Speaking the Truth in Love
Can We Judge?
Lately a topic that has been prominent in the news is the Kobe Bryant trial. The trial concerns whether or not he sexually assaulted a woman in Colorado. What does not seem to be the focus of attention is that Kobe admits to committing adultery with this woman. Most people are saying "He only committed adultery". It seems that the world has now accepted adultery. However God does not. There is a deeper problem in our world however. The idea that it does not really matter what sins someone commits or what evil deeds he does because people say that we are not to judge anyone. It seems now people think that we are at a point in our society that we now cannot judge whether adultery is sin or not? I have heard people say we cannot judge whether Kobe was wrong or not because the Bible says "Judge not". Is that what the Bible says? We are going to look into God's Word tonight and examine the question, "Can We Judge?"
A. Judge not, that you be not judged.
Matthew 7:1-5 - Jesus says judge (condemn) not that you be not judged (condemned). The idea is if you point a finger at someone else, there are three more pointing back to you. The judgement that Jesus is condemning is hypocritical judgement. Holding others to a standard that you will not hold yourself to. In fact, Jesus condones judging others in verse 5 so you can help them remove the speck or splinter in their eye. The point is, if you are going to judge someone on something, make sure you have looked in the mirror and are not guilty of that same sin yourself. Once you have addressed your sin, you can clearly see what your brother needs to do to take care of his sin.
B. Areas where Judgement is required in the very same chapter of Matthew 7
1. Verse 6 - In order to do this you have made a judgement on who is a dog or swine.
2. Verses 7-11 - We need to make a judgement as to what to ask God for in prayer.
3. Verse 12 - We have to judge how we behave toward others.
4. Verses 13-14 - We have to judge which is the narrow gate that leads to life.
5. Verses 15-20 - We have to judge whether one is a false prophet by inspecting his fruit
6. Verses 21-23 - We have to judge whether we are doing the will of God.
7. Verses 24-27 - We have to judge whether we are going to be a foolish or wise man
C. There is a judgement that is reserved only for God
1. Luke 12:4-5 - Fear the one who has the power to cast into Hell
3. Romans 12:19-21 - Vengeance belongs to the Lord
4. 2 Corinthians 5:9-11 - All must appear before the judgement seat of Christ
5. 2 Timothy 4:1, 8 - The Lord, the righteous Judge
6. Hebrews 10:30-31 - The living God will judge His people
7. 1 Peter 1:17 - The Father judges each one without partiality, according to each one's work
D. Other examples where Christians must use Judgement or Discernment
1. John 7:24 - Christians are to judge with righteous judgement, not by appearance.
2. 1 Corinthians 5:12, 6:5 - A Christian makes judgements within the local congregation
3. 1 Corinthians 15:33 - A Christian needs to use judgement in choosing companions
4. Philippians 1:9-11 - Christians grow in discernment and approve excellent things
5. Hebrews 5:14 - Mature Christians are able to discern (judge) both good and evil
As we can see from the Bible there is a judgement that God demands of every person. Malachi 3:18 and 4:1 put two things together. God's people are to discern (or judge) between the righteous and the wicked and between one who serves God and one who does not. Chapter 4:1 tells why we must make these judgements. Because there is going to be a day that is coming where God will pass final judgement. Now what about you tonight? Examine yourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5). Are you in sin tonight? Have you become a Christian by repenting of your sins and being baptized in water in order to wash them away (Acts 22:16)? If you judge that you are in sin or have not become a Christian, based on God's Word (James 1:25), then do something about your situation before it is too late! We hope to see you next time on "Speaking the Truth in Love".