In today's study from Matthew 7:1-5, we take a closer look at the issue of how and when we are to judge others.
vv.1-5 Judge not, that ye be not judged. (2) For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (3) And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? (4) Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? (5) Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
This passage has primarily to do with one man judging another.
Judgment begets judgment (v.1)
The Lord said if you don’t want to be judged yourself then don’t judge another. You can be absolutely certain that if you judge a brother or sister in Christ, judgment is coming back at you. The person you judge will “respond” to your accusations by pointing out your faults as well.
I heard of a fellow that was the church watch dog. He kept his eye on everything and just as soon as he spotted a problem with a brother or sister in the church he blurted it out to the pastor and members of the flock. He was usually right, you know. But then one day, he became the target. He got into a little trouble and when the news got out, there wasn’t one sympathetic soul in the church. Today, he is a bitter, wasted, miserable Christian without a church. Why? He got judged the same way he had judged others.
So, does that mean that we are never to judge another? No. But you have to do it God’s way. How many have heard someone say, “Judge not, lest ye be judged!”?
Judgment must be based on a standard (v.2)
Whatever standard you use to judge another is the same standard that’s going to be used to judge you (v.2). In the Old Testament, when witness was found to be lying, he got the same punishment that he was seeking for the other fellow (Deut 19:16-21). That was to keep them from judging unjustly. The Bible clearly shows us that there are times that we need to judge people and things. In order to do that, though, we must have something greater than ourselves by which to judge. We must judge according to God’s standard. Paul said in 1Co 2:15 “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.”
The Bible speaks of five situations in which judgement should happen.
1. We are to judge based not upon the way a thing looks but upon whether it’s right.
Joh 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
2. We are to judge things that pertain to this life according to the Bible without going to court with our brethren (1Co 6:1-5).
3. We are to refrain from judging a brother on matters that are reserved for the judgment seat of Christ. We must all give account of ourselves (Rom 14:10-12).
4. We are to judge sin in the life of another that affects the congregation based solely upon what the Bible says. Remember that the same verses apply to us (1Co 5:3).
5. We are to judge those that teach and preach contrary to sound doctrine:
- Avoid them Rom 16:17-18
- Mark them Phi 3:17-19
- Beware of them Mat 7:15
- Rebuke them Tit 1:10-13