Video Transcript: Judging Others

We continue hearing God's word from the book of Romans, from chapters two verses one  through five. Listen to the Word of God. You therefore, have no excuse you who pass  judgment on someone else. For at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning  yourself, because you who pass judgment, do the same things. Now we know that God's  judgment against those who do such things, is based on truth. So when you a mere man pass  judgment on them, and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing  that God's kindness leads you toward repentance? but because of your stubbornness, and  your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath,  when his righteous judgment will be revealed? This ends the reading of God's word, and God  always blesses His Word, to those who listen. A picture is worth a thousand words. And as is  often the case, our Lord Jesus, gives us a very memorable picture to help us understand  what's going on. In this passage from Romans, about judging others, Jesus said, do not judge  or you too will be judged. For in the measure that you judge others you will be judged. And  with the measure that you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of  sawdust in your brother's eye? And pay no attention to the plank? In your own eye? How can  you say to your brother, let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there was a  plank, in your own eye, you hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye. And then you  will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye, that famous picture of the speck  and the log, and the challenge of judging others. And it is always easier to see the difficulties  and problems in other's lives than it is to see the problems in our own eyes. And it's always a  great temptation to judge them and let ourselves off easily. You see that with children at a  very young age. When you catch them fighting, you will often hear this, it's all your fault. No,  it's all your fault. And they'll go back and forth. It's all your fault. No, it's all your fault. No, it's  all your fault. No, it's all your fault. And somewhere you begin to suspect there might be a  little bit of fault on both sides. But they're both fully convinced that it's the other person's  fault. And this shifting of blame, or this accusing of others is something that goes on through  life. It goes on in presidential elections. You did this and we have tapes to prove it. Oh, but  you did that. And we have emails to prove it. You did it. No. you did it. And at the presidential  level, it happens at the congressional races it happens. And we just had an election season  full of charges and accusations it was very hard to find a commercial anywhere that actually  said something positive. Because the way to win an election is to judge the other person and  to rile up the voters. It's so that they too have a very negative judgment about the one  person. We saw it in the world of entertainment where one of the world's most popular  entertainers for years was quite famous for advocating family values and excellent education. And he would say what are these people doing going around, dressed this way with their  shorts hanging half down and using slang and speaking bad and a lot of us said, Yeah, you  know, he's got a point I wish people would listen to him. And then it comes out that many,  many people accused him of drugging them and raping them. So you have people who are  rendering very public judgments sometimes about somebody else who themselves are doing  things that they wouldn't want anybody to know about. And this happens repeatedly, where  we, in spite of our own problems and sins are very quick to point out the problems and sins of  others and all the while, we're entirely blind to the problem with our own. And so the Apostle  Paul says in that first verse of chapter two, You therefore have no excuse you who pass  judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other. You are condemning  yourself because you who pass judgment do the same things. We sometimes judge people  who we think are way too greedy, and they're part of that 1% and those people are rigging  the system. But when we get a chance to shade the truth a little bit to save ourselves some  money, whether it's filling out our tax forms, or lying on our way to getting into a public  event. And if we lie about somebody's age, or a little of this or that, we might save a few  bucks, we're willing to do it. Who's to say we wouldn't do it if there were millions at stake, or  we, we condemn someone who would leave his wife and be unfaithful to her. And then not  that long later, we're looking at pornography ourselves. And so we're condemning somebody  who did something. And we're doing the very same thing in the sexual sins that we find  ourselves involved in. We condemn those bad bad people in the papers, and on TV who are 

