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We Must All Give An Account

Romans 14:10-12

“You, then, why do you judge your brother?  Or, why do you look down on your brother?  For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.  It is written: ‘As surely as I live’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’  So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

14:10  “For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat” 


The context is the brother of weak-faith who condemns the brother who is not legalistic (“judge your brother”).  This is followed by the brother of stronger-faith who condemns and looks down on the pathetic doctrine of the weak-faith believer. (“look down on your brother”) 

We do not need to hand out the judgment and rewards because God will take care of it.  The point is it is wrong to assume for ourselves the task of evaluating each others work.  It is a sin of taking Christ’s position for yourself.  There is great freedom in this to live and let live.  You are occupied with the knowledge that the judge from eternity is observing you and preparing his verdict.  Are you preoccupied with preparing a pre-season evaluation of others?

(MSS note:  “God’s”  judgment seat  is found in many manuscripts and is believed to be original.  Many other manuscripts have “Christ’s” judgment seat in the Greek text.  This appears to have been brought over from 2 Corinthians5:10.  “God’s” appears to be the correct translation, and even the theology of God’s judgment teaches that it has been handed to the Son and will be executed by Christ.  John 5:22, 27)

“stand before” is “paristami” and means “to place beside, to stand beside.”  The technical meaning is to stand before a judge as in Acts 27:24.

“judgment seat” is “bema” and refers to a raised place that is mounted by steps or a platform.  It is the technical term for the official seat for a judge who is handing down judgments.

This judgment helps put in perspective the seriousness of the Lord’s return.  We comfort ourselves in the thought of joy at the Lord’s return, but here we are directed to consider that we will be judged at the Lord’s return.  Our current lives will be placed beside the manifested glory and holiness of God on that day.  Joy may be the last thing we experience on this occasion.  

This judgment is for believers and is not to evaluate them for the category of lost or saved.  Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

Some extent of loss will occur. . . . .1 Cor. 3:12-15

Whatever is not loss will result in reward. . .1 Cor. 4:4-5


14:12    “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

In context the emphasis is on the fact that on that day we will give an account of OURSELVES.   We will not be held accountable to give an account, or even a testimony against, some of our brothers.  Jesus has that under control.   Application:  Today we should be constantly evaluating and judging our own actions, thoughts, and motives.  If this consumed us there would be no time to worry about others.

“Account” is the word “logos” which means “word, or a rational expression.”  We will not just stand there and duck.  We will be required to speak before the God and judge of the universe.  (The option of speaking through an attorney at this judgment is not said to be available in scripture.)  You will speak to the king on your own behalf.

Matthew 18:23 and Matthew 25:14

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