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January 21, 2022 7:00 am
Thinking about this all wrong. You're thinking that your assigned commission from God in life is to identify everything wrong and everybody else you flipped it entirely upside down your lumberyard coming out of your eyes.
It's easy to do size others is subject. It's much harder to engage in honest self-examination. Hello again I built right at this is the true pulpit with Don Greene, founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. John has more of our series, the art of discernment with part one of his message titled righteousness starts at home will be focusing on the well-known passage in our Lord's sermon on the Mount dealing with the spec in another's eye versus the log in your own eye. It's a caution to be careful in your critique of others. In light of your own sense so have your Bible handy. Let's join Don Greene now in the truthful. Each one of us.
You and I face a future time of accountability before God for the way that we lived our lives unbelievers.
Those who have rejected Christ will face a final judgment, which will send them to hell and I trust that those of you who are not in Christ will take those words to heart and realize the sobriety in which God's word addresses your soul. But even for those of us that are in Christ, we face a future accountability before God. We will we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and how God judges asked we saw last time, will be determined in part by how we evaluated how we judged others in our own earthly lives we go through life we make assessments of people we see their faults.
We respond to them.
We see the way they said maybe we forgive them. Maybe we don't what Jesus is saying here is that is that your attitude and your evaluations of other people, particularly in light of their sins is going to is going to have an effect is going to flavor it is going to impact the way that God judges you, in the end. That's very, very serious.
It stopped short in your tracks, doesn't it, to realize that that are our daily reactions to our fellow men into fellow believers within the Church of Christ. The things we do without really thinking about them are going to have an eternal consequence when we stand before God and give an account for our lives, how God judges you will be determined in part by how you judged others during your earthly life. Now that is a a sobering thought. Beloved that is designed to change and impact your character is designed to it is designed to humble you, and it is designed to soften you when you see things when people wrong. You even it is designed to soften you so that you would not have such a critical spirit that you might otherwise be inclined to have that you might not judge others so sharply in their sins and weaknesses.
When you encounter them now in the passage were going to see today in verses three through five.
Jesus is going to introduce something further in this discussion and is going to help you understand why your demeanor toward others should be soft and gentle and also is going to show you how to develop the softness of demeanor that would be fitting in light of the fact that you have a coming judgment notices the way that we should think about it. This is a way that we should think about it and all speak in the first person here, you know, kind of illustrating the way that each one of you should think you think I am going to stand before God. Soon enough give an account for my life and I realize that even as a Christian I'm nothing more than a sinner saved by grace. There's nothing great there's nothing special there's nothing elite about me I am a sinner saved by grace, and I'm going to give an account of my life before a holy God who knows everything. And who knows my heart inside and out and I realize I fallen short of his glory, even as I'm one who's put my faith and trust in Christ for my salvation, and so that II look at that and I realize that and I kinda pictured in my mind walking down the hall just because it's a visual it's in my mind that that I see I see the hall right in front of me that leads to the center doors going out walking down the hall and approaching his throne. I don't know exactly what it's going to look like but but bowing down for my moment of accountability and and being humbled by his Majesty in his glory and the significance of what's happening and bowing low in saying, Lord, I'm here to give an account, be merciful to me, the center as you do and you approach it and that and that and you look forward to that and then it and then you bring it back into the present. As I often say and you realize that in light of the sobriety of that moment. It softens my heart toward others who are heading toward that exact same point of accountability in their own lives before God.
It's a sobering thought. Now here's where we go with that. Here's what here's where Jesus better stated, goes with that in light of this future judgment that is coming he says it will be measured to you will be judged now in verse three. Look at it with me, Jesus says, in light of those great truths seek first the kingdom you will be judged and all of those he says in verse three.
Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye or how can you say to your brother, let me take the speck out of your eye, and behold the log is in your own eye, you hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye that we've all heard the saying, perhaps not. It we've all heard it, perhaps not as many of us have understood exactly what Jesus is saying, and most importantly, why is he saying it here at this particular point in time. Well what Jesus is saying is this, if you want to put a title on the message for your notes here.
It's that righteousness starts at home. Righteousness starts at home. By that I mean this seeking the kingdom of God seeking the righteousness of God in your life speaking to you one on one not speaking corporately. Here Jesus here in verses three through five is using the singular form of the pronoun you, it's singular. It's direct it's immediate.
This is not a corporate discussion in some ways this is an individual discussion and so I'm talking very directly impersonal, as if we were talking one on one today. What you need to understand what I need understand is this is that seeking the righteousness of God does not start by turning a critical eye toward the lives of others. Quite to the contrary, it starts with a sense of self-examination and concern over your own sense.
It starts with self-examination and concern over your own sins. Beloved here that this is so plain and obvious when it stated like what I'm about to say that I think it's utterly undeniable. In light of the fact that you are facing a personal accountability before God. One day it should be obvious to you. The truth of what I'm about to say when Christ addresses you in the sermon on the mount. When the word of God convicts you. God is not calling you to repent of the sins of society that's not that's not true repentance. It doesn't do you any good to repent of the sins of abortion and homosexuality in society and to think that that is the extent of the repentance that you owe to God. God, I disassociate myself from the sins of the world around me. Well, if you haven't committed those sins of your not particularly drawn to those sins.
