Monday, May 4, 2009

Do Not Judge - Part 4

How Are We to Judge?

The primary stipulation given for Christians regarding judging is that we are not to proclaim our own judgments (based on our opinions) but to pronounce the judgments of God (based on truth).  Jesus serves as the best example in this manner.

"I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." (John 5:30)

Here Jesus confirms that all true judgment comes from God alone, but He also sets forth the criteria for what constitutes just judgments. Jesus says that because He places His will in subjection to God the Father, He is able to hear God's words and be sent by God to pronounce His judgments.

Again in John 8:15-16 Jesus asserts that only judgments that come from God are true, "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me."

This is the pattern for how we are commanded to judge righteously, "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." (John 7:24). We must have our will in subjection to God's which enables us to know God's words and allows us to be sent by God to others with His message.

Scripture also shows that God has given us His Spirit to specifically fulfill these purposes in man (among other things), thereby allowing righteous judgments to be pronounced by man.

* The Spirit Engenders Obedience to the Father
In Acts 5:32, we see that having our will in subjection to God as our Father is a requirement for receiving the Holy Spirit, "And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him." Also Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:6; I Peter 1:22; and I John 3:24.

* The Spirit Reveals God's Words to Us
We are also told that the Holy Spirit will reveals the words of the Father to us as He leads us into all truth.

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."

Additional references include John 16:13; Luke 2:26; John 14:26; Acts 13:2; I Corinthians 2:10-14; and Ephesians 1:17.

* The Spirit Sends God's People to Accomplish God's Work

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." (Luke 4:18-19; Also Acts 13:4)

* The Spirit Places the Words of God in Our Mouths

"For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." John 3:34

There are other references like Matthew 10:20; Matthew 12:18; Luke 12:11-12; Mark 12:36; Mark 13:11; Acts 1:16; Acts 2:4; Acts 2:17; Acts 4:31; Acts 21:11; Acts 28:25; I Corinthians 2:4; I Corinthians 2:13; and II Peter 1:21.

The Word of God also states that one of the gifts of the Spirit is that of discernment (I Corinthians 12:10). In fact, this is the same discernment that is cited as an evidence of one's maturity in God:

"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." (Hebrews 5:12-14)

Through the Spirit of God, man is able to hear God's words and proclaim His judgments righteously.

"But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man." I Corinthians 2:15

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