“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”
Matthew chapter seven verse one, judge, not that you be not judged for, with the judgment you pronounce, you will be judged.
And with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, let me take the speck out of your eye. When there is the log in your own eye, you hypocrite first, take the log out of your own eye.
Then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Do not give dogs. What is holy and do not throw your pearls before pigs less. They trample them underfoot and turn who attack you. Let’s pray as we enter this really interesting passage together, Lord, we thank you for a beautiful day.
Just so amazing to drive over and be reminded again that you love beauty. You create days like this and allow us to experience all of life and nature to remind us that. You’ve done this for us, that we could experience a creation. That is one which reflects your glory, your handiwork Lord. Now I ask for your guidance again, in this passage, I pray that we would have ears to hear hearts, to respond in Jesus name.
Singer Demi Lovato says it this way. Don’t judge me, you know my name, but now my story actress, Kristin Stewart said it this way. Nobody, nobody lived my life. Nobody cried my tears. So don’t judge me business executive ditcher. Oop Dorff said this don’t judge me because I sin differently from you author and motivational speakers.
Zig Ziglar said, don’t judge me by my past. I don’t live there anymore. And country singer Dolly Parton. Don’t judge me by the cover because I’m a real good book. If there is one statement of Jesus in the sermon on the Mount, that almost everybody we’ll embrace it is this statement this morning, don’t judge.
It is probably the most popular message from the sermon on the Mount, by the most people, but it is also probably one of the most misunderstood. So I’d like to look at this passage this morning and as we do so we’re going to look at three aspects of judging others, a definition for it, the dangers of it, and then culminate briefly with some practical steps to try to get deliverance from a spirit of judging.
First of all, the definition of judging others. We find in verse one, we’ll also see it in verse six and other scriptures. And we’re going to look at a number of other pastors, cause I do want to say this. It is striking how many times the new Testament, this statement do not judge is expressed and elucidated explained.
So we’re going to look at some of those as well as we try to get, uh, uh, a full picture of what Jesus is talking about. This passage does not mean certain things. And I just want to put this as a disclaimer and we’re going to see even within the passage itself, why I say that sometimes it has been perceived that Jesus is saying, don’t judge me.
I don’t believe that there are any moral rights and wrongs that, that everybody has the right to live their own life. And that no one has the right to say, well, there are things that are wrong. Jesus is not saying that there are no standards of right and wrong that there is no description of moral behavior that he has given.
And that, because we don’t know a person’s background, there can never be the statement. What you did was wrong. We find that Jesus himself has called out behavior here in the sermon, on the Mount, right? I mean, he’s called out adultery, laziness, greed, lying, anger, even spiritual activities that people are doing.
He has rebuked. If they’re doing it with the wrong spirit church discipline. Is a real thing. There is a place for if someone is living as a professed believer in Jesus Christ in habitual, uh, uh, denial of the Lordship of Christ in their life to remove them from, from places of influence in the church.
It’s it’s it’s right. Sometimes false teaching has to be called out. Jesus will say 10 verses later in verse 15, watch out for false prophets. They come and sheep’s close, but are inwardly ferocious wolves, verse six itself in this passage seems to be Jesus saying after five verses of saying don’t judge don’t judge don’t judge don’t condemn.
We’ll see what that means. And then in verse six, he says, but I’m not saying don’t be discerning. There is a place for discernment. He says, as matter of fact, there will be times when you discern it would be unwise to even share truth because the person’s heart is so oriented in such a way like the mocker and Proverbs that they will not hear your message and will not respond.
Jesus himself said this in John 16, verse 12, wasn’t talking to people that were violently opposed to his message, but he says you have to show some discernment at times. And he says to the disciples, this amazing statement, he says, I still have many things to say to you guys. The guys was from me. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
I mean, he says I have to make some discernment here and have some discernment in my treatment of you. So what does it mean when Jesus says do not judge? Well, I also need to start by saying this. There are different ways. The word judge. Or two judges use in the new Testament. There are at least four. So we needed a certain, what is he talking?
