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I am writing not to disagree in any way with any other responses for it's more like I'm sharing what I have felt in my spirit for some time on this matter of judging others. When I think of 'judging' in the context of the Bible I think more of it in the final, irrevocable sense, particularly in this case. It brings to my mind that we are all but condemning someone to hell, as if we were on God's throne, which places us in a very dangerous position. There is a vast difference in lovingly pointing out the sin of someone else, one that we ourselves might still have problems with, versus hammering someone on the head hypocritically and self righteously. We are commanded to confess our sins to one another when appropriate, and we are also to confront lovingly others in the hope that they will examine their hearts, repent and be brought back in complete fellowship with Jesus Christ and His church. I welcome any response as I am not dogmatic in this opinion.
We judge others by living the life Jesus taught us to live and by bringing his word to others when needed, they are judged on your life and the word you bring them. But so are you, because once we know Jesus and knownly sin we are condemned far more than those who don't know him. We can't judge others as we're not perfect ourselves! If they do things wrong, bring God to them and tell them what it says in the bible. As the bible pretty much covers every sin. But whilst some people are sinning in one way we will be sinning in another. Jesus said. "Those who are without sin, cast the first stone" we can't condemn, only bring God to others.
Paul said we are not to judge those outside the church as God is their judge. But we are to judge those in the church, but make sure it is something from Gods word and not something we believe is a sin but not directly forbidden in the bible. And, we are not to pick at little things and make them big things. We are all sinners to a degree and cannot judge others by our own standard of righteousness. Above all we are to love each other because Jesus loved us. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. We can overlook the faults of others because we have our own shortcomings. It is so easy to accuse our brothers for some little thing we think is sin only to make ourselves look better which is nothing more than spiritual pride and self-righteousness. I am pretty sure we are all guilty of doing all of the above. We are to judge ourselves before we ever judge someone else and make sure we do not have the like sin in us. We are not to put people in bondage to rules and regulations that are not clear teaching from the bible. It just feeds our pride. When we are led to judge someone else we are to do it in the spirit of meekness knowing that we also fail at times. If we go by these guidelines I think we will be hard-pressed to judge each other. Love overcomes a multitude of sin. Since God has shown us so much grace, should we not show that same grace to others? Pray for them first and show mercy and grace the same way God has shown us. At the same time we are not to even fellowship with believers that are living in adultery, or stealing, or drunkenness, or any other great sin the bible clearly says is sin, if they do not repent. But we can still pray for them. Sometimes prayer is the only thing to do.
I like Brother Houdmann's answer. I would like to add that the rest of Mat. 7 contains directions on how to rightly judge! Verse 5 - check yourself. Verse 6 - Evaluate the other person - are they what Jesus would call dogs or swine? Verses 7 & 8 - ask for godly wisdom. Verses 9-12 - Ask the Father to help you treat others like family. Verses 13-14 - Learn to forsee consequences of your actions & attitudes. Verses 15-20 - check the fruit of those in the fellowship. Note this REQUIRES judging. Verses 21-23 - Are you, yourself lawless? Verses 24-27 - Are the long-term consequences of what you do and believe going to end in destruction?
In Matthew 7:1-2, Jesus is speaking to Hebrews, not to you or I (Matthew 10:5-6, Matthew 15:24). He is also speaking prior to His death on the cross and prior to the revelation of the mystery gospel given to the apostle Paul (1 Timothy 1:16, Romans 16:25). We learn from Paul, after Christ's death, burial, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, that we Gentiles are given new instructions to live by (Romans 16:25, 1 Timothy 1:11). We as believers in Christ as our savior are to help other believers teach the only gospel message that saves today (Galatians 1:6-10, Galatians 6:1-6). Even the apostle Paul had to correct Peter and the others as they began wrongly instructing Gentiles that they needed to practice the law of Moses for righteousness (Galatians 2:11-14). We today are also to correct other believers regarding their representation as members of the church the body of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:2, Galatians 5:16). There is no benefit to us as believers to judge those yet to believe, as we were also at one time lost and without hope (Ephesians 2:12, 1 Timothy 1:15-17, 1 Corinthians 6:9-12). Our purpose as believers is to share the good news for today with others, not to condemn those who are lost, without hope, and dead in their sins as not yet having found their savior Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:13). Sin is no longer the issue for salvation, therefore judging others of their sin only pushes a lost person away from discovering the truth: How that God was in Christ no longer imputing the worlds trespasses unto us (2 Corinthians 5:19), and that He died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14), was buried and rose again the 3rd day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), so that all who believe this may have everlasting life in Him (Romans 4:25, Ephesians 1:13). Lack of faith in Jesus Christ being our savior is the ONLY issue regarding salvation today (Romans 3:20-28), during God's dispensation of grace to us (Ephesians 3:1-6).
I'm glad you asked. We see in Matthew 7:1 (Matthew Henry Unabridged Commentary), we must not judge our brother (sister), that is, we must not speak evil of him (her), so it is explained (James 4:11). We must not make the worst of people, nor infer (deduct) such invidious (detestable) things from their words and actions, as they will not bear.
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