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Judge Not...

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
April 24, 2022 12:01 am

Judge Not...

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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April 24, 2022 12:01 am

It may be the most misunderstood statement that Jesus ever made: "Judge not, and you will not be judged" (Luke 6:37). Today, R.C. Sproul continues his exposition of Luke's gospel with an explanation of what this command means, what it doesn't mean, and how we can put it into practice.

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It may be the most famous and misunderstood statement Jesus ever made judge not lest you be judged.

If we want other people to give us the benefit of the doubt. If we want other people to make charitable judgments about our behavior then manifestly we have to stand ready to give judgments of charity to them.

Jesus thinking about judging is often taken out of context. Quite often by skeptics.

When Christians try to withhold any standard of morality so what did Jesus really mean on this. Towards the addition of Renewing Your Mind, Dr. RC Sproul preaches from the gospel of in a certain sense, you have the relief this morning of not having to listen to a sermon from me. Instead, we have the opportunity today to eavesdrop, as it were on a sermon preached by Jesus himself, so it matters not this day. Whether you hear me or listen to me, but it matters eternally that you hear cheeses and listen to him and it begins the day with these words, Judge Mott and you shall not be judged.

Other versions recorded this way.

Judge not less.

You be judged. Now remember, you're not listening to me in your imagination. I want you to be there on the plane or on the mount where the sermon was first preached in your hearing.

Jesus uttered these words and you listen to your Lord say to you judge not lest you be judged often said that that verse is probably the only verse that every pagan in America knows is in the Bible, they may miss the recitation of John 316, or it's being manifested in bold letters at sporting events that forget that. But they know this one judge not lest you be judged because anytime the church makes a comment about any practice that the church deems to be a simple practice.

The pagan is quick to quote the Scriptures by saying all don't you judge your not supposed to judge us while this statement is so well-known it is been treated with lots of confusion and misunderstandings so we asked what was Jesus saying when he uttered these words judge not, that you may not be judged. First of all, let's look at what he was. Not saying our Lord was not saying to us and to his disciples, he was not saying that we are to do away with any discernment of the difference between good and evil. It requires a discerning mind on many occasions to discern what is the right thing to do. What is the ethical thing to do at determining what the ethical thing to do on many occasions requires a keen judgment, a keen intellectual ability to analyze the issues and come to the correct conclusion as to what is right and to what is wrong and throughout sacred Scripture from the first pages of Genesis. The very end of the book of Revelation, God's word calls us to be mature and knowledgeable in our discernment that we might recognize evil when it appears, and that we might flee from it and that we might know what is the good and righteous thing to do.

So the judgment of discernment. The ethical evaluation is not what is being prohibited here by our Lord Jesus that he rather he speaking of a different kind of judgment.

The judgment of condemnation and even at that point what he's giving here is not what we would call apodictic law but more casuistry to law. That is, he gives us examples such as the Proverbs offer to watch of moral axioms that, in general, are good things to observe, but they are not moral absolutes.

Why, because there are times when we are to sit in judgment on our brothers.

For example, in the case of church discipline.

When a person is brought to trial before the authorities within the church.

Just as when a person is brought to trial in a criminal case in the civil world that those who sit on the jury were appointed to be judges are to determine guilt and to be prepared to pass sentence. Indeed, the sentence of judgment upon those who are guilty, so Jesus is not doing away with civil courts or church courts or anything like that when he says judge not lest you be gentle and what is he doing. I think it's clear that what our Lord is addressing here is a personality trait that we find sometimes in people sometimes sadly in ourselves, where we become judgmental in our spirit censorious of others. Being a hyper critical of people around us. I think you understand what that is like and it has to do with how we pass judgment upon other people.

We make a distinction do we not between different kinds of judgment where there can be harsh and severe judgments of other people's behavior or we can render what is often called the judgment of charity. Let's take a moment to explore that what is that judgment of charity or a judgment of love, the judgment of charity is what we call the best case analysis.

