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Sunday, September 10, 2017

3 Common Errors About Judging Others Biblically

3 Excuses for Not Judging Others - All of which Contradict Scripture
I hear it daily: "The Bible teaches us not to judge."

It’s not true, but it effectively confuses and silences Christians. 

Here are three reasons people claim we shouldn't judge:

1. Because we're all sinners.
True - we're all sinners, but Scripture only prohibits one type of sinner from judging - hypocritical sinners who refuse to deal honestly with their own sins.(1) 

2. Judging is God’s job, not ours.
God commands individuals and churches to judge sin and sinners for various reasons. If God says it's our job, it's our job.(2)

3. Judging is hateful.
When we judge as the Bible commands - speaking the truth in love and gentleness (Galatians 6:1; Ephesians 4:15), it is the most loving thing we can do.(3)

We lose our salt and hide our light when we refuse to judge and warn people as God commands (Matthew 5:13-15). 

Silence makes us popular with our culture, but not with God
(Luke 9:26).

Hypocrites are the only people exempt from judging (Matthew 7:1-5).
Please see the Misunderstandings About Judgement archive of 1-minute devotions
(1) Matthew 7:1-5  
(2) A variation of this argument is "Jesus didn't judge anyone, and neither should we." See "Did Jesus Come to Judge?" and these passages which command Christians to judge: 1 Thessalonians 5:14; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15; Galatians 6:1;Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 5:9-13.
(3) This doesn't mean people will always respond in a positive way, but we still must be faithful to do what God commands us to do.

Bible Study

1. One important aspect of judging involves our duty to warn people of coming danger. This Old Testament passage has New Testament application:

3 Excuses for Not Judging Others - All of which Contradict Scripture
Ezekiel 33:1-11: The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. 5 Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’ 7 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 9 But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved. 10 “Son of man, say to the Israelites, ‘This is what you are saying: “Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?”’ 11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’  

2. Note that the Apostle Paul judges the Corinthians and sends Timothy to carry out his warnings.

1 Corinthians 4:14-21: I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children.15 Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17 For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church. 18 Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit? 

3. Whether teaching Christians or sharing the Gospel, sin is always a key element.

2 Corinthians 5:10-11: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 

1 Thessalonians 5:14: And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

2 Thessalonians 3:14-15: Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed.15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.

Jude 1:22-23: Be merciful to those who doubt;23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

Galatians 6:1:"Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently." 

Ephesians 5:8-17: "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them."

1 Corinthians 5:11: I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

Matthew 18:15: If your brother sins against you, go and confront him privately. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.  
copyright 2017 Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBible.com

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