guilty of murder. And we ignore Jesus words that anyone who is angry with his brother is  committing murder against him. We think oh that person, that deadbeat dad, he's not paying  for his children. After the divorce man, I got my divorce nice and clean, and got the paperwork all done, and I pay the alimony and child support every month and break our arm patting  ourselves on the back at how good we ran our divorce. And Jesus says, Hey, Moses allowed  divorce only because of the hardness of your hearts don't don't break apart what God has  joined together. So we have many, many different ways where we'll look at a particular kind  of sin. And we will say now, that is bad. And when we look at our own come on , you know,  don't, don't judge me. It's not that big a deal. And that's the challenge in judging others is we  always have this big log stuck in our own eye, which really blinds us to our own faults and  makes us way more harsh on them than sometimes we ought to be. Now, in our own time,  Jesus' words judge not, are the two most popular words in the Bible. And this verse that I've  just been quoting, is one that you will hear quoted again and again, and again, don't judge  who are you to judge. And judging is considered just about the worst thing in the world. And  we're going to see today that it is one of the worst things in the world. But sometimes, falling  into one error does not mean that the other side and the other error is a good thing. When  Paul writes about God's judgment, He has just said one verse earlier. Okay, one verse earlier,  this isn't way out of context, the verse right before he says that you shouldn't pass judgment  on others. He says, there are people who know God's righteous decree that those who do  such things deserve death. And they not only continue to do these very things, but they also  approve of those who practice them. Some folks who would like to say, don't judge will say  the correct approach is to approve of sin. And to say that everything goes and so approving of sin, or condemning others, sins are kind of the two choices we're faced with. And so if you're  not going to be one of the approvers, we think to ourselves, Well, we've got to have moral  standards, after all, and we've got to make some judgments, don't we? And so, if we're not  going to be the approvers of sin, we think we've got to be the condemners of sin. If we're not  going to be the condemners of sin, then we think, well, you know, we've got to be the  approvers of sin, we better start marching in parades on behalf of sin, and condemning  people who are opposed our sin. If there's a show on TV, where they go to a church that  doesn't approve of homosexuality, we ought to run those kinds of people out of town. So you  have different standards of judgment, where you're either judging one side, or you're judging  the other and in the middle of all that judging. The one thing that's going on is this. You're  denying who the real judge is, and what his real standard is. See it's not a choice between  either approving of sin or just condemning other people who commit sins. It's first of all,  facing, who's the real judge here, and then humbling yourself before Him. In Psalm 36. It says, that, when the people are wicked, there is no fear of God before his eyes, for in his own eyes,  he flatters himself too much to hate or detect his own sin. What goes wrong? Why can't he  see his own sin? Well, he flatters himself too much. But even before that, what's the real  problem? There's no fear of God, before his eyes when you're in the presence of God. When  you see the greatness and holiness and majesty of God, then it gets a lot harder to just point  sideways at the other person, because all of a sudden, you've got something else on your  mind. And somebody else on your mind, you've got God on your mind, and you start seeing  yourself in the light of God's reality. You see, that's the real challenge. When you come to  know God, you come to know yourself, and not until then, you do not really know yourself  very well, until you see yourself in the light of God's holiness, and in the light of God's  judgment. And once you do stand before God, and His judgment seat, you've got better  things to do than slam other people, you first have to deal with the matters in your own life.  And there may come a point where God does put you in a position to help somebody else. But then, if you do see sin in somebody else, the goal is not to prove I'm right, and I'm superior.  But to help the other person, the goal is not to condemn the other person, but to help them to correct a fault or something they struggle with, in their own life. So we need to avoid both of  those extremes. And first of all, just bow before God and His majesty, His holiness, His  judgment, and face the truth about ourselves. And if we don't we find ourselves committing a  very serious sin, we find ourselves judging God's law. Listen to these words, from James 4:11- 12, Anyone who speaks against his brother, or judges him, speaks against the law and judges 

