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One of the most misused scriptures in the Bible, Matt 7:1

April 28, 2020 7 comments

A while back I was on social media and ran across a thread concerning Joel Osteen. I believe, as far as I can remember that someone was asking if Osteen was a true minister of God, or something to that effect. So, being the Bible reader which I am, I commented and plainly stated, ‘No.’ Of course, after I replied, I had to defend myself against all kinds of attacks, whereby I was being accused of judging Osteen’s salvation.

The main scripture used against me, of course, was Matt 7:1. I was told that I could not judge Osteen’s theology or lack thereof. This is a misuse of the verse and my opponents did not have enough Biblical insight to rightly interpret scripture, nor to rightly understand the true interpretation of Matt 7:1. On top of that, their entire argument was self refuting because if I can’t judge Osteen’s theology, then they have no right to judge mine.

This verse left in context does not forbid all and every kind of judgment. What Christ is condemning is all rash, censorious, hypocritical, self-righteous or other kind of unfair judgments. This the Jews were inclined towards in their religious lives. This is especially true of the self-righteous Pharisees who were quick to cast the first stones in judgment, but would devour widows houses and would search sea and land to make one proselyte, but then would make him twofold more the child of Hell than themselves.

In context, Christ is forbidding a hypocritical judging of others. For how can one say to his brother, ‘Here let me get the splinter out of your eye,’ when they have a log in their own eye. Christ goes on to say that after one has removed the log out of their eye, then they could see clearly to get the splinter out of their brother’s eye. Also if Christ was speaking against any and all types of judgment, then it is ironic that in the same chapter he tells us to beware of false prophets, which come to us in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Now how could someone determine who a false prophet is, if he couldn’t judge? Also Christ told the Jews in John 7:24 to not judge according to appearance and that when they do judge they are to judge righteous judgment.

So what I am going to do here is just list three groups who misuse this verse. There may be others who misuse this verse, but I will only focus on these three and then I will provide some commentary from learned men of God.

Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

1. This scripture is abused by those who would not have their sins examined by the light of scripture. (This speaketh to the backslider)

2. This scripture is abused by those who would not have their doctrine brought under the light of scripture. (This speaketh to false teachers and those who twist scripture to their profit)

3. This scripture is abused by those who claim that we should be tolerant of others lifestyles and to each his own.

First, to examine the scripture:

Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

This scripture is not condemning all judgment, but in context is a prohibition against one particular type of judgment; specifically a hypocritical judging of others while we ourselves live in worse sin. However, if our lives align with scripture according to the grace of God given us, then we are to judge righteous judgment. We are also to discern and judge the doctrine which comes forth from a ministers lips. We are to be like the Bereans and search the scriptures daily to see if these things are so.

There are many things the Christian is called to judge, however to be brief I will only list two:

1. Paul declares that if two brothers are in dispute one with one another, in the Church, then set one over them, who is least esteemed in the Church and let him judge the matter. 1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

2. Scripture declares: 1Co 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? If a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

What this scripture is condemning:

It condemns rash, judgment or interpreting men’s words and deed in the worst sense. Which was common among the Jews. It condemns hypocritical judgment or judging someone who is living with a little sin, while you are living in the pig pen of sin. First cast out the beam (the great sin) in thine own eye, then you can see clearly to get the mote (the little sin) out of thy brother’s eye.

Now to the 3 people above who misuse this scripture:

1. This scripture is abused by those who would not have their sins examined by the light of scripture. (This speaketh to the backslider)

Are not God’s ministers called to reprove thee when thou art playing the harlot against Christ? Would you cause them more anguish of heart by constantly having to rebuke thee because you will not submit yourself to those who care for your soul?

Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

2. This scripture is abused by those who would not have their doctrine brought under the light of scripture. (This speaketh to false teachers and those who twist scripture to their profit)

The scripture saith: Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Thou false prophet, this scripture is in the same chapter as judge not, that ye be not judged. So how are we to know who you are, except we judge what comes from thy mouth? What, are God’s ministers supposed to sit back while you make merchandise of the weak and feeble among God’s people?

The scripture saith: 1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

And again: Tit 1:10-13 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

And finally to the last group:

3. This scripture is abused by those who claim that we should be tolerant of others lifestyles and to each his own.

What do you think that your blaspheming God and rebelling against your Creator should not be called out? Living in the grossest of sins and not wanting anyone to reprove you of it.

