Judge Not

I have attached a list of Scriptures below that should be studied together to see what the Lord had instructed concerning the common directive that is so often quoted out of context.  The phrase is “Judge not lest ye be also judged” and is used to silence those who disagree or would condemn an action. 

The verses (Matthew 7:1 and Luke 6:37) were a part of Jesus’ sermon on the mount, where Jesus was instructing those who would live righteous in this world.  They were not given as prohibitive and all encompassing laws but rather the prohibition of devaluing others.  The words “judge not” simply means do not pass judgment or condemnation and has to do with a person’s worth.  It does not mean to have no opinion or discernment about an action but rather to not allow that discernment to lessen that person’s value to you or to God. 

A good example of this is iron in its natural state is rust mixed with soil and has no apparent value.  When that Iron is mined and processed, the impurities are removed and heat is added, along with other minerals is specified amounts, it becomes steel that becomes quite strong.  Because we see others in their raw and impure form we should not consider them of no value, but God knows what He has in mind for each of us and that is of great value to Him.

When placing these verses along with the other verses such as I John 4:1 where we are commanded to “try the spirits”, it sounds like a contradiction, but it is not.  Even though we are forbidden to pass judgment on a person’s value, we are commanded to measure the spirit behind the action and to know if that spirit is of God.  These are two completely different responses to two completely different applications for two completely different reasons.  Judging deals with another person’s value in his service for comparison, while discernment addresses the spirit behind the action for the benefit of the fellowship.

Further, discernment is based upon the fruit of the individual which exposes the spirit directing the action.  Mt 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.   Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.  Jesus went on to say in John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.  It simply cannot be that we are directed to “judge not” in one place and then “Judge righteousness judgment” in another place unless there is a difference of application.  The answer is that we are forbidden to pass judgment based upon appearance (respect of persons) but we are commanded to discern the force behind the actions.  We are commanded to examine the fruit and the witness of the Spirit of God. 

Another point is that we should listen and follow those whom God has placed as our spiritual leaders who have given their lives into His service and have grown into spiritual maturity.  These gifted leaders are chosen by God and given to the church to equip the membership.

In summary then, we are not instructed to disregard sinful or evil activity, but rather, to stand on principles and against evil spirits, not against people.  The person is not the problem but the evil spirit must be confronted.  This is why we should pray for our pastor and church leaders as they stand between evil forces and the church and we are to support them.

Mt 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

 Lu 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

 Joh 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

 1Co 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. {judgment: Gr. day}

******************** versus *********************

1Jo 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Mt 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

 Mt 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

1Th 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

Joh 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

Heb 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Why the Trials?

For the past two weeks I have had computer problems and could not log in to my own site.  I just got the problem corrected and now I am back on line. 

For some time now I have had a problem that I continually had to work around.  I could not open my start button.  It (my computer) suddenly decided to stop working and I spent days trying to fix it with two different IT specialist who also had trouble with it.  I finally had to save my documents and completely wipe my hard drive and then reload everything.  When I got it reloaded for some unknown reason it would not recognize my password.  Just a few moments ago that problem was resolved and now you are getting my apologies for my lack of input. My computer is now working properly and it is so great to have it fixed.

During the time I have been wrestling with this problem it seemed that everything had been turned upside down.  My schedule was in shambles and my control was nonexistent.  This is much the same as the world dealing with the Corona virus or any other chaotic moment you may be going through.

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  In looking at this verse I realized that it is not an uncommon event in the lives of Christians, rather, it is the norm.  Christians will have multiple such events that push them beyond their limits.  There is a very good reason for that because it isn’t until you are put under such condition that true growth can happen.  A body trainer will tell you that this is where you get stronger than you were before.  This is where your limits are stretched, your vision expands, and your faith is validated.  It was in this light that Jesus said in John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.  The discipleshad hoped that Jesus would set up His millennial kingdom and that they would reign with Him.  They knew nothing of Jesus’ death and the coming of the Holy Spirit who would lead them into all truth.  The journey was vitally important in preparing them for the final destination. There will be a time when we can rest with the Lord, but now is the time to be molded and sharpened into His image.  The journey through the trials is how we change our minds about everything, and how we are transformed and fitted for eternity.

Trials do another thing for us in that we learn how to think.  The natural man’s inclination is to avoid problems, pain and pressure, and when confronted with them we look for a way out.  This is known as escapism.  The favorite verse for the escapist is 1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  This verse is not for facing trials but for facing temptation.  These are not the same thing. Trials deal with barriers to be overcome while doing God’s will but temptations deal with diversions from doing God’s will.  We are not directed to become escape artist but rather we are to be over comers.  There are few rewards that compare to facing a difficult or impossible task and overcoming it.  It does something to you that gives you confidence, and a sense of accomplishment that builds you up in a way that makes it worth the effort.  We think different about difficulty much differently from then on.

It also brings hope.  Before the trial the picture looked impossible but after the victory, we have hope.  Hope that other difficulties can be overcome and that the possibilities can become realities.  We discover that the objective was not in our defeat but in our victory.  The trial only brings out what God had put there in the beginning. 2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.  Our cheering section is lead by God, Himself.