Take a guess at what the most quoted verse of the Bible is. John 3:16? “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Not anymore. It’s Matthew 7:1. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
He opened up explaining that the number one reason people didn’t want to come to church was because of church people. Those of us that develop a self-righteous Pharisaical attitude drives them away.
However, never study a verse by itself, but in the context of a paragraph, passage, book, and the entire Bible. Here’s the context, Matthew 7:1-5.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
What’s It Mean?
His definition of judge was when you make a pronouncement of someone else’s spiritual condition based on your opinions. He also clarified what a hypocrite was–those who don’t practice what they preach. The key is to “give other Christians permission to be different from you.”
He took us to James 5:16 for one way to deal with being judgmental.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
Practice the discipline of confession. Not in the Catholic sense, but tell others your dirty laundry. It’s hard to be judgmental when your own sins are out in the open where you can be held accountable for them.
Pastor Rod said that while we aren’t to judge/condemn others, remember we all will be judged. God is still working on others and you. Show them some grace and mercy, because how you judge others is how God will judge you. Let that sink in.
By forgiving others when they don’t deserve it, you’re being exactly like Jesus. That’s what he did for you when you asked for forgiveness.
It’s not cheap grace, Pastor Rod warned. Not “forgive me” and keep on sinning. He was still going to talk about issues that make people uncomfortable.
If people are currently in a life of sin, they’re going to be convicted by the Holy Spirit when he teaches Biblical truth. He’s not going to back away from issues that make people uncomfortable. He’s good at nicely drawing lines in the sand where ‘don’t cross it’ or ‘back away’ is always clearly implied.
If it’s a past sin, give grace, and don’t bring up the sin that’s already happened and was repented of. Hebrews 10:16-17 says…
“This is the covenant I will make with them
after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”
Then he adds:
“Their sins and lawless acts
I will remember no more.”
If God’s not going to bring it up, or your own past, why bring up their’s and beat them over the head with it?
It was a good sermon. The whole year’s been good. To summarize:
- How we judge others is how God will judge us, and He will judge us (Revelation 20:11-15)
- Stand quietly on God’s truth, the inevitable discomfort others will have is the Holy Spirit at work in them. You’ll notice it when it happens if you pay attention.
- God doesn’t bring up repented and forgiven sins, neither should we.
- Confess your current sins, because none of us are perfect yet. We need to remember that.