Dr. Ed Young - Judging Others
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Duck Dynasty! Phenomenal thing! All the pseudo-entertainment people look at that and say, "Why do millions watch"? But we get it around here, don't we? We pretty well understand that. By the way, we have a Bible study class named Duck Dynasty out here! Can you believe that? Will the Duck Dynasty group stand up? I thought you all had long beards! I'm really disappointed! Be seated. Be seated... One guy watched Duck Dynasty, he thought all the men looked so great in their beards, that he decided that he would grow a beard, so he grew out his beard a month, two months, three months. It went into a year, and he had quite an impressive beard, and one day, he was driving around the city, and he said, "You know, this beard is scratching, and it feels so dirty. I'm gonna go to a barber shop and get it shaved..."
So he whipped in a little mom and pop barber shop, and he walked in and asked the barber-he said, "Look, will you, you give me a shave? I want to get rid of all this beard..." The barber says, "You know, I don't shave people any more. My wife Grace, she'll shave you. She's in the back..." So he called his wife out. His wife came in. The man got in the barber shop. He was put back in the chair, and she got out some scissors and cut off all-most of his beard, and then lathered him up and took one of those long, old fashioned, sharp, straight razors and started to shave him, and she shaved him just as clean as you can imagine. And when he got up and felt of his face, he said, "You know, my face has never felt this clean. How much do I owe you"? She said, "You, the first time you come in, it's free. Just come back to see us". So he said, "No, no..." She said, "No, it's free. It's absolutely free..."
And so he walks out, and he goes home. And his wife, his family is thrilled, he's so clean and, and then the next morning he gets up. He gets out his razor and his shaving cream and feels of his face. It's just as clean as it was when she shaved him. And said, "Well, you know, that's quite a shave..." And the next day went by-same thing. His face was still clean-shaven. A week went by, a month went by-still, no beard. Just as clean as before, and it began to worry him, so he made his way back to the barber shop, and he went into the barber. He said, "Look-my, my face is just as clean now after a month! I haven't shaved a time. What in the world is going on"? And the barber said, "You were shaved by Grace. Once shaved, always shaved".
We've been talking about grace, if you've been around, as we've studied Romans, And the rest of the second Chapter of Romans, Paul addresses the Jews, and he said, "You think you're okay because you're a Jew". I'm okay because I'm a Jew; their heritage... And, you would think they would be okay-why, they were God's peculiar people, were they not? God uniquely blessed the Jews and gave them an insight and said, "You'll be My people, and I will be your God..." and all the promises He gave to the Jews. The Jews appeared to be very, very religious-all their feast days, all the sacrificial system, all the things they would wear around their arm, around their arm, around their head, and they would pat that little magic, little thing on their doorpost as they went out. They would quote the Shema to their children. My goodness!
The Jews, "I'm a Jew by heritage"! You know, "I ought to be okay"! And then the Jew would continue his argument, and the Jew would say, "Not only I'm okay and I'm going to go to Heaven, and I'm certainly righteous enough because I'm a Jew, but also, I'm okay because I have the Law". See? "We've been given the Ten Commandments. We have the Law". And then Paul addresses this and says, "Okay, let me just follow your logic here. You have the Law..." And then beginning in Verse 17: "If you bear the name 'Jew' (I'm okay-no) and rely upon the Law, and boast in God, 'I have the Law, and I know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law...'" What are they saying? Say, look, intellectually, the Jew was saying, "Since I was born, I came in this earth. All of my life is built, built around religious procedure and religious activity, and the synagogue, in, synagogue in my home. Man, eh, you know, I know the Law"!
Other words, the Jew is saying, "I know truth intellectually". Paul's gonna point out these Jews are hypocrites, as he could come before us today and point out that a lot of us who are church members, religious are hypocrites. "Well, I know the story of the prodigal son"! You know, I can quote Psalm one! I was brought up in Bible study, and I love it when I'm around pagan people and they don't know my profession, and they just treat me like anybody else, which I really enjoy, until they find out I happen to have "Reverend" in front of my name, and then you know what happens almost inevitably? The most profane, vulgar, scum that I happen to be with at that moment begins to tell me, "You know, my great-grandfather was a preacher"! Well, super! "I went to Vacation Bible School when I was a kid"! Well, you must be alright with God. I mean, who am I? We begin parading all of our religious credentials.
