Tuesday, June 30, 2015

To Judge or Not to Judge

One of the most popular verses today is Matthew 7:1 "Judge not lest you be judge." But if we are going to quote this verse we should look at the whole passage and other verses to see what else the Bible says about the subject of judging!

Should Christians Judge? Are Christians to Judge other Christians? What does the Bible say about judging others? Are we to Name the Names of False Teachers and False Prophets? We are NOT to Judge a person's MOTIVES (Matthew 7:1), but we ARE to Judge a Fellow Christian's: FRUIT / ACTIONS (Matthew 7:15-20, John 7:24, 1 Cor. 5:12–13) to make sure they're NOT teaching and living Contrary to God's Word, and Essential Christian Doctrine is Correct. Apostle Paul judged 8 Times, and Named the Names of 8 False Converts in 2nd Timothy.

John 7:24 says. "Do Not JUDGE according to Appearance, but JUDGE with RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT." 1 Cor. 5:12-13 reminds us, "For what have I to do with JUDGING OUTSIDERS (unbelievers)? Is it not those INSIDE the CHURCH (believers) whom you are to JUDGE? GOD JUDGES those OUTSIDE. Purge the evil person from among you.” Paul challenges us in 1 Cor. 6:1-20, "When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the SAINTS will JUDGE the WORLD? And if the WORLD is to be JUDGED by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to JUDGE ANGELS? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!"

So it is clear from Scripture that we should not judge a person’s motives, we can't see into their heart. But the Bible is as equally clear that there is a time to judge the fruit and actions of someone who claims to be a follower of Christ. We should never condemn, but should are to have discernment as to whether or not the life is matching up with the profession!

Why? What really is at stake? What really ought to concern us? The glory of God! It is absolutely true that God is love! But the same book of the Bible that this is often quoted from (1 John 4:8-10), also tells that "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). This chapter goes onto to tell us that our life ought to match our profession, "If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." It is inconsistent to say that I'm a Christian and then practice or live in a way that is in opposition to the Word of God.

As a Christian I ought to be concerned with the glory of God and with His rights! There is so much made of people's rights today but what about God's rights? What about the rights of the Lord Jesus? Paul makes it clear in 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 that Satan wants to blind men’s eyes to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ! As a Christian that light is to shine in us and ought to shine out of us (2 Corinthians 4:6-7, Philippians 2:9). Our lives ought to demonstrate not only the love of God but the holiness of God as well (1Peter 1:15-16).

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