How Are We To Judge Righteous Judgment? # 5
Let's go to Luke 6:37-38. Luke again uses the word "krino" in the very first word of verse 37. "To form or express a judgment or opinion more commonly unfavorable," as Zodhiates says, "Judge not, and you shall not be judged: condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. [He says} forgive [though, if you forgive, He says, you're going [to be] forgiven. Notice verse 38. He says, "Give, and it shall be given back to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, running over, shall men give your bosom. [Meaning it's yours to hold onto] For with the same measure that it shall be measured to you again."
So he says, "Rather give, and forgive!" rather than judging or condemning.
Look at Colossians 3:13-15. This is an exhortation of what we should be doing rather than judging or condemning. God and Christ are forbearing with us. Meaning they put up with us, our wrong attitudes, our wrong words, and wrong thoughts. And here we're being encouraged to do the same thing. Colossians 3:14, "And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection."
Love, it's a bond. The Greek word for "bond" means ligament. It's the Greek word that we translate today as "ligaments." Ligaments are what hold bones together. Without the ligaments, your thigh bone would fall off your shin bone. They would not be connected. And what he's saying is that love is the connection between two human beings. It's the bond of perfection. Colossians 3:15, "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you are called in one body; and be thankful." And so what he is saying is that forbearing one another and forgiving one another bring peace. Not strife! And where strife is, I guarantee you, you don't have patience and kindness and gentleness and forgiveness and forbearing.
Now the fourth and last point. We said earlier in the very beginning that we are to judge. Remember Christ said, "Judge righteous judgment." Well we've, up to this point, discussed the fact that God and Christ judge mankind and we're not supposed to judge mankind, but yet Christ said, "Judge righteous judgment." So that begs the question and leads us to the fourth point.
If we're not to judge one another, then, what on earth are we supposed to judge?
We're not supposed to judge one another, but Christ said, "Judge righteous judgment." Okay, then that means we should be judging something. What should it be? We are going to find out that there are three things:
We Must Judge truth from Error
That's a big job. Not judging our brother or our sister, we're supposed to judge truth from error. Look at 2 Timothy 2:15: "Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed." We don't have to be ashamed of studying God's Word. But notice this last phrase: "...rightly dividing the word of truth." Study allows us to do that.
Now the Greek word for "divide" means "to proceed on a straight line, or in nautical terms meaning to hold a straight course. You know by compass. You just follow a compass heading. Or it's the equivalent to the Greek word of doing what is right. So, to hold a straight course, to follow a straight path, or to do what is right.
So we rightly divide the Word of Truth. We divide it so we understand, "What is the course that God wants me to walk on? What is the path He wants me to walk on? What course does He want me to take?" That's why we study the Bible. We apply it to ourselves. Not to compare ourselves to somebody else, but we study the Bible to know how we should live.
And that's what used to aggravate me in years past. We opened the Bible up and we condemned everybody. And we weren't looking at ourselves to say, "Well, am I following the right course? Am I on the right path? And that's what we need to be doing and not judging other people.
And today in the greater Church of God, too many are not rightly dividing the Word of Truth. They have gone astray. And without getting into any details, I'll just give you one example of several people I know over the last few years that have completely jumped off the track.
What they first started to do is they have a burr under their saddle about tithing. They didn't want to tithe. And so, they looked into the Bible with an already drawn conclusion that "I don't have to tithe. And so how do I go about proving that?" Well, that's not an open mind. So you go with an axe to grind and so you start pulling scriptures out of context and then you prove that you don't have to tithe.
We, in every case that I am aware of, it didn't stop there. Then it went to the Holy Days, went in there and proved that "No, the Holy Days were done away with the Old Testament and therefore, we don't have to keep the Holy Days."
And then guess what happened next? It was the Sabbath. Do away with the Sabbath. And this little progression of not rightly dividing the Word of Truth, this little progression of not being able to judge truth from error took them right out of the Church. And right now guess what? They're right back in the world!
And there have been tens of thousands in God's Church who have done that. It starts with one thing, leads to another and another because now they are in a spirit of error and not a spirit of truth.
And so, it is our responsibility to know and to know that we know the truth in the Bible. That means we have to study to show ourselves approved, but the goal of the study is to know what the truth is relative to our behavior and our thoughts and our deeds. And not look into God's Word to condemn other people.
Look at Matthew 7:15-21. Christ made this very clear. We are to judge fruits. We're to judge truth from error and then the second thing is we're to judge fruits. Notice the context of judging fruits: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." How do you know a false prophet? How do you know a wolf in sheep's clothing? "You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of a thorn bush, or can you pluck a fig off a thistle bush?" Obviously no! Verse 17: "Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit." Verse 18: "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit."
Now that's not to say all of us bring forth evil fruit sometime in the day. We say something we shouldn't say. We think something we shouldn't think, but He's talking about "Look at your fruits. Look at this individual's fruits over time." Don't take a snapshot of five second in their life when maybe they said something they shouldn't have said. And we all regret doing that and repent of it, but look at their fruits over a period of time. So, we must judge truth from error and we must judge the fruits. But also:
We must judge ourselves - our conduct, our motives, and our heart. If we spend our time comparing ourselves to God's Word and then we measure up to God's Word, then God's not going to judge us harshly. He's not going to condemn us.
The Greek word for "judge" is "diakrino", and it means to make a distinction. So we judge ourselves and we make a distinction. 2 Corinthians says: "Examine yourselves." Examine yourselves. It doesn't say, examine others. It says "examine yourselves." And what does it go on to say, "Whether you be in the faith." So that's what we should judge ourselves on. Am I in the faith? Am I really with it? Am I really following God? We have to make a distinction of whether we are in the faith.
We should look at ourselves. We must judge ourselves on the following:
Am I putting God first in my life?
Am I fully obeying God?
Am I pleasing God with my attitudes, my thoughts, my deeds, my interaction with people?
Am I growing to be like Jesus Christ? That's the big question!
Christ is not going to have a bride He cannot recognize! Christ is not going to have a bride with a different set of values or different standards of conduct or behavior. Christ is going to marry someone that's like Him!
So in conclusion - let's wrap this up - we have seen that God and Christ have taken to themselves to judge mankind. And that human beings are not responsible for judging one another. We are not to assume Their job That's what satan did and he was cast down. We don't want to put ourselves in that position!
We are told very plainly in Ephesians 4:30 what we should be doing instead of judging others. It says: "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God." The word "grieve" in the Greek means to "offend". Don't offend the standards, the principles of God's Spirit. In other words, when we judge others (not their fruits), we are offending God's Spirit. And how often do we not griever the Holy Spirit? Verse 31 tells us, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking [which is judging] be put away from you, with all malice:" Now verse 32, Paul says, "be you kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving of one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you."
Let's remember that. And let's remember how to judge righteous judgment.