While carrying out their ministry of
reconciliation God's people often find themselves confronting
errors that have overtaken people's lives. Reproof and
correction can sometimes be hard to accept even for people
already seasoned in the Word. So it should come as no
big surprise when someone takes offence at something you
said, even to the point of lashing out at you. The most
common thing God's people are hit with at these times
is "You are judging me". That old standby has
backed off many a christian trying to help someone, allowing
the devil to carry the day. It is understandable why a
person might think he is being judged because there are
a lot of people out there who are judging people, even
in the name of Jesus Christ.
The above realities make it very important
that the christian man or woman understand what judging
is and when reproof and correction cross the line into
judging. Let us see what the Bible has to say about judging.
Acts 2:22-23 We find Peter preaching
to the Judeans.
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of
Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles
and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst
of you, as ye yourselves also know:
Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and
foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands
have crucified and slain:
Was Peter judging them? He did, after
all, tell them that they have crucified and slain Jesus
Christ "with wicked hands". Those are petty
and harsh words. Let us examine another man of God at
work, the apostle Paul.
1 Corinthians 5:1-3
It is reported commonly that there is fornication
among you, and such fornication as is not so much as
named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's
And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that
he that hath done this deed might be taken away from
For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit,
have judged already, as though I were present, concerning
him that hath so done this deed,
Did Paul judge that person? Paul said
that he judged concerning that individual and that person
should be removed from the fellowship. The answer to both
questions is in the Gospel of John where Jesus Christ
is having a whopper of a confrontation with some Pharisees.
It is Jesus Christ speaking.
. I do nothing of myself; but as
my Father hath taught me, I speak these things."
Remember this verse; it is the whole
key to the issue of judging. Jesus Christ never spoke
on his own whim or expressed his own opinions. He only
spoke what God instructed him to say. In light of this
key let's examine some other statements Jesus Christ made
to the Pharisees.
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die
in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye
shall die in your sins.
Did Jesus Christ judge them? No! He
only told them what God told him to say. God later revealed
this part of His word again to Paul in Romans.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the
Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him
shall not be ashamed.
For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:
for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift
of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus Christ was only speaking the word
as God was teaching him.
I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek
to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
Is Jesus Christ a mind reader or is
he judging by guesswork? Neither, he only told the Pharisees
what God instructed him to say. God knows what is in the
mind and heart of man. Jesus Christ now knows because
God told him. In the end, events proved this statement
to be true.
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts
of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the
beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there
is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh
of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
The only way Jesus Christ could have
gotten this information is from God.
He revealeth the deep and secret things: he
knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth
Remember John 8:28b? Jesus Christ was
not judging the Pharisees; he was giving them the message
that God wanted delivered to them. The next two verses
explain the principle of when a person is judging and
when he is not.
Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not
alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
At first glance these verses look like
a contradiction. Verse 15 says that Jesus Christ judges
no man. Verse 16 starts out "and yet if". The
word if indicates a conditional statement, it does
not mean it is actually happening. Jesus Christ is saying
"if" he judges then his judgement would be true.
Why? Because God is with him. Doing what? The answer is
John 8:28b, teaching Jesus Christ what to say. As long
as Jesus Christ sticks to the message God gives him, whatever
he says will be true and he will not be judging anyone.
The same holds true for us who are to follow in Jesus'
1 Corinthians 11:1
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of
The word for follow in the verse
is imitate. We are to imitate Paul who imitated Christ.
Jesus Christ got his information by revelation from God.
Up until he was baptized and God gave him holy spirit
upon him, Jesus Christ relied on and studied scripture
for God's revelation. After he received holy spirit he
got revelation directly from God via his gift of holy
spirit. Jesus Christ was perfect and behaved perfectly.
We are not perfect. We are flawed genetically and there
is no good thing in our flesh, so we depend on our gift
of holy spirit. Since none of us manifests holy spirit
perfectly it is wise to lean and the scriptures for our
information. Once our minds get in the habit of tracking
on God's word, we are in a position to accurately receive
word from God. Always draw from the word whenever you
can when judging situations.
In the case of Peter, he had just received
the gift of holy spirit. He started his speech by quoting
scripture, first about holy spirit, then about Jesus Christ.
It was them, while drawing on scripture he knew and his
own observation of the death of Jesus Christ, that God
could give him the inspiration to say what he did and
how he did it. The result was that about 3,000 souls were
saved that day. If he spoke his own mind disaster would
have resulted and Peter and the others might have been
In the case of Paul's letter to the
Corinthians Paul was responding to numerous reports from
." reported commonly".
Even though Paul was not there, God revealed the problem
to Paul by the reports, then by word from God via His
gift of holy spirit
"but present in spirit".
Paul did not judge that person; Paul judged the situation
concerning that individual.
1 Corinthians 6:1-5
Dare any of you, having a matter against another,
go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?
Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?
and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy
to judge the smallest matters?
Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more
things that pertain to this life?
If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this
life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the
I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a
wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to
judge between his brethren?
These verses instruct God's people to judge matters
between each other instead of taking problems to unbelievers
And the apostles and elders came together for
to consider of this matter.
This verse shows us an example of how
a matter is to be dealt with. The matter was discussed
and resolved and nothing was said against the people who
caused the problem. No man was judged. A matter or situation
was resolved with guidance from God's word and people
got blessed. In his letter to the Corinthians Paul drew
on his knowledge about incest and fornication from the
law but drew on revelation from God as to what to do about
it. God had already inspired Paul to write how to handle
such situations in Thessalonians.
II Thessalonians 3:6
Now we command you, brethren, in the name of
our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from
every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after
the tradition which he received of us.
So Paul judged the matter by standard
of the word and acted on the matter according to the revelation
God had already given him. At no time was that individual
judged. We have no idea what Paul thought of him.
At no time are we ever authorized to
judge people. We are not qualified for the job because
only God knows person's heart, and the time for judging
is not yet here. When we speak to people about matters
that have become known, we must limit ourselves to speaking
only what was revealed to us from God. That is what Jesus
Christ did. In our day most of what we know will come
from the written word. When our minds are tracking in
harmony with the written word we are then ready to receive
information from God via our holy spirit on a need basis.
Like Jesus Christ we are appointed to speak what God says,
nothing else. If we form and express our own opinions
based on our own feelings and mis-information, we judge.
God wants us to be messengers not judges.