it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only  one law giver and judge, the one who was able to save and destroy but you Who are you to  judge your neighbor, you think you're the big judge of God's law, you think God died and you  took his place, you became the law giver, the judge, the one who gets to save and destroy,  you don't get to decide who gets condemned, you don't get to decide who lives. So you may  still have to make some assessments of what's right and wrong, first of all, for your own life,  and then sometimes help somebody else. But only to help them not sit in judgment on them  to, to destroy them, or to condemn them. Judging the law is one of the most serious of all sins because you're setting yourself up directly against God. So we need a judgment based on  truth. We know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So  when you a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things do you think you  will escape God's judgment? You see, there's a couple things going on. One is God is the  rightful judge, and the final decider on these matters, and we're not. The other is that God's  judgment is based on truth, and not on what serves my agenda, or how mad I happen to be at a given moment, or what I wish would happen to somebody I don't like very much when God  judges it's based on reality, based on truth, when we judge, it's based on whether we happen  to be ticked off or not, or whether we want to get rid of somebody, or not, or show ourselves  superior or not. And this whole matter of judging, is one of the worst destroyers of  relationships. It's a destroyer of relationships. Within the church, when people decide based  on the one or two worst things they know about somebody else that they are to be written off, and rejected. It is a destroyer of marriages. I hear of people and talk with people who will  think their spouse is entirely to blame for every strain in their relationship. And they don't  need to see a counselor. Why would they need to see a counselor the other person's got the  problem? They are the one who's got the hang ups. They're the one who thinks the marriage  is in trouble. So they're the one they've got to go get themselves straightened out. Because  why would I need anything like that? And so you make a judgment that I am in the right, he or she is in the wrong and nobody needs to do anything about it except the other person. So you get judgment based on your own sense of superiority. But what's God's judgment like? Well,  it's based on truth. It's based on the true standard of God's law and what is right. And it's  based on the reality of what's going on. Because God not only knows the true standard, but  he knows what's happening. He knows the fault of each person involved in various disputes  and hard situations. And one thing we need to understand is we're always going to be  tempted to feel superior. And we're always going to be tempted to shift blame. And there is  something about the nature of sin that just blinds us to our own faults. And if we can find  something to blame in somebody else, it makes us feel warm and fuzzy all over. It just does. It feels so good. To be better to know that you are a superior lifeform to that other that you're in a dispute with, it feels so good to know that you're not that bad. And so you get judgment  based on comparison, judgment based on your own biases, judgment based on your own  moods, judgment based on what you want. Yeah, I find the tendency in myself, I can see it go  on sometimes when I see discussions on Facebook, and when I get involved in one. If I see a  discussion on Facebook, I'll think Well, that's not you know that I don't think that sounds right. And when I get involved, then I know it's not right, and what kind of moron are they? And I  have 17 More reasons besides the ones I just gave you to show why this is the right position.  Because once I'm in it, I'm no longer just assessing based on truth. Now I'm in the fight. And I  got to win. And so part of judging is getting into the fight and feeling like you got to win, and  then all of a sudden, your juices get going in a way they weren't if you were just judging  based on truth, and trying to sort things out. Well, Jesus once dealt with some people who had a very strong judgment, they caught a woman in adultery. Somehow they caught her in  adultery and the man wasn't there. That's quite a miraculous achievement. But anyway, they  caught the woman, no double standard there. And then they brought her to Jesus. And they  were trying to trap him. And they said, hey, the law of Moses says a woman like this, we got  to stone her to death. What do you say? And Jesus just kind of doodled around in the dirt for  about let them stew. And then he said, Okay, let him who is without sin among you be the  first to throw a stone at her, go ahead and stone her but the first stone gets chucked by the  sinless guy. And they went away one by one. The oldest first it says, somehow the oldest. 

