To Judge Or Not To Judge

Matt 7:1-6
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you wil…l see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces…”

Many use Matt 7:1 as a blanket prohibition of all judgment completely ignoring the whole counsel of the Word of God concerning this very important issue. Judging and discernment is so important for without, the church suffers much in many ways and the most dreadful is having agents of the enemy as her leaders and false teaching prevails.

What the Word of God warned here is about unrighteous judgment such as fault finding. In Matt 7:6, Jesus even told us to judge those who are violent towards the gospel so surely Matt 7:1 cannot be a blanket prohibition. Our Lord clearly stated in John 7:24 that we do not judge by appearances but judge with righteous judgment.
Take a look at the whole counsel of the Word of God and decide whether we want to be fully obedient to the Word of God or choose what we are comfortable with.

We do not judge :
1. Appearances or motives. Jn 7:24; Jas 2:1-4
2. Matters of conscience. Rom 14:1-5.
3. Service of another brother. 1 Cor 4:1-5.
4. In speaking evil of another brother. Jas 4:11-12.

But we should judge :
1. False teaching and error in teaching. Matt 7:15-20; 1 Cor 14:29; 1 Jn 4:1.
2. Serious sins in the church. Matt 18:17; 1 Cor 5:9-13.
3. Disputes in the church. 1 Cor 6:1-8.
4. Qualification of elders and deacons. 1 Tim 3:1-13.
5. In admonishing the idle and slothful; and discern and help the faint-hearted and the weak. 1 Thess 5:14.
6. In not being unequally yoked with unbelievers. 2 Cor 6:14.

Any one walking in the will of God need not be bothered by judging because he or she knows his conscience is clear. Only those who are in error or sin usually are the ones who cry foul of judging, and it is so comical that they also commit the very same act of judging which they denounce by judging the motive of those who judged.

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