Which one is mean? And it’s not hard to get that one is just the concept of moral discernment syncing. Something is right or wrong, knowing good from bad. He is certainly not condemning that. There are times when then the new Testament to judge is talking about rulings in lawsuits. There are times in governmental decisions where it says they, they, they pass the judgment.
There are also times when the word to judge the word is talking about condemnation by God, for evil. And I believe the latter one is the one he is, he is leaning towards. And I want to give a definition of what I believe judging others means in this and a number of other new Testament passages judging others means to condemn others.
And I would explain that by this statement, it is condemning others. Assuming that we have the capacity to pass on them as God does, is an assumption that we discern the measure of their guilt in a way that only God can, I’m going to try to illustrate that in the rest of the sermon, but this whole passage is a bout a spirit, a demeanor and attitude.
It is assuming that we have a capacity to pass on others as God does with a measure of understanding that only God has. So let’s, let’s look at some of the things that help us to know if we are judging others. And we’re going to look at a few of them, some in this passage, some that are they’re shown in other passages, we are judging others when we put ourselves in the place.
James chapter four, verse 11 and 12 says this do not speak evil against one another brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges, his brother speaks evil against the law and judges law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge here comes, there is only one law giver and judge he who is able to save and to destroy.
But who are you to judge your neighbor? It is the spirit that, that I’m sort of holding myself as I’m in the place of God that I see this as God does not doesn’t mean that, that when you see a brother, a sister that’s committed adultery, you can’t say to them that’s wrong, but it does mean that you don’t behave and carry yourself and speak.
And again, we’re going to try to play all this out in a way that, that you, you think you see the full picture. Paul explains this even more. Interestingly, in first Corinthians chapter four, four verses three through five, and here he says this, but with me, it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court.
In fact, I do not even judge myself for, I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not there by acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me therefore, to not pronounce judgment before the time before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of heart.
Paul says. I know you guys are, are, are beaten on my helmet. I know you’re you’re, you’re criticizing me. I know you are passing judgment on me. You are condemning the way I do, and I don’t do the way I behave and I don’t behave. And that’s exactly what they were doing. Corinth. There were people rising up that was slandering Paul and Paul says, I’m not going to go on the basis of your analysis because I don’t even go on the basis of my analysis of me.
Ultimately, he says, I know that I don’t see the real picture. The only one that can ultimately truly evaluate my life and my heart. And my motives is God to judge others is to assume we have the whole story that I see people and know their story because, because I happen to see one part of it.
I’ve said this a number of times I’ve said this in our, our seminar, we’ve done twice on, uh, thinking like a Christian. We need to be really careful as matter of fact, I would say it this way. I don’t think you should be talking about people whose lifestyles you would consider very abberant from yours.
Maybe you have a perception of a gay lifestyle or a transgender lifestyle. I don’t think you should talk about, I don’t think you should, should trust your responses to that. If you’re a believer in Christ, if you don’t have a face, if you don’t have someone that you’re doing life with, who you love and who you value and who is in his chosen that lifestyle and who you look at and see such beauty in that, you would be honest enough to say, you know, There are qualities in that person that are more beautiful than our qualities I see in myself, certainly in that arena, if you don’t have someone that you look at and you say, I see their beauty, be very careful and how you evaluate or process or think about people who have chosen another lifestyle, because that’s not who they are.
That’s part of just like part of your chosen sins is part of who you are, but that’s not all you want to be evaluated by. He is saying here it’s a spirit of not condemning. And assuming that I, I see the whole picture. Can you imagine how people felt about Jesus having a prostitute washes? We know how the Pharisee felt.
He went to dinner at the Pharisee’s house and, and, and it says this woman who lived in sin, which was a euphemism for prostitution, most belief, and she comes in and she’s crying and her tears are falling on Jesus’ feet. And she starts using wiping his feet with her, with their tears. She’s putting ointment on him.