It is what we call giving our neighbor. The benefit of the doubt were not always sure whether a person is as guilty of a particular sin as it may appear to be even in our law courts. We are very careful to weigh evidence and to make sure that before anybody is convicted of a crime and is subjected to penalties such as imprisonment or even execution that the bar is high enough that says we would rather let 10 guilty people free then convict one innocent person. That's why we have the principal and the law courts in the civil courts and civil cases. If the preponderance of evidence. But in the criminal courts we must convict beyond a reasonable doubt. No reasonable doubt is not the same thing as being beyond a shadow of a doubt.

If the criterion were such that we had to make a judgment of guilt or innocence beyond a shadow of a doubt nobody would ever be convicted of a crime. But again, as I say, even in the civil courts.

The burden is often on those who are making the charge. That's where the burden of proof is and that's for a reason. Blessed in our hostility and our sinful hearts and our desire for vengeance.

We are guilty of judging beyond a sober and serious measure and so our Lord tells us here to be very very careful that we are ready at any moment to give our neighbor the benefit of the doubt if there is doubt to give the charitable judgment where it is possible but here's the problem. Every one of us in this room has had the experience of giving somebody the benefit of the doubt. Everybody in this room has had the experience of giving a judgment of charity to somebody sadly the person to whom we most frequently give the charitable judgment is ourselves. We usually reserve best case analysis to evaluate our own activity. We can spin our indiscretions and our sins in such a way as to make them appear virtuous, which is exactly 1 of the problems we face as fallen human beings beloved, we fail really to understand the sinfulness of sin.

If God the Holy Spirit were to convict you right now of the full measure of your sin, you would be able to stand if the spirit revealed to me right now. The full measure of my sin.

I would probably run from this pulpit screaming in anguish, but the conviction of sin laid upon us by the spirit of truth is so often powerful, yet gentle and sweet that even when he convicts us of our guilt.

He leads us not to despair but to the Savior and to his forgiveness that gives us freedom. But what Jesus is saying here as I said, is not isolated from what he said just the few sentences earlier where he set forth the golden rule and told us to love our enemies. When he asks us to be quick with the judgment of charity and to flee from censorious spirit.

He simply spelling out the details of the golden rule of doing to others what we would have others do for us if we want other people to give us the benefit of the doubt. If we want other people to make charitable judgments about our behavior then manifestly we have to stand ready to give judgments of charity to them and so when we asked for somebody's forgiveness. We are asking them to give us the judgment of charity, not to condemn us not to write us off permanently as people with no redeeming qualities.

All this is what Jesus is talking about her that same merciful judgment that you would like to receive from your neighbor, you need to be quick to give to your neighbor, not the same time, the judgment of charity cannot be the judgment of na´vetÚ. I know some people who have such an exalted view of the basic goodness of human beings that they can't believe for a moment that anybody ever intends to do evil. Well, we can read this book that I've been reading from without being clearly made aware that the heart is deceitfully wicked above all things and that we do do evil and we do gross and heinous evil and that the machinations of our sins can be so wicked and destructive that they bring harm to multitudes of people and so we don't look at the world through rose colored glasses and assume the good intent of everybody's behavior and I talk about this abortion thing all the time. I can imagine. I just can't imagine any woman who is pregnant or whose mother takes her to an abortion agency or whose boyfriend or husband takes her to an abortion mill. I can imagine any of them are unaware of what they're doing and then on the other hand, I think, can they be that girl. How can they be that heartless. How is it possible for them to be so selfish that they would destroy another life for their own convenience.

Can you figure that maybe it's because they have been living in a culture that tells them it's okay it's okay this is the proper way to do it in their consciences have been so seared that they come the conclusion that they can do this without any pangs of conscience, but I know enough about the fallenness of the human heart to see that that's possible but it's still extremely hard to imagine how anybody can be that hardhearted that I don't know full well what they're doing and I can be way too charitable. At that point and think that get to the place where I have giving the judgment of na´vetÚ that particular sin is not just a small sin to peccadillo is not a minor transgression. It's a monstrous crime crime worthy of eternal damnation in young people who are committing it. They after day after day after day all around us and they do it in the name of my protests, pro-choice see what would happen if we had a union of car seats. International Federation of automobile seats and they brought to the political convention a platform where they were asking for freedom of choice to steal your car, or of murder Inc. would get together and say we want free choice. Where pro-choice choices to murder people all in the name of liberty or you would laugh them to scorn, and if the whole country has been hoodwinked by an ethic of death propagated on the basis of liberty, the new cry is give me liberty so I can dish out death when I say that in my being judge mental yes saying to you that we have to discern the evil of the well. Jesus goes on and says condemn not, you shall not be condemned for give you will be forgiven. What if you offend somebody and they apologize and ask you for your forgiveness and you say Donna not now, not ever prove when we refuse to forgive those who repent of their sins, their friends, we expose ourselves to God's eternal justice rather than his mercy.

