Do We Judge?
Κρινω = the verb form of judge. Used some 115 times in the N.T.
In the text today, we see several prohibitions to judging.
But does the scripture say to never judge?
There seems to be much confusion in Christian circles regarding this position and statement of our Lord. Let’s see what the scriptures say!
I. The judgment we are forbidden to engage in is clear.
A. Judging whether a brother or sister measures up to a certain standard. (Rom. 14:10-13)
The judgment prohibited in these verses must be seen in the context of the preceding verses where they were scrutinizing each other for certain days and acts.
B. Judging by speaking evilly about another. (James 4:11-12)
The Greek word used here for evilly is the same that underscores the word for backbiting. This is the type of judgment forbidden.
II. The judgment we are to engage in is equally clear..
7:1 Jesus taught His disciples not to be judgmental or censorious of one another in view of the high standards He was clarifying. He did not mean that they should accept everything and everyone uncritically (cf. Matthew 7:6, 15–20; Gal. 1:8–9. Neither did he mean, obviously, that parents, church leaders, and civil authorities are wrong if they pass judgment on those under their care. He meant that His disciples should not do God’s job of passing judgment for Him when He has not authorized them to do so. They really could not since no one but God knows all the facts that motivate people to do as they do. The disciple who usurps God’s place will have to answer to Him for doing so.
A. In the home
(John 7:24, KJV) "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
(Present, active, 2nd per. Pl.) (Aorist, active, imperative, 2nd. Per. Pl.)
(Luke 12:57, KJV) "Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?"
B. In the church.
("To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." (1 Corinthians 5:5, KJV)
"Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision." (Philippians 3:2, KJV)
(Acts 15:19, KJV) "Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:"
(1 Corinthians 5:12-13, KJV) "For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person."
C. In the world.
("Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1, KJV)
(Acts 13:46, KJV) "Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles."
Tom Constable, Tom Constable's Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003; 2003). Mt 7:1.