And the Pharisee is sitting there thinking this guy can’t be anybody. He doesn’t even realize the type of woman. That’s the course, Jesus knew a type of woman, but he saw more in the woman. Then a life of prostitution. He saw a person. He saw beauty and the spirit of condemnation is that we don’t see all that God sees.
God sees your beauty, but he also sees others. It’s why it’s so important as believers. To recognize that this spirit of condemning comes when we see people that disagree with us. And that’s how we identify them. They’re just liberals. They’re just, Trumpites, they’re crooked politicians or authorities.
They’re BLM agitators. And we condemn them as if that’s all they are. We look at them as if that’s all they are. We place ourselves in our spirit, in the throne of God and say in our hearts, I would never say it this way, but frankly, I hate them. I hate what they’re doing to my country. I hate how they’re trampling on my values.
That’s why it’s so important. Toys have faces and toys. See people’s beauty if people are and their positions, but we respond and we condemn and we do it in the church and I’m in the church at large. We also do it when we speak with evil and slander about people. James says this in chapter four, verses 11 and 12, do not speak evil against one another brothers, the one who speaks against a brother or judges, his brother.
And then he goes on to talk about why it’s wrong, but basically be saying, speaking evil against somebody and condemning or judging someone follow parallel tracks. It is saying critical, potentially reputation, destroying stuff against others. Now there are times where you may discern a spirit in someone or an action or, or behavior that is, that is destructive and ungodly.
And you think, well to not judge means I should never say anything. And you see this person and they’re going to be put into a leadership maybe in the church, uh, or in spiritual leadership somewhere. And, and you think, well, I’m not supposed to know. That’s not what it’s saying. That may be God prompting, but it is saying, examine your heart process.
Be careful, be careful, the spirit that we, that we bring, that you are not extrapolating your limited experience to every part of their life because of how you have, have experienced them here, nor are you assuming that how you have experienced them is how everybody’s experienced. So them social media can be toxic in this region.
Can talk about people based on one thing, you know about them, about one thing that they believe or teach differently and you bury them as people, the danger is we start making our heroes, those who expose era. Now there’s a role for exposing era. Of course, there’s a role for, for truth telling, but when our heroes are the ones that are smashing everybody else and they show what’s wrong with him, what’s wrong with him.
What’s wrong with her? What’s wrong with her with this? Those are not the heroes Paul has in the new Testament. I’ll show you that a little bit. What he’s highlighting to us here in this passage, Jesus is, is when there’s a spirit of negative and critical talking, he says it’s invariably falling parallel tracks with judges.
And condemning as if I see the whole picture and I have the right to do this many years ago. Uh, we were a part, I was part of a, uh, Baptist group and we had a quarterly meeting and technically I’m still part of the group, but, but, but we had quarterly meetings and I remember going one time and I was about 30 years old.
So I was a relatively speaking compared to a lot of these guys. I was, I was a puppy. Uh, I was not heavyweight in my eyes and although they were very gracious and I knew a lot of them pretty well. And there was one guy that was from another part of the state and he hadn’t really been involved in the meetings much, but he was kind of known as a.
You know, he was one of these guys that had a newsletter that exposed error and all this stuff. And, and, uh, this was sort of his, this was his trademark and he came to the meeting and in the quarterly eating, after we’d had our, our seminar, whatever it was on, it was sort of the business side. And, and he brought a recommendation.
It was a resolution, uh, and a petition. We were all going to sign. That was basically he, he shared about, I don’t remember if it was a Monsignor or what, it was some guy in a religious position, uh, in America, in, in America. And he was doing a seminar in New Jersey and he didn’t hold to the Virgin birth, I think was the doctrine.
And, uh, he was going to talk on that. And so this guy had a petition for us to sign. That he was going to post, uh, well, they didn’t have posts back then he was going to publish it in his newsletter and he wanted us to all sign that our group condemned disagreed with this teacher and I’m sitting there and I’m a, I’m a 30 old preacher.
