Judge Not But Reflect

Preached To The Saints at Riverview Baptist Church on February 15, 2017
At 798 Santa Fe Pike, Columbia, TN

One of the most abused Bible texts is from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Let’s read this verse responsively:

matthew_7_1t5_judge_notMatthew 7:1-5 (KJV)   Judge not, that ye be not judged.   [2]   For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.   [3]   And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?   [4]   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?   [5]   Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

People quote this text to justify all types of sin. One of the most common sins that are justified by this text is sexual sin, either heterosexual or homosexual. When a person in sin is told they are in sin they retort:

Jesus said ‘Judge not that you be not judged’.
You aren’t qualified to be my judge. Only God shall judge”
.

I agree, only God is qualified to judge.
But most take this Scripture out of context.
The Bible must interpret the Bible.

When the Apostle Paul was being judged by the Corinthian Church he declared:

1 Corinthians 4:3-5 (KJV)  But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.  [4]  For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.  [5]  Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

In this case the Corinthians were comparing Paul to Apollos and to them, Paul’s ministry was much less than that of Apollos. The Apostle said in effect that:

No One Should Judge Another Person’s Ministry

Only God is the judge of His workers. Your work will stand or fall based on whether it glorified God. You will receive rewards of God at the Judgment Seat of Christ based on how you did what God called you to do. Therefore I am not to judge your ministry, your calling, for the Scripture says:

1 Corinthians 12:18 (KJV)  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

I am not an effective judge of your ministry, nor are you of mine. In time Apollos’ ministry did what God called it to do, just as did the Apostle Paul’s.

Furthermore, the Church is to judge when members argue over things pertaining to this life. The Apostle said:

1 Corinthians 6:1-6 (KJV)  Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?  [2]  Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  [3]  Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?  [4]  If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.  [5]  I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?  [6]  But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

No Church member is to ever sue another Church member, or put the petty things of this life above the glory of God and His Kingdom. Therefore the Apostle said that we are not to go to law against a brother or sister in Christ – that the Church should be called on to judge this in such matters.

So you can already see that Jesus is not telling us to judge at all. If Scripture is used to interprete Scripture, and we “rightly divide the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) then we know that Jesus is NOT telling us not to call sin SIN.

If so, the Apostle Paul and Jesus are at odds, because Paul spoke against a brother who was in sexual sin. Paul also said:

1 Corinthians 5:9-11 (KJV)  I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:  [10]  Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.  [11]  But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

The Apostle is very clear that we are NOT to KEEP COMPANY with ANYONE who professes to be a brother in Christ who is in sexual sin, or is greedy, or who worships false gods, or who love to fight or drink or force others to do his bidding. To KEEP COMPANY or PAL AROUND with the sinner is to justify their sin. Those who belong to Jesus do not justify sin. We provoke one another to love and to good works (Hebrews 10:24). We do not justify sin.

So what did Jesus mean when He said “Judge not, that ye be not judged”?

Jesus Did Not Mean To DENY Scripture

The Scripture is the Word of God

Proverbs 30:5 (KJV) Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Jesus prayed for His Church

John 17:17 (KJV)   Sanctify them through thy truth: thy Word is truth.

The Apostle Paul Told Us

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  [17]  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

The Scripture is the Word of God, and the Scripture is true. Jesus tells us not to use OUR OPINION as to what is right or wrong, for our opinions may be right or wrong. We are to view all things through the Scripture. The Scripture is the Mind of Christ. The Scripture is the Word of God.

What God has said is wrong in His Scripture is wrong as long as God says it is wrong.
What God has said is wrong in His Scripture is wrong as long as God says it is wrong.
What God has said is wrong in His Scripture is wrong as long as God says it is wrong.
What God has said is wrong in His Scripture is wrong as long as God says it is wrong.

God establishes the standards or right and wrong. God said “the day you eat of this specific Tree you will die”. Man looks at it. “Looks all right to me. I think it will be ok. After all, this talking snake told me it was ok.” He eats. He dies. He is cast from Eden. Why. Because you listened to a talking snake instead of God’s Word.

God’s Word is always true. When God said:

1 Corinthians 6:18 (KJV) Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

He meant that sexual sin is wrong. Period. Sin outside of one man one woman marriage is wrong. When God said:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NKJV) Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Do you think that God means that it is ok to engage in any of those mentioned sins? That it’s all right to be a …

fornicators
idolaters
adulterers
homosexuals
sodomites
thieves
covetous
drunkards
revilers
extortioners ?????

