Romans 2:1-2 – Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who do such things…. For God shows no partiality.
What exactly is an excuse and why would we need one? Dictionary.com explains, an excuse is “an explanation offered as a reason for being excused.” Even though they commit the error of using the word in the definition, the point is still clear. We need an excuse when we are guilty and we want someone to overlook our offense. When a student is guilty of not bringing their assignment to class, they hope that the excuse, “the dog ate my homework,” will convince the teacher not to impose the normal penalty for the crime.
Since the Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade, there has been an estimated 53 million abortions in the United States. That means that 53 million children have been murdered in their mother’s wombs. The crime is outrageous. What will be our excuse? What reason will we offer in hopes of pardoning these 53 million murders? Let me suggest two reasons that we can’t claim that we didn’t know abortion is murder as our excuse.
We Punish People For Murdering A Fetus
38 of the 50 states currently have laws preventing Fetal Homicide. This means in 38 states it is illegal to kill an unborn child. Certainly abortion is the glaring exception. In the case of abortion, it is okay to kill the unborn child if the mother wants to. However, if the mother wants the baby it has all the rights of any other person. In America, to kill a wanted unborn baby is a crime equivalent to any other form of murder.
While we do allow doctors to kill unborn children if their mothers want them dead, many states still require some sort of “humane killing.” Many states do not allow partial-birth abortions or late term abortions. While the very idea of humane killing strikes me as wildly inhumane, the fact still stands that we recognize the person-hood of these unborn babies. The video below shows that just this week two doctors have been arrested for failing to recognize the person-hood of the babies they were murdering.
When we consider this fact it is almost impossible not to immediately think of the words of Romans 2. Paul could have easily included abortion in his list of hypocrisies.
You then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who say that one should not kill babies, do you, actively or passively, support abortion? Romans 2:21-22 (plus my own added ending)
We Treat the Fetus as a Patient
In addition to Fetal Homicide laws, we lose our excuse for ignorance when we consider the way we treat the fetus in the hospital. If a mother wants her child, the baby in the womb is treated just like any other patient. In some cases surgeons can even perform complicated surgeries on unborn children. The video below shows a graphic example of how doctors can treat a child with spinal bifida even before the child is born. While the video may be difficult to watch for those with weak stomachs, it stands as evidence to the person-hood of the child even before it is born.
I believe Paul would consider this a strong argument as well. We don’t only learn about right and wrong from watching people do wrong but also from watching people do right. He condemned the Jews for doing wrong by saying, look at the Gentiles, they don’t even have Bibles and they still do good.
For when the Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law unto themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hears, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them. Romans 2:14-15
There is One Good Excuse
When we stand before God in judgement “I didn’t know” won’t cut it. As Romans 2:2 pointed out, we know that the judgment of God will rightly fall on us. As a nation we have allowed 53 million murders of innocent babies in less than 40 years. We have no excuse.
This is really bad news because the penalty for our crime is stiff. The penalty for being a murderer, encouraging another to commit murder, or simply living in a murderous society without taking a active role in protecting the lives of the innocent, is death. Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of that sin is death. It is terribly important that we find an excuse.
While there is no excuse that we can come up with on our own to justify this sin, God has offered a way to excuse all our sins, including the sin of murder. Using some of the biggest, and most important words in the Bible, Romans 3:24-25 explains how God does this. It explains that we can be,”justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”
What this basically means, without the big words, is that Jesus is our excuse. Jesus is the reason that I can escape the judgment that I deserve. He has already paid the death penalty that we deserve for our murderous ways. All that we need do is receive him by faith.
If you enjoyed this post let me recommend a sermon by John Piper that inspired this line of thinking in me. The sermon was titled “Father Forgive, For We Know What We Are Doing.” Rather than give only two reasons we are without excuse, he lists 10.