Judge with righteous judgment — Bible Study Express

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Judge with righteous judgment
Judge with righteous judgment
Judge with righteous judgment

In a day and age of tolerance, there is pressure to turn a blind eye to evil deeds. Greater still, there is a pull from society to not even call evil “evil” or good “good.” Some will even rebuke Christians who do point out evil on the grounds that the Bible says that we shouldn’t judge. We are told to stop judging people and to be more accepting. Society thus wants us to stop differentiating right from wrong and acceptable from unacceptable. They would have us remove all standards of discernment, and they refuse to recognize that Christ will judge them once and for all after they die. Judgment is a reality of the way the world has been designed. We cannot escape from it, and as Christians we have a calling to exercise righteous judgment.

Matthew 7:1
KJV 1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. CEV (Luke 6.
37,38,41,42) 1 Don't condemn others, and God won't condemn you.
says, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” Jesus here is not forbidding judgment of any kind. His point is to show that some people judge from a self-righteous, condemning, and hypocritical stance. They point out slivers in the eyes of others not because they care but because they get some cheap thrill from faultfinding as if it makes them feel better about themselves. Some are so self-righteous that they are even blind to their own hypocrisy, being unable to see the log in their own eyes. Jesus is condemning self-righteousness, hypocrisy, and an inability to judge ourselves rightly, which we must do (1 Corinthians 11:29
KJV 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. CEV 29 If you fail to understand that you are the body of the Lord, you will condemn yourselves by the way you eat and drink.
). In no way does Matthew 7:1
KJV 1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. CEV (Luke 6.
37,38,41,42) 1 Don't condemn others, and God won't condemn you.
forbid discernment. In fact, later in Matthew 7
KJV 1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. 6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. 7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? 12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. CEV (Luke 6.
37,38,41,42) 1 Don't condemn others, and God won't condemn you. 2 God will be as hard on you as you are on others! He will treat you exactly as you treat them. 3 You can see the speck in your friend's eye, but you don't notice the log in your own eye. 4 How can you say, “My friend, let me take the speck out of your eye,” when you don't see the log in your own eye? 5 You're nothing but show-offs! First, take the log out of your own eye; then you can see how to take the speck out of your friend's eye. 6 Don't give to dogs what belongs to God. They will only turn and attack you. Don't throw pearls down in front of pigs. They will trample all over them. (Luke 11.
9-13) 7 Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8 Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And the door will be opened for everyone who knocks. 9 Would any of you give your hungry child a stone, if the child asked for some bread? 10 Would you give your child a snake if the child asked for a fish? 11 As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give good things to people who ask. 12 Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the Law and the Prophets are all about. (Luke 13.
24) 13 Go in through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate. 14 But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it. (Luke 6.
43-45) 15 Watch out for false prophets! They dress up like sheep, but inside they are wolves who have come to attack you. 16 You can tell what they are by what they do. No one picks grapes or figs from thornbushes. 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. 19 Every tree producing bad fruit will be chopped down and burned. 20 You can tell who the false prophets are by their deeds. (Luke 13.
26,27) 21 Not everyone who calls me their Lord will get into the kingdom of heaven. Only the ones who obey my Father in heaven will get in. 22 On the day of judgment many will call me their Lord. They will say, “We preached in your name, and in your name we forced out demons and worked many miracles.” 23 But I will tell them, “I will have nothing to do with you! Get out of my sight, you evil people!” (Luke 6.
47-49) 24 Anyone who hears and obeys these teachings of mine is like a wise person who built a house on solid rock. 25 Rain poured down, rivers flooded, and winds beat against that house. But it was built on solid rock, and so it did not fall. 26 Anyone who hears my teachings and doesn't obey them is like a foolish person who built a house on sand. 27 Rain poured down, rivers flooded, and the winds blew and beat against that house. Finally, it fell with a crash. 28 When Jesus finished speaking, the crowds were surprised at his teaching. 29 He taught them like someone with authority, and not like their teachers of the Law of Moses.
Christ explains that we can discern true believers from false teachers based upon their fruit. Christ’s intention is not to forbid judgment that evaluates between right and wrong, moral and immoral. What Jesus is saying is not to usurp the place of God, Who alone can cast into hell (Luke 12:5
KJV 5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. CEV 5 God is the one you must fear. Not only can he take your life, but he can throw you into hell. God is certainly the one you should fear!

God sees all, and He will judge sin righteously. Our job is to let God be God and to love and share the gospel with those whom we have discerned through righteous judgment to not be acting righteously. This is the point of John 7:24
KJV 24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. CEV 24 Don't judge by appearances. Judge by what is right.
which says, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” Righteous judgment sees sin for what it is, and it is not afraid to point it out. But this judgment becomes unrighteous when it stems from “holier-than-thou” motives or when it seeks to condemn rather than to restore. Galatians 6:1
KJV 1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. CEV 1 My friends, you are spiritual. So if someone is trapped in sin, you should gently lead that person back to the right path. But watch out, and don't be tempted yourself.
says, “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.” Righteous judgment recognizes that some people are spiritual and some are not, being carnal and mired in sin. If someone who is spiritual finds a brother or sister in sin, they are to restore them in a spirit of gentleness. Clearly this requires discernment and an understanding of right and wrong. Yet it need not cross into unrighteous condemning judgment. A spirit of gentleness and being intentional about seeking restoration are essential to righteous judgment. When we see a fellow Christian sin, we need to confront the sin (after we have dealt with our own hearts) but humbly, graciously, and with an understanding that we are not above the potential to do the very same thing.

Unrighteous, self-righteous judgment is ugly and repulsive to a world desperately in need of Christ. If Christ judged as these folks judge, He would have never come to earth and died for us. But He loved us even while we were yet sinners and died for us (Romans 5:8
KJV 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. CEV 8 But God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.
). The mentality and focus of the Christian ought to be to save sinners and restore believers, not to judge and condemn, though we definitely need to exercise discernment. When Christianity deteriorates into keeping records of wrongs and looking over one another’s shoulders in suspicion and even with a hope of catching another in sin, we have fallen far from Christ’s call.

In a day and age where judgment has been itself condemned, we need to judge righteously. There is a shortage of discernment in a time that demands an abundance. For the sake of the lost, for our brothers and sisters struggling with sin, for our own spiritual well-being, and for the glory of Christ, let us judge righteously and love unconditionally.

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