When our Lord says, “judge not,” in Matthew 7:1, He is using the term only in its negative sense—as the Pharisees judged. Certainly, we are to have discerning judgment, as to who is a false prophet and who is a true one, and to judge doctrine. And the state has judges and magistrates that are appointed by God to judge. And the church also is to judge its people in certain matters of discipline.
The kind of judgement our Lord is speaking of when He says “judge not” is a condemning judgement—a judgment we see in the Pharisees. This negative, condemning judgment can be seen in six ways.
- It has an evil spirit attached to it. I would say that, for this reason, it is of the devil and it works to destroy us.
- It condemns and despises others for no good reason. We have seen this toward the Samaritans…
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