Judgment – Matthew 7:1-14 by Pastor Don Moore

Friday, June 06, 2008

Judgement-Matthew 7:1-14 by Pastor Don

We read Matthew 7:1-14 together as a whole and then Pastor Don broke it up verse by verse. I am going to give you the verse by verse interpretation (verses 1-6), but you may want to look up this passage as a whole here.

The problem is people often quote part of this passage but do not understand the Spirit of what Jesus was saying.

Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that you be not judged.

People often quote this verse but forget about the second half (Verse 2). God is not saying to not judge, there are circumstances, situations and spirits that need to be judged. But we are to judge only if we are prepared to be judged by the same measure we use for judging.

Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

If you do judge, judge with the same criterion you would judge yourself. If you judge, be prepared to be judged back. Never judge anyone saying, “YOU ALWAYS.” No one is that consistent or excellent in bad behavior. Use the same measure you use for others on yourself. Use the standard Jesus used.

The world fails in this. A Christian could be doing the best they can to get along and live by the Word of God. They point out a sin to a worldly person, and the person says, “You can’t judge me.” Oh yes they can, by the measure that they judge, as their Christian behavior is an improvement over the sins of another. The person in the world has their sins piled even with the roof. So if a believer with fewer sins points out the person has sins piled to the ceiling, they can judge. The people do not realize we can judge because we are Christians forgiven for sins. And our judgment, in love, is to help a person to find the mercy and grace from God that is available to the worldly person. We want people to realize God will forgive them.

Don’t tell me I can’t judge. If the person hasn’t asked for forgiveness and their sin will find them out, they will reap what they have sown. If they repent of their sin they are forgiven.

We are judging ourselves and therefore we are well prepared and able, by means of the Spirit to judge, but the mercy of God is such that, if you repent of the behavior, forgiveness is yours.

Will you point your finger at the Holy Spirit and say, “Do not judge?” Jesus is coming back to judge. Why would the Father (God) point that out. What parent doesn’t correct their child? Can a 12-year-old with a filthy mouth and lousy attitude say, do not judge?

We are to judge with a Godly standard. We are not judge in an inappropriate manner, like telling a person their sins mean they are going to Hell. God has not given us the right to determine people’s final end. If we judge with a self-righteous attitude, they may be better than you. Once they repent they may be more righteous than you. If you are judging from self-righteousness, God is saying you are a hypocrite.

If you use the measure that my three sins to your 13 sins says I am better, it is a wrong way to judge because you are still a sinner. If you only have one sin to another’s three sins, you are still a sinner. Comparison is not a good measure. Those outside the church use a paintbrush to judge everyone in the church. They say things like I came to church and it is full of hypocrites. (Heather’s comment, they fail to realize there are also hypocrites outside of the church.) And because one person in the church is a hypocrite, does not mean all churchgoers are hypocrites. How can we fix the hypocrites if not in church? If someone is outside the church, they assume, if one Christian does a particular sin, all the others in church are guilty of that.

So if you are outside of the Church and seeing all the sins in the church, why not convert and raise the standards inside the Church?

Matthew 7:3-6  And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 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? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.“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.

We need to check ourselves out before we judge anybody else. It is easy to say and identify what is wrong with someone else. But what about you? If you have it totally together, then check yourself to see if you have a self-righteous attitude.

When babies are born, some are attractive but others are downright ugly, they were just born, and did not volunteer to show up, muscles pushed and they came out. With every baby, we usually say they are “cute”. God conceived you before you were born. We do not judge by the exterior, but by what is on the interior. Pastor Don then pointed out many of the actors and actresses of today act as if they are such hot stuff, but if they had good sense, they would realize God designed their bodies the way they are, and it is not because they are something special.

Our standards are wrong. Prejudice is ridiculous. Your country, tribe or color does not make you better. Jesus slams us hard in this. He tells us to remove the plank from our eye, the big wrong in our lives before we judge the speck in another’s eye. But notice, he says FIRST, he doesn’t say NOT EVER. Get your lives in line with the Gospel then you can qualify to go to someone and say you need to get it together. We need to remove the plank from our eye so we can see better and then get the speck out of another’s eye.

