Against Human Judgments

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

The “Red Letters” we are going to examine today are some of the most abused Scriptures in the Bible. You’ll understand why when you read it with me. Let’s read:

Matthew 7:1-6 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. 6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

I have heard believer and unbeliever alike use these verses when they are engaging in and
trying to justify sin.

This Scripture Does Not Mean That We Are
To Justify What God Says Is Sin

Those involved in sexual sin, be it …

  • fornication” (sexual intimacy outside of Biblical marriage),
  • adultery” (sexual intimacy that violates the union of a Biblical marriage),
  • or “homosexuality” (sexual union outside God’s design of marriage)

will draw these verses out and say “Jesus said you ought not to judge”. My response when challenged this way is to say,

This is not MY judgment, but God’s judgment. God forbids fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and any other type of sexual sin. When I tell you that these activities are sinful I am sharing with you the Word of God. God can save anyone from their sin, just as He saved and keeps on saving me from my sins. As a Christ follower I cannot say that sexual sin is normal, because the Bible considers sexual sin abnormal.”

This is certainly a hot button topic in our world today. There are some who say that “God forbade certain sexual practices under the Law, but if you are a Christian you are “not under the Law but under Grace”. That’s true. The Christian is not bound under the Mosaic Laws. We do not sacrifice animals for sin, nor keep the feasts. We do not have a “Day of Atonement”. The Bible says:

Galatians 3:22-26 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Yet the Bible must be read in context. The same Apostle who wrote Galatians under the guidance of God the Holy Spirit is also the same Apostle who wrote:

Romans 6:1-2, 14-18 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid! … For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

The Christ follower is freed from sin – what God has said is sin – to serve righteousness. The same Apostle who wrote that inspired Romans text also wrote against sexual sin in:

Romans 1:24-27 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 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.

The Apostle – under God’s direction – condemned sexual sin as “vile affections” and “dishonoring their own bodies” and “against nature”. God did not design us for sexual sin. The same Apostle wrote in the same Bible:

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (ESV) Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Again, this is not my judgment but God’s judgment. It is clear in the reading of the New Testament scriptures that the moral codes found in the Law are not rescinded. Jesus Himself spoke against sexual sin, and recognized marriage as a union between one man and one woman (we studied this a few weeks ago in Matthew 19:4-9).

When Jesus came, He did not come to destroy or eradicate the Law, but to fulfill it. He said …

Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

Jesus did not come to erase or redefine that which God called sinful. Jesus came to be the Perfect High Priest to His people. Jesus came to be the “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29, 36). Jesus did not come to stand against God and His Law, but to show us how to practically live for righteousness sake, as lights in the midst of this current darkness.

In our context Jesus commands that we DO make a judgement. He said:

Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

In this command we have to discern what is “holy” and who are “dogs” and “swine”. In Jesus’ day these phrases were applied to unbelievers who have heard and rejected the Word of Truth. Dr. Thomas Constable in his commentary states:

The pigs and dogs probably do not represent all Gentiles, but people of any race who react to the good news by rejecting and turning against those who bring it to them … {the Bible says}

Matthew 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

One example of this type of person is Herod Antipas, who heard John the Baptist gladly (Mark 6:20), but then beheaded him (see Matthew 14:1-12; Mark 6:14-28; Luke 9:7-9). Later when Christ stood before Herod, He said nothing to him (Luke 23:8-9). Such enemies should be left alone (see 2 Corinthians 6:14-18). However, Jesus answered Pilate when Pilate questioned him. This verse urges wisdom in dealing with people; we need to know how to deal with each individual in each situation.”

We make judgments every day. God expects us, however, to make our judgments according to the Holy Scripture, that Scripture that Jesus both quoted and fulfilled.

Just as a butcher weighs meat on a scale, we measure our judgment based on what the Scripture clearly states. As a sinner I have no right nor ability to judge another. Like a butcher, I take the overt actions of people – myself included – and weigh it by the Bible. Our guide is ALWAYS “What says the Scripture”?

What is the size of the cover on your hymnal? I need to know exactly what it is. What do you think? What is your opinion? Now let me measure this with my tape measure. I am not making a judgment. I am putting the standard of the tape measure against the height and width of this cover. The hymn book is EXACTLY ______. How do I know? I pitted it against the standard. Now consider the Bible to be like the tape measure, and a person’s activity to be the hymnal cover. How does that person’s activity measure up? Does it meet God’s criteria? Does MY life meet God’s standard? If not, I am to “pull the beam” out of my eye first.

The First Sin Was A Human Judging
Instead Of A Human
Obeying God

Sin entered this world because of bad judgment. When God put Adam in the Garden of Eden, God ordered Adam to dress and keep the Garden. God then ordered Adam …

Genesis 2:16-17 … Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Now I want you to notice what the name of the fruit of the forbidden tree was. The TREE of the KNOWLEDGE of GOOD AND EVIL. Adam could eat anything in the Garden. He could eat of the Tree of Life. But not the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Why? Well, because God said so. But there’s another reason:

Though Adam was made in the image of God, Adam is not God. Neither are YOU and I!

We have God’s creativity. We have God’s community. We have the higher senses that God imparted to us. But we are not God. It is not up to US to determine what is good or bad, righteous or evil. God establishes the criteria for good and evil.