That's really kind of meaningless. There is no cost in that to you at all. There's no personal accountability and that at all know the gospel, the conviction that the spirit brings upon hearts through the word of God is more direct and immediate to your sins, put it another way you look at and around in your family as you look around in the church. She looked around in your workplace. God is not calling you to repent of your neighbors sins or your spouse's sins or your brothers sins.
No no no no see see it could be no other way.
In light of future accountability than this. God is calling you to repent of your sentence and we know I know and you know that each and every one of you have sins of your own, of which you are personally responsible, of which you are the one to repent of and that is where righteousness starts. That's where the search for righteousness starts not was saying God I am surrounded by these guilty sinners. And aren't you glad that I'm not one of them.
That's not the point. Tall righteousness starts at home. It starts in your own heart and that is the point at which Jesus is addressing you rather than looking through the window at the sins of those around you. This passage is calling you to look in the mirror looking a different kind of glass. Look in the mirror and see the reflection of your own sinfulness and start there in your confession of sin start there in your pursuit of righteousness start there in your morning and discomfort over the nature of guilt, God, I'm the center. God, I'm the one with unclean lips.
I'm the one with an unclean heart.
I'm the one who is done this or that.
That's where you start and this is a this is the requirement of righteousness that you start by addressing contemplating examining yourself in. In light of your own sins and confessing those and that's Jesus's point here today, he draws us in with questions. Look at verse three he draws us in with questions and and you can see that in verse three's just said you're going to be judged now in verse three he asked the question why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye.
As I said the prior two verses one and two. They had been in the plural you plural you all of you, Jesus. A switch to the Cingular now makes it live as though as though he's he's pointing the finger directly at you.
He is isolated Julie speaking to you alone in a room and says let me address your soul directly in what I have to say that this portion of Scripture and so were going to look at two aspects of these three verses here going to look at the question and were going to look at the command the question and the command and this is all the way that we respond to this beloved.
The way that you respond to this text of Scripture is going to have is is somehow going to impact your eternal reward. This is worth taking seriously and looking beyond the.
The moment in considering deeply what kind of person are you going to be in light of what Jesus says here so the question is this. This is point number one. The question is this where is your focus. Where is your focus. What do you concentrate on what do you think about when you contemplate spiritual reality and the reality of sin and guilt in all of these things. Where is your focus.
Are you focused on someone else's sins. You wouldn't believe what that person did to me. Did you see what so-and-so did and you casting that critical eye outward, or are you saying as Peter did in the passage we read the part for me, Lord, on a sinful man notice in that passage we read from Luke chapter 5. Earlier in the service. Peter saw the great Hall of fish and he was convicted because he realized he was in the presence of God incarnate in his response to that was Lord.
I hope these other fishermen depart from you, for they are sinful men. Somebody said, Lord, depart from me, for I am a sinful man. That's the spirit that's the idea. Look at verses three and four's would read them again. Jesus says why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye or how can you say to your brother, let me take the speck out of your eye, and behold the log is in your own eye notice in English. Notice the?'s at the end of verse three in verse four there. These are questions in the singular, which are designed for you to answer them.
You're not supposed to read this passage and simply simply view it as another academic exercise as if you were reading a book on the Civil War that had no application to your heart.
You just gathering and acquiring more information. This is this is Christ asking you a question. The calls for an answer why do you do this, why are you like this in light of future accountability in light of the fact that you're going to stand before God and what he does here is he uses an obviously exaggerated picture and obviously exaggerated illustration to communicate spiritual truth about the urgency of what he is saying when he says, why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye. The speck is referring to something small like a woodchip or maybe a splinter of some kind. In this context what he saying is this why is it my friend that you look at a comparatively insignificant fault in sin and that you found in the life of your brother here within the church. Why do you focus and elevate and complain about, and I'm not talking I'm talking generally here not talking about anything specific that's going on in the life of our body here, but this plays out in the life of the life of the community of the people of God. Why is it that you would see a full tour sin and someone else and elevate that and make that the object of your consternation.
Why would you be so upset about the sin that you see in someone else's life.
Why would you complain and criticize and faultfinding that weathers within the body within family. Why would why would that be your focus and what what you talk about and and in and engage your energy and when there is another problem so obvious that sure it's it's incredible that you overlook it. That's the point of what Jesus is saying. See were all sinners.
