Monthly Archives: August 2011

Sermon on the Mount – Fruit and Prophets

Peninsula Community Church

August 21, 2011

Sermon on the Mount – Fruit and False Prophets

Matthew 7:15-20  “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

It is interesting to note that in the Sermon on the Mount that Jesus dealt with the issue of judging others motives and judging others wrongly. But, in this passage we see that Jesus deals with an issue that requires us to judge another’s fruit and actions.

Once again Jesus uses hyperbole to draw a comparison and to get his hearers attention.  He describes a group of people that is in the church as false prophets and he paints a picture of them as being sheep in wolves clothing. He is saying that outwardly they look inviting and harmless but inwardly they are like ravenous wolves that have come to destroy rather than bring life.

This passage is a passage of warning to the body of Christ today. For one we have become an emotionally driven society. We make decisions most often on emotion or a whim rather than on fact and on the rightness of the decision. We elect people to office because they look good and can present themselves well but have few credentials to back up what they are saying. I have seen this in churches where a pastor is hired because he might be a great orator but that is the extent of their ability. While they are great speakers they fall short in an understanding of how to run the church, their people skills and a basic understanding of a pastor’s role.

Jesus and the early believers knew that there would be false prophets that would arise when see this is a number of passages:

  • Matthew 24:11  And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.
  • Matthew 24:23 -24  Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. It is interesting to note that Jesus in verse 14 of Matthew 24 exerts that the Kingdom of Heaven will not be revealed until the whole world has heard the message of Christ’s love.
  • Mark 13:21-23  And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.
  • 2Peter 2:1-3 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
  • 1 John 4:1-3 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

If this is an issue for the church then the question is begged, “How can you spot a wolf in sheep’s clothing?” How do we do this without falsely accusing or judging in a way that is condemned by God in the earlier passage? Let me give you a couple of characteristics of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I must issue a disclaimer and a warning at this stage that we need to be careful in judging others as all of us have foible and shortcomings that may fit into these categories but that does not on its own mean that we are a false prophet or a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  1. The first sign a wolf in sheep’s clothing is that while they appear humble and others oriented they are really self-centered and they are in ministry or a part of a church for their own profit and gain. This works something like this. You have a person who volunteers for things around the church but it is only those things where people will see them working. They will usually make a point of doing or saying something that will attract attention to what they are doing.  In their minds they are “running for office” so people will see how great they are. Their motivation is to get a position in the church so that they can change things or get things done because they believe nothing can happen without their talents and gifts to the body.
  2. The second sign of a wolf in sheep’s clothing is that they will twist scripture to fit their needs and to accomplish their purposes. It is interesting to note that folks that fall into this category will have some strange interpretations of key scriptures that always seem to support what they are doing rather than what God desires. They are not interested in the truth but only twisting the scriptures to justify their ways or to manipulate others for their benefit. But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 4:1-7).
  3. The third sign of a wolf in sheep’s clothing is that they are men exalters and people pleasers. Someone early in ministry made a statement that I have seen worked out in my life many times. He said beware of those that hug you the hardest because they often have a knife in the other hand. Wolves are men pleasers and they love to give an inordinate amount of praise to those around them.
  4. A fourth sign of a wolf in sheep’s clothing is that there will be inconsistencies in what they preach/say and what they do. Wolves are often trying to bring division and disunity into the body so that they can destroy their prey. They will talk about the need for unity but in fact will be an instrument of disunity because they spread gossip and false accusations most often toward the leadership or pastor.

In this passage on two occasions Jesus stated that you will recognize them by their fruit. Give them time and the real person will be revealed. Another saying that has proven to be helpful to me has been “Give people enough rope and they will hang themselves.” In others give some time and people will show their true colors. If the heart is wrong it will not take long before the evil of the heart will be revealed.

Now that we know what a wolf in sheep’s clothing looks like we must then as the question of “How do you deal with a false prophet?”

