Lesson (vol.43)



" Judge not, that ye be not judged." (Mt 7:1) If ever there was a verse in the Bible taken out of context by organized religion this one has got to be it. Never mind that they use it whenever it becomes convenient for them to not get involved in anything controversial, but it is also a favorite when a need for justifying just about ANYTHING that a so-called christian does. But is that what the Bible teaches us ?

Like in so many other things we must look to Scripture for balance and cross-referenced confirmation before just jumping on any one verse that we assume means this or that. We are warned by Peter of doing just sort a thing about Paul's writtings. "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." (2 Peter 3:16) The "wresting" or twisting of Scripture by the "unlearned" is seen almost everyday by those professing to know the Word, yet grossely misrepresenting it.

When Jesus said, " ...He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." (Jn 8:7) He was adressing an extremely self-righteous religious crowd trying to demonstrate that we should not be so quick to condemn others when we ourselves are not perfect and to be so hard on them when we ourselves are also in need of mercy. But this also is thrown into the pile right along with the top verse as justification for doing nothing about a situation that desperately calls for action. In this verse it so happens that it was a question of the Mosaic law and that those caught in adultery should be stoned, but Jesus demonstrated that mercy was greater than the law and also promtly forgave her her trespass, challenging the self-righteous hypocrites to "cast the first stone" if any were without offense. Of course none could, their conscience condemning their self-righteousness. Read it, the entire 8th chapter of the Gospel of John.

Those of us who have matured in the Word, have gone through the breakings involved with our faith understand that it is our given right to arrange things in a Scriptural context concerning the world around us. The apostle Paul wrote, " Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world ? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters ? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?" (1Cor 6:2-3) Shouldn't we therefore be studying hard to be sure that the "judgement" that we render is Scripturally justified and not just some whim of personal mis-interpretation ?

Christians have a behavioural responsibility to the One they claim to represent. " And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? " (Lk 6:46) It is easy to claim to be Christian, but your actions are going to speak much louder than your claims, , so it is imperative that Christians get to know the Bible very intimately before embarking upon a condemnatory and self-righteous judging mindset. Actions, in order to be measured, must be placed against the Bureau of Standards, the Bible, in order to bring them into context before any assesment can be honestly had. Unfortunately the majority of so-called christians have missed this most important part of their instruction.

So, in order to pass "righteous judgement" as opposed to SELF-righteous judgement we must look to the Bureau of Standards to see if the actions coinside or not." But he that is spiritual judgeth all things..." (1Cor 2:15) the Bible says. And by what measure do those who are "spiritual" judge things ? Once again we go to the Bureau of Standars for the answer. Jesus said, " He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. " (Jn 12:48) By using the exact words of Christ one can set aside truth from lies, righteous behaviour from unrighteous behaviour. The question that must be asked is, " What did Jesus say ?" followed, if nothing specific applies, by a look into what one of His inspired representatives, the apostles, had to say. Then cross-referencing it all together to form the picture. Then you will be in a position to rightly judge between the sheep and the goats, the children of light and the children of darkness, the lie and the truth.

" For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." (Mt 7:2) Don't you want to be judged by God's righteous judgement rather than by man's self-serving judgements ? Then it behooves us to be merciful as we would want God to be with us, and to be firm when called for. Judge righteously and you shall be judged in the same way. " And forgive us our debts (sins), as we forgive our debtors (those who have sinned against us)." (Mt 6:12) This is to be read "in the manner that we forgive those who have sinned against us". If we are unmerciful we are asking that judgement against us be as unmerciful, if we are righteous in our judgement then we are asking that we be treated righteously.

May God bless you with His Love, Peace and Truth.



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