How often, in our efforts to take a stand, and to stand, for the truth and withstand error, we have been taken to task with the use of such Scripture passages as "Judge not, that ye be not judged" Matthew 7:1, and "the servant of the Lord must not strive" 2 Timothy 2:24. These passages taken out of context can induce some Children of God to great irresponsibility. However, it is the purpose of this message to examine the Scriptures as a whole and see what they have to say about judging others, or judging what they say or do.
But, FIRST, members of The Body of The LORD Jesus Christ, Pay ATTENTION! Satan LOVES it when one Child of God, *HYPOCRITICALLY* judges another Child of God for their sin! You know what Satan calls the one doing the judging? His next VICTIM!
Truth, not sprinkled with Mercy, is Brutality!
The Scriptures have a lot to say about judging others. Since, however, one Greek word, "krino" is most often used in discussing this subject, and since this is the word the LORD Jesus Christ, used when He said, "Judge not," we will deal only with those passages in which this Greek root "krino" (to judge) and its derivatives, "anakrino" (to judge strictly) and "diakrino" (to judge thoroughly) are used. In this way, there can, at least, be little or no "strife about words."
If the "interpretation" so often placed upon our LORD’s words, "Judge not," were consistent with the Scriptures as a whole, the Apostle Paul would not have taken such strong exception when he and Barnabas "had no small dissension and disputation" with the Judaizers who had come to Antioch, seeking to bring the Gentile believers there under the Law, or as later at Jerusalem, the Apostle Paul "gave place by subjection" to these same Judaizers, "no, not for an hour, that the truth of the Gospel might continue with the Gentiles" Acts 15:2 and Galatians 2:5.
As to the root word "krino," (to judge), it should be observed right away that some of the passages using this word urge us NOT to judge, while others teach as strongly that we SHOULD judge, indeed, that"he that is spiritual judgeth all things" 1 Corinthians 2:15, so that the interpretation of any Scriptural statement on judging must be determined, not by any "private interpretation," but by the context and/or of related Scripture passages.
"Judge not, that ye be not judged" Matthew 7:1.
Our Lord's words here have, of course, to do with judging persons, obviously for what they do or fail to do, but in Matthew 7:5 there is the indication that they have reference to a certain type of critic, "Thou hypocrite," or one who has a "beam" in his own eye, while criticizing the "mote" (which means any small, dry particle) in his brother's eye. Such a critic would surely not be the "spiritual" person of 1 Corinthians 2:15.
Thus Matthew 7:1-2 is a warning that if you are to judge others, you must expect others to judge you. The parallel passage in Luke 6:37-38 brings this out even more forcefully. The Apostle Paul, also, in Romans 2:1, says to those who hypocritically judge others, "wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things."
In Romans 14:4-13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul speaks on this readiness to judge others. He deals with the friction between those on the one hand who feel free to "eat all things" and those on the other who are convicted that they should only "eat herbs", "Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth; for God hath received him" Romans 14:3.
Then, in Romans 14:10-13, The Holy Spirit urges those on both sides to refrain from criticizing each other since all of us, each one individually, will one day give a personal account to God, "But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. So then, every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another anymore; but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way"
It is important to note that this has to do with judging one another as to way of life. Romans 14 has to do with judging one another in matters NOT specifically dealt with elsewhere in the Word of God. Such judgment should be left to Christ, at whose "judgment seat" we shall all one day stand. Notice the Apostle Paul DOES say to not put a stumbling block in your brother’s way. This means, say, you feel free to have a glass of wine with dinner. But your brother in Christ, lives the absolute opposite, AND he is coming to dinner. The Apostle Paul is here telling those who feel free in this manner, to abstain from the glass of wine at this particular dinner for your brother’s sake.
In the same vein the Apostle says in 1 Corinthians 4:5, "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who will both 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."
Let us then, rather be criticized than to criticize, rather be judged than to judge, EXCEPT in matters where God has given us the clear knowledge of His Will. To the Galatians, for example, who had been enticed to go back under the Law after The LORD Jesus Christ, had so gloriously set them free, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul wrote, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage" Galatians 5:1. And then he proceeds to tell them in stern language how they will belittle Christ, and what the results will be if they continue in their course.
Also, he writes to the brethren at Colossi, this time urging them NOT TO ACCEPT the criticisms of those who would bring them under the Law, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come, but the Body (the substance) is of Christ" Colosians 2:16-17
But where God has clearly made His truth and will known believers SHOULD judge between truth and error, not only standing for what is right, but withstanding what is wrong, Ephesians 6:11-13, and this often involves "judging" and "withstanding" persons involved. Using the same root, krino, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul says, "But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man" 1 Corinthians 2:15. More on this point next time...
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)