Matthew, Chapter 7
Matt. 7:1, 2
Matt. 7:1 "Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye
judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be
measured to you again."
Another verse that helps us understand what is being taught here is:
Luke 6:37 "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye
shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven."
Some have thought that this teaches that we are not to make any
judgments of others at all. However, that would make no sense if we are
to have any kind of court system where matters both criminal and civil
are brought to be decided. Without a court system, national chaos would
result. The Lord himself established a court system for the nation of
Israel. Furthermore, Paul judged the character of some as follows: 1
Tim. 1:9 "Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man,
but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners,
for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of
mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile
themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured
persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound
doctrine." In addition, the Lord taught that we are to make some
judgments and how we are to judge: John 7:24 "Judge not according to the
appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
What is it then that we are not to judge? First, the scriptures teach us
that we are not to judge the service of the Lord's servants: Rom. 14:4
"Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he
standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make
him stand." Whether a person is fulfilling his service to the Lord is
for the Lord to judge and not for us. Also, how another man serves the
Lord is between him and the Lord and not our business: John 21:21 "Peter
seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus
saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to
thee? follow thou me."
Second, we are not to judge the eternal standing of someone. James 4:12
reads, "There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who
art thou that judgest another?" I am not to judge someone as being
worthy of eternal life or as being worthy of eternal damnation. Jesus
Christ is the only lawgiver who is both able to save and to destroy.
"The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth
them that are his" (2 Tim. 2:19). We are not to make the judgment that
someone is a child of God or that he is not a child of God. The Lord
knows who are his for he chose them before the foundation of the world.
Third, we are not to judge the relative moral worth of someone else. We
are judged by the same standard by which we would judge others. Paul
wrote in Rom. 2:1 "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou
art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest
thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things." Judging the moral
worth of someone else by our estimation of our own moral worth leads us
to not forgive the trespasses of others or to harshly condemn others for
their action, even though we are likewise guilty of breaking the same
moral laws of God. When it comes to the heart felt forgiveness of sin,
we are measured by the same standard with which we measure others. If we
measure someone as being unworthy of our forgiveness, then when we seek
God's timely forgiveness of our sins, then we can expect to be measured
in the same way we measured others.
Matt. 7:3 "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye,
but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt
thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and,
behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the
beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out
the mote out of thy brother's eye."
How easy it is to find the faults of others and to think that we can
help solve the faults of others, and yet, never even see or correct much
worst problems in ourselves. A mote is defined as a "dry twig or straw."
A beam is defined as "a load bearing timber."
The Lord said that we are being a hypocrite when we try to remove the
mote out of our brother's eye and have not removed the beam out of our
own eye. How often we try to correct the minor problems of others and do
nothing to try to correct the major flaws in our own Christian walk.
The Lord sets forth our priority for us. We should first remove the beam
out of our own eye, before we try to help the brother to remove the mote
out of his eye. When it comes to corrections in our Christian walk and
warfare, we are to start with ourselves. We should not even attempt to
correct our brother before we make the corrections in our own lives.
We are both being hypocritical and appearing hypocritical to others when
we try to correct the minor flaws of others and do not address the major
flaws in our own Christian walk.
It is only after we have gotten our own lives straightened out that we
can see clearly to help our brother.
To straighten out our own lives we must first take a self-examination
using the standard of God's word. 2 Cor. 13:5 "Examine yourselves,
whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own
selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"
Self-examination and correction are needed to remove the flaws in our
own lives. We should ask the Lord to help us to see and correct the
flaws in our own lives first.
Matt. 7:6 "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye
your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and
turn again and rend you."
Some have thought that they should take the gospel to people who are
behaving in an ungodly manner, that they might give them an opportunity
to be saved or to be reformed. Some advocate going into bars and
taverns, houses of prostitution, and to other unsavory places to preach
the gospel. However, the above passage certainly tells us that we should
not do this.
While I am not to judge whether someone is of the elect or not, yet I am
to judge their fruits to see if they are acting in a manner similar to
dogs and swine. Dogs and swine are both unclean animals. They are
literally filth bearing animals and shed their filth onto others that
are about them. Dogs are often friendly, yet they carry filth on their
bodies and shed their filth on others by contact. Both swine and dogs
are consumers of filth. Swine eat garbage and get it all over themselves
as they consume it. Dogs often eat their own vomit. The behavior of some
people is like dogs and swine. They rejoice in the filthy language of
others and are quick to share their filthy conversation with those
around them. They behave in such a way as to spread their filth unto
others around them.
The Lord tells us that he has given the disciples of the Lord holy
things and pearls. The word of God and the kingdom of God are holy and
the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of His word and kingdom are to
our souls like precious pearls. Holy and precious things do not belong
in a pigpen or a dog cage. When people are behaving in a way similar to
dogs and swine, we should avoid sharing with them our precious things.
This is not to say that people cannot change. Certainly, the Lord is
able and does often change people's hearts so that they no longer act
like dogs or swine. We, however, are not able to change people's hearts.
We must wait upon the Lord to do so.
People who act like dogs or swine will pollute and debase the word of
God and his kingdom and ridicule and persecute those who hold those
Holy things and pearls are to be honored and valued by those who are
able to honor and value them. The word of God and his kingdom are to be
valued by God's born again people. Until a person shows evidence of
being a child of God, they are not able to value or honor the word of
God and his kingdom.