Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Series 2. Who are you to judge? .. Who are you to judge? A Biblical case against judging - Page 2, Judging on trial.

.. Who are you to judge? A Biblical case against judging - Page 2, Judging on trial.

Article Index
.. Who are you to judge? A Biblical case against judging
Page 2, Judging on trial.
Page 3. Judging of self on trial.
Page 4. The past sin of judging on trial
All Pages
Point 1. Judging on trial.


Paul starts with an interesting take on the matter in 1 Corinthians 4:3 when he says: ““3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.” Paul is putting judgement on trial here. Paul seems to have this attitude of ‘go ahead make my day; I don’t care if you judge me, or if a court judges me, or even if I judge myself.’ Paul however is not making it a small thing. On the contrary he is making judging a big thing that should not happen. It is so wrong, that he is not going to allow the judging of others to affect his life, or make him lose sleep over it. Much of the worst conflict, bitterness and prejudice amongst people begin its development with the practice of wrongful judging. We need to pluck this SIN OF JUDGING out at the root at Logos before it tears us apart in future. But we must understand what it means, so that we pluck out that which God has not intended for us, but that we leave in place what God has intended for us.  Someone by the name of Francis Frangipane once said: “More churches have been destroyed by the accuser of the brethren and its fault-finding than by either immorality or misuse of church funds. So prevalent is this influence in our society that, among many, fault-finding has been elevated to the status of a "ministry"! Is this not so true?”

What does it mean to judge? The definition is actually very simple. The Greek word here is avnakri,nw anakrino {an-ak-ree'-no}, which means to ‘examine or judge’ and then to reach a positive or negative conclusion. Does not sound bad, does it? What is wrong with that? Does Paul not tell us in 1 Corinthians 2:15 (ESV) “15 the spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one”. We will see later that judging is not wrong, because verse 4 of our text tells us that God does it, and we all know that God does not sin. That is why my point is entitled, ‘judging on trial’ or judging in the scales of the law. At the end of the day we will be talking about rightful and wrongful judging, and therefore it is critical for us to study this over the next bunch of weeks to make sure that we are not on the wrong side of the issue. Over time you will see that it is not wrong to make a judgment about someone, but how do we know when it is right and when it is wrong.

The judging that Paul is referring to here is wrongful judging. That is why he says in verse 5 that we must stop doing it. Now the million dollar question: “in what situations is it wrong to pass judgment in our minds or verbally on someone?” The real question is, what are you judging, why are you judging it and how are you judging. In verse 5 Paul says: “5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart”. I agree with Dave Swavely in his book ‘who are you to judge’ when he says that the sin of judging is negatively evaluating someone’s conduct or spiritual state on the basis of non-biblical standards or suspected motives.

Just last year I had an area in my life that I was accused of as far as my hobby of photography is concerned. Something that sickened me over and over again was that when I asked certain brothers in the Lord what the error or sin in my hobby was they would reply with the following words: “well, I would not do that.” How many times have we not heard those words? Do we realise that when judge something someone else is doing with the words “I would not do that”, I have become the standard of holiness, righteousness and godliness, and as soon as I am that standard, judging becomes so much easier, because I am kind of like God and you are not. Was this not the attitude of the Pharisee in the temple who looked down on the Republican? If it was up to me, I would put an arrow through his head, and don’t judge me for that now.

So according to Paul, to judge someone, on the basis of something that the Bible does not clearly talk about, or to think that you know their heart and motives of a person are wrong.

The things done in darkness here by the way does not refer to sin or anything evil but that which is hidden from my eyes, or things that are yet beyond our knowledge or understanding. It is so sad to see Christians judging things that are not revealed to them, either in action, or in the man’s soul. There is one who knows the motives of a man’s heart and that one is God.

So what Paul says in verse 3 is that he is not going to lose any sleep if he is judged by others, because people are inclined to judge too quickly and they do not always have the facts or adequate understanding of the issue when they express judgment. Just think if you had to adjust your life to be on the right side of everybody’s judgments. We are so quick to judge when God is the one who will eventually judge. In Paul’s view, you judgment on someone or Paul for that matter is no big deal as you cannot crawl into their head and you do not know all the facts.