What do you believe the scriptures say about judging others? Are your views in line with what the Bible teaches? How do you know whether or not they are correct? Have you ever done a study in the scriptures pertaining to this subject? Have you been previously taught by your parents, your friends, your pastor or someone else to believe what you now believe about a subject that is as important as this one or are you an independent thinker? Are you a crowd follower or a crowd pleaser who goes along with the popular opinion on this subject?
In over 80 years of my life and nearly 50 years of ministry I have heard many Christians and unbelievers alike quote Matthew 7:1 in defense of themselves or others concerning one matter or the other, but it seems like that is the only verse that most people know addressing this subject, and most, if not all of them, don't know where it is found in the Bible. Many of them know that Jesus spoke those words, but if asked who he was speaking to and in what context he made the statement they are at a loss to say anything. They just believe since Jesus said it nothing else matters!
This study cuts to the chase on this issue, because people who have been blinded by the devil in using this scripture to justify themselves or others need to do genuine research that justifies their position or admit that they have been deceived into believing a lie concerning what this scripture and others on this subject actually teach. This study has some strong words! These words are necessary and will be no problem for honest truth seekers.
Are We To Judge Others?
What do the scriptures say?
Let's start with the one scripture every unbeliever loves to quote and many believers as well! Matthew 7:1 - "Judge not, that ye be not judged." It is ludicrous to think that this scripture stands alone as a rule for all men to follow, and it has been the wicked foolishness of self excusing people for a very long time that has led them to forget that Bible verses must be examined entirely within context and with the scriptures that precede them and follow them wherever possible. In addition, all the other scriptures concerning the same subject must be examined so that an accurate and complete picture can be formed as to what a particular verse is saying. With that in mind, let's continue on with the words of Jesus in their entirety and not lean on one verse.
Matthew 7:1-5 - "Judge not, that ye be not judged, For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again, And why beholdest the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye, and behold a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother's eye."
It is amazing that we never hear anyone quote that fifth verse concerning judging isn't it! What is Jesus saying here? Isn't it clear that he is saying that "AFTER YOU HAVE CAST THE BEAM OUT OF YOUR EYE;" that is, after you have dealt with the sin in your own heart, then you can see clearly to help someone else who is dealing with that sin. Now doesn't that still require judgment on what is happening in the other person's life? For example; I ran the streets selling and using drugs prior to my salvation. When I was saved from my ignorance through the grace of God I quit selling and using drugs. While I was in the drug culture there were some forms of expression and habits of living and speaking that I used along with everyone else who came from that lifestyle. Everyone that hung with me during that time knew what I meant and I knew what they meant when using the words "cool, dope, speed, dude and so forth. Cursing Jesus Christ daily was common among the people that I hung out with because we didn't know better. When the Lord changed me, he took all that away from me, for which I am eternally grateful! I knew after my blind spiritual eyes were opened that certain things were wrong and that those who were followers of Christ just didn't speak and act the same anymore. God enabled me to graduate from Bible college and enter the ministry, and when I encountered someone cursing in Jesus' name, I knew without anyone telling me that they were not right with God. That is judging, and that judgment is correct because nobody can love the Lord and walk in righteousness and curse him at the same time. Any person who would not agree with me on this is out of touch with reality!
You see, the Bible also teaches us that we are to "Judge Righteous Judgment." John 7:24 These are the words of Jesus. Are we to think he would tell us to do something that isn't right? Since he is sinless he never lied, and as God incarnate he could not lie. So Jesus is telling us that we are required to judge. It is not a suggestion but a command from him.
In Matthew 12:33 we are told by Jesus; "A tree is known by his fruit," and in verse 34 of that same chapter Jesus says that out the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. That is judgment and whether Jesus does it or we do it, it is definitely righteous judgment because it is based on his words. So, going back to the person cursing Christ, we must know beyond all doubt that he or she is not right with God for from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Cursing comes from the heart before it ever comes from the lips of humans.
I Corinthians 2:15 - What are we to do with this verse? "But he that is spiritual, judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man." How are we to know who is spiritual without judging that they are? Perhaps we need to do a study on qualifying factors that make a person spiritual. I don't think so. The solution to finding out who is spiritual is simple! Find a man or woman who loves to talk about the things of God, who cannot express their love for Jesus enough, and who lives to love and serve the Lord and you have found a person who qualifies as spiritual by biblical standards. This person's walk and talk are unquestionably spiritual, and they love to find others who are like them for fellowship. They could talk about God and his love all day long and never tire of it. They know beyond all doubt that nothing in the universe could possibly be as wonderful as God's love or as terrible as God's wrath, and they never waver from that and want everyone they meet to know their Lord and Savior. It is their life's passion! They are an offense to the wicked and the lazy Christian, but they are a joy to those who also love their Lord! They certainly are pleasing to God and a very sweet fragrance to him. We should all want to be so thankful for God's grace to us that our hearts overflow with thanksgiving and love!
I John 4:1 - "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world." With all the false teaching going on through the ages, with all the false prophets, new age lies, and even teaching that claims to be truth and even sounds so close to truth, how are we to know what or who to believe and what or who to follow if we do not judge? We are confronted with hate groups like Fred Phelps church yelling out, "God hates fags!" We are forced to make a judgment as to whether this man represents Jesus or not! Which of you has not already judged this man and all who espouse his teachings?
