S-cripture – v. 13 – So let’s stop condemning each other.
O-servation(s) – Paul was dealing with a group of people who loved to compare and argue about the “correct” interpretation of the scriptures.
From the context of this verse it’s clear this extended into many different aspects of life. What to eat, what to drink, and when to worship were all issues then… and now.
He is stressing that we’re all accountable to God and that heaping judgment on each other won’t help the situation.
A-pplication – The question that comes to mind as I apply the scripture today is, “What is the benefit of criticizing someone?”
Do I feel better because I’m right?
Does my ego need to condemn someone so I can feel justified?
I don’t want to be a church, preaching, or worship critic.
P-rayer –Thanks for sending your Son to save and not condemn.
Help me be an encourager to others.
Let my words build up others not tear them down.
I want people to feel inspired not condemned after they spend time with me.
Words are powerful, help me choose them wisely.
Here are some study notes from Sarah Graver. She serves as a youth leader, church volunteer, worship singer, nursery worker, and I’m sure some areas I’ve left out.
Scripture– v.12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living.
Observation– I like the hope of this verse, that night is almost gone and salvation is almost here. I love the imagery Paul uses to describe our sin and righteousness; from dirty clothes to shiny armor.
Application– Again I reflect back to the imagery of our sin as dirty clothes. Our society find such identity in the clothes we wear. In fact just this afternoon I was giving my dad a hard time about his long socks with shorts and other fashion faux pas that I told him people might think he was a sad old man base on his clothing. He isn’t a sad old man but the clothes that we wear are often rooted in an identity we’ve given ourselves. i.e. goths wear black and have a lot of piercings, preps wear cheer outfits or sweaters around their necks, athlethes are always in spandex or other sports wear, and so on. You get the pictures. It’s the same with sin. We wear it like an identity, like a pair of dirty clothes. It’s time for us to wash our clothes; to trade up for some shiny armor. Isaiah 1:18 says “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” God is in the business of dry cleaning. He’s on his way so drop off your dirty, sinful identity let God wash it white as snow and pick up the shining armor God has ready for you.
Prayer– God, thank you for taking me as I am and making me new.
Help me to remember that my identity is in you and not the sins of my past.
Thank you for the sacrifice you made so I can walk in your shining armor.
Thanks Sarah for sending in your notes.
Send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post them as well.