Judges

December 17, 2012

Romans 14:4
Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Judges

One thing God didn’t make the body to be at this time is a bunch of individual judges. Oh sure, there are things to be judged within the church and discernment that must be exercised, but if God wants us to discern and judge anything, it would be ourselves. Not that we would be self-condemning, but that we would hold our lives up against the Word of God and bring self-correction to our own lives that we would not be judged and corrected by the Lord. 1 Corinthians 11 exhorts us when we take the Lord’s Supper or communion to exercise self-examination before partaking.
What we are usually best at is our judgements of others instead of ourselves. We are far better at dis-membering the body of Christ than we are a re-membering it. That is what communion and the Lord’s Supper is all about. Jesus, the One Loaf was broken into many pieces, which represent us. We the many pieces are re-united in Christ to form His body. When we partake of the Lord’s Supper it is to remember not only what Christ did for us through the Cross, but to re-member or reunite ourselves in one Spirit unto Him.
In 1 Corinthians 11:27-32 we are given this exhortation, “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. (We are that body) 30That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. 32When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.”
What we must be mindful of is that God is the ultimate judge of a man’s actions and heart, not us. What does the Word tell us to do if we see our brother in sin?
1 John 5:16 says, ” If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life.”
Matthew 18:15 tells us, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.”
Galatians 6:1 exhorts us, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”
The Word does teach us to confront sin in one another, but not for the purpose of judgement and condemnation, but for the purpose of reconciliation, restoration, repentance and forgiveness. We are suppose to have each other’s back, not stab each other in the back. When ever our own body is suffering from an illness or injury we don’t just get a sharp knife and whack it off. The rest of the body comes along side, both inwardly and outwardly to minister and assist in the healing and the restoration of the injured member. We are one body and we must care for each other like we would our own selves.
Jesus gives a pretty strong kingdom lesson about judgement in Matthew 7:1-5 when teaches, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Pointing the finger at others always makes us feel better because it identifies the sin and weakness in others while turning the attention, mainly our own, away from our own sins and shortcomings.
We are all sinners, and as believers, we are all partakers in God’s grace and mercy. None of deserve forgiveness, but God, by His own example in Jesus Christ, showed it to us. How is it that we can’t extend that same mercy, grace and forgiveness to one another?
Jesus, the righteous and just judge of all said this while hanging on a cross after having been beaten and whipped to shreds by those who hated him in Luke 23:22-41, “Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 35The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”
36The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
38There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the Jews.
39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
40But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
What could others do to us that would have been worse than they did to Jesus? If He could forgive them (and we are, in a sense the extension of those who crucified Jesus because our sins put Him there) then how can we not, in Christ, forgive those who have offended, hurt, or sinned against us. This is not the way of the world, but it is the way of the kingdom, which we are, as His disciples.
There is much more that could be said about our role as playing judge. We are not God and we don’t have the right to usurp His position. He sees all, He sees the heart’s of men and He judges from a place of righteousness. We are not God, so it should not be in our hearts to try and pass judgement upon others. Let us just conclude with this scripture from Romans 2:1-4, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?”

Blessings,
kent

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