This is what the Jews were doing. Paul was challenging them saying, "You think you're okay because you're a Jew? You think you're okay because you have the Law"? "Well, I have intellectual knowledge"! Hypocrisy! We fall back on the same thing. We talk about all of our churchanity that we've been a part of. And then look at the next thing the Jew says. The Jew says, Verse 19: "...and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, and a light to those who are in darkness (our Scripture) a corrector of the foolish, and a teacher of the immature, having the Law, the embodiment of knowledge on the earth". Now they are saying, "I am confident of who I am. I am a Jew. I have the Law. Intellectually, I understand it. On top of that, I am a teacher of others, and I am the one who brings light to darkness".
That was the Jewish purpose, wasn't it? God selected the Jews so they'd be a light of truth and revelation to the world, but they turned away from that a long, long time ago. It had become perfunctory; it had become just something that they do. It was just motions that they went through. It had no reality in it. In other words, they never looked in the mirror. When you teach, when you speak, when you bear your witness, when you talk about Biblical truth, that Biblical truth applies to you and applies to me. Some years ago in the airport, a man came up and introduced himself to me. We began to talk, and he said he was a Unitarian. And I said, "Well, what do they teach in your church? I just wonder..." He said, "Well, they teach us of what God wanted to say". I can't make that up. I said, "What"? He said, "Yeah... in our church, we're taught what God wanted to say".
I said, "Really"? "Yes..." He was a very intellectual man. I said, "That's just..." I said, "Don't you think maybe that's a little arrogant and presumptuous? That they teach you what God wanted to say"? He said, "Maybe, but that's what we teach". And I said, "In, the church that I'm a part of, we teach what God said". Little difference, isn't it? You see, what God has said-when we hear it and we know it, we have a responsibility and an accountability under that. The Jews didn't get it, and a lot of us don't get it. "I'm okay because I'm a Jew; I'm okay because I have the Law". And then Paul asked five devastating questions. Listen to these five questions. He asked this Jew rhetorical questions. He says, Verse 21: "Do you therefore who teach another, do you teach yourself"?
Do you teach yourself? Do you teach yourself? Hello! Church member? You know, "I'm a member of the..." Do you teach yourself? Do we just read the Scripture in order to understand it-read the Scripture in order to, "Man, I get that..." or do we read the Scripture in order for the Holy Spirit to bring conviction on your life and in my life, and we repent, and we move, and we change... That's, that's the authority. That's the sword of God, which the Bible is. He asked, "Do you, do you teach yourself? You who preach"? He says, "You shall not steal. Do you steal"? Take something that's not your own? Fast dealer? Behind the back. No one knows... Claiming tax deductions, claiming expenses as you travel, taking things from the company you op... "Do you steal? Do you say that one should not commit adultery? Do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols? Do you rob temples? You boast in the Law through the breaking of the Law. Do you dishonor God"?
You see, Paul knew that those Jews were not keeping the Commandments; that those Jews did not understand just the shallow part of the Law. For example, you can read the Ten Commandments and feel real good. You know... "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me..." "Oh yeah, I believe there's a God..." "Ah, Thou shalt not make any graven images..." "Well, I haven't carved anything lately and worshipped any steel or wood thing. I'm doing pretty good..." The he moves on. He talks about adultery. That's the seventh one. We say, "Well, you know, I haven't..." God says if we have in our hearts and in our mind committed adultery, we're guilty of adultery. "Well, I've never murdered anybody... I'm doing pretty good there"!
Jesus says if you have had raca-that's the word, toward someone, what does that word mean? It means nothing. In other words, if you've treated anybody else as if they were nothing, you're guilty of murder. "Well, you don't count...that's a nobody. I don't pay any attention to you. You're not..." If we treat anybody as if they are a non-entity, we have murdered them. We have eliminated them. We're guilty of murder. You see how the Law, when we see really the depth and the heart of it, we all stand condemned? The Jews didn't get that. And some of us don't get that. And then he says in that devastating Verse that I did not read, he said, "Because of your lifestyle, you blaspheme God before the Gentiles".
