The Gospel of Matthew: Judging Others.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2 ESV)

“According to the prevailing mind-set of our age, no one has the right to judge – or, more specifically, to condemn – anybody else.”  — Daniel M. Doriani

There is irony to this statement by Pastor Doriani. Those in our culture who are so swift to tell people not to judge others immediately begin judging those who do not agree with their statement to not judge. It is enough to cause an individual to shake their head in confusion and frustration.

In His sermon, Jesus gave several reasons for people to not hypocritically judge others. First, God alone is the ultimate judge of mankind. We have no right to try and usurp His role.

Second, when we hypocritically judge others, we are asking to be judged in return; both by God and by others. This is Jesus’ point in vs. 2 of today’s text.

Often, our judgment of people is usually harsh. We take no prisoners. If words could kill, then we have often committed premeditated murder; perhaps against those we claim to love the most. How different our perspective is when we are on the receiving end of hypocritical judgment. It hurts!

“When Jesus says, ‘Do not judge,’ He does not mean that we must never criticize anything. There is nothing wrong with saying that a certain move is a waste of time, or that certain apples taste bad. Jesus does not forbid the evaluation of others. He forbids the condemnation of others,” states Doriani. “Jesus prohibits a critical spirit, but does not forbid all use of the critical faculty.”

“Church leaders who have gossiped might come down mercilessly on someone who has occasionally used lewd language. This latter sin is real and inexcusable, but we have done wrong when we who judge do not hold ourselves to the same standard by which we judge others (Matt. 7:2),” explains Dr. R. C. Sproul.

“The one who judges according to the word and law of the Lord, and forms his judgment by the rule of charity, always begins with subjecting himself to examination, and preserves a proper medium and order in his judgments,” states John Calvin.

No earthly individual is perfect. However, we can make judgments without hypocrisy if we live a life of repentance and endeavor to mortify, put to death, our own sin (Colossians 3:1-5). Are you more critical of others than you are of yourself? Repent of this sin and resolve to be more critical of yourself than you are of others.

Soli deo Gloria!

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