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Uncommon Judging

By August 21, 2016August 22nd, 2016Sermon Series Pre-Campaign), uncommon

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Matthew 7:1-6

Principles for interpreting this portion of Scripture:

  • Place the passage in the contexts of the time it was written:
    • who was the original audience
    • what issues and events were occurring that were likely being addressed
  • Read the passage as the letter or narrative it was intended to be, ignoring imposed chapter and ver numbers and most especially subheadings
  • Interpret the passage in light of what the whole Bible teaches
    • Matthew 5:25
    •  Luke 6:37-42
    • John 5:22 and 7:24
    • Romans 2:1-5, 14:1-23 and 15:1-7
    • 1 Corinthians4:1-5,5:9-12,6:1-8, 11:27-32
    • James 2:1-12, 4:11-12, and 5:9

Are we to Judge (Matthew 7:1-2; Luke 6:37-42)

  • The mandate and precedent for making right judgements comes from Scripture itself
  • Making right judgements is a critical and necessary part living
  • But judge rightly, sparingly and with love as the only motive because if and when we judge, we will ourselves be judged in the same way and by the same standard
How do we judge? (Matthew 7:3-5)
  • With a Spirit of Condemnation
  • Without hypocrisy
  • In Humility and Love as the only motive

Who are we to judge? (1 Corinthians 5:9-13)

  • Those inside the church
  • What about the outside world, politics and social issues?
    • As Scripturally mandated
    • Not truth or grace, but truth and grace
  • “Some issues are very controversial however and really tax the grace vs truth balance. Judging and speaking about these issues, especially in a public way, poses a challenge we cannot avoid, especially when our words are controversial and certain to be misconstrued. Martin Luther King, Jr., reminds us however that, “The Church is neither the master of the state, nor is it the servant of the state. Rather, it is the conscience of the state.” To which we might add: God help any culture whose conscience abdicates its role.”  – unknown.

What do we pass judgment on?

  • Primary behaviors
  • The main, plain, prescriptive and non-negotiable standards of God as revealed in the Bible
  • Not on opinions or secondary issues
  • Romans 14:1-23; 15:1-2

What about verse 6? (Matthew 7:6)

  • Right judgment is essential when dealing with people
  • Right judgment is essential in evangelism
  • A bridge to verses 7-11

What about verses 7-11? (Matthew 7:7-11)

  • The wisdom to judge rightly must be pursued!

Verse 12 – The Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12)

  • The Golden Rule is the capstone principle to judging rightly
  • “We are not to judge in arrogant condemnation. But we are to judge rightly and this requires spiritual discernment. And if we are to do this we need to grow in wisdom and understanding. And if we are to grow in wisdom and understanding we need to seek it. And lastly we need principles that will help us to both temper our words and discern God’s purposes. And verse 12 is a huge principle! It’s not just a generalization. It’s putting yourself in the actual situation you are judging and asking “How would I want to be approached and treated if the situation were reversed? What would be for God’s glory? What would be the wise thing? How can I act to please others instead of myself like Jesus did?”

Concluding Thought:

Humility and Self-knowledge are required to judging rightly.

“The knowledge of our own failings makes us more and more hesitant about expressing any form of criticism of others. The man who knows himself learns an increasing silence before other people’s faults. But do not misunderstand this. This is not cowardice or softness but rather it is Christ-likeness and it is tenderness. And Christ did not shy away from judging and speaking truth.” – Alistair Begg

“The longer I live the longer I feel the need to adhere to the rules I have laid down for myself: 1) to hear as little as possible what is to the prejudice of others, 2) to believe nothing of the kind until I am absolutely forced to it, 3) Never to drink into the spirit of one who circulates an ill report, 4) always to moderate as far as I can the unkindness which is expressed toward others, 5) always to believe that if the other side were heard a very different account would be heard of the matter. Let us sit upon the seat of love instead of on the seat of judgment.”  – Charles Simian