Sunday, March 13, 2016

What Does The Bible Tells About Judging Others?

Should We Judge Or Not?

Question : Should we judge or not? The Gospel ministers say often that we should not judge or speak against the prophets of God or servants of God, if that is true how can we find the false from the true ones. I am not sure what the Bible tells us to do regarding judging others? Can you clear this doubt please. Thank you.

Answer : Greetings in Jesus wonderful name! There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding what the Bible says about judging.

Often many people turn to this following verses that Jesus spoke and take it out of context,
"1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." (Matt 7:1-6).

There is a lot of truth Jesus has revealed in context, we will see one by one what these things are.

First of all Jesus is not telling the believers not to judge at all, because we know from other places of the Scripture that it reveals that we should judge people righteously by God's standard like Jesus did and not by human fleshly standard
(John 8:15-16; Isa 11:4; Rev 2:2). To judge by our sight, feelings and by all the five sense of the flesh is the judgment that Jesus has told all believers not to do (Isa 11:3). The world judges by the flesh, but God's people should judge everything by God's Word and Spirit that will line up to His will and purpose (Isa 11:3; Heb 5:13-14).

In others words, if we as God's children start to judge by our flesh towards others, we will be judged by God in that same scale. The bigger we show mercy and see compassionately towards others, that much of measure God has assured to show towards us.

Jesus then emphasises another kind of judgment that we must do before we start to judge others by God's standard.

What is that? Here it is,
"3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye." (Matt 7:3-5).

In the above verses, Jesus is revealing that only those people who realize how susceptible they are in their own lives against sin because of the sin nature that is within them
(1 John 1:8; Gal 6:1; Rom 7:17, 19), can only be able to judge others with righteous judgment (John 7:24).

The level to which we come to realize our own selfish and sinful nature, is the same level we can learn to judge ourselves and humbly acknowledge our sin when God the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin when we have fallen in to it by our thought or action
(John 16:7-8, 13; 1 Cor 11:31-32).

When we judge our own selves first, we will not be judged by God. And every one who judges themselves first by considering the plank or log of wood of the sin nature in their own eyes of their heart, will truthfully be able to remove the speck of dust from their brother's eye. That is why according to God, even Jesus was tempted first with sin to know the hardship of temptation His human brethren go through in their own lives, this made Jesus to compassionately help his brethren in their times of trouble when they are tempted by sin and continue to help them take a good choice to overcome sin in their lives
(Heb 2:14, 17-17; 4:15). Every one of us can compassionately and righteously judge when we know that if not for the grace of God, we would have been in the boots of those who are ignorant and going astray of whom we are judging (Heb 5:2).

So is it right to judge others? It is right as long as we are already judging ourselves before we judge others. Having said the above, I also add up to say that our judgment must be righteous based on the Word of God that reveals the will of God, being guided by the Spirit of truth who who will guide us in to all truth for the Glory of God.

Then Jesus adds up some important tips to consider when we are judging others, let us see what it is,
"6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." (Matt 7:6). The dogs and swine are unclean animals that are spoken in both the Old Testament and in the New Testament to indicate a unbeliever who is not born again, but is religiously acting out as though he is a great godly person because of his own pride. Dogs eat their own vomit, like that a unsaved person when convicted by God about his sin which he has gulped willingly in his past life, will vomit it out by feeling remorseful about his own sin because of sin's consequence (Matt 27:3-4, 5), and then will again will indulge in the same sin willingly without any more shame or repentance, thus denying God to work further in his life (2 Tim 3:5). And swine is an animal that longs to eat all unclean stuff no matter how much clean they are made outside, because on the inside the nature of swine stays the same, so is the unbeliever who is not saved by God (1 John 3:8-9). Even though we might tell him the precious gospel of Jesus Christ out of love, he will stay the same in sin and will try to mock and harm us if we insist and demand a worthy life as a response to the truth of God we have shared to him (2 Peter 2:17, 18-20, 21-22; Luke 12:46, 47).

Paul says that he will not judge those who are outside and will always let God judge them in his time
(Eccl 8:5, 6), but those who are inside the Church or in fellowship of the brethren, he will judge them according to God's righteous judgment (1 Cor 5:12-13, 11). When we have to make a decision whether or not to keep company with a brother who is involved in sin or in a behavior that encourages it, we have to judge them with a righteous judgment. When we have to avoid giving holy truth to the dogs or throwing the pearls of truth to pigs who might act as believers outwardly but inwardly they are the aforementioned unclean animals, then there is a need to judge these people according to God's standard of judgment.

