John 5:22 [Jesus speaking]: "Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgement to the Son....'' John 8:15 [Jesus speaking]: "You [Jews/Pharisees] judge by human standards; I pass judgement on no one." John 12:47 [Jesus speaking]: "As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it." Should my judgments be on small things such as whether people read the bible or should I only judge people who appear not to be Christian.
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If there is one scripture that everyone (including non-believers) is familiar with, it is Matthew 7:1 NKJV “Judge not, that you be not judged” and they stop there because this allows them to prove their point. However, if you continue reading to Matthew 7:5, it tells us that in order to judge someone else we need to make sure we are right with God first, before judging them. In John’s Gospel we are told we need to judge, i.e. John 7:24 NKJV “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” Firstly, this verse tells us not to judge by appearance and secondly, it tells us we should judge a person by using “righteous judgement”. No man or woman is righteous, but God alone is righteous. Therefore if we are to judge another person, we are to use righteous judgement and not our own thoughts and ideas. We are to use the Word of God (the Bible) as a measuring stick to tell right from wrong. For example, if a person was committing adultery, the conversation could go as follows: Person A: “Do you know that you should not be living in adultery?” Person B: “You have no right to judge me; the Bible says that you should not judge someone.” The conversation would stop there simply because people don’t have a full understanding of the scripture. However, assuming person A does understand the full context of the scripture (as discussed above), then person A could respond as follows: Person A: “I am not judging you, but the Word of God is judging you. The Bible says that you should not live in adultery. Exodus 20:14 states “You shall not commit adultery.” This means person A is not judging person B, but rather it is God’s Word judging person B. The same goes for what people are saying on e-bible. If we do not ‘judge’ what they are teaching by the Word of God (the only righteous authority we have), then how do we (including them) know that they are in error? So to answer the question “Am I following Christ if I judge others?” the answer is yes but on condition that the believer is in right standing with God and only uses “righteous judgement”.
Matthew 7:1 "Judge not, that ye be not judged." This is a very popular catch phrase today. If you consider the context of the remaining passage, Christ is speaking of hypocritical judgment. To state what the Bible says concerning a particular sin, practice or vice is not being judgmental but simply standing fast and standing on the Word of God. On the other hand, if I personally condemn, slander and ridicule the individual, I am taking judgment into my own hands. A believer's responsibility is to share the Word, it is The Lord's to bring judgment, not mine. For instance, in the Corinthian Church there was a man guilty of incest (1 Corinthians 5:1). Paul rebuked the members for allowing this to persist without having any conviction it was wrong. In 1 Corinthians 5:3 Paul wrote: "For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed," If you read the whole chapter you will see that Paul told them to get him out of the Church, period. However after the man saw the error of his ways and repented Paul in 2 Corinthians 2:6 writes: "Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many." 2 Corinthians 2:7 "So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow." So the idea is admonition with the purpose of correction and restoration, not judgmental destruction. Galatians 6:1 "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." Galatians 6:2 "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." Galatians 6:3 "For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself."
Although we should not judge just to criticize or to condemn someone, the Word of God also teaches that we must discern over matters - how else will we know right from wrong? Luke 12:57 says that we must judge for ourselves Heb 5:14...to distinguish good from evil. 1 Cor 12:10...descerning of spirits Prov 15:14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge. Those outside in the world who haven't received Christ as their saviour and live in sin are not for us to judge, but God's business. (Although we know that if they dont come to Christ they will be lost- even in a moment before someone dies - like the man on the cross next to Jesus) We must love the people of the world and do good unto them. We are called to be light and salt in this world. But surely it is our business to judge those who are inside the church, though not in an unloving or critical way. My own life should also be free from sin if I talk to a brother or sister in Christ about their sin. If there is someone who does wrong and it is clear that he is doing the body of Christ harm we must do something about it. 1 Cor 5:1-13 "...if such a person persists in his ways he must expelled amongst us." There are many verses also for the false prophets amongst us. Our attitude towards our fellow christians must always be a loving one, but if neccesary a firm one - based only on the Word of God. For we are on a narrow road and not everyone who calls him Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt 7). So we shouldnt live with a spirit of criticism towards our fellow christians, but also shouldn't allow sin in our midst and therefore we must discern. May God help us here and let us pray about this in every matter involved, because he loves us all. God bless
For anyone of us to JUDGE another is taking that position and telling God, I've Got this one...don't need you for it. DANGEROUS One might take notice quietly if actions/words align with Christ and vow to really try not to imitate it to safeguard yourselves, but scripture points out the elders are the ones to approach one lovingly, scripturally and privately to point the misstep to recover that one to favor..Most important thing any of us can do is to PRAY for that individual since all of this is GOD's platform..
Only God can judge another person, your job is to judge yourself not other from Gods word. If you see someone doing something that you don't think that is right just think to yourself 'would I do the same in that situation'? 'How could I help the person to see the right thing to do'? 'Am I wrong'? But whatever it is, help them with love and kindness and from the heart and God will bless you for that.
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