Sermons

Summary: First of two-part series on judging, focusing on Jesus’ words in Matthew 7.

What’s the Big Deal about Judging?

Matthew 7:1-5

October 31, 2010

NOTE; THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMULA IS FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."

Audio of this can be heard at www.aberdeenwesleyan.org; click on "Media."

Me: Judging is one of those things that you really don’t want to be accused of doing in our day and age.

It’s not politically correct, and just being accused of judging can end a conversation in a hurry, even if you’re in the right about the subject you’re discussing.

I’ve been accused of judging.

When I was in college, especially, I found that I had a need to be the “spiritual cop” of my circle of friends.

I was so zealous for Jesus that I felt that I needed to police people’s attitudes and activities.

Sometimes I was actually useful in helping someone see that the stuff they were doing was actually hurtful to them and was maybe sin.

But I know for a fact that I ended up pushing people away because they were afraid to admit they went to a Huey Lewis and the News concert because it was a secular band and they knew I wouldn’t approve of it.

We: You hear it, too, don’t you?

“Who are you to judge?”

Society thinks that’s a crime – and in some ways they’re right.

I like the way Pastor Jerry Shirley puts it: “Some Christians seem to feel they are on ‘permanent jury duty’ as they go thru life.” [Sermon, Jury Duty (Judge Not/Judging), Sermoncentral.com]

As a whole, Christians are thought to be a rather judgmental group whose only purpose is to harp on the sins and shortcomings of other people.

If you belong to an evangelical church like this one, you’re especially open to that charge, and it really becomes evident during election cycles when certain politically charged issues come up that affect certain lifestyles that Scripture calls sin.

God: Matthew 7:1-5

1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3 “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? 4 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? 5 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.”

You know what I find interesting? People who don’t love Jesus quoting Jesus to try to shut up people who are trying to live for Jesus, however imperfectly.

When people who don’t love Jesus quote Jesus, they usually get it wrong.

And this particular passage of Scripture is an example of that.

They look at this passage and say, “See? Jesus says you’re not supposed to judge! You have no right to tell me that what I do is sin.”

The problem with that is that Jesus is not saying we should throw out any sense of discernment about right and wrong.

In fact, Jesus, in the verses right after this tells us to make judgments about people and their response to the good news of Jesus.

In other parts of the gospels, Jesus said to expose false teachers and to admonish others in order to help them. How can we determine what’s false if we don’t judge it against what is true?

Both Jesus and Paul taught that we should exercise church discipline. That means we need to point out things that are sin and deal with it as sin.

Jesus and Paul both point out things that society says are right but that God says are wrong and that we are to consider sin because God considers them sin.

There are some things that God calls sin, no matter what society says about how acceptable it is or should be.

In other words, we are to apply godly, biblical wisdom and judge whether something is right or wrong in God’s eyes.

This passage isn’t saying we shouldn’t judge anything or anyone in any circumstance.

It’s not a blanket statement against critical thinking. Believers should be discerning and make certain judgments.

So what’s Jesus talking about here?

So what is Jesus actually condemning here in this passage?

I believe He’s addressing two main issues:

1. A critical spirit.

1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Here’s what it says in The Message translation –

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