Judge Not Part 3 – The Consequences of Judging Others

by Mike Ratliff

Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:36-38)

Before we go into the consequences of improper judging of others, I need to clear up a point. When a Christian apologist, preacher, or teacher presents a case against false teachings or unbelief according to God’s will they are not guilty of improper judging. In fact, scripture directs us to do this. Continue reading

Judge Not Part 2 – The Source of Judging Others

by Mike Ratliff

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. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5)

Have you ever observed bullies? You know, those people who seem to go out of there way to belittle everyone around them both physically and verbally. Why do they do it? The heart of Man is deceitful and depraved. In the following passage, God explains to His people His method of judgment. He also explains that Man, left to self, is “desperately sick and deceitful.” However, there is no excuse. God still searches our hearts in order to proclaim justice. Continue reading

Judge Not Part 1 – The Mind of Christ

by Mike Ratliff

For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:11-16)

I have been a Christian since 1986. From the day of my salvation to the present, I am sure I have heard dozens of teachings on “The Mind of Christ.” Along with those teachings, I have also heard many confusing references to Jesus’ statement from Matthew 7 and Luke 6 where He commanded His disciples to “Judge Not…” In my own experience, more often than not, the command to “Judge Not” came from someone wishing to protect some malefactor against people demanding his or her scalp in response to some heinous act. Are believers to never judge? Is it wrong to judge? Are Christians to be spineless acceptors of every person regardless of the magnitude of their reprehensible actions? We must look at Jesus’ command exegetically to answer these questions. Reading vital scripture passages in isolation without placing them in proper context misuses scripture via some eisegetical process. That means reading into scripture what is not there. Proper exegesis of scripture never pulls scripture out of context and uses scripture to interpret scripture. Continue reading