“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:21-22).
My goal in this devotional is this: That we see we are all guilty before the Almighty God when we stand before Him clothed in our own righteousness. That any and everything we do or fail to do while under the bondage of SIN is worthy of punishment, i.e. “judgment.”
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Romans 3:10)
This is not an attempt to prove my innocence or another’s guilt; in other words, to show myself above another. And this is also not an attempt to prove or show that God hates one sin more than another sin. There are, I believe, different categories of sin. But they are all an offence toward God first, and then some also against our neighbor.
We must first see that to be in danger of something (specifically judgment) does not mean that I will no doubt suffer it, but that I am worthy of it because of my guilt.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23)
“What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;” (Romans 3:9)
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)
Oh, thank God that provision for remission and forgiveness has been made through Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21): “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
A clear view of “The Cross” reveals unto a sinner two sure things: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Yes, I understand that Jesus’ Resurrection is the proof of our victory over the grave and death. But let us think about the promise that He made to the malefactor that hung on His right hand that day before they both died. This malefactor acknowledged (confessed) himself that he was worthy of the judgment that he was receiving.
But Jesus promised him that he would not have to suffer eternal punishment, but would be with him in Paradise. “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). On the other hand, the same judgment was rendered to the malefactor on the left. But the gift was rejected; the gift of Eternal Life which is Jesus Christ.
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Both malefactors on either side of Jesus had reached this appointment. And the danger of the judgment was ever so present. They both hung there guilty before God, and literally on the sides of God!! Before entering into eternity, the hereafter, both malefactors made the decision to either escape the danger or “not believe in the escape” and look for proof of temporary deliverance along with the rest of the mocking masses. Read Luke 23:34-43.
John 3:18 says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
There are two elements of confession that can be seen in the passage of Luke 23:34-43. They were both done by the malefactor that hung on the right hand of Jesus. They are spoken of at least once in Acts 20:21. Please notice who is mentioned as being able and given the opportunity to experience:
“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21)