  • This may sound like it is counter to the passage we read but we begin by attempting to bring repentance and you speak the truth in love. I believe this is what is meant by John when he said “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). If you are suspect test the spirit by seeking to bring repentance and restoration to the person and watch how they respond and act.
  • You administer great grace. Paul said that grace will cover sin and where there is great sin there will be great grace but that does not allow one to continue in their sin or ways of doing things that brings hurt and pain to others (Rom 5:20-21). Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,  so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • You must remove them for the health of the body. When every room for repentance and the administering of grace have been advanced and there is evidence that they are in fact a wolf in sheep’s clothing we must remove them so that they cannot bring injury or more woundedness to the body.

While it is easy to point a finger at others we must also look at our own heart for we all have the propensity to act this way in our lives and walk. So how do we counter this for us personally?

  • We walk in the Spirit. For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:13-26).
  • We live in the word. So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32).
  • We exhibit  an obedient and repentant lifestyle. We must be approachable and willing to repent when someone points out a sin our life. We must walk in humility and in a prayerful attitude.

 

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Sermon on the Mount – Do Unto Others

Peninsula Community Church

August 14, 2011

Sermon on the Mount – Do Unto Others

Matthew 7:12-14 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

To fully understand the intent of this passage we must understand that the “Golden Rule” is a continuation of the previous verses. Because when we are a member of the Kingdom of God we give good gifts to those around us. Just as God does not play tricks on us we should not do that to others but rather we should treat others as we would want to be treated.
 

This one passage, though it is small, contains more guidance on living life and getting along with others than the sum total of every book ever written. Living by this rule moulds the finest Christian character, one that is well pleasing to God and man. It is for that reason that this command has been called the “Mount Everest of Ethics.”

Because of the connection between the previous verses and the text before us now, we understand that we can and must live graciously with others not according to how they deal with us but according to how God deals with us. Every failure to live by this rule is the result of distrust of God’s gracious provisions. This is worship to God.

Someone has said that it is utterly vain to speak like angels when on our knees before God, if we act like devils in our transactions with men. I have seen this in the way that:

  • Husbands treat their wives.
  • Parents treat their children and the example that is set in the home.
  • Employers treat their employees and vice versa. On Long Island there was a successful Christian business man who was very wealthy. We knew of several people that worked for him and each one told of stories of how he would abuse and misuse them. He would fail to keep his promises and would attempt to cause people within the organization to fight against one another. He would take the credit that deservingly should have gone to others. He would go into fits of rage at his employees when they made mistakes or failed to complete a project on time. And yet, he was a key leader in a local church.

This is a difficult proposition for us today because we are living in a self-centered society that is focused on what “I can get no matter who is hurt along the way.” Because of our self-centeredness we have been conditioned to, as one person has said, do unto others first and then run. In a self-centered society, the tendency is to think of one’s self and what one wants rather than what may benefit the other person.

How many are most resolute in standing up for their own rights, yet have no regard for the rights of others; who are very strict in demanding prompt payment from their debtors, yet are exceedingly slack in meeting the dues of their creditors; who hotly resent being slandered, yet care nothing of other men’s names; who are very hurt when friends fail to sympathize with them in their trouble, vet are callously indifferent to the sorrows of their neighbors. It is vain to parade our orthodoxy in doctrine and prate about the communion we enjoy with Christ, while we pay little or no attention to this important precept. God will not accept our worship if our conduct unto our fellows contradicts our Christian profession.

The ones who complain the most, the ones who gripe the most, who groan the most, that irritate the most, are the ones who do not know how to behave toward others the most. Sadly to say, I think that the philosophy of the world has infiltrated into the church. Their philosophy today is ‘dog eat dog’, do it to others before they do it to you. It is ‘give as good as you get’, but the Lord’s teaching is that you should behave toward others as you would like them to behave toward you. The way people behave towards you is not a gauge as to how you should treat them – if they’re nasty to you, well then they deserve to have a nasty comment made toward them. Whatever they do to you is a measurement of how you should do it to them – the Lord says that is not the measurement of how you should behave, but rather you should treat them as you think they should have treated you.

It is interesting to note, as well, that this passage is often misapplied when we want others to treat us “fairly” or we have been wronged. When someone treats us poorly we are quick to respond “you know the scripture says to do unto others as you would have them do unto you” but we fail to apply this passage to our actions with others. When we are wronged we suddenly expect to be treated fairly but we ourselves do not do this with others.

