Judge Not Scripture Out Of Context

"Judge Not" (Matthew 7:1) is one of the most misused and abused phrases in all of Scripture. This 1-minute devotion explains. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible

People misuse Matthew 7:1 by taking it out of context...

"Judge not," found in Matthew 7:1, may be the most misused phrase in Scripture. An increasing number of people, including Christians, use it to rebuke people who advocate God's moral principles, especially those principles that oppose popular culture.

But Matthew 7:1-4 doesn't teach against judgment; it teaches against hypocritical judgment. Pulling the words "judge not" out of context distorts the meaning and contradicts the rest of Scripture.

God tells us to judge:
1. Bad companions - 1 Corinthians 15:33
2. False teachers - Matthew 7:15-20
3. Sin and unrepentant sinners - Ephesians 5:1-13; Matthew 18:15

God also tells church leaders to judge sinning members (1 Corinthians 5; Matthew 18:15-17).

We must judge ourselves and our motives first (Matthew 7:1-4), but when we have done that, it is God's will that we judge sin and sinners. Not only does it benefit the church, it rescues and restores the sinner (James 5:19-20 ; Matthew 18:15).

See also: Do Not Judge and The "J" Word.


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"Judge Not" (Matthew 7:1) is one of the most misused and abused phrases in all of Scripture. This 1-minute devotion explains.
 

"Judge Not" (Matthew 7:1) is one of the most misused and abused phrases in all of Scripture. This 1-minute devotion explains.

 




Bible Love Notes

24 comments:

  1. Very true and wise words. Thanks for sharing this! It is often used as a cover for sin. Don't judge me! As if you are now the sinner for thinking they have sinned! Are we to turn a blind eye like the members of the church who overlooked the sin of the man having relations with the father's wife... I also don't want to be found condoning sin...

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  2. UGH! THANK YOU! This is one of those Scriptures, that when people pull it out and use it inappropriately I wanna cover my ears and yell. lol. I have been blessed with a dad, who when watching something of TV when a commentator tried to use it to his/her advantage, made sure he explained it to me, his daughter. It's usually quoted Incompletely and OUT OF CONTEXT!

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  3. Living 30 years w an emotionally abusive "husband" this was thrown at me from all sides when I finally sought help. It was a life changing epiphany when I finally saw this scripture in its true light. We are to rightly divide the Word, not just blindly let others TELL us what God is saying. Great article!

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  4. Hi Gail! I've included a link to this post in my recent article about the same subject. What a blessing! Marie

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  5. I disagree. Judgement and discernment are two different things. The Lord asks us not to judge because we cannot understand the motives behind people’s actions but if those actions are evil we are to shun them but that isn’t judgement of them or their actions...merely discerning right from wrong and either welcoming or rejecting it in our lives.

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    1. Hi Brae,
      That's a very popular belief, but it's not supported in Scripture.

      Delete
    2. I agree with you Gail! I used to think the same thing and had someone cause total chaos in my life. They said they were Christian - they were not, they were only there to cause trouble. We have to both judge and discern what is going on with people and situations.

      Delete
  6. Yes! We ARE to judge others, ESPECIALLY those not in line with God’s word! If we don’t, how will they know to repent of their ways, and come to Christ?!

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    1. And are you Mr/Mrs perfect to judge someone else? It is the duty of the elders or pastors to correct sinning brethren. You focus on correcting yourself.

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    2. Are you Mr Perfect to judge others? Better focus on correcting yourself!

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    3. Hi Cuckoo,
      What a judgmental comment you have written.
      And so rude as well.
      Did I call anyone names or judge their character in this post? No. I simply stated what Scripture says about judgment.

      God tells every Christian to judge others in these situations:
      1. Bad companions - 1 Corinthians 15:33
      2. False teachers - Matthew 7:15-20
      3. Sin and unrepentant sinners - Ephesians 5:1-13; Matthew 18:15

      He also tells the church/elders to judge in certain cases.
      I'm going to believe all that Scripture teaches about judgment, not just certain passages...even if people judge me hypocritically and leave rude comments.

