Definition for the verb, JUDGE (Strong's
- to separate, put
asunder, to pick out, select, choose
- to approve,
esteem, to prefer
- to be of
opinion, deem, think, to be of opinion
- to determine,
- to judge
- to pronounce an
opinion concerning right and wrong
- to be judged,
i.e. summoned to trial that one’s case may be examined
- to pronounce
judgment, to subject to censure
- to pass judgment
on the deeds and words of others
- to rule, govern
- to preside over
with the power of giving judicial decisions
We must always exercise moral judgment and judge (evaluate,
what is right or wrong according to the standard of God's Word:
"Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the
earth, but how is it you do not discern this time? Yes, and
why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right?" Luke 12:57
“Do not judge according to appearance,
but judge with righteous judgment.”
"For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged."
1 Corinthians 11:31
"Do you not know that
the saints will judge the world? And if
the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest
1 Corinthians 6:2
said, 'Ask! What shall I give you?'
And Solomon said: '...O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king
instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know
how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your
people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be
numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an
understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern
between good and evil.'
"The speech pleased the Lord...."
1 Kings 3:5-10
While we must
judge (discern) between good and evil (works, influences,
messages, practices, etc.), we are told not to judge
unbelievers or hold them accountable to God's laws (which can
only be understood by those who are filled with the Holy Spirit).
"I wrote to you in my
epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I
certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this
world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since
then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have
written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who
is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a
drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside?
you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God
judges. Therefore 'put away from yourselves the evil person.'”
"But the natural man does not receive
the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him;
nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is
rightly judged by no one. For 'who has known the mind of the
Lord that he may instruct Him?' But we have the mind of Christ."
When we discern error
and the Holy Spirit prompts us to correct a brother or sister, we
must "speak the truth in love."
We must help each
other in our walk with God. This means addressing our brothers and
sisters in Christ in ways that point them back to our Father's wise
Words and guidelines. For example, "Our Father told us not to
do that in ....)
"...we should no
longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every
wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness
of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may
grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ...."
anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back,
let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way
will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins."
Since only God
knows the heart of a person, we cannot judge whether the person is
saved (born again of the Spirit) or not.
"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be
judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you."
nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both
bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the
counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from
1 Corinthians 4:5
do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For
we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: 'As
I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall
confess to God." So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
Therefore let us not judge one another anymore...."
When judging error,
the focus is on the act and teaching, not the person.
“But love your
enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your
reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is
kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as
your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall
not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned.
Forgive, and you will be forgiven....
“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not
perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your
brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when
you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite!
First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see
clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye." Luke
"And forgive us
our debts, as we forgive our debtors.... For if you
forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive
you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither
will your Father forgive your trespasses."
Matthew 6:12, 14-15
“Therefore I say
to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much.
But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
the hearts of all people, we don't. So, while we are to walk in
His steps, we cannot judge hearts nor proclaim condemnation as
"Woe to you, scribes
and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the
prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we
had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been
partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ Therefore you are
witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered
the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt.
Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of
must handle legal disputes with each other from God's perspective
"Dare any of you,
having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous,
and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will
judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you
unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we
shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this
life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to
judge? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a
wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge
between his brethren? But brother goes to law against brother,
and that before unbelievers!"
1 Corinthians 6:1-6
Ultimate judgment is in God's hands and time.
He is our Judge and will judge all people:
"'The Lord will judge His people.'
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
"...when the Lord Jesus is
revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire
taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do
not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be
punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord
and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to
be glorified in His saints...."
2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
But don't expect
the world to acknowledge our great and glorious Lord. Now as
always, those who reject His truth to pursue feel-good visions and
contrary ways will have zero tolerance for God and His saving
truths. Few realize the consequences before they are too blind to
see and too corrupt to care:
"Because they hated
And did not choose the fear of the Lord,
They would have none of my counsel
And despised My every rebuke,
Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way
And be filled to
the full with their own fancies.
For the turning away of the simple will slay them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them;
But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,
And will be secure, without fear of evil.”
God will judge those who despise His ways and distort His truth.
Mine, I will repay,”
says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His
people.' It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living
That seems strange, doesn't
it? We don't like to hear about His wrath and judgment. We want His
love and grace, not His truth and judgment. But we belittle Him
when we twist His message, ignore His warnings and conform His ways to
popular views of love and tolerance. And --
"God will not be mocked!"
Jesus told His
disciples, "He who is not with Me is against Me,
and he who does not gather
with Me scatters."