Therefore, any one of you who judges is without excuse. For when you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things. We know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is based on the truth. Do you really think — anyone of you who judges those who do such things yet do the same — that you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance? But because of your hardness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. He will repay each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality; but wrath and indignation to those who are self- seeking and disobey the truth but are obeying unrighteousness; affliction and distress for every human being who does evil, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does what is good, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. There is no favoritism with God.
There are two kinds of judging according to this text: one is God’s judgment which is based upon truth, the other is man’s judgment which is based upon hypocrisy and unrighteousness.
God is the Judge and Law Giver. When we place ourselves on God’s throne and declare judgements, we are without excuse. We are basing our judgement upon hypocrisy and unrighteousness. Hypocrisy because when we condemn others for doing the same things that we are doing, this is an unrighteous judgement. Unrighteousness because we make proclamations of innocent and guilty to our fellow humans based upon a heart of lies and not a heart of truth. Does this mean that we are not suppose to judge? No, we learn in other places in the Bible that we are not to judge those outside the church, yet are suppose to judge those inside. We are told that we are to discern everything, and discerning involves separating truth from error. Also when we are told that it is wrong to try and pull the speck out of another’s eye when we have a log in our own. What follows is we are told that we must first take the log out of our own eye, then we will see clearly to take the speck out of our brother’s eye. God wants us to judge righteously. He wants us to purify ourselves before we make any kind of judgements.
When a person of God declares a judgement upon a brother or sister in the Lord, they do it righteously when they simply tell the individual what God’s judgement is. The person is not the judge, rather they are simply showing another person what God’s Word says regarding their unrepentant sin. When we do this it is a judgement based upon truth.
One more thing…When we have sin in our lives, we don’t see clearly the sins of others. We are not in a right relation with God to pronounce a judgement upon another. We must seek repentance and forgiveness through Jesus before we go to our brother. But once we do, we are called to go. But we must do it in kindness and patience. You see, we can become very eager to point out the sins of others. Yet we are called to imitate God especially in this area. And God is very patient and long-suffering before he pronounces a judgement, and so should we.
God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance.
- Have you noticed that your younger brother has never told you that it is wrong to gossip? He has never told you that because he does not know it is wrong, he hasn’t been told. But you have knowledge of that sin of gossip. That is why you are even able to declare to someone else that it is wrong. The point of this is when we find we want to tell our friends that it is wrong to gossip, we must imitate God’s patience. Meaning that we must search out our own heart first to see if we have any unrepentant gossip in our own heart before we tell our friend of their faults.
- God’s judgements are meant to purify both the observer of sin and the doer of sin.