The scripture saith:

2Ti 4:2-4 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Now for several commentators on this verse:

Mat 7:1. Judge not.—The word κρίνειν here undoubtedly implies unkind, condemnatory judgment (Theophylact, Kuinoel, Tholuck, and others), as appears from the opposite clause, ἵνα μὴκρι θῆτε. Meyer denies this without reason, although the simile about the mote and the beam, proves that the expression cannot simply mean condemnation. It is general. Meyer is right in controverting the idea, that the word κριθῆτε refers exclusively to the judgment of other men (Erasmus, etc.). He applies it to the judgment to come; but Mat 7:6 proves that judgment on earth precedes the judgment of the last day. Uncharitable judgment receives its meed here as well as there. Comp. Mat 5:22; Mat 6:14; the parable in Mat 18:23; Jam 2:13. Heubner: “Judge not. This neither refers (unconditionally) to our private judgment, nor to the official expression of our opinion which we may be bound in duty to give (which, however, may run into the sinful extreme here condemned). Least of all does it apply to the sentence pronounced by a judge (who should always bear in mind that he is under the holy law of God), but to those uncalled-for judgments which are neither dictated by duty, nor prompted by love. Κρίνειν therefore is here equivalent to κατακρίνειν.” Comp. Luke 3

Lang’s Commentary; J. P. Lange (1864-1880; Philip Schaff English Translation)

Judge not … – This command refers to rash, censorious, and unjust judgment. See Rom_2:1. Luke Luk_6:37 explains it in the sense of “condemning.” Christ does not condemn judging as a magistrate, for that, when according to justice, is lawful and necessary. Nor does he condemn our “forming an opinion” of the conduct of others, for it is impossible “not” to form an opinion of conduct that we know to be evil. But what he refers to is a habit of forming a judgment hastily, harshly, and without an allowance for every palliating circumstance, and a habit of “expressing” such an opinion harshly and unnecessarily when formed. It rather refers to private judgment than “judicial,” and perhaps primarily to the customs of the scribes and Pharisees.

Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible

Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. This is not to be understood of any sort of judgment; not of judgment in the civil courts of judicature, by proper magistrates, which ought to be made and pass, according to the nature of the case; nor of judgment in the churches of Christ, where offenders are to be called to an account, examined, tried, and dealt with according to the rules of the Gospel; nor of every private judgment, which one man may make upon another, without any detriment to him; but of rash judgment, interpreting men’s words and deeds to the worst sense, and censuring them in a very severe manner; even passing sentence on them, with respect to their eternal state and condition. Good is the advice given by the famous Hillell (u), who lived a little before Christ’s time.

John Gill

So this ought to settle the matter, however, I do not believe it will because many will not take the time to do the necessary work in order to properly exegete scripture.

Tell me what you all think in the comment section below.

The Wednesday Word: Thank you Jesus for the Blood

Many people continually worry about whether or not they are doing okay spiritually. They ask themselves,

“Have I been good enough?”

“Have I read the Bible enough?”

“Have I witnessed enough?”

“Have I prayed enough?”

“Have I given enough?”

Let’s be honest; the answer to these questions is probably ‘no.’

But here’s the Good News. When Jesus Christ died on the Cross, His Blood took care of all our sins. Not just the bad sins but the Father put all our sins on Christ, the God/Man. We don’t, therefore, need to always be ducking and diving away from God. Our accounts are fully and finally settled.

The Blood of the cross has completely blotted out and cleansed our sins. As the prophet Micah said, they have been cast into the depth of the sea (Micah 7:19). The Father has already blessed us in Christ for “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Romans 4:7-8).

The Father doesn’t see the sins that we commit. Why? Because of the Blood. We are in Christ. He sees only the Finished Work.

But what happens if we sin? And we do sin … so, what happens? What happens is this, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1-2). But what if a person knows that God will not impute sin to them yet they stubbornly continue in known sin?

The first consequence is that he grieves His friend, the Holy Spirit.

The second consequence is that he breaks his fellowship with God. However, because of the blood, although the sin breaks fellowship with, it doesn’t change his relationship to the Father. Willful, deliberate sin brings chastisement, but it is a loving and gracious chastisement. There is no wrath in the Father’s discipline. His wrath was exhausted on Calvary for the Elect.

Nevertheless, let’s never forget that God hates sin. He is of purer eyes than to look upon iniquity (Habakkuk 1:13). This is a shocking truth which exposes our lostness outside of Christ. There is no way for us to be accepted in heaven unless the Father sees us as completely perfect. But here’s the genius of the matter, when Jesus Christ went to heaven, He took us with Him, and seated us there with Himself as justified, righteous and perfect believers (Ephesians 2:6).

Now, as we begin to apply Gospel truth, we realize that the Father can never again see us in sin. We are cleansed by the blood and seated (perfect tense) with Christ in heavenly places. It is a finished work, and we are hidden with Christ in God in heaven. Never again will He impute sin to us. We are ransomed by the Blood and saved for time and eternity.

The Blood has redeemed us. The blood has bought and purchased us (Titus 2:14; Mark 10:45). The blood has paid for us in full (1 Peter 1:18-19).

Now, the Father only sees the Son, and as He sees the Son, He beholds every believer. Why is this?

It’s because the Lord Jesus, the God/Man, has graciously hidden us in Himself (Colossians 3:3).

Because of redemption, we are now members of His body (Ephesians 5:30). He, therefore, sees no flaw in us (Song of Solomon 4:7).

Because of righteous grace, He sees us without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27).

