How Are We To Judge Righteous Judgment? # 1
Well, all of us, I think, if we look back at our lives have made wrong judgments. I know I have. Too many times to remember even! And when we make wrong judgments, we create problems for ourselves and we create problems for others when we make judgments that are in error.
And yet, despite that, Christ says the following in John 7:24. Let's turn there. Keep the Scriptures in your mind because we're going to come back to it. Not turn back to it, but keep it in your memory. And I know you know this. It's a very familiar Scripture, John 7:24. Christ was telling us something very important in this one Scripture, several things in this one Scripture. He says:
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24).
Now if you look at this, there are three facets that are obviously apparent when you first read the verse. It says - the first one is we are to judge, because He says, "Judge righteous judgment." So we are to make judgments, but when we do judge, we judge righteously. That's the second thing that we see that's just obvious. We are to judge and when we do judge, we judge righteously. And then the third thing we learn very quickly is that there's a clear implication that Christ is warning us and cautioning us about judging in an unrighteous manner. That it is possible for us to do that.
Now the Greek word for "judge" is "krino", and it is pronounced "kree-no." And it means to pronounce an opinion concerning right or wrong. And it is variously translated in the New Testament as judge or determine. Or it is translated condemn - judge, determine, or condemn.
Now Zodhiates in his very fine dictionary says the following about "krino" - Remember this, It says, "To form and express a judgment or opinion as to any person or anything," but notice this, "more commonly unfavorable." In other words, in the New Testament, it is talking about judging in an unfavorable way. I'll read that again, Zodhiates says, "To form and express and a judgment or opinion as to any person or thing, more commonly unfavorable," and, as we're going to see, more commonly the human tendency to look down on somebody and to judge somebody in a condemning or a negative way.
So we understand the word "judge," but now let's look at the Greek word "righteous" in this same verse. It is "dikaios". And it has three meanings, all roughly the same - observing divine laws. Righteousness is observing divine laws. And that is obvious. If we follow God's laws, then we take on His righteousness as we follow them.
A second meaning is innocent, faultless, or guiltless. And that obviously is a truism because if we follow God's divine laws, then we become guiltless. We have no guilt. We have no fault. And we are innocent in His eyes as long as we follow His laws.
The third meaning is thinking and feeling and acting in a way that totally conforms to God's will. Thinking and feeling and acting in a way that conforms to the will of God. And all of us want to do God's will and when we follow God's will, we thereby become righteous as He is righteous.
Now this verse tells us that if we are to judge righteously, we need some instruction on how to do that. And what we're going to look at in the Bible today is this whole question of judging righteous judgment. In other words, "How are we to judge?" That's one question we're going to answer. And secondly, "What are we to judge? And then, "How are we to judge righteous judgment?"
And there is confusion among God's people because we see God's people judging in areas where they shouldn't be judging at all, and then not judging in areas where they should be judging. And so what we really need to do is get this whole subject of righteous judgment firmly in our head so that we follow God's way and do God's will instead of following human nature. So what are we to judge and how are we to judge righteous judgment?
Point Number One:
This is the foundation. This is something we need to cement in our brains because the greater Church of God, I'm sad to say, does not follow this and does not do this.
1. God and Christ are responsible for judging mankind.
It's the job that God has taken to Himself and has delegated to Jesus Christ to judge mankind.
Now if you like to outline, this is the First Point. Point A is:
A. The Father has delegated to Christ the judgment of mankind.
It's very clear in the Scripture. The Father has delegated the judgment to Jesus Christ.
Now at Christ's first coming, He did not come to judge. Let's understand that. His role, His job, His mission, so to speak, in His first coming was not to judge mankind. Let's go to John 12 and verse 47 and see that. Christ said that very plainly, just as plainly as the nose on our faces. He did not come to judge in His first coming as the Messiah. John 12:47, Christ says: "And if any man hear my words, and believe not, [He says] I judge him not ... for I am come not to judge the world, but to save the world."
So His mission in coming the first time was to sacrifice Himself as Saviour and to pay the penalty for all of mankind's sins. He did not come to judge the world. He came to save the world.
Now when He comes the second time, it's totally different. He will judge the world when He comes the second time. Let's go back to chapter 5 in John, we are going to read verses 21 and 22 and then jump to 27 through 30. John chapter 5, notice this. Christ says in verse 21:
"For as the Father [raised] up the dead [and would raise up Jesus Christ] and [quickens] them [meaning gives the dead life]; even so the Son [quickens] whom he will. Verse 22 "For the Father [judges] no man, but [has] committed all judgment ...".
The Greek word here means "a separating" or "a selection". It's not the word "krino", but this Greek word means a separating as the sheep from the goats are separated or a selection as you pull out the sheep from the goats.
John 5:22 [So] "the Father [judges] no man, but [has] committed all judgment unto the Son." John 5:27, "And [has] given him authority to execute judgment."
Now that Greek word for "execute" means "to do" or "to carry out."
So that means Christ is the One that is actually going to carry the judgment out. He is actually the One that is going to resurrect those who are going to be resurrected to eternal life, and it's His job to resurrect those that are going to be resurrected back to a physical life to go into the lake of fire.
So verse 27, "And [has] given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man."
Verse 28, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,"
He's implying now on the fact that God has delegated to Him the job of executing judgment.
John 5:29, "And shall come forth [They'll come forth out of the graves]; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
Christ is the One that is going to actually do this.
Verse 30, "I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not [My] own will, but the will of the Father [that has] sent me."
(continued with # 2)