For many years now we’ve often heard the statement, “Don’t judge!” used illogically and unbiblically.
Did that person make a judgment to make that statement?
What we think Jesus meant in Matthew 7:1 when He said: “Do not judge lest you be judged..” was be certain of our heart attitude in the way we judge. He meant don’t be self-righteous, hasty, unmerciful, prejudiced or condemning without cause…like the Pharisees, the religious leaders of His day.
Let’s look at the Biblical record. First, the words and actions of Jesus:
“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John 7:24
“You hypocrite (the general listener, not a religious leader), first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly (be able to judge in order) to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:5
Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He (Jesus) said to him, “You have judged correctly.” Luke 7:43
“And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right? Luke 12:57
“And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern (judge) the signs of the times? Matthew 16:3
…and He (made a judgment so He) reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. Mark 16:14b
Second, Paul to the carnal Corinthians:
For I…have already judged him who has so committed this (sin), as though I were present. 1 Corinthians 5:3
For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are (in sin) within the church? 1 Corinthians 5:12
I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, 1 Corinthians 6:5
And let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. 1 Corinthians 14:29
I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say. 1 Corinthians 10:15
Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with head uncovered? 1 Corinthians 11:13
But if we judged ourselves rightly, we should not be judged. 1 Corinthians 11:31
But he who is spiritual appraises (judges) all things, yet he himself is appraised by no man. 1 Corinthians 2:-15
More New Testament record:
Now these were more noble-minded (spiritually ascendant) than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see (judge) whether these things were so. Acts 17:11
But examine (judge) everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 1 Thessalonians 5:21
It’s obvious, then, from the Word of God that Jesus and His Holy Spirit commands us to judge in a proper way.
You’re probably heard, “We’re all sinners, so what’s the big deal?” One frequent scheme of the devil is to attempt to destroy all distinctions on life’s continuum from true holiness to overt evil.
But we all have a commanded role in rousting out sin from our own lives and the lives of others who claim allegiance in the kingdom of God. Even when we have no “relationship” with them, for we really do as fellow brethren who are helping “keep” them in the fold.
Rarely will you hear people say, “Oh, thanks loving me so much that you’re rebuking me for my sin! I repent before Jesus.” It’s life and death to Jesus and it should be to us as well.
Practicing any sin is eternally lethal for Jesus commanded us to go and sin no more. Love the sinner by turning them from it and save their soul from death. (James 5:20) God’s marvelous grace is more than abundant for all this.
Don’t Judge Foods and Holy Days, But Judge Each Others Actions
Now, the hyper-sentimentalized and feminized folks in the western body of Christ often pull out the Romans 14.4 “who are you to judge me” trump card when you might judge them for eliciting bad, sinful behavior. They are not being holy, and may be causing others to stumble. Of course, they take that fourth verse completely out of context.
The passage is speaking only to the fact we are not to judge those who have freedom to eat what they like. It is never saying “do not judge” carte blanche for every occasion. That is breaking the natural rules of good Biblical interpretation, hermeneutics, in refusing to look at all the passages that deal with judging anothers behavior in the church. We’ve seen above here in this piece the multitude of passages that command us to judge!
Here is that Romans 14 passage in the context of not judging what others eat since all foods are now clean as Jesus and others specified (Mark 7.19; Acts 10.15).
Romans 14:3-5 The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.
And if the “do not judge ever” crowd just kept reading further in this passage to the twentieth verse, they would discover that the proper context explains that all foods are now clean! But that would blow their cover, wouldn’t it? And some repentance would result. Heaven forbid, for that arrogant crowd.
Romans 14:20 Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things (you eat) indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense.
Judge So That You Don’t Cast Your Pearls Before Pigs
Lastly, a graphic word of warning from the Savior:
Matthew 7:6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”
Question: in order to obey this command, do we have to first judge who are the wild, ferocious dogs who run in packs? And the pigs? I remember even as a younger pagan hearing the common worldly admonition of “don’t cast your pearls!” Pearls spoken of here we suppose are holy wisdom according to the sacred passage.
Do not, we repeat, do not cast your pearls before pigs!
So, then, there are those in our lives, and also most likely in the kingdom as tares among the wheat, who God Himself classifies as wild dogs and pigs by the behavior they exhibit. And our charge? Be obedient. Judge first who they are. Then, avoid giving them truth for they’ll hate you for it. You may lose your life by their hand. Jesus said for us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
The only people who we’re commanded to avoid are those in practiced and/or unrepentant sin who claim to be our brethren. Eventually, we turn them over to Satan to destroy the flesh so the spirit may be saved. Paul tells us he did exactly that:
1 Cor. 5:5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Remember the words of the apostle John, “By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” 1 John 2:5b-6
Being obedient to the Word of God, we strive in the Spirit’s power to judge as Jesus judged. Bring Him joy by pleasing Him in all respects!
Please comment on this post right below. Feel free to write and proclaim your leadings in the Spirit in an honorable fashion.
Your friend and brother in fighting the good fight,
Saints, we’re one day closer to Home, and Him! Love Him wholeheartedly!
You may view our Archives here: MONDAY MANNA – ARCHIVES; Complete Archives; feel free to write and proclaim your leadings in the Spirit in an honorable fashion. May our Father richly bless you with His grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in order to walk worthy of His name.
Marc White, Director, Walk Worthy Ministries, www.WalkWorthy.org