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Matthew 7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”

As a believer, are you to “judge?”  Does Matthew 7:1 clearly mean that we are not to judge?  Unbelievers will throw this verse back at you when you make statements like “homosexuality is a sin”, “what you are doing is immoral”, or “without Christ, you are surely going to hell”, or other such statements.  Are you to simply back down and say “Right, I won’t judge your actions because that is what the Bible teaches about judgment?”


Let’s first look at the word “judgment”. 
1.    It means the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, esp. in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion: a man of sound judgment.
2.    It means the demonstration or exercise of such ability or capacity: The major was decorated for the judgment he showed under fire.
3.    It means the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, as from circumstances presented to the mind: Our judgment as to the cause of his failure must rest on the evidence.
4.    It means a judicial decision given by a judge or court. I
5.    It means a misfortune regarded as inflicted by divine sentence, as for sin.
6.    It means Last Judgment, Final Judgment. the final trial of all people, both the living and dead, at the end of the world.

So first things first- when we talk about “judgment” which definition are we talking about?

Most people would not argue with the first, second, or third definitions because it has to do with a person’s own actions and thinking.  Where it gets sensitive is when you use the word “judgment” regarding other people’s actions or thinking.  Definition 4 begins to impose the interpretation of a set of laws on the past or future actions of a person bringing them into compliance with the rule of law.  Again, most people who live in the United States would have little problem with that since we live by the rule of law as part of our citizenship. 

But when we get to the last two definitions, things get dicey.  Now judgment takes on a view of a person’s actions and thinking in view of how God views sin.  When you bring into question a person’s actions that are sinful according to what the Bible states about it, are you being judgmental of that person?  Certainly if you are using your own standards, ethics,  and morals that are different than what God has established, you are judging without authority.  How you judge right and wrong isn’t any better necessarily than how they judge right and wrong and they have a very good argument to tell you to take a hike.  The Bible teaches that your nature is as corrupt morally and spiritually as their’s so you have no standing on your own to judge anyone. 

So what are we as Saints to do?  You are to provide them with God’s stated morals, ethics, and standards as revealed to you and all believers in the Bible. When you point out to a person that he or she is “lost” or is “sinning” according to God’s Word, you are simply giving a person information that they may not know.  When you show them God’s Word that what they are doing is wrong, you are reminding them of God’s laws and are helping that person see error in light of the truth.  When you point out to that person that their sin leads to death in terms of final judgment before God, you are being loving and kind; not judgmental.  So in that sense, you are not to judge that person- let Scripture be the judge.

Always when people remind you of some passage of scripture, be sure to read the whole passage and understand the whole context.  Luke 7:1-5 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.   Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?’ You hypocrite, first take thee plank out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” What God’s Word says about judgment in this passage of Luke is that we are not to judge based on our own self-righteous, hypocritical, “better than thou” status.  We are to first make sure that we understand and apply God’s laws in our lives, and then we can lovingly and gently point out to others their errors in light of what the Scriptures teach- not what we
think or feel.


 The belief that does not save is the belief that does not change the person who believes. Jesus said that if you believe in Him, you would be changed