To Judge or Not to Judge (Part 3)

5.0.2

In part one we found that judging is appropriate when the source of a judgment is God and not self.  Part two suggested ways we might know whether a judgment is from God.  Knowing whether a judgment is from God or not is a good start but it isn’t the whole picture.  We can know a judgment is from God yet bear that judgment in the wrong spirit.  That is what this post will explore.

John 3:17 says, “For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”  The cross, as we have said, was God’s consumate judgment.  Verse 16 makes clear that the cross expressed God’s love, not His condemnation (John 3:16).  So judgment and condemnation are different.  When God judges, it is for our salvation.

What about when we express God’s judgments?  Do we carry His judgments into the world in hopes that the world will be saved?  Or is it to condemn and accuse? If the latter, we violate the spirit of Christ even if our judgment is biblical and correct.

Homosexuality is a hot-button issue for the church right now.  Calling homosexuality sin is a judgment.  According to scripture, this judgment is from God, not from self.  So we judge rightly when we call homosexuality sin.  But to what end do we express this judgment?  Do we speak a word in season, hoping someone will turn to Jesus to be saved from sin (Prov. 15:23)?  Or is our aim simply to denounce a person?  Paul warns that gays (among others) won’t inherit the kingdom of God.  But he goes on to talk about the cleansing and forgiveness available to everyone in Christ (1 Cor. 6:9-11).  This is the proper aim of judgment: salvation, not destruction.

John 1:17 says, “the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”  Grace and truth: this is the judgment of God.  Truth without grace is the law.  The law only condemns to death; it cannot bring life (2 Cor. 3:6; Gal. 3:21).  As a covenant, the law was incomplete.  Jesus fulfilled the law because He rose from the dead (Matt. 5:17).  He didn’t only bring death but death *and* resurrection.

When we speak truth does it continue on to grace?  Are we preachers of death only?  Or of life out of death?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Enjoying your sharing. I agree with you that we need each other in knowing Him, The Truth. Thanks.

    “When Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.” Is. 26:9

    I need to see more of the Judgement of the cross. As in:

    “Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to Myself. But He said this, signifying by what kind of death He was about to die. Jn. 12:31-32

    I think few are fully facing their own end in the cross. I’m not anyway. I expect to find I am still needing to face Him in truth more completely.

    “For the love of Christ constrains us, having judged this, that if One died for all, then the all died; and He died for all, that the living ones may live no more to themselves, but to the One having died for them and having been raised.” 2 Cor. 5:14-15

    JW illustrated this again yesterday. He said something like: What if I were to shoot someone in the head and there the body laid. Are you going to say, “Well, now he can just live any way he wants to?” No.

    It is ridiculous in the face the truth. (Now I am not the one saying, “Now that he is dead he can just live any way he wants to” or let us sin that grace may abound. but I have been misunderstood to be saying this.)But the reality of God’s perspective was a slap in the face for me, again. To say our death in Christ is just theory or a positional loophole is to deceive myself and reject the judgement of the cross. We have no Life but Him. But why is this surprising to me? I am certain its because that in some measure I deceive myself. I love darkness over light. I need to know Jesus more.

    “The time has come to begin the judgment from the house of God; and if firstly from us, what will be the end of the ones disobeying the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17

    1. mrteague says:

      Amen. We really need to embrace the finality of the cross. Thanks for sharing that!

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