June 19, 2011

Judging Others

To judge others by human standards is both hypocritical and self-blinding. Whoever judges by the word of God begins his censure with himself.

Scripture: Matthew 7:1-6; Psalm 37

Sermon Notes:

  1. The true God-fearer is one who judges wisely, in terms of God's standards.
  2. The sermon on the mount condemns our sin, putting us in full dependence on Christ because in and of ourselves this teaching of Jesus can't be obeyed.
  3. It's impossible to live a life without judgment (cf. John 7:24).
  4. People today judge those who take a stand for truth and justice.
  5. In verse 6, Jesus says the gospel itself should not be given to those who will blasphemously abuse it.
  6. Today's church suffers from a flabby sentimentalism, which rejects the biblical requirement of church discipline.
  7. The apostle John says we're not even to wish godspeed to a false teacher; nor are we to eat with Christians who are idolaters.
  8. Jesus is condemning a self-righteous attitude by which people see problems everywhere else but never in themselves.
  9. Judgment is either made in terms of God's righteousness, or in terms of man's self-righteous standards.
  10. Jesus warns that if we judge falsely and hypocritically, the same unfair standard will be applied to us.
  11. We honour God when we apply His righteousness and justice to all things, especially to ourselves.
  12. Jesus confirms in Matthew 5:17-20 that His justice is based on His written law, and that is the right standard of judgment.
  13. We're not to apply our own concept of regional holiness to others.
  14. We must not elevate our own personal preferences, tastes, and hopes to the canon of scripture.
  15. To judge others by human standards is both hypocritical and self-blinding.
  16. Whoever judges by the word of God begins his censure with himself.
  17. Men make false use of this passage when they try to remove all discrimination between good and evil.
  18. False judgment is based on a false sense of superiority, and often hopes for the worst in others, contrary to 1 Corinthians 13:7.
  19. The hyper-critic focuses attention on indifferent and inconsequential matters, a practice condemned in Romans 14.
  20. It falls to church and civil leadership to make judgments; most problems occur, however, when our tastes and preferences are placed upon others.
  21. There ought to be a kind-heartedness, a generosity, toward Christian brothers, knowing that we ourselves are subject to the same failings. We also need to be willing to accept input in our lives.
  22. We're all going to stand before God and everything will be exposed (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10).
  23. Don't hide false judgments under a pretense of doing others good.
  24. It changes our tone and posture toward the person we're trying to help when we first recognize our own faults.
  25. We're to confront false doctrine, error, and immorality, but graciously and based on biblical standards.
  26. There is a time to remove the dust from our feet and move on, when facing a determined and incurable contempt for God.

Application Questions

  1. Is Jesus forbidding all judgment? Explain your answer.
  2. Why does our culture prefer the affable, middle of the road people who won't stand for anything?
  3. Explain how ease, compromise, and appeasement can actually destroy the peace of the family, church or nation.
  4. Am I pleased to hear about the stumbling or faults of others?
  5. Do I feel pleasure when I cast judgment on others?
  6. Give examples of the biblical requirement of righteous judgment. (Cf. 2 John 10-11; 1 Corinthians 5:11)
  7. Do I place my preferences upon others as God's principles?
  8. Do I impute motives to others and gossip about my theories?
  9. Are we unwilling to extend grace to others who offend us, and to accept genuine mitigating circumstances?
  10. Am I living in Christ's power to obey the Sermon on the Mount?
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