Who Are You To Judge?

To judge or not to judge? That is the question. At least the question I will attempt to answer. Several years ago I heard Mike Breidenbaugh, former preacher at Macon Church of Christ, speak on judging. It was a great outline! It was the best sermon on judging I had ever heard. Mike is a powerful evangelist and has a ministry called “Open Your Heart”. His web address is: http://www.openyourheartministries.com/

But before you go out and surf the web, lets run back through that outline on judging! In the New Testament, there are three types of judging that God condemns:
Do NOT judge according to appearance.
In John 7:24, Jesus says, ”Do not judge according to appearance”.
Don’t jump to conclusions. In order to make a proper judgment about something, we must not simply guess. Know the facts! Make sure you know things that were said or done! And never make a mountain out of a molehill. It is easy to do—just add dirt! We are not to judge a person’s motive or intention. So if we are going to make a judgment call on something—know the facts, not just what it looks like.

Do NOT judge lest you be judged.
In Matthew 7:1-6, Jesus says, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you”.
What Jesus condemns here is judging hypocritically. We are not to judge in another what we are guilty of doing ourselves. This is the same thing that the Apostle Paul is referring to in Romans 2. We must clean up our own act before we try to clean up someone else’s act. Jesus implies that after we remove our sin, there is a proper way to judge. He says, “then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5). How can we take the speck out of our brother’s eye without some sort of judging? God’s people must determine the difference between ‘holy’ and ‘dogs’, ‘pearl’ and ‘swine’ in this Matthew passage. This involves judging.

Do NOT judge in the realm of opinion.
In Romans 14:1, the Apostle Paul writes, “Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions.”
What Paul is referring to is disputing over doubtful matters or matters of opinion. This is what the Apostle is referring to when he says, “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore” in Romans 14:13. Our opinions are not law. A person should not make their opinion Scripture. A lot of church problems could be avoided if church members would keep quiet in the area of opinion.
There is one judgment which God commands:

Judge righteous judgment.
John 7:24—”Judge with righteous judgment.”
How? By using the righteous standard – the Bible. II Timothy 3:16-17 says that the Scriptures are to be used for instruction in righteousness. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work”.

When you use the Bible to make a judgment—that is righteous judging. If we, as Christians are not to make a “righteous judgment”, what did the Apostle Paul mean by “reproof, correction and training in righteousness”? All of those take a judgment call by someone. But the standard MUST be the Scriptures!

When people do that, don’t get mad at them. Jesus Christ commanded Christians to judge a righteous judgment. So please don’t hate or blame the messenger. They are there to help bring you back in line with the Scriptures. In fact, if someone comes to you and suggests that, according to the Bible, you should be doing things differently in your life, thank them for loving you enough to confront you. Maybe that person is like the person James was referring to when he wrote, “My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20).

Two more thoughts—all things are to be done in love and with the purpose of bringing someone back to the Lord. Personally, I am thankful to all the righteous judges in my life who have helped keep me on the straight and narrow. And I didn’t have to go to a courtroom! All I needed was a Christian brother or sister who loved me enough in Christ to judge my actions, according to the Bible.
The Bible Only makes Christians Only! http://www.restorationplea.com

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