Is It Right to Judge?

"Do not judge, that you may not be judged; for with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged." (Matthew 7:1) This is the verse the unbeliever will hurl at you in order to nullify any criticism of their ungodly acts. You would think that it is the only Scripture dealing with judging. Not so!

Jesus commands us: "Judge righteous judgment." (John 7:24). He commends this in Luke 7:43, "You have judged rightly." And He recommends it, "And why do you not judge what is right even of yourselves?" Through the apostle Paul He tells us, "the spiritual one discerns (judges) all things." (1 Corinthians 2:15)

Yes, It Is Right to Judge

"Beware of false prophets", — "From their fruits you shall know them." (Matthew 7:15, 16). Then by what standard shall we use when we judge? "To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isaiah 8:20)

The Scriptures art honeycombed with the demand that Christians are to judge, to test, to think, to avoid, to examine, etc. By what then are we to judge? By the Word of God!

"If anyone comes to you and does nor bear this doctrine, do not receive him into the house, and do not speak a greeting to him. For the one speaking a greeting shares in his evil works." (2 John 4:10-11)

We are forbidden to make judgments that belong to God. But we am held accountable by God for judging both our actions, and our associations. To pronounce the actions of others wrong, or evil, because the Word of God says so is not only right, it is a duty. So when Paul judged that Peter "was not walking uprightly." He openly reminded him that it is wrong to dissemble to avoid criticism (Galatians 2:11-14) Christianity "does not fear to speak the stern word of condemnation against error, nor to raise its voice against surrounding evils, under the pretext it is not of this world; it does not shrink from giving honest reproof, lest it come under the charge of displaying an unchristian spirit. It calls sin sin, on whomever it is found, and would rather risk the accusation of being actuated by a bad spirit than not discharge an explicit duty." (Horatius Bonar)

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