This is a sermon of judging others and what Scripture says. Before I start, I am switching up how I write sermons. I want to start pointing out both sides of the debate. Anyways, here it goes.
Scripture against Judging others:’
Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
So, many would say by using these verses that Christians cannot judge people. At all. That we can’t judge sinful behavior. I have gotten this many, many times from people here on FA. And according to these Scripture passages, they seem correct. But, Scripture also says this;
Scripture about judging others:
Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
1 Corinthians 2:15
The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.
Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
That verse is casting judgement on false teachers, and we are to emulate Christ.
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
“If your brother sins against you,a go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
2 Timothy 4:2
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
So, now we seem to be told to do 2 different things here. We are told not to judge, and yet we are told to judge.
On one hand, we are commanded by the Lord Jesus, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1). On the other hand, the Bible also exhorts us to beware of evildoers and false prophets and to avoid those who practice all kinds of evil. How are we to discern who these people are if we do not make some kind of judgment about them?
There is a righteous kind of judgment we are supposed to exercise—with careful discernment. Jesus is telling us not, not to judge people. But not to judge hypocritically.
What Scripture is saying is, don’t condemn people. We can preach against sin. We can cast judgment (righteously) on sin. We as Christians can judge sin. What we cannot do and shouldn’t do, is condemn people. Because we to are sinners. Remember the saying hate the sin, not the sinner.
And lastly, if we cannot judge people, then we cannot forgive people. Because the first step in forgiveness is judging someone. Because you have to judge what someone did to you was wrong. And if you cannot judge someones behavior, how can you forgive them? (My next sermon ties right into this)
Scripture tells us what is right and what is wrong. And when we hold to that, then yes, we as Christians will be judging others. How else does one point out sin, or be able to say [insert here] is wrong. How can we hold to Scripture if we cannot discern right from wrong?
Scripture is not telling us not to judge. Its telling us not to judge hypocritically (The holier than thou complex) Scripture tells us we cannot condemn people, because we too are sinners.
We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). We are to proclaim what God’s Word says about sin. 2 Timothy 4:2 instructs us, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.” We are to “judge” sin, but always with the goal of presenting the solution for sin and its consequences—the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).