DO NOT JUDGE, 22.10.19
“Stop judging, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matt.7:1,2). Does this mean that we should never judge anything?
Before making assumptions, let us remember that regardless of what topic, issue, etc. we may be viewing in Scripture, it is always essential
that we reference other passages in the same, or similar, categories, in order to flesh out the full intent and meaning. It is also important to read the passages immediately preceding and following that particular passage in order to put the passage into its appropriate context. It is wise to never select a single passage and run with it on its own.
In this particular quote, look at the passages immediately following:
3 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
This provides some context. From this we identify critical attitudes. See, also, the element of condemnation involved, and that there are implications for the accuser, the one judging. There is very good reason for the judgment/accuser to be chastised here.
Context makes all the difference in the world.
Let’s look at some other related passages:
47 “If anyone hears My words but doesn’t keep them, I do not judge him; for I came to save the world, not to judge the world (again, if applied in isolation, often taken out of context. .. continue reading).
48 The one who rejects Me and doesn’t receive My words has a judge; the word I spoke will judge him on the last day.
49 For I did not speak on My own, but the Father Himself who sent Me has commanded Me what to say and speak.
50 And I know that His commandment is life everlasting. Therefore what I say, I say just as the Father has told Me.”
He is saying that, although He did not come to judge, in the end, He will be judging: His Word will judge all. His Word judges; and His Words came from the Father; and that is the final Word. This tells us that God’s Word will, on the last day, bring judgment and justice to all. God will, in fact, judge all – people and their actions. But this indicates that God’s Word enables us to judge/discern/discriminate/be selective regarding actions/behaviours, as long as we leave the judgment of the persons to HIM.
We are to leave the judgment of people/individuals up to God. But does that mean that we are not to judge actions; to discern behaviour between right/wrong, good/evil?
Heb.4:12: “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword—piercing right through to a separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
God’s people are to apply His Word to all things in their lives, separating that which is soulish from that which is spiritual. This requires discernment, and good judgment, by the leading of the Spirit.
I Corinthians 2:13-16
13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with
14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Not only does the Word of God give God’s people the TRUTH, the measuring stick by which to judge/discern between what is coming from soulish sources and what is coming from the Spirit, but we also have the Spirit of God within us to enable us to “judge all things,” for we are to “have the mind of Christ.” So yes, we are called to judge/discern on the basis of right/wrong, good/evil, and what God’s precepts, statutes, and commandments are based on, and include or exclude, and by what the SPIRIT shows us/convicts us.
Heb. 5:12-14: “For although you ought to be teachers by this time, again you need someone to teach you the basics of God’s sayings. You have come to need milk, not solid food. For anyone living on milk is inexperienced with the teaching about righteousness—he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who through practice have their senses trained to discern both good and evil.”
Using good judgment, having discernment, based on God’s Word is for our benefit, and protection to prevent getting caught in the traps and snares of the world/enemy. Mature believers should be able to discern both good and evil, truth from deceit, moral/immoral, etc.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),
10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
So when you read the entire set of passages, it becomes clear that failing to use discernment is a set-up for deception.
God’s Word is the believer’s measuring stick. If what we see around us does not line up with His Word, we must discern, and be selective regarding that in which we shall partake of, or participate in, for Paul stated: “Do not be deceived! “Bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Cor.15:33). Furthermore, “if we were judging ourselves thoroughly, we wouldn’t be coming under judgment” (1 Cor.11:31).
it is imperative to know His Word. We discern truth from error, by His Word. We discern and thereby construct appropriate and healthy boundaries through His Word. We discern, select, and make decisions regarding friendships, life partnerships, activities – everything we do – on the basis of His Word. We must discern and judge behaviours on an ongoing basis if we want to walk in the Spirit, and if we want to be in the midst of God’s Will.
Tree of Life (TLV)
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