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Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. Matthew 7:1-2

This passage has been a challenge to many in the church – including myself. Jesus seems to begin with an emphatic statement, only to follow it with a process for doing the very thing He said not to do (vv. 3-5, and our subject for next time). Many have harmed themselves (and the church) by misinterpreting Matthew 7:1 to mean that we are prohibited from identifying the sin in our sister or brother and helping them remove it.

Serious students of the Bible learn that singular verses must be interpreted in the full counsel of Scripture. A more careful reading of this and related passages reveals that Christians are responsible – and obligated by love – to actively weed out sin in our sisters and brothers, and in the church (Ezekiel 3:16-21, Matthew 18:15-17, 1Corinthians 5:1-5, Galatians 6:1, James 5:19-20).

There is a second important thing not being said in this passage (but assumed by many). This passage is not saying – it cannot be saying – that we will not be judged. In the end, many will be surprised to find themselves judged before the White Throne (Revelation 20:11-12), and every Christian will stand before the judgment set of Jesus Christ (Romans 14:10; 2Corinthians 5:10).

Indeed, we discover in Hebrews 6:1-2 that God’s judgment is eternal (meaning, it has no beginning or end). Read the rest of this entry »



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