Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Of course, Christians are never supposed to judge.
Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. (Matthew 7:1)
See? Under no circumstance is a Christian to judge.



All we need to do is read a little context and we can see that it is a specific kind of judging that is condemned in Matthew 7:1.

1 "Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.
2 For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.
These two verses begin a sermon subtopic on the subject of judging. The point here agrees with Luke 6:37-38: "Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back." What is measured back is condemnation and/or forgiveness. What is to be avoided is assuming the posture of God as judge (elaborated below on Matthew 7:12). It is treating another person in a way that is contrary to love (see also James 4:11-12). If we are behaving harshly to one another and we have convinced ourselves that we are acting in love, compare our actions with those of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:23-35. The kind of judging in Matthew 7:1 is straight-line condemning.
3 Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?
4 Or how can you say to your neighbor, "Let me take the speck out of your eye,' while the log is in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye.
This little section is an example of hyperbole (like trying to put a camel through a needle, Matthew 19:24, or straining out a gnat, Matthew 23:24). My sin may not be worse; but I, too, am a sinner. The point here is mutual sanctification. We will help each other with our specks. Will you hold me accountable? If you want, I will hold you accountable as well.

See Galatians 6:1 and James 2:13 which promote proper and gentle judging.

Christians are not asked to be morally tolerant and indifferent. Followers of Jesus cannot turn a blind eye to sin. We have more than permission. We are commanded to help each other with our failings.

It is one thing to condemn (in violation of Matthew 7:1) but it is another to report that greed or sexual sins are wrong.

6 "Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.
There are many applications for this saying; but in context, it applies to saving your efforts at correction for those who are interested in growing closer to Jesus.
Proverbs 17:10
7 "Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.
8 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone?
10 Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake?
11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
There is a motivation (better than guilt) to pray. God hears and is eager to respond for our good. He is not distant or uncaring. He wants us to ask.

Sometimes our deepest and most emotional prayer go unanswered. It is difficult to accept the usefulness of prayer when circumstances turn out that way; but the point here is to continue to pray because of who God is; and he is good!

Prayer affects God. Remember when God was about to destroy Israel? Moses interceded and God chose to not destroy Israel (Exodus 32:14). Psalm 106:23 says God would have destroyed Israel if Moses had not "stood in the breach."

The relationship this section has to judging is this. Sometimes other Christians are happy to receive constructive judgment. We must not give stones and snakes when our brothers and sisters ask for bread and fish.
12 "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.It is important to know "others" well enough to know how they want to be treated (which may differ from the way I want to be treated). This application extends to how we encourage one another to greater sanctity. Those who are receptive to it appreciate it. Those who don't may trample your pearls or maul you. Thus, this verse is the perfect conclusion to Matthew 7:1-2.

We are commanded to judge (This section and also 1 Corinthians 5:1-7 ff); but we are charged also to do a lot more self-judging. Judge the yourself frequently. Judge others when you have to. See also 1 Corinthians 11:28;  2 Corinthians 13:5; John 7:24.

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