Judge Not that Ye Be Not Judged



A.    The following well known passages of scripture would come to mind in this respect.

John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 11:35, Jesus wept. 

(Or do you believe that Psalm 23 or the model prayer at Matt. 6:9-15 would be the most familiar?)

B.    Probably a passage of scripture that is more often heard today and misused is Matt. 7:2.

Matt. 7:2, For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged:  and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

1.      In the so-called “political correct” atmosphere of today, there is an attitude to tolerate anything except intolerance.

2.      The problem is not an overuse of this passage, but rather a misuse of it.



A.    Judgments by civil courts of earthly governments.

1.      Since civil government is authorized by the Lord for the welfare of society, it has to have laws to govern its citizens.  The courts of civil government make judgments as to the innocent or guilt of individuals accused of a crime.  Those courts also determine the punishment of those found guilty of violating the civil laws of its jurisdiction. 

1 Peter 2:13-15, Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake:  whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

Rom. 13:1-7, Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.  For there is no power but of God:  the powers that be are ordained of God.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God:  and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.  Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power?  Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:  For he is the minister of God to thee for good.  But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain:  for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.  Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.  For for this cause pay ye tribute also:  for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.  Render therefore to all their dues:  tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

2.      We are to submit unto every ordinance of civil government, except any law that would require us to violate the inspired Word of God.

Acts 5:26-29, Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence:  for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.  And when they had brought them, they set them before the council:  and the high priest asked them.  Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name?  and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.  Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. 

B.    Church discipline.

1.      Church discipline requires judgment in harmony with the inspired Word.

a.       The Apostle Paul made a judgment concerning an erring brother of the church at Corinth who was living in immorality.

1 Cor. 5:3-5, For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed.  In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

2.      Withdrawing fellowship from those teaching and living contrary to the Word of God.

2 Thes. 3:6, 14, Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

Rom. 16:17, Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

C.    Discipline affecting the brotherhood.

1.      It is often necessary to inform the brotherhood when false teaching has either spread from one congregation to another, or there is a danger of that possibility (See Acts 15). 

2.      And in doing this, it is also necessary to mark those false teachers and withdraw from them (Rom. 16:17; 2 Thes. 3:6).

3.      Faithful congregations will not fellowship those who have been scripturally withdrawn from by other faithful congregations.

Matt. 7:15-16, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits.  Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 

D.    Our personal responsibility of making righteous judgment of good and evil.

1.      We, individually, will be held accountable for the decisions that we make.

Phil. 2:12, Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

1 Thes. 5:21, Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Acts 17:11, These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

2.      After all, we will have to answer for ourselves on the Day of Judgment.

2 Cor. 5:10, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.                            


Matt. 7:1-5, Judge not, that ye be not judged.  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged:  and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shall thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

A.    Matthew 7:1-5 includes some areas in which we are not to judge.

1.      A failure to recognize one’s own personal accountability unto God.

Matt. 7:2, For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Rom. 14:12, So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God

2.      One must cleanse his own life before he can successfully help someone else.

Matt. 7:5, Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shall thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

3.      We must not be mote hunters.  Some individuals are actually disappointed if they cannot find short comings in others.

Matt. 22:34-35, But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.  Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him.

B.    There are other kinds of judgment that are condemned in principle elsewhere in the scripture.

1.      The tendency to stereotyping others without properly evaluating each person on an individual basis. 

a.       Pharisees considered all publicans as sinners.

b.      Jews looked down upon Gentiles as being as dogs.

c.       Jews thought of Samaritans as worse than dogs.

2.      The Word of God condemns prejudice.  Prejudice is to make judgment about persons or events without knowing all the facts about that in which we have made prejudgment and/or unwarranted judgment.

Rom. 2:1,Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest:  for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same thing.

3.      We would be unjustified to judge the motives of others without evidence one way or the other.

4.      It is not our prerogative to condemn anyone to eternal damnation. 

a.       Each and every one of us will be judged by the Word of the Lord.

John 12:48, He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him:  the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

b.      However, we can compare their life and teaching with a “thus saith the Lord.”  We will be held eternally accountable for failing to speak out against false doctrine and practices that violate principles and teachings of the inspired Word. 

c.       We can be fruit inspectors.

Matt. 7:20, Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.  

Conclusion:  We must judge only in those areas sanctioned for us to do so by the Lord.  And in doing so, we must make sure that our judging is righteous judgment.  The Son of God warned, Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment(John 7:24).  God’s inspired Word is the standard of righteousness.  The psalmist declares:  My tongue shall speak of thy word:  for all thy commandments are righteousness(Psalm 119:172).

--Dub Mowery