But, as always, Jesus commands a different attitude. To be a kingdom citizen we are to do to others what we want done to us. This means that quite often we must respond to others with an opposite spirit. If someone is being rude, you become gracious. If they are loud, you become soft. Remember a soft answer turns away wrath.

  • We listen to others – One the societal problems today is that we have forgotten how to listen to one another. We are too busy rushing about our duties and responsibilities to really hear what others are saying. By listening to others we will begin to hear the heart of the other person. Tommy Nelson challenges us to listen with our face so that whole being is involved in the process.
  • We must empathize with others. It is an amazing attitude changer to begin to empathize with others. When we stop to look at where another person is coming from, what they have experienced and what they may be going through our attitude toward that person is changed. To accomplish this we must put ourselves in the other person’s shoes.
  • We must be other’s focused and not selfish. To accomplish this we must be others focused when dealing with another’s needs. It is like getting a birthday present from someone who gives you what they want you to have versus what you want or need.
  • People want to be understood. While a pastor on Long Island there was this one pastor that seemed to rub everyone the wrong way. He would often say things that would irritate the other pastors and leaders. He would often tell pastors what they ought to be doing when he himself was not doing what he demanded (in so many words) other pastors to do. People were criticizing him and I got caught up in that criticism until I got to know him. As I got to know him I began to understand where he was coming from and began to understand that it was not his heart to create division. God actually used our relationship to soften his presentation and to show him the error of his ways but this would not have happened had I not spent time with him and began to understand that it was not his heart to wound or hurt others.
  • We forgive others whether they deserve or not because it is what we would want for our lives. How quick we are to seek to be forgiven but are slow to forgive others the pain we have caused. We attempt to justice our actions instead of working through them.

Other passages to consider:

  • Jesus in this passage reminds us that by fulfilling this command that we are fulfilling what had been established in the law and in what the prophets had proclaimed. Matthew 22:37-40 – And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord (Agape love that can only come from a life given fully to God) your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” It is in fulfilling the commandment before us today that we can truly have a love for our neighbor. Look at the good Samaritan story.
  • Philippians 2:3 – Do nothing from rivalry (faction or contention) or conceit (self-conceit or emptiness), but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Humility is what should guide our hearts to fulfill this command.
  • Romans 13:10 – Love (Agape love) does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. The basis and motivation of fulfilling this command.
  • 1 Corinthians 10:24 – Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. This is Paul’s version of “Do unto Others as you would have them do unto you.”

 Finally, Jesus says that there will few who walk in this obedience and in the understanding of living a kingdom life. But it is many that will chose to live in a selfishly and self-centered lifestyle but this will not be a fulfilling life and it will lead to emotional destruction and turmoil.

 

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Sermon on the Mount – Ask, Seek, Knock

Peninsula Community Church

August 7, 2011

Sermon on the Mount – Ask, seek, knock

 Matthew 7:7-14 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

 Prayer of the most powerful disciplines of the Christian faith and yet it is one of the most underused and misused disciplines. Often there are two extremes:

  • There is the name and claim mentality where there is no regard for God’s will and purpose. When one is in this mode God is treated as Genie in the lamp or Santa Clause. If we have been good He will give us what we want.
  • The other extreme is that we believe that God is going to give us what He wants to give us so there is no need to pray. But prayerlessness is one of the greatest diseases to hit the church.

Listen to these quotes by Men of God:

 “Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.”  (John Bunyon)

“God shapes the world by prayer. The more prayer there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces of against evil …” (E.M. Bounds)

“The prayer power has never been tried to its full capacity. If we want to see mighty wonders of divine power and grace wrought in the place of weakness, failure and disappointment, let us answer God’s standing challenge, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not!'” (J. Hudson Taylor)

In this passage, many scholars find it interesting that Jesus diverts from the usual focus of countering the unrighteous works of the Pharisees to direct his hearers to the subject of prayer. We must not forget that this passage was a part of a message that Jesus preached at one sitting and was not divided up as we have over the last several months.

