This is an exposition of Matthew 7:1-5, and was delivered by Pastor Rod Harris at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, September 28, 2014.
Can you believe the number of those courtroom programs that are on TV? It all started with the People’s Court. Do you remember judge Whopner? Later he had a courtroom program on Animal Planet! Then there was Judge Joe Brown, Judge Miles Lane and of course Judge Judy. We even have an entire cable network – Court TV. CNN, Fox News, all the networks and their cable affiliates have “legal correspondents” who bring you to latest on high profile court cases. Turn on any news program on any given night and you will find any number of people sitting in judgment of others. And it’s no wonder that there is so much of it on TV – they are giving us what we want. Sitting in judgment of others is one of our favorite pastimes!
None of us like it when others sit in judgment of us and yet that does not seem to detour us from sitting in judgment of others. Is it always wrong to sit in judgment? Is there ever a time in which it is appropriate for me to make judgment on another? If so when and where? Folks are quick to cry, “Judge not lest ye be judged,” as if to suggest that it is never appropriate to make any judgment of anyone under any circumstance. But is that what the Scripture teaches? If you will pardon the pun – you be the judge as we consider the teaching of our Lord in the opening verses of Matthew chapter 7.
Text: Matthew 7:1-5
Context of the SOM
Genuine righteousness 5:20,48
Our Lord has dealt with our dealing with things 6:19-34
Now our dealings with others
The passage before us is one of the most recognized and probably one of the most misinterpreted passages in all the Gospels. I have heard this quoted on numerous occasions and almost always out of context and in clear opposition to the teaching of the Lord Jesus. Look carefully at this passage. Note its context and let it speak for itself! I’m convinced that an honest straight forward interpretation of this text informs us that:
Thesis: Our Lord commands His followers to exercise judicial discernment.
Far from telling us we are never to judge – this passage instructs us in how we are to judge. This is not a prohibition against passage judgment but rather making sure that our judgment is godly. Making sure than we exercise godly discernment and that our conclusions are reached in a godly manner.
There are three principles of godly judgment I want us to note in our text.
- Godly judgment understands the difference between faultfinding and discernment. (7:1-2)
- Godly judgment avoids the subtle trap of hypocrisy. (7:3-4)
- Godly judgment deals first with one’s own sin and then seeks to serve others in humility and grace. (7:5)
There is a time and place to use godly judgment. We are to exercise judicial discernment. But in a way that understands the difference between faultfinding and discernment. In a way that avoids the trap of hypocrisy. In a way that deals with our own sin before presuming to deal with the sins of others.