The Jews were to be a light of God's truth, and morality, and revelation with the promise of the Messiah. Instead, they were, caused other people not to turn to the True and Living God because of the morality of their lives, because of the joy of their worship, because of the genuine of their conduct. In fact, the Jews in Rome were so corrupt under the Emperor Claudius, he had every Jew run out of town, every one of them were run out of Rome because they appeared so religious and pious and so godly; but in their relationships and their dealings, they were so immoral, and they so exploitive of the people, and they ran 'em out of town. What about your life and my life as we walk through? Are we much like those old Pharisaical oriented Jews? Or do others see, "There is someone who is genuine; not perfect, but genuine. Someone who seeks to walk with our Lord Jesus Christ".
See, it also speaks to you and speaks to me. Now, the Jew tried to defend himself. He said, "Look, I'm okay, I'm righteous because I'm a Jew. My heritage! Oh, I'm righteous because of my knowledge, what I know. I have the Law...." and then he said, "No, that's not working..." Those little tough disastrous questions just unmasked the Jew. And finally the Jew pulls out the last defense he has, the last thing he has. He said, "This will get me all the way to Heaven! This means I'm righteous". He says, "Circumcision"!
Whoa here... Verse 25: "For indeed, circumcision is of value if you practice the Law, but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision; so if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you, who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law"? Hhmmm..... "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh, but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that which is of the heart by the Spirit and by the letter, and His praise is not from men, but from God". The word "Jew" means "praise". The word "Jew" means praise.... What's this about circumcision? Do you understand it? What does the word circumcision mean? "Circum" means around-circumference, circus... We get the Latin word "around". "Cision" means to cut. It means to cut... it means to cut around.
Now, where did this come from? This idea? What's the background of circumcision? We have to go and look at Genesis Chapter 17. There's Abram, married to Sarai, and they didn't have any children. Abram was a friend of God, God fearing. He walked uprightly with the Lord, and the first time in history we know anything about God wanting to have a personal relationship with the man and with his family and with his descendants-the first time we see that. And so God comes and speaks to Abram, and he says, "Abram, you're going to have a great family, a great lineage, and all of your lineage, all the generations will be blessed by God, and they will be used by God in important places, all the way through time, Abram. And by the way, Abram, I'm going to give you the land of Canaan, that which you've been walking over. It will all be in your possession of you and your family".
And Abram is excited, and he falls down at the face of God there in Genesis 17, and he worships Him. And God says to Abram, "No longer will you be called Abram. I'm going to give you a new name. You're gonna be called Abraham-Abra-ham-ha-ha. You're gonna be called 'Abram'-ha-the breath of God. I'm gonna put the breath of God in you, and now you'll be Abra-ham. And your wife, Sarai, I'm gonna put the breath of God in her. She's gonna be Sarah. (Say ha, ha). I'm gonna put the breath of God in her, even though you're 99 years old, Abraham-even though she is 90 years old, because I'm putting the breath of God in you, you will have a son, and he will be the progenitor. He will be the beginning of this great people", and Abraham must have been so thrilled and overwhelmed.
And then, I want you to see what God said to him. Look at, look at Genesis 17 just for a minute. You can find it, guys... It's in the front of the Book. And then he says in the 10th Chapter-he said, "This is My covenant, My promise, a contract which you shall keep between Me and you, and your descendants after your, after you. Every male among you shall be circumcised, Abraham..." "Okay..." "And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it is a sign of the covenant between you and Me". Abraham must have said, "Time out, Lord. Couldn't I go in a cave and burn some incense or something and sort of seal this covenant"?
You see, they didn't sign a contract in those days. They just put sand over their head, or they'd cut an animal into pieces. They'd walk through the pieces. They'd say, "If you don't keep this contract, you'll be cut up like this animal..." They made a commitment like that. And the commitment here, God said, is one of circumcision. And God said, "If you don't keep this commitment right here, this contract, this covenant that I've made with you to be My peculiar people and to live according to My principles and to My ways," He says, "You will be cut off". That's the rest of the Verses in this Chapter. "You will be cut off, Abraham".
