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

.. Who are you to judge? Judging our judgment (Part 2)

Article Index
.. Who are you to judge? Judging our judgment (Part 2)
.. Question 3 Am I missing any facts that are necessary for an accurate evaluation?
.. Question 4. How would I want this person to think of me if roles were reversed?
.. Question 5. How can I show the grace of the cross to this person?
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One thing that I am becoming more and more aware of as we march on through this series ‘Who are you to judge’ is the critical value this series can play in our relationships and the unity of the church. But even more than that, I believe that the two sermons we are doing in ‘judging our judgement’ should achieve a lot in reminding us to be very careful that we do not find ourselves guilty of confusing our traditions, prejudices and preferences with Scripture. The golden rule of Biblical interpretation is always that Scripture must interpret us and command us through what it wants to say, rather than us interpreting Scripture and commanding it to say what we want it to say. We can so easily prove anything from Scripture that we want to if we want to. It is and always will be the Ancient Word of God to us, and not our word to our neighbour. Too many believers use the Word of God as their sword to play Holy Spirit in the lives of others instead of realising that the Holy Spirit is quite capable of convicting of sin, righteousness and judgment. God has the clear and final say in all matters and He will be the ultimate judge regarding those things done in darkness and the motives of a man’s heart.

Now, as I mentioned last week, we need to realise that it is one thing to sort out the visible judgment that is so often seen amongst believers that reveals itself in harsh words, comments out of place and slandering, but there is a deeper level that we need to take care of and that is in our minds. That which reveals itself in the open is simply an overflow of judgement that has taken place in the heart and mind already. Now we know that all of us will evaluate people and events in our minds. There is a right judgment which we are entitled to, and there is a wrong judgment which we are not entitled to. 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.

Our text for this two part sermon is 1 Corinthians 4:6 (ESV) 6 I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favour of one against another.”

What I am seeking to achieve in this two part sermon is to join Dave Swavely in his book ‘who are you to judge?’ by giving us 5 questions that we need to ask as we discover that we are busy forming a negative judgment of someone’s spiritual state or conduct. If we can memorise these questions and apply it, I believe we are going to find ourselves being much more gracious and seeing ourselves in the mirror as we truly are, instead of having a puffed up opinion of ourselves while looking down at others.

We looked at two of the five questions last week. The first question we asked is: “Are my opinions firmly based on Scripture?” Here I gave 5 examples of areas that we are prone to judge others in, when Scripture is not clear on the issues. If you are struggling with making sense of those examples – good – because we need to think through these things and not just join the crowd in their opinions on issues. Later on in this series we will look at Romans 14 which will help us further to evaluate these things, but in the meantime, be careful before you force the Bible to say what you want it to say. So for now we are not making a clear judgment on those issues, but simply to say that while Scripture might be clear on an issue, we are not always sure what Scripture says on an issue, and we must not force our preferences on the text.  Also, at the same time we are not called to be ‘Bible police’ who are continuously looking out where we can catch a brother or sister in sin.

The second question we need to ask when we find ourselves judging others negatively in our minds is “Does the formation of this opinion include any judgments about a person’s thoughts or motives?” There we saw that only God is omniscient, we are not. You do not know what others are thinking.

Let me give you three more questions that you need to ask as soon as you find yourself negatively judging somebody in your mind.