How Are We To Judge Righteous Judgment? # 4
Judging other humans has a very bad side effect. There's one gigantic side effect. So let's go to 1 Corinthians 4 and see what that side effect is. We'll read the first seven verses.
Paul was on the receiving end of this side effect. And he was trying to correct it in this very troubled Church in Corinth. They had all kinds of problems. And if you put it in modern terms, Corinth was basically a combination of New York City and Los Vegas. And it was a very reprobate town. And Church members came in - Jews and Gentiles - as part of that system. 1 Corinthians 4:1, "Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God." One of the mysteries, of course, is Christ living in you and the Gentiles being called into the Church. Verse 2: "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you." He is referring to the courts of men. And we see that all the time. We see crooks getting time off. We see guilty people getting a pass. And we see people that are innocent being convicted. And Paul says, "It's no big deal if you examine me according to the way man examines." He says: "... yes, I don't even judge myself." "For I know nothing of myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judges me is the Eternal". He says, "I don't care what you say about me because you don't judge me. Christ judges me."
Now this is the word "krino." 1 Corinthians 4 - ...judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness in our hearts, and will make manifest [or apparent] the counsels of the hearts." You can't do that. You don't know that, but just hold off. Don't judge because Christ is going to make it all apparent when He comes. He says: "... and then shall every man have praise of God." Those who are worthy of praise will have the praise. Verse 6: "And these things, brethren I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that you might learn in us not to think above that which is written." The King James says, "of men". And that's in italics and that was inserted by the translators. I believe that's an error. I think it would be "think of yourself" - not of men - above that which is written." 1 Corinthians 4:6 "... that no one of you be puffed up one against another." He says, "Don't think of yourself above what ought to be thought about. Don't think of others below yourself that you be not puffed up one against another." This is the side effect of judging humans: is when we do, we puff ourselves up. We aggrandize ourselves because we think, "Oh, I'd never do that!" Therefore, we're above them and they're below us. We get puffed up. And it's very easy then to put on the whole mantle of self-righteousness. "I wouldn't do that."
He's asking the question. He says: "...and what have you that you did not receive?" In other words, "You can't change your looks. You can't change your mind in the sense of the way your brain is built." He says: "... now if you did receive it [if it was a gift], why do you glory, as though you hadn't received it?"
In other words, as you earned it or you worked for it or because of your goodness, you got it as through your own efforts because remember what James 1:17 says? We won't turn there. James tells us that every good and every perfect gift comes from where? The Father of lights with no variableness and no shadow of turning! Every good thing that we have is a gift from God. We don't earn it because of our righteousness. We didn't get it because of our hard work. We didn't get it because somehow we're superior to our fellowman. Repentance is a gift. Forgiveness is a gift Salvation is a gift. Calling is a gift. God's Holy Spirit is a gift. Faith is a gift. It's all a gift! We don't earn it.
And so what Paul is saying here is that who are we to be puffed up when we compare ourselves to somebody else about gifts that we didn't earn in the first place. He said, "Don't do that! Look to God because God is the Father that gives us everything." So how can we exalt ourselves and puff ourselves up when we're handed the gift in the first place?
Look at 2 Corinthians 10:12, very, very clear Scriptures about the Second Point that we shouldn't be judging one another. Paul is now trying to get them to forgive this man that they/he had kicked out of the Church before. And he's trying to get them off their high horse now of self-righteousness. He says, "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they who compare themselves one with another, they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise." Because they're comparing a human against a human; they're not comparing a human against God's law because God's law is what we're judged against. We're not judged against the conduct of another human being. We're judged against God's law. And when we judge somebody else, we imply - whether it's overtly stated or not - we imply that, "Oh, I wouldn't do that! I'm too good for that. I wouldn't do that." And, thus, we elevate the self. We become puffed up.
So, but the question was set aside: What do we do if we see a brother in error? Now we had the spot remover in the Church. Finally, that man, when he was corrected couldn't take the correction, and finally left the Church, but if we're not to be spot removers, which we're not, what do we do if we see a brother in error? Very simple! Galatians 6:1 gives us the answer. Let's remember the answer because we're not here to judge our brother. We're here to help our brother. Galatians 6:1 says: "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault," (Or a woman, it doesn't make any difference), be overtaken in a fault," here's what you do: "...you which are spiritual, restore such alone [the one who is sinning] in the spirit of ..." What? Haughtiness? Arrogance like the publican received from the Pharisee? Is that the way you go approach somebody? No! He says: ...[you] which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering [yourself], lest you be tested - lest it come to you."
Now what is this saying is this is not judging your human brother. This is not condemning you human brother. It's attempting to help your brother in a pure and a humble spirit. Just going and saying, "Look, I saw you do this. And I love you. And it really worries me and can we sit down and talk about it?" No condemning. No judging somebody's heart, but, as we'll see, you were judging somebody's actions.
So the Bible makes it very plain that we're not to judge one another. That is the job of God and Christ. So that's the Second Point.
That leads us to the Third Point.
Rather than judging one another, we are - instead of judging - we're to be merciful, forgiving and patient.
(continued with # 5)