Some teach that God hates the sin and not the sinner. Is that point of view scriptural in the light of Proverbs 6:16-19 ? Are we naive enough to think that God hates only the body parts spoken of in verses 17 and 18 (for example; a lying tongue)? What about "he that soweth discord among the brethren?" Is this speaking of a person or not? What about Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientology, Christian Science, and the Worldwide Church of God? I don't hear any Christians who are shy about judging them as cult. Are they? This requires judgment! What about Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism or Jainism and other world religions that reject Christ as God? Aren't we judging them as unsaved? How about the one true church, as Catholicism believes itself to be, and yet this system has many practices that reject certain biblical teaching as Protestantism teaches, and denies and/or perverts certain doctrines that Protestant Christians hold dear. Don't we judge them also? Aren't we required to judge them in the light of scripture. Doesn't the Bible tell us that if any preach another gospel than we do they are to be anathema or cursed? What are we to do with that? Certainly worldly people cannot understand the great exclusiveness of Christianity and the claims of Jesus Christ to be the only way to the Father, but we who call ourselves Christians and have been redeemed by the blood of Christ have no excuse not to obey God's orders to "judge righteous judgment." Further, if we judge in error, and Christ is not who he says he is, then we are in serious need of help for some of us have been believing a lie for a very long time. What are we to do with this? I believe with all my heart that Jesus is who he said he is, and anyone who believes otherwise is either deceived by Satan or deliberately lying.
It's time to stop using this scripture "Judge Not" as an excuse for cover our cowardice and disobedience to God and get on with standing fast and holding on to the truth of scripture no matter what it may cost us! If we truly care enough about others we will rather offend them than live a lie or water down the truth! Jesus had no problem calling out the evil, deceiving Pharisees, Sadducees, lawyers and scribes. Read Matthew 23 . Are we to think he holds truth exclusively to himself and has never shared it with us? If he has shared his truth with us, then knowledge of that truth brings with it a responsibility to declare it without apology in the face of Hell itself! To do otherwise is disobedience and/or cowardice! Are we soldiers of the cross or frightened children who hold the world in awe and are intimidated by mere humans rather than being in awe of God?
I Corinthians 6:2-5 - This is a rebuke to Christians in Corinth, but it certainly applies to weak Christians of all ages! In these few verses we are told some interesting things. We are told that the "saints shall judge the world." The question is also asked; "Don't you know that we shall judge angels?" Do we believe this is God's word or would we rather put some kind of twist on it? Verse five begins with, "I speak this to your shame!" The scripture asks whether there is a wise man among them who can judge between brethren. What is this! Judging brethren? And masses of modern day church-goers shout loudly with the unsaved - "GOD FORBID!" This scripture is intended to let the "brethren" know that they are not to go before unsaved people with things that need to be taken care of between them and in particular not unsaved judges or people who stand in places of secular judgment, and the Christians need to get their matters settled between themselves.
Now I want to ask you who are reading this; are Christians to judge others? The answer has to be a resounding yes! We can't keep on avoiding this issue or being cowards anymore! If a man is a drunkard, he is out of touch with God. If a man is living in adultery, he is called an adulterer. If a man is worshiping idols he is a heathen. If a man is following the teachings of anyone but Jesus Christ and he is declaring that there is some other way to salvation he is deceived or a deceiver or both and is lost and bound to be eternally damned if he doesn't get right with God before the day of his death.
Let's stop making excuses! Let's stop being afraid to speak truth because the truth might offend someone! Martin Luther once said that he thought that his preaching was too severe or others thought it was and told him, but he said he would rather be too severe than not severe enough. He would rather scare someone into salvation than allow them to be lost forever! The word of God will stand long after all of our excuses for not obeying it have passed into memory. It's time we care enough to "Judge and Speak Righteous Judgment!"
A Great Quote From A Great Man Of God -- A W Tozer
The man who wrote this is a great preacher and a giant among Men in my opinion!
"Thou Shalt Not Judge!" 11th Commandment Or Politically Correct Liberal View?
"Many tender-minded Christians fear to sin against love by daring to inquire into anything that comes wearing the cloak of Christianity and breathing the name of Jesus. They dare not examine the credentials of the latest prophet to hit their town lest they be guilty of rejecting something which may be of God. They timidly remember how the Pharisees refused to accept Christ when He came, and they do not want to be caught in the same snare, so they either reserve judgment or shut their eyes and accept everything without question. This is supposed to indicate a high degree of spirituality.
But in sober fact it indicates no such thing. It may indeed be evidence of the absence of the Holy Spirit. Gullibility is not synonymous with spirituality. Faith is not a mental habit leading its possessor to open his mouth and swallow everything that has about it the color of the supernatural. Faith keeps its heart open to whatever is of God, and rejects everything that is not of God, however wonderful it may be. ‘Try the spirits’ is a command of the Holy Spirit to the Church. We may sin as certainly by approving the spurious as by rejecting the genuine. And the current habit of refusing to take sides is not the way to avoid the question. To appraise things with a heart of love and then to act on the results is an obligation resting upon every Christian in the world. And the more as we see the day approaching."
C R Lord © 12/26/2019
Matthew 7:1-29 Are We To Judge
"Faith keeps its heart open to whatever is of God,
and rejects everything that is not of God, however wonderful it may be. We may sin as certainly by approving the spurious as by rejecting the genuine. And the current habit of refusing to take sides is not the way to avoid the question."
A. W. Tozer, a great man of God beyond doubt!