Verse six is taken out of context, if you have the pearl (what is righteous and holy in your life) don’t beat up on someone with what you know is good and holy. Don’t cast precious things in front of those who don’t care. Discern if they are ready to hear what is holy. To beat them up with the Bible when they can’t hear, see, or receive you is unproductive, you are just a combatant. That can block the way to the Lord in the future for them. Better to lead them to the lord by exemplary behavior. Make the non-believers jealous by showing what a life lived well for Christ is like. We don’t have to point out their faults. Let the Lord speak to them at the right time.

Then Pastor Don gave us other passages to balance out the teaching regarding judgment.

Romans 2:1 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

When we do the things that we are judging others for, we are condemning ourselves. If we are to judge another for immoral behavior we need to be living morally ourselves. If we are living moral lives, then we are free to judge. We need to deal with the sin in our lives before we judge another in the same sin. If you are judging harshly in an area you are still guilty about, know that our sins will be exposed in that area.

Romans 2:2  But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.

If there are practices of evil around us, somebody better judge. If nobody judged then pretty soon, anything goes, and chaos and anarchy would ensue.

Romans 3:5-9 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world? For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.

We are guilty of sins, have repented, and handed them to the Lord. We are not better than the world, but we are now out of the world system of values. We have committed many sins like drug abuse, immoral behavior, and addictions. We have come from those places to a place of righteousness through Christ. With Jesus we are all forgiven.

Paul tells us we are called to judge, holding up a standard of truth and righteousness. The world cannot judge for their standards are constantly changing. The only way we can judge is with a standard of truth.

We use the same standard Jesus gave us, and know we are cleansed by the blood of Jesus, and only in Jesus are we righteous. We cannot be righteous in ourselves.

Romans 14:13  Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

In the Body of Christ, judgment is different from what it is in the world. In the Church there is a different standard of judgment. We are all sinners, works in progress.  We have accepted Jesus and are another person in the Body of Christ. We judge by the standard of Jesus, not of the World. If anyone does sin, we have to remember love covers a multitude of sins.

Sometimes we, in the Body of Christ, are aware of another person’s sins and can be puzzled when Pastor Don or another pastor still lets the person sing on the praise team or serve in the church. What we don’t see is these people sinned, have come to Pastor Don, repented, done the things necessary to set the sin right. Pastor Don is not going to expose them to the church and share all they did to make things right, for that would violate their confidence. If the eldership has dealt with the sin, why embarrass them?

We need to keep the sinner plugged in and let the Word of God wash them clean. If someone sins and leaves the church, it is hard to help them change their behavior. Satan would love for a person to leave the church and be isolated, they are an easier victim. If our standards of judgment are too harsh it will not help a person stay around to be washed by the Word of God.

1 Corinthians 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?

So many in the church go to a secular judge to judge their issues, instead of going with the Pastor and a mediation board at church. If we go to unsaved people to mediate for us, that is a waste of money and they will judge according to the world’s standards, not God’s.

1 Corinthians 6:2  Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

If we are to judge the world, should we not practice judging ourselves?

1 Corinthians 6:3-7 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers! Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?

Suing someone in the church by going to the worldly system just depletes your resources. Often the judgment will be the same, and you have added lawyer’s bills onto the problem. It is better to go to the church, and if need be just lose the money, accept the wrong. When a person is thinking of divorce, go to the church for mediation – try to make things right. The world has no investment in your marriage.

1 Corinthians 11:13 Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?

Some churches insist on wearing some kind of head covering for the women. They misread this passage, and judge those who do not wear a doily on their heads as being sinful. This passage is taken out of context – in Macedonia the prostitutes were bald-headed, and wore wigs. It was a way to determine who was a prostitute and who wasn’t. Our hair is the covering on our heads.

1 Corinthians 11:11-14 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God. Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?

Pastor Don said all the pictures of Jesus with long hair are wrong. A Jewish man would not let his hair grow long, that’s what the gentiles did. They had the corners’ of their beard long, but their beards were clipped, and their hair was short enough to not touch their shirts, they just had long sideburns.

We are to judge among ourselves.

Colossians 2:16-19  So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

We are to judge, but we cannot make the call as to where a person will spend eternity. We cannot let someone tell us when the Sabbath is – Saturday or Sunday – really those who insist Saturday is the Sabbath, are not starting the Sabbath the same time the Jews did, Friday night. It is God who will judge our hearts. Let us look to Christ.

Praying your day is blessed.



About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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