And, uh, I’m thinking, okay, um, who’s going to read this newsletter. Well, everybody’s going to read the newsletter already beliefs in the Virgin birth because they’re on this guy’s mailing list. And, but, um, I, so I’m trying to think, and I’m trying to think what, I don’t know. I’ve never been asked to sign this kind of a petition.
So somebody against somebody, I don’t know. So I didn’t know that I’m going to ask me to stand. I raised my hand and they had me stand mark, you know, younger guy. Whoo. Second mark, you know, and, and, uh, so I said, well, I, um, I said, I guess my question, I have two questions because I was what was going through my mind was how do we confront sin or whatever, do you know, air?
And so I was going through the pan. I said, does anybody know Monsignor somebody? And if we don’t know him, will anybody be going to him personally to share our concerns? And Chris, the air went out of the balloon and the room just got very quiet. All my friends are looking at me or looking away from me to not.
And the answer of course was no, no, we don’t w we’re going to publish this and we’re going to make our steam. So when the vote came. You were supposed to raise your and I voted, no, I would not sign it. And happily seven or eight, others did have happily to me, but I, to this day,
I feel like we were condemning. Nobody was asking us. I mean, if they asked our group, how do you feel that? Well, sure. We’ll talk. Well, we believe in the Virgin birth. Here’s why it just felt like we should not be known for pointing out what is wrong with anybody else now, honestly, I struggled with even using this illustration because I’m kind of doing this to the guy.
Right. Um, but I’m trying to say in this, Christians don’t want to be known. It’s pointing out the error and everybody else. That’s not the goal. There are times when you have to stand for truth. The time of you’re confronted with error and you need to boldly Stanford, Jesus. But then what a habitual position becomes where we’re error, error, smelters out, and that we’re speaking constantly naming names.
I, I just, I think that’s contrary to the whole spirit of this passage. The third thing he says, it’s when don’t judge is when people hold different convictions or interpretations than we do Romans 14, verse 10 through 12. Here’s what Paul says you then. Who, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother for, we will all stand before God’s judgment seat bow before me, every tongue will confess to God.
So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead make up your mind to not put a stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s okay. To give some context, because this passage is incredibly important. The book of Romans was written to the church in Rome, which was made up of smaller house churches that had a very unique combination of people.
They had Gentile, Christians who had come out of complete paganism. I mean, worshiped of hundreds in some cases, thousands of vitals. And then you had people that were Jewish in background. Who knew the law knew the old Testament had the heritage of the covenants of God. And they had now recognized that Jesus was to fulfilled fulfill the promises of the Messiah.
And these guys are coming together. And to really understand the book of Romans, you have to understand that Paul’s intent in this letter is not to give a doctrinal discourse on the doctrine of salvation. He does that the best of new Testament, but it’s a letter from a pastor to people. It’s a pastoral letter.
And he’s saying, I want you guys to be one and enrollments 12 through 16, everything in his message is trying to get these people to work together. What’s just happened before he wrote this letter is acts chapter 18, verse one, it says Claudius the emperor of Rome had thrown out all Jews. They have now just returned.
These Jewish Christians have, have been banned from Rome. They’re now coming back. And now after a couple of years, the church is even more Gentile. It’s even more seeped in a lack of the old Testament, covenants and circumcision and the history of, of the patriarchs and these Jewish Christians come in.
And now they’re aghast that these Gentile Christians are doing stuff like this. Romans 14 talks about they are also first Corinthians does, but they are going to the marketplace and they’re buying meat at the butcher shop. That was meat. That was actually from animals that had been sacrificed on pig and altars by pagan priest and pagan worshipers.
And, and now. Basically in the Jews mind, you’re supporting this whole enterprise by buying that meat. I mean, this is real stuff, right? I mean, and so here are the Jewish Christian saying we’ve lost everything to follow Christ. We’ve been thrown out of the synagogues. We we’ve we’ve, we’ve embraced Jesus.