      Delete
  7. Don’t forget that correction should occur “between you and him alone” - Matthew 18:15 ——- noticed that wasn’t mentioned above

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    1. Hi VYV,
      That is the first step described in Matthew 18:15, and it would apply in personal relationships as well. But if you continue reading in Matthew 18, you find that the next step is to involve others in the rebuke and the final step is public rebuke.

      See also Galatians 2:11-21 and 1 Timothy 5:20.

      So, it's safe to say that the first step in most situations is to privately rebuke a fellow believer, but public rebuke is also part of Scriptural principles.

      Delete
  8. IF you choose to correct sinners, don’t forget that God calls is to do that between you and the sinner alone. I noticed that wasn’t mentioned in your blog. That part is VERY important. Matthew 18:15 -

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    1. Yes. Also You are to discuss the matter with the person if he sinned against you specifically. If you are not involved, better not judge, rather be careful that you don’t do the sin yourself.

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    2. Hi Cuckoo,
      What Scriptures are you basing your statements on? I am not aware of any Scripture that stipulates that we can only confront someone if they have specifically sinned against us.

      If someone in your small group is having an affair, you should confront that person and tell them to repent even if they are not having the affair with your husband.

      Both of the passages below refute your statement/belief that you should not judge anyone unless they have specifically sinned against you and both of these passages are linked in this devotion:

      Ephesians 5:11-13: Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.

      James 5:19-20: "My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, 20 you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins."

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  9. What I was taught by this verse is that we need to be sanctified. As a young Christian I wanted to tell everyone they were going to hell, not me though, only them! But as I have grown and am sanctified I see more clearly that telling people of their sin isn't the only way. I pray first asking God to prepare their hearts so that when I can speak to them, it won't be stolen. We are there to only direct people. I've seen it work. Let us not cause offence but bring light to darkness. I've caused a lot of hurt with the log in my eye, which I repent of. But I agree with you we must bring the good news that Jesus saves. God bless.

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  10. You are teaching people to judge others who sin. What do you mean by judge? Calling out their sin and telling them what to do and what not to do? Sounds like a busybody.
    Judge in those verses refers to someone who sinned against you specifically. you can discuss the matter with them. You are still not in a position to ‘judge’ them because you yourself are a sinner. But you can discuss with them that you see their actions as wrong as per such and such bible verse. And lovingly guide them or reconcile with them.
    If you were a careful Christian you would never have the guts to judge someone else as you would be more conscious of your own sinful nature. If you say you are sinless then you are deceiving yourself.
    None of those verses you mentioned asks believers to go around judging each other. Only the elders who have taken responsibility are able to show corrections.
    Stop misleading God’s people

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    1. Dear Cuckoo,
      Your string of comments in this devotion is a good illustration of people who misuse the "Judge not" passage.

      Your comments prove that it is impossible for us not to judge others. You have judged me and any who believe as I believe as "busybodies" and people who are not "careful Christians," who deceive ourselves and "mislead God's people." You've done quite a bit of name-calling and self-righteous judgment in so short a comment.

      In truth, your comments are extremely judgmental and I'm pretty sure no one would say that you have "lovingly guided" me. So, you have both stated your beliefs and violated them in the same short comment.

      Everyone judges. But some people do it as Scripture commands and others do it rudely and self-righteously, contradicting Scripture in both their behavior and their words.

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  11. In Matt 6:1-4. Saints can judge. Your attitude must show humility. Done in the spirit of love. Judging is making a decision,selection or a choice. We all do one of these daily. Keep love in mind.

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    1. Matthew 6:1-4: “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

      2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

      Maybe you mean Matthew 7:1-4: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For 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? 4 How 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?

      But don't forget verse 5: You 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.

      Yes, we should judge in an attitude of humility, but if we have removed the log from our eyes, we are able to judge people, circumstances, and teachings.

      Delete
  12. Sorry. That comment should be 1Cor. 6:1-4.

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    1. Thanks for clarifying. 1 Corinthians 6:1-4 is warning Christians who have disagreements or disputes not to take them to the heathen courts where they would never find justice because Christians were not respected. Paul wanted them to handle these disagreement within the church.

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  13. True. And also a Christian would judge another Christian in love and humility. Thanks for your answer.

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