Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.
Taking JI Packer’s paraphrase of the Moral Law, we can fully appreciate that it is the blueprint of a Christ-like life – a life characterized by loving God and loving one another.
“You shall worship your covenant God exclusively and wholeheartedly, according to His own revelation, regarding Him with consistent reverence and setting aside regular time for rest and worship in His honour; you should respect those who have nurtured you, labour to sustain the family unit; you must do all you can to safeguard the life, sexual purity, property, reputation, and well being of all you meet, and knowing that your God watches over you, you are to be content with what you have.” – JI Packer.
In Luke 6:36-38, our Lord gave us a practical account of what it meant to love one another.
We should show mercy to one another.
We should not be judgmental or have a condemning spirit against another.
We should be forgiving towards one another.
We should be generous towards one another.
What is a judgmental or condemning spirit ? Jesus told this parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Gatherer to some people who believed that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt. Luke 18:9. Viewing others beneath us in spirituality is false spirituality. That is spiritual pride with a judgmental or condemning spirit. We see ourselves as good and minimizing our own faults while maximizing the faults of others.
Showing mercy, especially to the poor and needy, also entails being generous. And when we are generous, God will repay us with the same measure of generosity in return. Prov 19:17. Jesus our Lord gave the following illustration to explain what generosity was. In His days, when one buys from a grain seller, and if the grain seller is generous, he will pour into the measure till it is full. Then he will shake the measure for the grain to settle to the bottom and even press down the grain. And he will continue to pour till the grain overflows into the buyer’s lap. That is generosity explained.
Such a wonderful passage on relationship between one another in Christ has been taken out of context to justify two wrong teachings by false prosperity and hyper grace teachers.
The first wrong teaching is on judging. Our Lord was teaching us not to have spiritual pride with a condemning spirit; but it did not mean we should not discern and judge false teaching and blatant sin. Our Lord and the Apostles judged the Pharisees, Judaizers and those who denied Jesus is the Christ for their hypocrisy, twisting of the gospel for their gain and the anti-Christ teaching respectively. The Scriptures even exhorted not to associate or receive such false teachers and to ex-communicate those who sin blatantly without remorse. 1 Cor 5; Titus 1: 11,13.
The second wrong teaching is on giving. The verse “give and it will be given to you” is taken out of context by prosperity gospel teachers to encourage giving with the promise that God will return many fold. As explained earlier, our Lord was exhorting a generous spirit towards one another.