Judgment in the Bible

Most people will quote Matthew 7:1-3 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged…etc” but then they don’t read the rest. Matthew 7:4 How can you think of saying to your brother,‘ Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First, get rid of the log in your own eye; THEN you WILL see well enough to DEAL with the SPECK in your friend’s eye.

This means a believer should only offer to correct someone when they are following the Holy Spirit themselves, then they can point out sin and offer solutions to overcoming it. The goal is to help someone get free from sin not to condemn them for it. This is why Jesus uses the phrase “Let me help you…” in verse 4 because the intent should be to help. However the overall point is that we can’t be the blind leading the blind, we must clean our own eyes before we can guide others on washing their eyes. Furthermore, he said this in Matt 7:6 (NLT) “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.” Meaning when a believer offers to help people, and they scoff at the Holy Spirit’s pearls of wisdom, then know that they don’t value God’s input, so it’s not worth pestering them about it. If they reap the consequences of their actions, they have no excuse since they were already warned.

Furthermore, Jesus also stated in John 7:24, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” The Bible commands us to use righteous judgment for the sake of justice. Paul later says God judges the world (non-believers), so Christians, like himself, should not judge them. However, he says that Christians are to judge hypocrites in the church who claim they follow God, but don’t live by the spirit of God and refuse to repent for continually sinning and spreading sin in the church (1 Cor 5:1-13). The context of the chapter is sexual sin, and the conversation stemmed from a man in the church who refused to stop sleeping with his father’s wife. Paul uses a Jewish idiom that compares sin to yeast saying, “sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough”. He says the unrepentant sinners are to be removed from the congregation, so they live in the world and only come back once they have repented. Jesus himself talks about ex-communication for unrepentant people in Matthew 18:15-20, which connects with the parable of the lost sheep in the previous verse (Matt 18:12-14).

Some examples of other scripture talking about righteous judgment all NLT:

Leviticus 19:15 You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness, you shall judge your neighbor.

Proverbs 31:8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. 9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless and see that they get justice.

2 Chronicles 36:15 The Lord, the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent his prophets to warn them, for he had compassion on his people and his Temple. 16 But the people mocked these messengers of God and despised their words. They scoffed at the prophets until the Lord’s anger could no longer be restrained and nothing could be done. 17 So the Lord brought the king of Babylon against them. The Babylonians killed Judah’s young men, even chasing after them into the Temple. They had no pity on the people, killing both young men and young women, the old and the infirm. God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar.

Ezekiel 3:16 After seven days the Lord gave me a message. He said, 17 “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately. 18 If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 19 If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me. 20 “If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 21 But if you warn righteous people not to sin and they listen to you and do not sin, they will live, and you will have saved yourself, too.”