And we’re bringing our gift to you as an understanding of the old Testament and understanding of the covenants and understanding of the beauty of who Christ is. And you guys are just demeaning the whole thing
by doing all these practices. And Romans 14 is talking about, you know, their view of alcohol, their, their view of, of, uh, uh, how they related to each other was, was tense and hard. And, and they’ve got questionable issues. And Paul steps into this, this, this mouse strum of conflict and says, The weaker brothers are the Jewish Christians who feel we can’t eat meat, uh, because it’s been offered to idols the stronger brothers.
He actually uses his terms. And I, even though I’m a Jew, I tend to agree with them. You’re free to eat the meat, but he says you’re both free to follow your conscience. They also have a totally different view of national heritage. The Jews hate the Romans, the Romans have are in the process of destroying Jerusalem around the same period.
They have persecuted destroyed cast these very Jewish Christians out of. And so enrollments 13. Paul has to say, guys, guys, guys, we can meet here. You Gentiles have been raised in Rome. You love the empire. You’ve benefited the empire. A lot of you have served in the military to you. It’s the glory of Rome.
And, and here you’re Jews, you can’t stand this. And so let’s, let’s talk about it. So Romans 13, he talks about how do we view the government together? What is our responsibility to government? And he says, what he’s saying is, look, we have different views of national priorities. We have different views about spiritual values.
We have different and ACEs. I’m trying to put you guys together. Now, what would have been the easiest sting for Paul would have been to do this said, you know what? You Jewish Christians, you made over here. You meet in this side of town, Gentile Christians, you meet in this side of town, or even you come at three o’clock and you come at 10 o’clock in the morning, have your worship services.
You both love Jesus is great, but this is too hard to put together. It’s not what he says. He says, I’m writing the whole book of Romans and I’m emphasizing in chapters one through 11, what you share together in Jesus. So that you’ll take that theology and be stunned with the grace of Christ who was for all sinners.
Like all of you in order that you can say, I can let it go. It’s not the priority. My view of, of, of national stuff. My view of government is not the priority. My view of, of convictions and practices is not the priority. And Paul says I’m I’m way in over here. But what I’m saying to you guys is don’t condemn each other.
Don’t talk against each other, do life together. Why? Because chapter one through 11 says here’s what matters. It’s Christ it’s reality of living with Christ that you’re accepted in the beloved son. So when Paul says statement like this, guys, why are you judging your brother? Stop passing judgment on one another.
He’s talking to Jewish Christians that are really struggling because they’ve lost a lot. And they’re wondering why is it most of Israel responding to Jesus? This is hard. We’ve given up everything for Jesus and the Gentiles. Why are these these Gentiles just seemed to not care in the, and they compromise and, and they’re not serious about purity and holiness and the 10,000 scene.
Why are these Jews? These crotchety narrow minded, critical people that that seem to think we’re less than in the, in spiritual realms. And, and that we don’t really value Jesus because we don’t get all the old Testament teaching about him being in the Messiah.
my understanding of the book. Romans tells me this. If Jesus Christ were pastoring a church in America today, he would not want a church where everybody was part of the same political party. He is not looking to have a church where everybody is a part of the same ethnicity. He is saying, I want you to do the hard work.
Of saying we’re going to meet at Romans one through 11. We’re going to centralize the beauty of standing in Jesus. And yeah, we’re, it would be more comfortable to be with our group. It’d be more comfortable to be with our group and pulses. That’s not, that’s not a message to the world. That’s exactly what the world does.
They go here and they go here and he says, I want you to have your own convictions, your own perspectives. And he allows both in Romans 14, you hear that he allows both and they don’t agree, but he says don’t condemn each other. Don’t speak evil against each other. The beauty of the Crow of the church is that in a day of discord, it can be together because of majors and Romans one through 11.
I know I gotta move fast. All right. Number four, when we base our evaluations on appearance, John 7 24, do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment. The word appearance here is, uh, is from the word optics. It literally means don’t go by the optics. I mean, in the, in the life of public figures, they deal with this all the time.
