Sunday, Dr. Richard Marks joined us to complete our campaign from First Corinthians on Sex, Marriage, and Singleness. Dr. Marks’ focal passages where from 1 Corinthians 5:1-2 and Luke 6:32-42. In these texts, the apostle Paul and Jesus help to establish a biblical framework on the subject of judgment.
Culturally, the subject of judgment is of great importance because of the growing number of people who do not want to go to church. Dr. Marks’ stated one of the reasons people do not want to attend the church is because it is full of hypocrites with a judgmental spirit. So in effort to not to be judgmental or critical, the Christians will allow sin to come into the community in hopes of receiving acceptance from society.
Dr. Marks’ posed the scenario that in our families we would not allow our kids to make decisions that would be destructive to their lives, but instead we would confront them. The body of Christ must respond the same way: speak the truth in love, even when it is not pretty. There is nothing wrong with telling someone in the body of Christ that something is sinful.
Why Are Christians Not To Judge?
People aren’t to cast judgment on people for their moral failures. [Romans 2:1-5] Dr. Marks pointed out the reality that no human beings are in position to cast judgment, because we all stand on same level playing field at the cross. Beating people up will not endear Christians to mature in their faith, nor will it help non-Christians to start following Jesus. We all struggle with both private and public sin, so tearing people down is not the answer. We need to be encouraging, loving, and respectful of our brothers and sisters who struggle with sin.
Christians do not pass judgments on disputable matters. [Romans 14:1-4] There is great need for Christians to stop arguing over issues that have no bearing on eternity. We make unfair judgments on people whose theologies differ from our own. Dr. Marks reminded us that Jesus was full of grace and truth. It wasn’t 50% of each, but 100% of both. In the body of Christ some bend a little more towards grace, while others towards truth. We need to stop pointing our fingers about who is right and wrong, rather we are both right. We need to love each other in spite of our differences. The church must be focused on unity, because where this is division you will find the evil one.
Christians are not to judge people’s hidden motives. [1 Corinthians 4:5] Dr. Marks shared the story of how people were unfairly judged. A woman bought a $17 cake with food stamps and the cashier criticized her for purchasing luxury food, but little did the cashier know the woman was purchasing the cake for her daughter to celebrate her last birthday. The little girl had bone cancer and she would be gone in 6-8 months. Too often we make a judgment on something without asking or finding out the facts.
Christians are not to judge those outside of the faith. [1 Corinthians 5:12; John 3:17] Christians are not to judge those outside the body of Christ, because they are doing exactly what they know to do. People who stand outside of Christianity fall under the judgment of God. We need to stop placing biblical imperatives on those who have not submitted themselves to the Lordship of Jesus.
The overall the message from these passages reminds us that God alone is the judge, he alone knows the motives of people’s hearts, he alone knows proper time for judgment, and he perfectly responds to sin.