Now what is this about? It's about circumcision; circumcision. Now after we get over our junior high snickels and laughing, let's talk about what this is. Circumcision is a sacred thing. We cover our private parts. Circumcision was like a sign in the flesh to remind every male Jew several times a day, with the natural function of their body, that you are in contract with the Almighty. You are in a covenant with God, and every time a male would in marriage come with his wife, it was a reminder that this child, if one was produced, or this relationship is indeed sacred unto God. It is covered. It is private. It is holy. It is set aside. It is a sign of the covenant. It is sacred. Also, it is a symbol. Baptism to you and me in our faith is like that which is circumcision. It is the outward profession.
When you get to go to Heaven, you don't say, "Well, I'm gonna get into Heaven. I've been baptized..." That's not going to do it. Or a Jew could say, "I'm gonna go to Heaven", that's what they were saying here, "because I've been circumcised". That's not gonna do it. And we see this principle of circumcision all the way through the Bible, but rarely are we taught about its significance. You can look at Exodus Chapter 6. Moses, burning bush. God says, "Moses, I want you to go and lead My people out of Egypt". Moses giving all the excuses as to why he can't go, why he can't be their leader, and he says right up front-he says, "I can't lead because I have uncircumcised lips".
What is that? It mean that Moses knew, Pharaoh knew, and the people knew that his lips, his life had not been all that it should have been to that moment. He says, "They won't listen to me because my lips are not clean. My lips have been not cut away all that excessive flesh the way I've lived". Uncircumcised lips. That speaks to you and me, doesn't it? We speak out of the wells of our heart just overflows. Uh, Proverbs says, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in baskets of silver". Man! how we say, and how we say it, and when we speak, and so many times, I say things I wish I could catch those words and bring 'em back and say, "Oh no"! But they're already out there. Because we have uncircumcised lips, there are still extraneous things that are there.
That's what Moses says. He couldn't speak for God. His lips were uncircumcised. Then you go all the way over to Jeremiah Chapter 6, and the passage there says, "You have uncircumcised ears because of what you listen to". And, and our ears are stopped up with those IPods all day long. We say, "Boy, I don't hear God in church". Everything else has drowned out the voice of God! We have uncircumcised ears. They're not open to God. Then finally, I want to show you a Verse that you've probably read and said, "I don't know what that means, but I'll get back to it". We got a lot of those, don't we?
I want you to look at Colossians, Chapter Number 2 and read Verse 11. Listen to this one: "And in Him (that's Jesus) you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands in the removal of the body of flesh by the circumcision of Christ". What in the planet does that mean? It means that Jesus on the Cross was circumcised on your behalf and my half, and through Him, we were circumcised on that Cross. That's what it means. What is that all about? It says Jesus was cut off from the Cross so that you and I, who have not lived a perfect life, that we would not be cut off.
Jesus on the Cross said, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? Why are You not hearing Me? Why are You far from Me? What has happened to You, My Heavenly Father? I don't feel You. I don't see You. I don't know You. I can't touch You. What's going on? Why have You forsaken Me"? You see, Jesus, Who was perfect righteousness was cut off from God when He took all of our trash upon Him and died the death that you and I deserved to live. He was cut off so we will not be cut off from God, you see it? You see it?
That's what that circumcision means. And it is a powerful truth for us. The way to Christ is through grace. We are saved by grace, and once it is a genuine salvation experience, we invite Jesus Christ into our life, guess what's in our life then? His divinity is in your life. Divinity is in my life. The Holy Spirit is in our life making intercession for Jesus. Therefore, it changes everything. It changes how we see, how we feel because we know on our behalf, He Who was righteousness-His righteousness was put on you and put on me, and we put on His righteousness. Jesus was cut off so that you and I will not be cut off, and so you and I through the blood of Jesus Christ, through His sacrificial atoning death might go all the way to Heaven.