Let me illustrate. God made one Adam and one Eve, and …

Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over …

All people came from one Adam and one Eve. In order for this to happen, Adam and Eve’s children had to marry. God did not – in the beginning – forbid marriage within the family, for there was only ONE family. Yet later on in the Law God forbade such practices (Leviticus 18:17, 24, 27-30). In the Garden of Eden “Eve was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20). God is the judge of right and wrong – not us.

When we ourselves try to determine right and wrong apart from God and His Word we inevitably mess up. The Bible teaches us that:

Psalms 7:11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

Psalm 9:8 And {God} shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.

Psalm 50:6 … the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.

Isaiah 33:22 … For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.

God alone is fit to judge, for God does not judge from the outside. I am amazed at how – many times in my lifetime alone – when serial killers are found out, those that were closest to them are shocked! “But he was such a nice man! She was such a sweet girl”. We judge – when we judge – from the outside. We see the masks that others put on. We see what others let us see. But God is different. The Scripture says:

1 Samuel 16:7 … the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

Our God is able to look into the very soul of every person. When we see someone praying prettily, God sees the heart, and if that prayer is really just a mask for pride. When we see someone dressed up and smiling, ready to worship on Sunday, God sees the heart of that person, and knows whether their worship is genuine or fake. God “gives to every man according to his ways, whose heart He knows” (1 Kings 8:39). Our God “searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts” (1 Chronicles 28:9). Doesn’t the Scripture tell us that:

2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. …

God knows. God knows. When God sent His Son to this earth our Jesus said:

the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son (John 5:22)

It is not my job nor your job to judge anyone. We are to be mirrors of God’s Word, spokesmen for our Lord Jesus Christ. We are to affirm that what God has said is sin is actually sin. Our God sets the standard. Not us.

The Danger In Human Judgment Is That It
Makes Us Feel Superior To Others

Matthew 7:1-3 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?

The fallacy of judging is that it makes the one judging feel superior to the one being judged. The Bible is quite clear:

Romans 3:23-27 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

We all have sinned, do sin, and I’m pretty certain will sin in the future. Now I am not condoning sin. Sin is awful, and sin must be repented of. We are to judge ourselves daily for sin, lest sin bring premature death to us.

The danger of judging others is that – while I judge you – I ignore my own sin. Humans are so blind
to our own sins.

Judging becomes a trap that allows us to comfortably wallow in our sin while EXAGGERATING the SIN OF ANOTHER. When we judge, our sin is always a minor mistake, whereas their sin is a major damnation! Jesus warned:

with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again …

When you begin to judge others, then God will apply the same judgment to you. Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis states:

When a Christian lovingly and graciously presents the gospel to unbelievers, a judgment is made regarding their standing with God. The Bible clearly declares that all men are sinners, have fallen short of the glory of God, and are in need of redemption from their sins (Romans 3:23). This judgment is not made from the opinion of the Christian who is presenting the gospel but rather by what the Bible clearly declares. … The point Jesus emphasizes here is to judge yourself first before you make judgments about others. …

As Christians, we should be living godly lives so that we can first concentrate on our own repentance of sin. Sanctification is a lifelong process of being transformed every day into the image of Christ. Without this, we have no place in helping another brother or sister. What Christ teaches His believers in Matthew 7 is that if we ourselves are not personally repenting of our sins, we are in no place to tell others how sinful they are acting. But the Bible does tell us to preach the gospel—and part of the gospel message is that people are sinners in need of salvation.”

I could not say that any better. As Christians we are not to follow our own opinion or judgment, but the judgment of God. We are to share the Gospel of salvation with others, understanding that it is Christ Who saves the sinner, not the sinner nor I. There are no BIG SINS and little sins. Sin is Sin.

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

God judges sin. Make sure that YOUR life is right, and your sins confessed and under the Blood of Christ, BEFORE you examine others. Even when you examine others do not measure their lives according to your opinion nor your feelings. Measure all things according to the Scripture.

But we do not ignore sin. Here’s an example from Scripture. In the Church at Corinth a problem cropped up. The Apostle addressed it:

1 Corinthians 5:1-7 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

The Apostle addressed sexual sin in Corinth. He expected the Church to deal with the young man in sin. Not to look the other way. Not to justify or normalize his sin. To condemn the activity, for it did not measure up to the Scripture. And that is very dangerous. The Apostle illustrated with “leaven” or “yeast”. If sin – overt sin – is tolerated in the Church contrary to the will of God, then that “leaven” will spread, and infect the entire congregation. This is what has happened in many Churches in America today. We have tolerated yeast in our midst, and the infection has grown. What must we do?

We preach the Gospel. We preach Jesus Christ as the solution for sin. We preach repentance from forbidden activity, and that people turn and follow Christ as both Lord and Savior. We love those around us enough to speak truth to them. We are always to be:

speaking the truth IN LOVE (Ephesians 4:15)

Let’s end with our Lord’s words:

Matthew 7:3-5 … 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.

How is YOUR standing with God? Are you right with Him? Have you received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? Are you following Him and not the crowd? Do not let your judgment of others rob you of Heaven’s glory. The Scripture says:

John 3:16-19 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

You will stand before Jesus one day. Will you stand before the Judge of the earth, or before the Savior of your soul? May God touch your hearts with His Spirit and His Word. Amen!

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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