Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | April 10, 2018

We are too prone and even eager to judge others and justify ourselves. “But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?”

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 7:1-6.

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged.  For in the way you judge, you will be judged;  and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.  Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:1-6.


“Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself;  for you who judge practice the same things.  And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.  But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?  Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?  But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:  to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;  but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.  There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For there is no partiality with God.”  Romans 2:1-11.

But, as shown by the following Scripture and Belgic Confession, although we do not judge those outside the church, we do need to judge those within the church in order to protect the church.

“I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;  I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.  But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.  For what have I to do with judging outsiders?  Do you not judge those who are within the church?  But those who are outside, God judges.  REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.”  1 Corinthians 5:9-13.

And, in addition to removing the openly wicked from the church, we have to be particularly careful to discern and judge those false prophets who may at first appear innocent but who seek to come within church and teach and mislead the church.  They need to be removed as well from the church.

Judging those within the church is called discipline.  Discipline is so important that it is one of the three marks of the true Church.

“Article 29:  Of the marks of the true Church, and wherein she differs from the false Church.

We believe, that we ought diligently and circumspectly to discern from the Word of God which is the true Church, since all sects which are in the world assume to themselves the name of the Church.  But we speak not here of hypocrites, who are mixed in the Church with the good, yet are not of the Church, though externally in it;  but we say that the body and communion of the true Church must be distinguished from all sects, who call themselves the Church.  The marks, by which the true Church is known, are these:  if the pure doctrine of the gospel is preached therein;  if she maintains the pure administration of the sacraments as instituted by Christ;  if church discipline is exercised in punishing of sin:  in short, if all things are managed according to the pure Word of God, all things contrary thereto rejected, and Jesus Christ acknowledged as the only Head of the Church.  …”  Belgic Confession.

In conclusion, generally, we do not need to judge.  We should not judge.  In the language of today’s Scripture, we often cannot tell the difference between a speck of sin and a log of sin.  And, we are too prone and even eager to judge others and justify ourselves.  Only God is almighty and capable of perfectly knowing everything and perfectly judging everything.

“And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”  Hebrews 4:13.

“… God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.”  Romans 2:16.


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