Summary: The people of the world are often quick to paraphrase a portion of the Word of God regarding judging one another. However, are they correct? Should we judge them and each other? Well ... it all depends on what you mean by the word ...
The people of the world have some favorite Bible verses, or at least portions of Bible verses …
One is that Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you.”
What Jesus actually said was, “Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”
The other one is “Do not judge.”
And, what it actually says in Matthew 7:1-5 is,
“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 will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Now, it’s true that sometimes the world sees Christians like this
(photo of angry man) - as judging their sin.
The world says -
“The people who profess to be Christians are as bad as anyone else.”
The church says - “Don’t look at people, look at Christ.”
The Bible says to the Christian - “Be like Christ.”
The bottom line here is that God hates hypocrisy even more than you do! Really!
Luke 6:37-38 (NASB)
“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.”
So, jumping back to Luke 6:37 (NASB)
“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.”
We see that all three of these actions in verse 37 in the original text indicate an action that will be done continuously in the future. In the case of the “do not judge” and “do not condemn” it implies that these activities have been happening and that they should no longer happen in the future.
In the case of “pardon” it is a command for an action that should be started and continued.
Just look at those words, judge and condemn. It is obvious from the context (even in English) that the “you” in this passage is a singular you and not a “group” you.
So, what this verse is saying is that the individual person has set himself up as judge and jury, producing a verdict of guilty and he also has passed sentence; judge and condemn.
That is the natural condition of fallen humanity, isn’t it? But, we are no longer that way!
2 Corinthians 5:17 says
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ”
If we are “in Christ” it means a total disconnect from the world regarding:
1) our identity
2) our source of nourishment
3) our behavior
You remember this old “sinner” sign from a couple of weeks ago? When we are in Christ we are still capable of sin but “sinner” is no longer our identity, Christ is. Sinning should no longer be our normal way of life, and, if we are living in perpetual sin we had better check to see if we are really “in Christ” or not!
In Romans 11 Paul writes about us being broken off from a wild olive tree and being grafted onto the true olive tree which is Christ. While in Matthew 22 Jesus speaks about Christians being a branch on a grape vine.
In both cases our identity is “in Christ” so we should become more and more like Christ and less and less like the world.
OK. So we are part of the body of Christ and we are supposed to behave like Him? How do we do that?
In Colossians 3:12 it says,
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
So, here’s the thing … even if we are speaking to an unbeliever with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience the convicting movement of the Holy Spirit on their heart may make them accuse us of being judgmental! And, that’s OK!!!
So, we just keep speaking the Truth of God, the Gospel, with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience!
And, why do we do this?