in this. However, it means not judging their heart
in the things they do. If they do wrong, we certainly can
recognize that objective reality, but we do not impute motives.
We condemn the sin but not the sinner. We hate the sin but
love the sinner.
How about justice? We are to leave judgment to God. Only God
truly knows what is in the hearts of everyone. And God indeed
is a God of justice and righteousness. Sin will be punished,
and virtue will be rewarded. “For we shall all stand
before the judgment seat of God” (Rom 14:10c).
“So then each of us shall give an account of himself
to God.” (Rom 14:12). We stand before God responsible
for our own actions, or for our inaction. In the end, God
will hold us accountable for how we have loved.
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One Another (Part3) [PDF]