One of the reasons Jesus addresses the subject of prayer at this stage is that He wants to remind us that prayer is the greatest resource we have to totally fulfill the commandments listed in the Sermon on the Mount. If we are to be kingdom people who live victorious, righteous lives we must be people of prayer. He reminds those in His presence that to accomplish the things that He has purported, one must be given to prayer. These acts and attitudes described by Jesus cannot be accomplished or realized apart from prayer.

In this passage we see three terms ask, seek and knock. The three terms are verbs that carry the idea of continuing to do something. Therefore they represent a persistent faith. We ask and keep on asking. We seek and keep on seeking. We knock and knocking.

The terms defined –

Ask – a humble, earnest pleaWhile this term is a humble or earnest plea it also means to ask with urgency, even to the point of demanding. It represents the attitude of one in a lesser position from the one being petitioned. The asking takes on a sense of importance and seriousness. To ask means that we believe that someone is listening. There is also an implication that we are expecting him an answer. It has been noted that asking is what beggars do on the side of the road.

Seek – means to attempt to learn something by careful investigation or searching or to desire to have, experience or try to obtain something from someone. Seeking is asking plus acting. There is an implied petitioning with an active endeavor to fulfill needs. It is the proverbial putting feet to one’s faith. When you seek something you rearrange your priorities so that you can search for what you desire until you find it. If you need a job, you do not sit at home and wait for one to fall in your lap although that could happen. If you have a physical problem, you seek out medical help to solve the problem.

A good analogy here is Jesus’ illustration of heaven being like the merchant who sought fine pearls and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all he had and bought it (Matt. 13:45-46).

Knock – means to rap at a door to gain entrance and thus implies an even greater and more repetitive intensity than either asking or seeking. The English word “knock” comes from the German word “to press.” This speaks of persistent faith and persistent prayer. You know God is listening but you continue to pray until you have an answer. Knocking includes asking plus acting plus preserving. It is like someone who continues to pound on a closed door.

The companion verse that accompanies this verse is James 4:2B-3. James reminds us that to receive from God we must first pray and then we must pray with the right attitude and heart. You do not receive because you do not ask and when you do ask you ask in a selfish manner.

But here in our passage when we ask with the right heart we will receive, when we seek we receive, and when we knock it shall be open.

Form this passage we learn three things:

  1. This serves as an illustration of God’s grace and love. We see through this passage that God will not give us anything that we do not need or that which will not benefit us. Notice that the text says that if we ask for a loaf of bread he will not give us a stone. Or if we ask for a snake, He will not give us a serpent. God is not into a bait and switch form of answering prayer. In this regard we must learn to pray according to His will and His plan.
  2. It reminds us to look to God as our Father. Not withstanding the Word of God, Prayer causes us to turn our face forward more than any other religious exercise we are involved in. In our prayers we focus on who He is and His power to do the impossible.
  3. We are disciplined and humbled to receive the Father’s gracious provisions so that we might live as kingdom citizens. Divine assistance is needed to carry out Divine requirements. The goal in prayer is to be prepared as citizens of the kingdom so that we can accomplish what He has called us to do and that is to bring God’s reign to the world.


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Sermon on the Mount – Do Not Judge

Sermon on the Mount

Do Not Judge

 

Matthew 7:1 “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, and 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, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

 

The Super Bowl is known as much for its commercials as it is for football, and Super Bowl XXXIX was no different. During that year’ Ameriquest Mortgage Company sponsored two ads. One had a man coming home with a bag of groceries and a bouquet of flowers. He begins dinner by starting a pot of spaghetti sauce. As it simmers, he quickly sets the table where he has placed candles and arranges the flowers. He wants to do something really nice for his wife. But as he cuts up vegetables with a large knife, their furry white cat gets on top of the counter and tips over the pan full of red sauce, landing on the floor in the middle of it. The poor guy picks up the cat dripping with bloody-red sauce with one hand while still holding the large knife in the other — just as his wife walks in the door. At that point the commercial flashes the sign: “Don’t judge too quickly. We won’t”

 

