Keeping Ourselves Unspotted from the World (Lesson 06)
1. We learn from James 1:27 that "keeping ourselves unspotted from the world" is an important part of "pure and undefiled religion before God." 2. One key to keeping ourselves unspotted from the world is controlling the activity that Jesus addressed in Matthew 7:1-5: "unfair judgment." Discussion: I. JESUS COMMANDED HIS FOLLOWERS NOT TO JUDGE
A. Jesus said very plainly, "Judge not" (vs.1a). B. Since this is a command of Christ, we must understand what the Lord was talking about, and we must obey Him. II. LET US DETERMINE WHAT JESUS WAS TALKING ABOUT
A. To understand what Jesus was talking about, we must define the word "judge." 1. In general, "judge" means "to form a conclusion on the basis of evidence." 2. In the context, Jesus talked about "severely and unfairly finding fault in other people" [having a harsh and critical mindset that leads a person to constantly find fault in others]. B. This is made clear in vs.3-4 where Jesus illustrated the kind of "judging" that He forbids. 1. Jesus talked about a man who had a "beam" [a large piece of wood] in his eye. 2. He overlooked his "beam" to point out the "mote" [a splinter] in his brother's eye. 3. The Lord does not want us to condemn others for doing the same things that we do. 4. The Jews were guilty of this kind of judging (Romans 2:1-3, 21-24). C. It is unfortunate, but this command of Christ is often misapplied. 1. Some people believe that the Lord forbids all judging. a. If this is true, Jesus violated His own command because He passed judgment on the wrong kind of anger (Matthew 5:21-22). b. We are actually commanded to make certain judgments (John 7:24). 2. Some believe the Lord's command means that we cannot point out others' faults to them. a. If this is true, Jesus violated His own command because He pointed out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees when they prayed (Matthew 6:5). b. Notice the command Jesus gave in Matthew 18:15. 3. The Lord does not forbid all judging, but He does forbid "severely and unfairly finding fault in other people." D. Now that we understand what Jesus was talking about, . . . III. LET US ALLOW JESUS TO EXPLAIN WHY WE MUST NOT "JUDGE"
A. (vs.1b) We must not judge so we will not be judged ourselves. B. (vs.2) We can expect to receive the same judgment that we pass out (Galatians 6:7). C. Other reasons why we must not judge: 1. Pointing out the faults of others while overlooking our own can become a habit. 2. When we participate in this kind of judging, we influence others to do the same thing. IV. FINALLY, LET US ALLOW THE LORD TO SHOW US HOW TO PREVENT THIS TYPE OF JUDGING
A. First, we must realize that unfair judgment is a sin. 1. The Lord forbids it, and if we do it we transgress His will -- this is sin (1 John 3:4). 2. Jesus also said that a person who constantly looks for faults in others while overlooking his own is a hypocrite (vs.5). B. Second, we must pull the beams out of our own eyes. 1. The Bible teaches us to judge ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5). 2. We must judge ourselves by the Lord's standards and not ours (2 Corinthians 10:18). 3. After judging ourselves by the Lord's standards we can see clearly so we can in turn help others with their faults. C. Third, practice "the second commandment" (Matthew 22:39; 7:12).