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  1. #1
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    "Do not judge, and you will not be judged"

    When Jesus said, "Do not judge, and you will not be judged," was He implying that we should regard everyone's viewpoint equally?

    Based on Jesus' own actions, we can be sure He didn't mean we should ignore and tolerate evil. Jesus wasn't passively tolerant toward people who were doing evil things and promoting evil values. He often made judgments regarding their actions and confronted them (Matthew 21:13 ; 23:13-36 ; John 6:70-71; 8:39-47).

    Jesus taught in the tradition of the Old Testament prophets who consistently confronted evil -- even at the risk of their lives 1 ( 2 Samuel 12:1-12 ; 1 Kings 18:18 ). Like the prophets, Jesus illustrated that love is sometimes expressed through confrontation. If we love our neighbors as ourselves, we must at times be as willing to compassionately confront evil and self-destructiveness in their character as we are in our own. A father who gives his children anything they want spoils them. Likewise, our heavenly Father would ruin us if He set no limits for us and indulged our every whim. Love for our neighbor involves the same principle. There are occasions when God requires us to confront serious error and sin.

    When we confront sin in the right spirit, we are acting in love, not judging in the sense of Jesus' words in this verse. When motivated by love, we won't be self-righteous and feel that we are better in the eyes of God. A loving heart is humble, knowing that before a holy God all people are equal ( Romans 3:9,23 ; Galatians 3:22 ; 1 John 1:8 ).

    Judging, as Jesus condemned it in these verses, is unforgiving condemnation -- a hypercritical, self-righteous, vindictive spirit that continually seeks to uncover the faults of others while overlooking one's own sins. 2

    Jesus' warning against this kind of judging emphasizes that any measure we use to judge other people will be used against us. He said, "For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you" ( Luke 6:38 ). Jesus teachings elsewhere ( Matthew 6:14-15; 18:23-35 ) made it clear that self-righteous, unforgiving people will not be forgiven by God. Their rigid, unforgiving hearts demonstrate that they aren't the children of God ( 1 John 3:14-15 ). Their refusal to forgive others demonstrates that they have never experienced the purifying power of the Holy Spirit in their own life.

    Personal experience illustrates the truth of Jesus' words. When we judge other people self-righteously and vindictively, they will respond to us in the same way. In contrast, if we are patient and compassionate, the people in our lives tend to overlook our minor failures and flaws.

    More subtle, but no less damaging, is the internal effect of an unforgiving, judgmental spirit. Since we naturally project our own attitude upon others, judgmental people usually assume that other people are as vindictive and judgmental as they. This puts them under the crushing pressure of living up to their own harsh, unforgiving expectations.

    Jesus' words in this verse don't require us to be passive in the face of evil. They require us to confront it in the spirit of compassion, humility, and love.

    1. In fact, Jesus specifically identified Himself with the Old Testament prophets and told His enemies that they hated Him for the same reason that their fathers hated and killed the prophets ( Matthew 23:29-37 ).

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    2. Jesus made this clear a few verses later when He said, "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye" ( Luke 6:41-42 ).


    Dan Vander Lugt

  2. #2
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    Dear Sister Hadirfuss, greetings in His Name,

    Thank you for your post. It is a subject that many Christians misunderstand (at least in my experience). About 2 months ago I undertook a fairly detailed study of 'judge not least ye be judged' (I had a specific purpose for the study at that time). The full study is much too lengthy to go into here, but here is what was summarised....

    Krisis - Heaven or Hell

    There is a kind of judging that we are not called to do. The Greek word is krisis.

    For not even the father judges anyone, but He has given all judgement [krisis] to the Son (John 5:22).

    The ultimate determination of heaven and hell belongs to the Lord alone. We never krisis. We are forbidden to krisis.

    Krites - The Judge of all

    But you have come… to the general assembly and church of the first born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge [ krites ] of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect (Hebrews 12:23).

    God is the judge of all. Yes, there are people who are called to judge, but God is the ultimate Judge of us all.

    Hupo-Krites -- Pharisees

    If we are going to stand up and confront other people in the church about something being wrong, we had better make sure we are not guilty of the same thing, because that is another kind of judging we are forbidden to do.
    Here the prefix hupo is added to krites, giving us the English word "hypocrites."

    This is what Jesus meant when he said, Do not judge lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

    And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

    Or how can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," and behold, the log is in your own eye?
    You hypocrite [hupokrites], first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye (Matthew 7:1-5).

    We do not krites and we especially do not hupo-krites. The hupo-krites of the Pharisees was the one that Jesus got really angry about - they knew they were the copyright owners of the truth. They were right - only they owned the truth and they judged others according to the truth they had assumed.

    It is interesting that Jesus said 'Woe to you..." in respect of the sin of Pharisee; but to the Adulteress, "Neither to I condemn thee - go and sin no more."

    Kritikos -- To Discern

    For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge [kritikos] the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

    Cells called erythrocytes are stored in the red marrow of big bones, like the femur and the tibia. On the outside there is the bone and on the inside there is the marrow. But in between there is an area where, even with a microscope, it is very difficult to tell where the bone ends and where the marrow begins.

    The Bible says that the relationship between soul and spirit is like that. Take prophecy: Was that from someone's imagination, or was it God's Spirit speaking through their spirit? It is very difficult to tell the difference.
    Man is a three-dimensional being. You can separate a body from a soul; but you cannot easily tell where the soul ends and the spirit begins.

    When people say, "The Lord showed me this" and "God told me that," it is difficult to know if it is someone's imagination or God's Spirit speaking to their spirit. The mind is a good servant, but a dangerous master. Many people are caught up with things not overtly demonic, but they are prophesying from the futility of their own mind.

    We are called to kritikos -- to discern between the soulish and the spiritual. The Word of God enables us to separate the bone from the marrow, the spiritual from the purely soulish.

    Judge not? What does the Bible say?

    1. We never judge from our opinions.
    2. We are commanded to anakrino -- we always seek to discern: "Is this of God, or is it of the flesh, or of the devil?"
    3. We are commanded to diakrino -- to render a decision as to whether something is morally right or wrong.
    4. We do not krisis -- the Lord alone decides who goes to heaven and who goes to hell.
    5. We are sometimes appointed to krites -- but we are to remember that the Lord is the Judge of all, and we are to judge righteously.
    6. We never, ever, hupo-krites -- before we take a speck out of our brother's eye, we make sure we do not have the same speck in our own eye.
    7. We always kritikos -- we draw on the Word of God to discern between the things of the soul and the things of the spirit.

    In Jesus
    David
    Last edited by 4Jesus; 06-26-06 at 09:02 AM.

  3. #3
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    Amen, David.

    Here's another example:

    Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

    We must be able to see who is a dog or a swine, though we do not condemn them to hell.

    In Yahweh's Love and Truth,

    Christ's Serf

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