They knew they weren't without sin. And by the end of it, they were all gone. And then Jesus  said, Well, neither do I condemn you now go and sin no more. You notice that he didn't just  say all is well, I have nothing bad to say this all. You know, everything's good. He did say that  was a sin, now cut it out. Go and sin no more. But so he made in one sense a judgment, a  judgment that what she did was wrong. But in another sense, he didn't judge. He didn't  condemn, he didn't destroy. And he left all the other judges know that. They would also be  under a rock pile. If everybody who sinned were to have stones thrown at them. Well, Paul  goes on, he talks about the danger of, of judging sins when we're committing those sins  ourselves. And then he goes on, it's not just a matter of hypocrisy, to see the sins of others, or a matter of being overly harsh. But he says, also in your relationship to God, there's  something going on? Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and  patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance. But because of your  stubbornness, and your unrepentant heart? You are storing up wrath against yourself for the  day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. If you're a moral person,  and you look at the whole list of sins listed in Romans 1, and then you hear Romans 1 and it,  and they not only do these things, but they approve of those who do them, you know, you've  kind of got yourself worked into a rat a lather. And you're saying, Yes, Paul, that's exactly  right. And then he turns right around and says you are without excuse, whoever you are,  because you're doing it too. And then he gets on to this. That and then there's a temptation  when you're living kind of a moral life, sort of, and your life isn't falling apart. You say, You  know what? I'm living pretty much the way a person ought to live. And that's kind of why  things are turning out pretty nicely for me. And the apostle says, Are you kidding me? If  judgment hasn't fallen on you and blown you away? Are you going to congratulate yourself on saying it think I deserve it. And I've been good. He says, that is showing contempt for God's  kindness, tolerance and patience, because the only reason you're still upright and breathing is because God is tolerant kind and patient, not because you are perfect and deserving of his  kindness. So he's saying God is tolerant kind and patient. Why? Because he wants you to  change. He's leading you towards repentance, repentance is turning, turning away from sin,  hating it, cutting it out, and aiming for a different way of life. So if you're judging others and  thinking, you're fine, because God approves of you think again. It's kindness, tolerance and  patience, not approval that is going on when that's happening. And he says, but because of  your stubborn and unrepentant heart, you're storing up wrath against yourself for the day of  God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. So any of us who just goes around thinking we're good, and we deserve God's approval. Paul says, when that's going on, you  want to know what's really happening. God's being very patient with you. But the water  behind the dam is building and building and building or to pick a different picture. You're  storing up treasure for yourself, but it's not the treasure of good things. It's the treasure of  wrath, your treasuring up wrath is literally what the the phrase is there when you're judging  others and saying, Hey, God ain't gonna judge me because I'm good enough the way I am.  That that infuriates God. So you're storing up wrath. So this whole business of judging others,  while giving yourself a pass, shows that we are in a world of hurt. Again, in the bigger picture  of Romans, here's what's going on. We read in chapter one, verses 18, through 32, you've got  these rebels without restraint, they just go from one thing to another to another, they just get  worse and worse and worse. But then you get other people who say that is really bad. And we need high standards, we need traditional values, we need to be good. And the only trouble is,  after you've said, we need to be good, you're still not. So that's moralism without actual  morality. And then later on, we'll go to talk about religion without relationship where people  think their rituals or their birth or their heritage of the faith is somehow going to make them  right with God. And so you have these different kinds of sinners. And yet, though there's some differences, it all boils down to the same thing, what should we conclude, then? Are we any  better? Not at all. There's no one who does good, not even one. There's no difference for all  have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. That's his summary statement of everything.  He says in those first three chapters, there is no difference, For all have sinned and fall short  of the glory of God. And fortunately, he doesn't stop at that point, and are justified freely by  his grace, through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. So we're all leveled before God 