Scripture says we all stumble in many ways. James chapter 3 verse two. I quote that verse a lot because it's important for us to remember as we interact with one another. We all stumble in many ways everyone of us stumble and we all stumble in many ways multiplied very variegated ways of stumbling, we need to factor that into the way that we relate to one another, don't we. That's Jesus's point. The question is who's sin dominates your personal attention is at his sins. Is it her sense or is it your sentence. That's the question that Jesus is getting to Jesus. Is it worried reaches up and he takes one of the spotlights in the ceiling and he isolates the beam of light and focuses it directly on you so that you are the one that is under the searchlight and what's being said here what is teaching is this your first priority. Beloved your that the first thing the preeminent thing in your mind as you seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. These surpassing priority. The engaging thought that that ever comes back and becomes the the center of gravity in the way that you think about all of spiritual life. Your first priority is your own righteousness, your first priority is your own righteousness, not to be a self appointed corrector of the lack of righteousness in someone else's life. Do you see this and do you understand this is absolutely fundamental to being a Christian and is certainly absolutely fundamental to living life within the context of a local church, Jesus says, look at it there in verse three.
Why do you look at that speck that comparatively insignificant fault in the life of your brother, you do not notice the log that is in your own eye of this for law refers to a to a beam of wood and highlight your own faults and sins, and it creates this really absurd picture in your mind you're going to get close to the life of someone else and say here, let me remove that speck from your eye is a picture of it and Jesus says how can you do that you have this big 10 foot 2 x 4 sticking out of your own way. How are you going to get close enough to them to help them. How are you going to have any of fact, when your own fault your own sins that you don't recognize that you don't confess her standing in the way of any kind of effective ministry like that all you're going to do with that attitude, let me seek first his righteousness in your life is is just not a whole lot of things over and bump into a lot and cause a lot of hurt and pain simply because of the way your swing around the log and you don't even realize it. Jesus says, how could you even to how can that even be the case. This being this log of which he speaks is highlighting your own faults and sins your own harsh attitudes, your own sins in secret your own divisive spirit, your own anger and lust and bitterness and harshness. All of these things your own dominating demanding way of interacting with others. Whatever the case may be. He's highlighting your own faults and sins and saying to how to how can you not see this and he says what you don't see what you're not recognizing is far more important than the specs that you're seeing in your and your brothers. How can a man with a beam and as I think that is going to remove the speck from someone else's. This is an absurd picture. It's ridiculous, designed to make the point. The extremity of the picture is showing you the seriousness of the issue that you have to deal with, and even the verbs in this passage suggest a contrast.
It's not readily apparent in English. Look at verse three. He says he says why do you look at the spec then uses a different verb at the end of this verse.
He says and you do not notice the log that is in your own eye, you're looking but you're not noticing what see what's he saying there the idea of luck has the sense of turning your attention to your brothers. I you're turning your attention there. The word notice is a stronger word requiring that that implies a greater sense of concentration, careful consideration, intense mental activity.
The point being this that when it comes to your own logs to your own beings. You are to be giving proper and decisive thought them as you go through life. It's communicating a sense of someone who is going through life aware of sin, examining himself and confessing it humbly before the Lord in dealing with his own heart as the first matter priority CE seek first his kingdom and his righteousness you seek that first at home, by which I mean you seek it in your own heart the Lord before we ever get to addressing somebody else. Lord, let's let's deal with me still with my harsh and impatient spirit its deal with my words that are critical in an unforgiving and ungracious just to kind of had a perspective to this turnover to Ephesians 4 if you would Ephesians chapter 4 there is see there's a spirit with which a true Christian goes through life. There is an attitude. There is a perspective that informs the way the Christian goes through life, and you can see this reflected in many places in Scripture will just turn to the end of chapter 4, verse 32 where the apostle Paul said, be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you know this is not a direct parallel to what Jesus is saying in Matthew seven will see another verse in a moment that is a more direct parallel, but you can see the whole thing here, and that verse in Ephesians chapter 4 verse 32 unit you can kind of reverse engineer it. If you want to think about it that way, you start your thinking with this beloved. This is so very important you start your thinking with this is a Christian vertically. You know what God in our Lord Jesus Christ has forgiven me of all of my sins.
He he had the prerogative to judge me. He knew my sin, my guilt was laid before him I had nothing to recommend myself for mercy. In my own merit. There was nothing about me that called forth mercy are called forth his love. I was simply a guilty blob of sin before him.
What did he do to me. You say to yourself, you think about life this way you think about life this way, you say here I am in Christ Christ. It is own initiative went to Calvary to shed his blood to wash away all my sin. The issue of focus is vital to keep in mind as you move throughout the day when you're tempted to criticize.
First, ask yourself whether you need a bit of grace for your own sins. Then and only then can you see clearly enough to offer an evaluation pastor Don Greene will have part two of his message.
Righteousness starts at home on our next broadcast to join us then on the truth pulpit but right now here's done with some exciting ministry news will my friend today.
I have an opportunity to offer you something for free that goes beyond what we've done on a radio broadcast, it's a 10 message CD album titled, the Bible and Roman Catholicism to series. I recently completed it truth community church taking Scripture and evaluating what Catholics teach and believe about the Pope about Mary about the mass and about the whole nature of salvation. It's a resource that you really need to have in your hands, either for yourself or for your friends and loved ones to know how to interact with them and it's available for free at the place bills going to point you to write down just visit us at the truth. Pulpit.com and click on radial offers to learn more. Hi Bill, right, and we'll see you back here next time on the truthful