Ben Simmons is a star basketball player for the 76 years and had a really bad playoff series and very upsetting to six or fans. And soon after the. NBA championships. Ben Simmons was seen, um, peering and even posted on his social media, you know, at, at big parties and was seen, uh, with a new girlfriend at Wimbledon tennis.
And I remember, uh, a sports show host was speaking for many when he actually made this statement. He says, I guess there’s nothing wrong with it, but the optics are bad. And what was he saying? He’s saying Ben Simmons shouldn’t look happy. I’m not happy had how the playoffs went out. He shouldn’t be happy.
He shouldn’t look happy. He, the guy should be squirreled away in a gym somewhere every day and practicing his shooting.
But Jesus is saying you can’t evaluate people based on the optics. We don’t know why. Hi people do what they do. We don’t know what they’re thinking. And we do it a lot.
The only reason they won’t get the vaccine is because they don’t care about other people
that may not be true. Right. That may not be true. I’ve talked to a lot of people that haven’t got the vaccine and they have their own perspective on it. They genuinely believe there is more danger in the Baton. And you may say, well, that’s just ignorant. That’s just stupid. Maybe, maybe that would be your perspective or understanding, but I can tell you that the issues of whether people get a vaccine or not, or countless other issues that are out there, that people are all riled up about.
We’re no, Than what those Jewish Christians and those Gentile Christians were dealing with in Rome. And Paul says don’t condemn each other. Don’t judge and appearances, don’t say, and I have nobody in mind when I’m saying this, this is more a statement at large, that I’m making, but I think that’s what he’s saying.
Don’t go by the optics. We don’t know
Stephen Covey made this statement. Many of you know, he’s a leadership guru. We judge ourselves by our intentions. We judge others by their actions. That’s really important. I give myself the benefit of that all the time. Well, I didn’t do it, but I, I wanted to, my motives were right. You know, I, I tried, I couldn’t, but when somebody else doesn’t show up or somebody else does, my immediate reaction is they don’t care that I guess.
So something more important that we don’t go over the optics.
Fifth, when we prioritize being right over being kind, James two, 12 and 13. So speaking, so act is those who are to be judged under the law of Liberty for judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy, mercy triumphs over judgment. I’m going to keep going. I have an illustration. I’m going to just jump.
I’m gonna leave that one. I it’s not that I don’t agree with it. It’s that I want to get done. Um, before you all leave, um, okay. That it was my longest point of the three. All right. The second thing is the danger of judging others. Three quick things here in verses two through five, the danger of judging others of condemning others.
As we’re trying to describe it in this message is you will be accountable for the same standard you use. Standard is judgment without mercy, for what the judgment you pronounce, you will be judged. And with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Jesus was harshest in his ministry to those who judged other people with a spirit of condemnation, right?
We know that the Pharisees, right, they were always evaluating people. They’re always condemning people. Jesus showed less gentleness and less forbearance with those that did not prioritize mercy, but prioritized being fault. Pointer, outers, condemning others. And that’s what he’s saying here. I mean, he, Jesus, do you really, you wanna, um, live your life as the dispenser of being the air?
Pointer outer because you’re shutting down the capacity to really be graced and mercy and dealt with in the way that I delight to treat people. He says, secondly, it becomes habitual to do so. Look at verse three, he says, why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s side? But don’t notice the log that’s in your own eye.
He says, um, why do you see the word it’s in the present tense? Which literally means why are you continually doing that? Why do you continually see that the, the arch critic is thoroughly at home with all the passages in the Bible, which encourage us to spot false profits by their fruit. I’m not being judgmental.
I’m just being a fruit inspector. You know, I died this, I see this, I see that. I say, well, Jesus says. Where to be focused, not on inspection, but intro section, he says, why are you looking at everybody else? Look in side. The third thing he says, danger of it is it fosters hypocrisy. This is an interesting statement.
