Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Series 2. Who are you to judge? .. Who are you to judge? Judging our judgment

.. Who are you to judge? Judging our judgment

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.. Who are you to judge? Judging our judgment
Question 1. Are my opinions based on Scripture
Question 2. Judging thoughts and motives
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This sermon is the third delivery in the series “who are you to judge?” I believe that this series is critical in the life of the body, and want to encourage you to follow faithfully. It is critical, because more churches are split and more Christians are destroyed by the evil of legalism, judgmentalism and slandering. Sadly as mentioned over and over again, these sins are some of the most overlooked and tolerated in Christian circles.

Before we march on, I need to remind you that ‘judging’ means to ‘examine’. Now there is a level in which we all will examine others and that we will examine deeds, but the sin of judging is to negatively evaluate someone’s spiritual state or conduct on the basis of non-biblical standards or suspected motives. Our problem is that we look at people and we decide what they are doing is wrong, even though the Bible is not clear about it, and we have no clue what is in their hearts.

So, in the first sermon in the series we put the whole issue of judging under scrutiny and discovered from Paul that he does not judge others, and that he does not even judge himself. The reason is that at the best of times we are incapable to judge because we are severely limited in our knowledge and understanding of the person or situations. We also saw that we do not even always know ourselves. It is only God who has perfect knowledge and understanding. We must never forget the words of Jeremiah 17:9-10 (ESV) 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?  10 “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” Now if we cannot even judge ourselves accurately, we must be careful when it comes to others.

In the last sermon we asked the question: “who is He to judge”? The ‘He’ here is with reference to Christ. Paul warned us not to judge, because it is the Lord’s work, and when He appears during His second coming He will judge righteously, because he knows the things that are at the moment darkness to us, meaning we do not have all the light on the subject necessary to make a judgment, and He knows the motives of a man’s heart. So therefore we must leave it up to Him, because He is capable, because of who He is and because of what He knows.  At the end of the day He will not condemn us, but He will commend us, because there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.

Before we move on to the theme for today namely: “judging our judgment”, I want to make a comment. I was asked the question last week. What does the Bible mean when it says: “judgment will begin in the house of the Lord.” You read this in 1 Peter 4:16-19 (ESV) “16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?" I don’t want to spend time on this, but to simply say that the judgment that is referred to here is a present judgement towards believers. It is divine judgment that God can render on a believer’s sin, which includes chastening or discipline and subsequent cleansing. This is not a judgment that is futuristic and it does not lead to condemnation, and you do not have to be ashamed of it. Why does God judge the household of God now? Paul answers it clearly in 1 Corinthians 11:32 (ESV) 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.” So our judgment is now, but as far as future judgment is concerned, we are not condemned because Jesus was condemned for us. And remember He can judge us now and discipline us, because He knows the things done in darkness and He knows the motives of our hearts.

Let’s make this our departure point for today’s sermon. So if judgment starts with the house of the Lord now, and if He is the one who judges and disciplines, how then can I get rid of this negative judging that so easily happens in my heart and mind? It is one thing to stop external judging, but it is another thing to guard my heart and mind, when I know that Scripture says that we must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. I want to join Dave Swavely in his book: “who are you to judge” by giving you five questions you can ask yourself whenever you find yourself forming a negative opinion about another person.”  I have shared this before, but years ago a dear old lady taught me some lessons I needed to learn about slandering. She said: “before you talk about somebody, ask yourself, if what you want to share is true, then if it is true, find out if it is necessary to share it, and if it is necessary to share it, ask yourself if it is going to glorify God?” These have been such valuable lessons I needed to learn before I said anything about anybody else, so let’s learn a few more questions we can ask before we build that negative opinions about others and judge them in our minds. Join me as we “judge our judgment”. I want to encourage you to memorise these questions as you will need them today and in future.