Summary: Jesus presents a clear description of what it is followers are to be like internally and how they are to live outwardly in the Sermon on the Mount
There was a small town that had been “dry.” A local businessman decided to build a tavern. A group of Christians from a local church were concerned and planned an all-night prayer meeting to ask God to intervene. It was not long afterwards that lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground. The owner of the bar sued the church, claiming that the prayers of the congregation were responsible. The church hired a lawyer to argue in court that they were not responsible. The presiding judge, after his initial review of the case, stated that “no matter how this case comes out, one thing is clear. The tavern owner believes in prayer and the Christians do not.” (J. K. Johnston)
Continue- walk through SOTM- Mtt 7.
In SOTM, Jesus is addressing- not just individuals, but the church as a community of believers.
He is concerned not only w/how we relate to Him, but how we relate to one another/the world around us.
V7:1-5 (read)- V7:1-2
How do we respond to- believer not living- godly life-
first response- often criticism- quick judgments
allow a little flaw- color the entirety of their life
What does it mean not to judge another person?
Are we to ignore the sins of other Christians?
Are we no longer- discern between truth/error?
We are called to be discerning, yet not judgmental.
To be judgmental is to …
look for faults in others
assume the worse of their motives
believe we have the authority to sit in judgment over another person.
Rom 14:4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. NASU
We so quickly see the faults in other Christians but fail to realize that God wants them to succeed.
1 Cor 4:4-5
4 For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.
5 Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God. NASU
The point that Paul is making is that man is not God.
Not only are we not to judge, but we ourselves are among those who will be judged by God.
Jesus is not instructing us to ignore sin.
He is however challenging us to be generous in our attitude towards others.
To renounce any tendency to play God in others lives.
Once we judge others we set ourselves up as spiritually superior to them.
Each of us must give an account to God for our own actions/attitudes- therefore be careful how- judge.
The spiritual function of discernment can quickly become a vehicle for criticism.
The one true judge of man is the HS.
The HS may allow us to see what is wrong in another person- purpose is for intercession, not criticism.
1 Jn 5:16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death … NASU
Jesus is encouraging us- if we are going to be critical, apply it to yourself first.
We are not fit to judge others because we are both …
fallible human beings (we are not God),
fallen human beings (a sinner among sinners).
It is difficult for us to objectively judge others.
We tend to exaggerate the faults of others and minimize the seriousness of our own faults.
It is important to apply as strict a standard to ourselves as we do to others.
1 Cor 11:31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. NASU
Danger in calling suspicion, spiritual discernment.
Often we are guilty of what we see in another.
When we judge another in an area where we are guilty ourselves, we bring judgment upon ourselves.
Mt 5:7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. NASU
We cannot earn mercy by being merciful, but we can exclude ourselves from receiving mercy if we
do not repent of our critical spirit.
The fact that we are not to judge others, does not relieve us of responsibility towards our brothers.
Jesus taught his disciples how to help one another engaged in sinful activity.
Gal 6:1 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.
Jesus is not saying- do not use discernment, but- do not judge others without first correcting ourselves.