It’s a real question. He says why? And he doesn’t say, why do you look at the verb is actually the word. Why do you see it’s from the word sight? In other words, why is what is filling your gaze, other people’s stuff and not yours now? I don’t think he’s just asking this as a, as a, you know, sort of getting them think, you know, you should be doing.
And so I think he’s honestly saying, you need to think about why you’re doing that. Why is that your focus? Why is your heroes, all the people that condemn and see what’s wrong with everybody else, whether it’s Christian teachers or whatever, what is there about you he’s saying, or me that makes me so happy to be a fruit inspector of other people’s lives, but he says, they’ve got a splinter in their eye and you’ve got a whole beam, literally the log that was the beam, like the, you know, the beam and the holding up the roof.
And he says, you’ve got that in your why? Why, why is your tension going there? And I believe the focus that he’s prioritize on, are you focused on inspection? Not introspection is because you don’t really want to deal with yourself.
There are lots of times in my life when I’m happy to see what’s bad. I get tired of seeing what’s bad. There are times I just, I just it’s energizing to sort of hear, you know, what struggles other people are having or, or, or, or w we were watching a TV show recently. And I just, she said, is this too heavy?
And I said, you know, honestly, I’m fine dealing with somebody else’s problems and watching somebody else’s problem. He say, why, why, why don’t you want to look at yourself? It’s a spirit of pride. It’s a spirit of not wanting to go inside. And it’s a real question. And he says, it’s making you a hypocrite.
Now, these people didn’t see themselves as hypocrites. They were the, the fruit inspectors, they were the truth tellers. They were the error exposers, but he says, there’s something wrong with this being your orientation. Why think about it. Why does this draw you so much? When what should be drawing you is the personal inward inspection.
That the more you look at yourself and see your own stuff, the more you invariably will be a mercy giver to others. Okay. Quick practical things to think about how do we deliver ourselves from, from the spirit number one, and these are going to be quick. Number one, remember what you will be evaluated on.
James two says so speak. And so act as those sort of being judged under the law of Liberty. That was another term for the law of love. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy, mercy triumphs over judgment. He says, be known for being merciful and generous in your perception of others.
This is what is the voice. Oh. The the, the gospel in people’s lives. It’s striking to me in Philippians chapter two, Paul is talking about having the mind of Christ and, and he goes on and he says, do it without murmurings and disputing the word disputing means arguing. And he says, when you do this, you shine as lights in the world.
And it’s how do you have, how has the church having lights to the world, not by disputing and, and, and shooting each other. It’s by a lack of disputing hearts that are content that are not murmuring, that are going inside, introspection, not inspection. Number two, don’t evaluate from a distance. Don’t go on the optics.
Be very careful. You probably don’t know. And you certainly don’t know all that is true of that. Number three listened to the right voices. This is Philippians two and three. And Paul is just talking in those passages. He says, he says, I got people here in Philippians one. I got people in Rome that are just preaching Christ, but they’re doing of envy and strife and personal ambition.
And there it’s hard for me because their spirit is wearing me down. And he says, let’s all have the mind of Christ in Philippians two. And he says, let’s all celebrate what we have. And he says, and then he gets to chapter three, verse 17, and he says, brothers, join in imitating me and keep your eyes on those who walk.
According to the example you have in us for focus on what you share with all believers, not what you differ on. That’s why Paul and Philippians two says this. If there’s any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the spirit, any affection and sympathy complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love being in full accord and of one mind.
And then he says for this is the mind of Christ and the whole book of Philippians. He keeps talking about how to think as Christians, how to have the mind of Christ think mind, think mind. It also is the book where he uses the word joy more than any others. He’s saying, how do we have oneness? How in the world do those churches in Rome have oneness different view of national issues, different view of, of, of, of even religious practices.
I mean, the whole thing was so rife with conflict.
