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                        "THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT"

                        Judging Others (Mt 7:1-6)

INTRODUCTION

1. In Mt 6:1-34, we saw the "righteousness of the kingdom" in respect
   to MAN'S RELATIONSHIP TO GOD...

2. In Mt 7:1-12, we will examine the "righteousness of the kingdom" in
   respect to MAN'S RELATIONSHIP TO MAN...

3. Three subjects are discussed in this section:
   a. Judging others - Mt 7:1-6
   b. Asking, Seeking, & Knocking - Mt 7:7-11
   c. The Golden Rule - Mt 7:12

[We begin, then, with the matter of judging others, noticing at first 
verses 1-2 which are frequently misused...]

I. VERSES 1-2 ARE OFTEN USED TO FORBID ALL MANNER OF JUDGMENT

   A. FOR EXAMPLE, ANY ADVERSE OR UNFAVORABLE CRITICISM...
      1. Such as pointing out a fault in someone else
      2. Even if it be truly "constructive" criticism

   B. FOR EXAMPLE, THE EXERCISE OF CHURCH "DISCIPLINE"...
      1. Exercising discipline of any sort does require "judging" others
         as to their moral or spiritual condition
      2. Since such "judgment" is involved, some feel verses 1-2 rule
         out any sort of church discipline

   C. OR EVEN EXPOSING THOSE WHO TEACH ERROR...
      1. Admittedly, it requires making a judgment in order to consider
         whether someone is teaching error
      2. Therefore, some people, in light of verses 1-2, believe that
         we cannot speak out against those who teach error

II. JESUS CANNOT BE RULING OUT "ALL" FORMS OF JUDGING

   A. THE "IMMEDIATE CONTEXT" OF THIS PASSAGE REVEALS THAT IN SOME
      CASES "PROPER JUDGMENT" MUST BE MADE...
      1. Mt 7:6 implies that some judgment is to be made as to who are
         "dogs" and who are "hogs"
         a. Otherwise, how can we know when not to give that which is
            holy to "dogs"?
         b. Or how can we know when not to cast our pearls before
            "swine"?
      2. Mt 7:15-20 implies that we must make judgments in determining
         who is a false teacher ("by their fruits you will know them")

   B. THE "REMOTE CONTEXT" OF THE SCRIPTURES SPEAK OF TIMES WHEN JUDGMENT
      MUST BE MADE
      1. On another occasion, Jesus taught people to "judge with
         righteous judgment" - Jn 7:24
      2. Christians have a responsibility to "judge those who are
         inside" the local congregation - 1Co 5:9-13
      3. We are taught by the apostle of love (John) to "test the
         spirits" (which requires making judgments) - 1Jn 4:1

[There is not a contradiction here, for as we continue on in our text, 
we notice that...]

III. JESUS EXPLAINS WHAT "KIND" OF JUDGING HE IS CONDEMNING

   A. JUDGING WHEN ONE IS BLIND TO HIS OR HER OWN FAULTS (3-5)
      1. Jesus is saying "that is it wrong for anyone to concentrate
         his attention on the speck in his brother's eye, and while
         thus occupied, to ignore the beam in his own eye" (HENDRIKSEN)
      2. Paul taught the necessity of proper "introspection" when trying
         to help others - Ga 6:1

   B. JUDGING WITHOUT MERCY AND LOVE...
      1. "The Lord is here condemning the spirit of censoriousness,
         judging harshly, self-righteously, without mercy, without love
         as also the parallel passage (Lk 6:36-37) clearly indicates."
         (HENDRIKSEN)
      2. James warns against making judgments without mercy - Jm 2:13
         a. If we make judgments without showing mercy, then no mercy
            will be shown when we are judged!
         b. Just as Jesus said in verse 2...
            1) "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged"
            2) "With the same measure you use, it will be measured back
               to you"

IV. JESUS IMPLIES THERE ARE TIMES WHEN WE "MUST" MAKE JUDGMENTS!

   A. IT IS "AFTER" WE HAVE CORRECTED OUR OWN FAULTS (5)
      1. First, we must remove the "beam" from our own eye
      2. But when we have done so, we are able to see, discern (judge),
         and be of help to others who are overcome in their faults
      3. Indeed, the "law of Christ" requires us to! - cf. Ga 6:1-2

   B. WE MUST JUDGE BETWEEN THOSE "WORTHY" AND THOSE WHO ARE "HOGS AND 
      DOGS" (6)
      1. With those who are receptive, we are to be long-suffering in
         trying to help them come out of their error - cf. 2Ti 2:24-26
      2. But for those who are not, we are not to waste what is good and
         holy on them!
         a. Cf. the instructions of Jesus to His disciples - Mt 10:12-15
         b. Cf. the example of Paul and Barnabas at Antioch of Pisidia
            - Ac 13:42-46
      3. Determining who is which requires "judgment" upon our part!

CONCLUSION

1. The kind of judging forbidden by Jesus is that which LENSKI calls

   "self-righteous, hypocritical judging which is false and calls down
   God's judgment on itself."

2. This is the kind of judging that was also condemned by James when he
   wrote:

   "Do not speak evil of one another, brethren.  He who speaks evil
   of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and
   judges the law.  But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of
   the law but a judge."

   "There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy.  Who
   are you to judge another?"
                                    - Jm 4:11-12

3. May God help us to refrain from such judging, and be more apt to
   remove the "beams" from our own eyes; for only then we will be useful
   in helping others with their problems...
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