What does the Bible say about judging others? Matthew recorded Jesus as saying “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians who Christians can and cannot judge. Let’s take a look at what he said.
“It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.” 1 Corinthians 5:12 NLT
Let’s look at the context in which Paul was writing. He said that Christians should not associate with people who blatantly involve themselves in sin. But he wasn’t talking about worldly people.
When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 1 Corinthians 5:9-10
In those verses, he told us that it’s not our responsibility to judge non-Christians. According to verse 13, Paul said God will take care of that. God will judge those on the outside; 1 Corinthians 5:13
In verse 11, Paul clarified that he was talking about people who claim to know Jesus.
I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer. Yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols. Or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. 1 Corinthians 5:11
The Bible Records what Jesus Said about Judging Others
Paul is not giving us an open season to go after fellow Christians. You know like ready-aim-fire! No! This, however, would be a good place to read exactly what Jesus said in Matthew about judging others.
Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. Matthew 7:1-2
What standard of judgment do you want for yourself? I don’t know about you, but I want my judging done by the Bible.
Oftentimes people want to judge others by their own convictions and not by the Word.
The Context of the Sin Paul Addressed
A member of the Corinthian church involved himself with ongoing sexual immorality. The church though chose to do nothing about it.
Paul told them they couldn’t do anything about sin going on outside of the church. But when sinful acts came into their own ranks, they had to deal with it according to scripture.
And a great scripture verse of instruction and encouragement comes to us in the book of Galatians.
Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Galatians 6:1
Our first line of action is to help the person get on the right path. If however, the person sinning won’t deal with it, then the church will have to. And Paul has some very hard words to say about how to dealt with it. Done of course in love.
Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns. 1 Corinthians 5:5
Why would he say such a thing? Because Paul, like other pastors, needs to consider the big picture of the church body. Sin can easily contaminate.
Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. 1 Corinthians 5:6-7
We Must Show Love and Compassion
As a pastor, I want you to know, we are not in the business of throwing people out of the church. Judging, done according to the Bible, doesn’t have to be harsh or difficult.
Anyone willingly involved in sin, can ask God for deliverance and seek counsel from church leadership.
Checkout this related post about falling under God’s judgment called, What Are The Results Of Disobedience To God?
Lord, we each need your grace and mercy every day in our lives. Give us compassion as we deal with others willful involved in sin. And protect us from falling into sin ourselves.
Read the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 5 for more encouragement.
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