They focused on the fact that they all shared the encouragement of Christ. They all had the comfort from his love. They all participated in the same spirit
before I get to the last one. I just want to say this
yesterday. Uh, this can sound heavy. It’s not, the illustration is not heavy. Sorry. Um, this is about wasps. Um, yesterday my neighbor pointed out to me that in my pear tree, which is we have eight of them running down our driveway. And I, you know, I mow under them with my little ride Mo lawn mower and a branch.
It was about that high and I’m riding and I’m about this high I, and I could hit that branch that neither of us, he or I could be share. The driveway had noticed that there was a, a nest. That I’m not exaggerating. It was over 18 inches, high, big it’s one of those things you just go and they were the black Hornets with white stripes, not friendly guys.
And I saw them who just shortened me yesterday. And so happily I’ve already been doing battle with yellow jackets. So I have two jars of the spray I’m ready and I know how to do this cause I’ve been out there and I know you don’t go during the day. If you have any donor during the day, get them when they all go to bed at night and then you spray and you get a, you get like a 15 foot shot.
So I went out and I thought I was fine with it, not nervous with it at all. And, uh, I had on my LL bean baseball cap, which has two lights. You click a button and it shoots flashlights out. I love it. Go ahead. And as they say, don’t judge me. Okay. All right. The second. I had a flashlight in my hand, a powerful flashlight, and I had my spray and I was ready and I’m walking along and I’m thinking I’m okay.
You know, I, I, but I had seen them earlier and I mean, they were dozens. It was unpleasant to see. So I was going over and I’m getting close and I’m shaking, you know, cause it’s supposed to shake up the camp. And I realized just before I’m ready to spray, then I actually was not shaking the light. I mean, I was not shaking the can.
I was shaking the light. That was when I realized maybe I’m more nervous than I thought I was. And so I sprayed and this morning was a beautiful experience to see my friends. Um, we’ll no longer be buzzing, but
there’s a part of me that I came to this message this morning and there’s a part of me shaking. Because I don’t know what everybody’s hearing.
I really, I really want us to meet at Jesus. I want this for the whole body of Christ so much. And so this last one I’m introducing with this statement. If you don’t hear anything else, I’m saying, this is the one the gotta take hold. The passage is saying, make introspection your priority, not inspection.
Look to your own heart. Are you contending? Jesus. Are you known for loving others for encouraging others or with people only be aware of what you’re against or what you feel needs to change or who you think isn’t doing the right things and compromise those Roman believers are great encouragement to me because I get.
I understand where the Jewish Christians were coming from. I feel their pain. I feel the pain of the Gentile, Christians. And I feel for Paul. I mean, how in the world are you going to get these guys together? And he says, I’m going to have to give the longest presentation on the doctrine of salvation of any other part of the new Testament.
These people have to remind it, be reminded of the beauty of knowing Christ of that. This is where the church of Christ meets. Instead. It’s a group of broken sinners with different theological perspectives on some things, different political positions on some things, different racial interpretation on some things.
But where we meet is Romans 11. The centrality, the beauty, the glory of Christ. We’re broken sinners. Say, God, I don’t even want to live today. Unless you’re the Lord of my life, unless you are the one that’s empowering and strengthening me. I had somebody that’s not a believer asked me a while back. And they said to me, why do you want to be a Christian?
And I said, probably more than anything else, because I don’t like who I am without Christ. He’s everything. He’s everything. That’s where we meet. That’s our glory. That’s our message. That’s our banner. That’s the message. That’s a light to the world. Lord, we come to you. Lot angles and things have run down this morning.
Lord, we want to love you. We want to know you. We want to do life with you because we don’t like who we are without you. So Lord, let us meet at the cross here in our little tiny puddle of Christendom called fellowship community church, but I pray it for the whole body. Lord, do whatever you have to do to restore among your people.
The union that comes only when we focus on our fellowship in Christ, our encouragement in Christ, doing life in the spirit, lead us to him. Father. I pray that we might not be condemned. Criticizing inspectors, but introspective
in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Go in peace to love and serve and enjoy the Lord.