in our sin. And we need the grace of God that comes through our Lord Jesus Christ. That's why you celebrate Advent. That's why you rejoice in Christmas is because the Lord Jesus Christ  has done for us what we could never do. He has come to us who pretend we can judge others, and he puts his right judgment and exposes us. And then he says, but if you repent, I forgive  and I take away all those sins, and I make you right with God. Think of it this way. Jesus again, in one of his great stories about judging others says to those who are confident of their own  righteousness, and look down on everybody else, he told this parable. Two men went to the  temple to pray one a Pharisee, the upright Bible studying church going good kind of guy, and  the other one a tax collector, somebody who collaborated with the enemy was a cheater and  a thief. And they got to the temple and the Pharisee prayed like this God, I thank you, that I  am not like other men, robbers, evildoers, adulterers, or even like this tax collector, I fast  twice a week, and I give a 10th of all I get and the tax collector would not even look up. But  he beat his chest and said, God have mercy on me, a sinner. Jesus summarizes by saying, I  tell you, it was this man and not the other one. went home justified before God. For everyone  who humbles himself will be exalted. everyone who exalts himself will be humbled. What's  going on there is a comparison game, if you're always looking sideways, you can always find  somebody who looks worse to you. Maybe in some cases, they'll be a little worse. Sometimes  they just won't, and you're so rotten at judging accurately that they're actually better than  you and you just think they're worse. But if you're playing this comparison game, you'll  always find somebody that you think you're better than if you are locked up in prison for  serious crimes, you will thank God that at least you're not a child molester. But if you're one of those you'll find, even there something to feel superior about. So no matter who you are, no  matter what you've done, you can play this little game of comparing. And you will not go  home right with God. It's when you say, God, have mercy on me, a sinner for Jesus sake,  that's when you're made right with God, the whole folly of judging others and comparing, all  caught up in this one parable. Now, maybe they just drive the picture home. If you want to  travel from the Earth to the Moon, and you are wheelchair bound, how successful are you  going to be in making that trip from the Earth to the Moon, you can sit there on the beach,  you could be in your chair, you might even flap your wings, and you're not going up. It's just  not going to happen. But let's say you're not wheelchair bound. You are healthy, you are fit.  You are a world class climber, you have made it to the top of Mount Everest. Good for you.  And how much closer to the moon? Are you? If you want to get from the Earth to the Moon is  the climber of Mount Everest, a whole lot closer than the wheelchair bound person. Let's say  you're on the moon. Looking at the Earth from the moon. Let's compare the climber of Mount  Everest and the person in the wheelchair. Let's see now. Yeah, boy, they I think that guy on  Mount Everest looks a lot better, doesn't he? Well, actually, I can't see Mount Everest, let  alone the guy. Because if you're looking from that distance at the earth, they're all pretty  small. And they're all a long ways away. So if you want to make the trip from the Earth to the  Moon, you do not need more climbing lessons, you probably should get a rocket. This is what  Paul is saying throughout the early chapters of Romans, If you think you are going, by your  own efforts, and by your own superiority to others, going to make that trip from fallen sin into  the presence of the glory of God, dream on all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God a long ways further than the distance from  the Earth to the Moon. And so again, you do not need more climbing lessons. And it does you  no good to say I am the climber of Mount Everest, she's just a wheelchair bound person, it  makes no difference in the thing that matters. And in the thing that matters, you can't just  work a little harder, you need to be found in Christ Jesus. It's almost the image of a rocket,  where the Bible says that God raised us with him to be seated in the heavenly realms. And  when he's caught up to the heavenly realms, and we're in him, then we too, are caught up  into the glory of God, and into the righteousness of God. Jesus came to earth to take us to  glory. And anything else we say or do that acts as though that wasn't necessary, or as though  we're superior is something that's going to keep us from seeking Him, and instead taking too  much pride in our own achievements. And that's why it's a wonderful thing that God does for  us, when he just destroys our pride, and levels us and says, Hey, whether you're a little bit  better than one person or another, you're probably not gonna be able to judge it accurately in

the first place. But even if you were, it wouldn't do you any good. Because you need to stop  looking sideways. You need to look up. What do you look like in His presence? How do you  measure up to him? How far are you from his glory? And then you'll realize that nothing but  Jesus Christ coming to us and taking us up into himself is sufficient to save us. Let's pray  together Dear Lord, we thank you for your great revelation of yourself. We thank You that You  are the righteous judge and before you all of our judgments are as nothing backward and  worthless and less than nothing. And so we pray, Lord, that you will help us to just stop  looking sideways and considering ourselves superior, trying to build up our own sense of  righteousness by despising the sin of others but instead, to find ourselves in the light of your  holiness and to repent before you God have mercy on us sinners. And we thank you that you  have had mercy that in our Lord Jesus Christ, you have become one of us that in that realm of being in Christ, we can enjoy your glory, we can enjoy your heavenly realm. We can have  eternal life in him forever. And so we thank you again Lord Jesus, for becoming one of us for  your birth on Christmas for your perfect life, for your saving death and glorious resurrection  and ascension to heaven and that you did all this as one of us and for us and, and connecting  us to yourself by faith in the Holy Spirit. We too, can be right with God and enjoy your favor  and blessing forever. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

Last modified: Tuesday, December 28, 2021, 10:05 AM