The Bible says that those who engage in such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Heaven is God’s Kingdom. When the Bible says that:

1 Timothy 1:9-10 (NASB) … realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,1

It is equating the lawless and rebellious to the ungodly and sinners, to the unholy and profane, to those who kill fathers and mothers, for murderers and immoral people, homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, perjurers. These are not good things. God is not commending them. If God says a thing is sin then I am not judging you if I say what God said.

I am not authorized to deny God’s Word, and neither are you!

When the Apostle said:

Romans 1:26-32 (KJV)  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  [27]  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.  [28]  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  [29]  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,  [30]  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  [31]  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  [32]  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

He was not justifying sin, but declaring what is sinful. We have no right to deny Scripture.

We Have No Right To Add To Scripture

Mark 7:1-9 (KJV)  Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.  [2]  And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.  [3]  For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.  [4]  And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.  [5]  Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?  [6]  He answered and said unto them, Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.   [7]   Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.   [8]   For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.   [9]  And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

The Pharisees, like many professing Christians in the Church today, hold to traditions teaching that these traditions are commandments of God. They are not. Unless it is clearly presented in God’s Word it is not God’s Word. We have no right to add to or take away from wat God has said. We are not God. In the name of God I have heard some of the worst things said, things like:

The Blacks Belong in Their Own Church
Women Shouldn’t Wear Britches Or Open Toed Shoes
The Only Holy Bible Is The Version I Like
Men Ought To Shave
Men Ought Not To Shave
God Ordained Where I’m Sitting, And I’m Not Moving
(Or “I Shall Not Be Moved”)
Unless You Meet My Expectations, You Aren’t Serving God
If You Eat With Unwashed Hands You Are Defiled
If You Pick Corn On Sunday And Eat It Raw You’re Harvesting
You Have To Wear A Suit To Church, etc, etc

What makes something right or wrong is whether God has said it is right or wrong. We should love one another and be patent with one another. We should lift one another up to God. But we should aways ask ourselves before declaring something wrong:

Where Is That Written In The Bible?”

What Is The Plain Sense Of What Jesus Was Saying?

Now that we’ve looked at what Jesus was NOT saying, let’s see what He WAS saying.

Matthew 7:1-5 (KJV)   Judge not, that ye be not judged.   [2]   For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.   [3]   And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?   [4]   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?   [5]   Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

1 Be Light, Not Darkness. Before you judge someone a sinner make sure that that particular sin (or something worse) is not in your own life. Pull the beam out of your eye before you try to pull the sliver out of someone else’s eye. As Jay Adams wrote in Handbook on Church Discipline:

Taken out of context, {this} verse has been used to incorrectly justify never taking a stand on anything that would require a judgment to be made. Rather, the verse is referring to hypocritical, self-righteous, unfair kinds of judgment, especially where the confronter is guilty of the same sin as the one being confronted.“

The Bible teaches us that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). If we love someone we do not want them playing with poison snakes. If we love someone we do not want them drinking acid thinking it is water. If we love someone we will care enough to show them that the Scripture forbids their action – but we will make sure we are first not in that same sin. That is hypocrisy.

2 God Will Hold You To The Same Standard. Often we have a tendency to ignore our sin while finding fault in others. We are to look in the mirror first. We are to judge ourselves first. Don’t think because someone else is doing it it is right, and don’t think your wrong will be right if you point out another person’s wrong.

3 We Are To Read And Study The Word Of God, Then Reflect What We Have Learned. Never has this been so important. The Apostle tells us:

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (KJV)  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  [2]  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  [3]  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  [4]  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  [5]  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

These are all states of sinfulness that we are to avoid. We are told to turn away from such people. After saying this, the Apostle tells us:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)  All SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  [17]  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

We must continue to put a priority on studying God’s Word. We do not know right or wrong apart from His Word. He defines righteousness. Not us, but Him.

The word of God is the THERMOSTAT and we are the THERMOMETERS.
The Word of God is the SUN and we are the MOON.
We are BRIGHT and SHINING LIGHTS Because of His Word.
We reflect His truth!

May God touch your hearts with His Word!

1The King James reads “1 Timothy 1:9-10 (KJV)  Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,  [10]  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;”. The NASB is used here for clarity.

 

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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