I would hate to stand before God and asking him to forgive me for my lifetime of sin and have them look at me say don't you remember that day when somebody sinned against you and they repented and apologize and that for your forgiveness and you refuse to give it and now you want me to forgive you that Jesus is talking about reciprocity here. He's talking again if I want to be forgiven. I have to be forgiving and the more forgiving I am, the more forgiveness I will receive as he preaches this sermon he goes on to say give it will be given to you good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.

I love that first wonderful. It's a word it's in the description that Jesus gives the comes from the ancient marketplace.

And if you recall, in the Old Testament when God gives his laws for the operation of a nation like Israel, he gives prohibitions against false weights and measures God holds people nations businesses accountable for just weights and measure in the ancient world go to the marketplace by a bushel of grain or a bushel of corn.

There always distract those ears of corn in the bushel to fill a bushel up with a lot of empty air in their or you could shake that bushel and that corn or shake the grain and packed the grain until the bushel was filled to its utter capacity, pressed down, Jesus said, shaken together and running over, if you give like that that's what you will get back. Not a bushel basket full of air again. What Jesus talking about here is talk about the practical applications of the Christian faith how to live and he saying my people are to be generous people I want to give in great measure and the more you give the more you will get because our God is a generous God, and not a stingy God while he goes on the brief parable of the blind lead the blind, don't you see what I'm talking about are you going to be leaders of other people.

Wiser, blind to the things of God is not talking about physical blindness or spiritual blindness. Isabella's take of Sir person who's physically blind that we appoint them to escort another blind person down the street to the blind lead the blind of the blind lead the blind what happens. Both of them fall into the ditch so we need to be learned by those with keen site into the truth of God.

If we want to stay out of the ditch.

The disciples not above his teacher, but everyone who's perfectly were completely trained will be like his teacher, who is our teacher, Jesus is the master Jesus is our Rabbi for his disciples were his students were not above our pastor, but he wants us to be like her master. He wants us to learn from our master. He wants us to pursue in the sink, the very mind of Jesus to think like Jesus because of I'm going to be Christlike. I have to think like Jesus have to love what he loves. I think what he hates. And he is teaching us here hungry like you as any man ever more generous than a man ever more merciful money goes on. Finally with this. Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye and don't perceive the plank in your own eye, speck of dust and contrasts to a wooden plank is that this is how foolish we are. We are so quick to see the imperfections and everybody else over blind to our own myopia were blind to the law or the beam or the plank within our own way how silly, how can you say to your brother brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye when you yourself don't see the plank that is on your own hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will be able to see clearly enough to remove the speck that's in your brothers. I Jesus is not taking us anything here more than two do unto others as we would have others do unto us. His notation is nothing more than the apostles taught us when they said that there is a love that covers a multitude of sins.

Keep your handkerchief in your own pocket and let your brother sister take the speck out of her. His teaching for his grateful for the way that Dr. RC Sproul explained this often misunderstood passage of Scripture were glad you joined us today for the Sunday edition of Renewing Your Mind doctor's role is leading us through an exposition of Luke's gospel and let me recommend that you request our resource offer today. It's a helpful study companion for this series is RC's commentary on Luke. Contact us today with a donation of any amount will be happy to provide you with a digital download of this nearly 600 page commentary or offices are closed today but that you can give your gift and make a request Here the end of the program. Let me also remind you that our goal with leader ministries is to come alongside the local church.

We are glad that you benefit from Dr. scrolls teaching, but we would never desire that this program replace the fellowship you enjoy with your church family and the means of grace that you receive their I hope you make plans to be with us again next Sunday Renewing Your Mind is outreach ministries on behalf of all of my colleagues here the Lord bless you in the coming week

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