The second commercial Ameriquest aired had a man talking on a cell phone as he enters a convenience store. He is talking to a friend and says, “Well, that’s a lot of money for a deck.” He picks up a drink and goes to the counter as he says, “I hate to tell you this but you are getting robbed.” The owner of the store is behind the counter with his back turned, and when he hears what the man is saying he looks into the security mirror just as the man puts his hand inside his jacket and tells his friend again, “Did you hear me? You’re getting robbed.” At that point the store owner spins around and sprays him in the eyes with mace. The man’s wife runs out and shocks him with a cattle prod as her husband proceeds to wale on him with a baseball bat. As the man lies dazed on the floor, the words appear: “Don’t judge too quickly. We won’t.”

 

The passage of scripture, before us this morning, reveals a great truth about how we are to function as Kingdom minded people and how we are to live in a community of believers. In this passage, Jesus deals with the all important discussion about judging others. Jesus reminds us we are not to judge others without looking at our own life and what motivates us to judge.

 

To “judge” means to look unfavorably on the character and actions of others, which leads invariably to the pronouncing of rash, unjust, and unlovely judgments upon them.

 

As in previous passages of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus is dealing with the pervasive religiosity of the Pharisees who proposed heavy laws and rules that they themselves were incapable of keeping. Again while the Pharisees are not mentioned it is understood that he is dealing with the Pharisaical attitude of judging:

  • What they did not understand.
  • People who were not like them
  • From a condemning and judgmental heart

 

Jesus was attempting to counter the works and the ways of the Pharisee’s who were critical of everyone, they were curt in their criticism, they lacked compassion and empathy when they critiqued others.

 

This passage does not outlaw any kind of judgment. “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” John 7:24. So to fully understand this passage we must recognize that Jesus is prohibiting any kind of judgment because we must make judgments all of the time. For example, we are gearing up as a nation to vote for the president next year. In this process you will make a judgment about which candidate will best match our beliefs and our ideologies. So in a real sense we are to use good judgment when we analyze others. The kind of judging that Jesus is dealing with is the unfair, unloving and condemning kind. It is the kind that judges the motives of another without knowing their heart or their reasoning for doing what they do.

 

Judgmentalism has many forms and it probably sounds a bit too familiar. It happens when we make assumptions about people and when we make blanket statements about a who a person is (e.g., “He’s never going to change”, “She has always been full of herself”, “I know why she did that”). Judgmentalism is a subtle tone that can show up in how we ask questions (e.g., “Was he late again?”, “Did you see what Jane wore today?”, “Can you believe the let their kids do that?”). And it is also at the heart of racism (e.g., White people are so _________, Black people are ______________, Hispanics are so _____________, etc.)

 

The command about judging is not a retreat from absolute truth or courage to call something or someone out for what they are doing. Some people think that this verse commands no judging as all, as if the Bible’s ethic is relativistic and non-absolute. In other words, some might think that this verse precludes any evaluation of a person’s life or identifying that certain actions are wrong. This often how the verse is used – to back off a truth claim. In this case, people use this verse to claim that identifying someone’s actions as sinful and calling them to account for it is judging.

 

Lessons from the passage:

  1. We will be judged by the same measure that we judge others. Jesus reminds us that the measure that we judge others is the measure of judgment that will be levied against us. It has been said that what we despise in others is often the very thing that has control over us.
  2. We cannot judge others when we are guilty of the greater offenses. Jesus in this passage uses dramatic hyperbole when He says that we cannot deal with the speck one person’s eye when we have a log in our eye. The idea here is that we must judge that our motivation is pure and that we desire to see healing come to the other person’s life. Paul iterated this in Galatians 6:1 when he stated that Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
  3. We should and must not judge others as a means to rationalize our personal sin. This is a critical aspect to this discussion of judging others as we often use the judgment of others as a means to rationalize our personal sin. We think that by pointing out sin in others that we are justified in our own sin.
  4. To judge others we must begin by judging
    ourselves. “For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.” 1 Corinthians 11:31 Judgment must begin in our hearts. If we are tempted to judge others we must first search our hearts to see if there be any wicked way in us so that God can bring the restoration we need.

 


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