Three times out of love we should warn a sinning brother as Jesus taught, first tell him personally, then before two or three people, but if he continues to sin and is not willing to turn away from it and refuses to hear even the Church, then we should agree that he is prideful and therefore need to come together and give him in to the hands of Satan or the in other words for the chastisement of the Lord
(Matt 18:15-17, 18-20; 1 Cor 7:15; 5:3, 4-5; James 5:20; Jude 1:22, 23). The apostle Paul says, that for a believer the highest judgment for sinning and continuing in it is to let the judgment of the Church to take over and pronounce in agreement the delivering of the sinning offender in to the hands of Satan. This the Church must do to know that it is the individual Church saints who will judge the world in the future time and also shall judge the angels (1 Cor 6:1-3). He also says that for a believer to go against a believer in the court of the law of the nation where they live is a utter failure of the judgment of the Church, rather let yourself be cheated by the deceitful Brother or a unbeliever who just acts as a believer outwardly and religiously (1 Cor 6:4-7). No person continuing in sin without any repentance and confession of sin to the Lord Jesus (1 John 1:7, 9; Heb 4:14-16), will ever enter in to heaven to inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:8, 9-11).

So shall we recapitulate what we have seen?

1) It is not wrong to judge others when we are self-judging ourselves first before we do judge others.

2) We need to judge those Brothers who continue to sin and are openly consenting to it without any fear of God, and disassociate with them or avoid fellowship with them because bad company will ruin our good character
(1 Cor 15:33).

3) We need not judge the people who are in the world because God judges them for their sin in His time.

4) When we officially excommunicate a person, you are to treat them like a pagan or tax-collector. It means we do not include them in things that are reserved for followers of Jesus like communion serving. Also we don’t need to add them up to have fellowship with them personally by spending time for their spiritual need. We do not have to marry them if there is a choice for us to take in this matter. We probably don’t pray with them though we can pray for them. We need not allow them to serve in a position of spiritual leadership but we can allow them to serve in some capacity that does not require faith in Christ. We should not hate the person who is discontinued from fellowship, just because we have withdrawn fellowshipping personally with a Brother and are not keeping company with that one does not mean that he ceases to be a brother
(2 Thess 3:14,15). The goal of such treatment is not to exclude them from the fellowship of the Body, but through showing God's kindness spiritually through praying for them, lead them back to godly ways that will again bring glory to God through their repented life (Rom 2:4; 2 Cor 7:8,9-10, 12; 2:6-10, 10-11).

5) We also need to judge those who teach and preach, and only sit under the ministry of those whose faith follow them in their real life and in their godly character
(Heb 13:7). Even Jesus commends those who find the false apostles and avoid their teaching that corrupts the people of God (Rev 2:2). The controlling Spirit of Jezebel in the Church which encourages sin of idolatry [which is rebellion, coveteousness and jealousy which is the worship of self above God (Col 3:5)] and makes male delinquent to emasculate their authority, and the doctrine of Balaam which puts a stumbling block to the people of God by making them indulge in sin deceitfully through diluting the holiness doctrine towards God for material gain need to be judged by every believer, and should be put away from the Church of Jesus Christ (Rev 2:14, 20-21; 2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:4).

6) We have the responsibility then to judge the inspired prophetic word of God that comes through a prophet to know whether it is inline with the Word of God or from their own soulish flesh, and leave it without taking it seriously if it is from the flesh
(1 Cor 14:29; Acts 17:10, 11; 1 Thess 5:20-21). We also need to check the character of a prophet or a servant of God, and dismiss those who do not line up with the fruit of godly character in their own lives (Matt 7:15, 20). Every person who is in ministry and is not mature in their walk with God will try to defend themselves saying, we should not judge or speak against the prophets of God or servants of God pointing you to themselves as true prophet and justifying themselves as a servant or minister of God, but true servant of God will not defend themselves but will let God defend them and their ministry (Gal 1:6-9, 10; 2 Tim 4:14-16, 17-18). It is better to hear what God says and not see the reputation of a preacher or a teacher of God, to let ourselves be judged first, then to judge the ministries we are under, and finally judge those who are sinning Brothers and be careful with the so called believer who is a unbeliever in the Church and keep no close company with them.

Much Blessings.....


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