Because of the Finished Work, we are in Him by the purchase of the Blood.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Calvinism declares that ‘God is our rock and salvation,” all other views are heresies

Spurgeon 11. The first thing is, THE GREAT DOCTRINE. — that God “only is our rock and our salvation.” If any one should ask us what we would choose for our motto, as preachers of the gospel we think we should reply, “God only is our salvation.” The late lamented Mr. Denham has put at the foot of his portrait, a most admirable text, “Salvation is of the Lord.” Now, that is just an epitome of Calvinism, it is the sum and the substance of it. If any one should ask you what you mean by a Calvinist, you may reply, “He is one who says, salvation is of the Lord.” I cannot find in Scripture any other doctrine than this. It is the essence of the Bible. He only is my rock and my salvation.” Tell me anything that departs from this and it will be a heresy, tell me a heresy, and I shall find its essence here, that it has departed from this great, this fundamental, this rocky truth, “God is my rock and my salvation.” What is the heresy of Rome, but the addition of something to the perfect merits of Jesus Christ — the bringing in of the works of the flesh, to assist in our justification? and what is that heresy of Arminianism but the secret addition of something to the complete work of the Redeemer? You will find that every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here, it departs from this “He only is my rock and my salvation.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- God Alone the Salvation of His People-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, May 18, 1856

A form of sound words must teach the doctrine of Total Depravity

February 16, 2015 1 comment

Spurgeon 1Now we hold, that a form of sound words must look upon man aright as well as upon God aright, it must teach that man is utterly fallen, that he is sinful, and for his sin condemned, and in himself altogether hopeless of salvation. If it exalts man by giving him a character which is not a true one, and clothing him with a spurious robe of righteousness, woven by his own fingers, we reject and discard it utterly.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

The Wednesday Word: Motivated by Grace Alone

December 24, 2014 Leave a comment

The daughter of one of the attendees at The Gospel of Grace Conference in Yadgir , India

In attempts to help congregations grow in the Lord, it is easy for pastors to cross the line between grace and works. To my shame I have to admit that I’ve crossed that line oftentimes … and I’m not alone. Sometimes we pastors find ourselves trying to motivate our listeners by the Law and its demands instead of by the gospel. However, it takes no spirituality whatsoever to get behind the pulpit and demand change as we warn about bad habits and lax living. But, this is not gospel preaching!

For example, in our zeal to see God’s people grow in grace we can continually demand repentance. Yet, the doctrine of repentance, although vital, saves no one. Granted, no one is saved without it, but repentance is not the gospel. It is the gospel of Christ alone that is the power of God unto salvation, not the gospel plus our repentance (Romans 1:16).

Here’s the gospel truth, the Good News is neither a call nor a demand to repent. In fact, the gospel is not even a demand that we change our lives. Indeed, the gospel is not a demand to do anything. In the gospel, all demands were laid on Christ and He fulfilled them all.

So let’s say it again, nowhere in the scriptures do we discover that the gospel is about our repentance. Along these lines, Charles Spurgeon once said, “You must not expect that you will be perfect in ‘repentance’ before you are saved. No Christian can be perfect. ‘Repentance’ is a grace. Some people preach it as a condition of salvation. Condition of nonsense! There are no conditions of salvation. God gives the salvation himself.”

(CHS Repentance unto Life: Sermon # 44, New Park Street Pulpit).

The gospel is not the story of what we must do, it is the story of what has already been done in history, by the Lord Jesus Christ. Far from being about us or anything we can do, the gospel is about the perfections of the doing and dying of Christ.

The gospel is not about how we behave, it is about Christ’s behaviour in our place and stead. The gospel is not even a demand that we give up worldliness. Indeed, there are no demands at all in the gospel.

One old time preacher put it like this, “The Gospel is not good advice to be obeyed, it is good news to be believed.” He was right! But as preachers, it is easier, at times, for us to demand that the flock obey the Word rather than for us to preach the accomplishment and person of Christ. It’s easier to demand personal righteousness than to hold forth an invisible, alien righteousness that is ours by faith alone.

Nowhere, in scriptures, do we find the gospel presented to us as a duty or a call to reformation. So why is our preaching so full of demands and devoid of the gospel? Behavioural demands, unless bathed in the gospel are a toxic diet to feed the flock of God.

This gospel, by the Spirit, produces godly desires in its hearers and under its preaching God’s people become a grateful people who desire to follow and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

A special greeting goes out to Pastor Devadas who forwards the Wednesday Word to seventy pastors in his state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Also, a big welcome to the pastors and leaders from Karnataka who have signed up to receive these gospel messages.

Many thrilling things are happening both in Ireland and India. Will keep you posted.

Gospel Blessings

Miles

www.milesmckee.com 

Please feel free to forward, post and blog etc. the Wednesday Word (without changing the content of the actual message)

Thanks to those of you who by your giving and prayers make this ministry possible. You are a blessing!

A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine-15-Good Works

January 30, 2014 1 comment

Good Works

 

1. Has not God offered life and happiness upon the performance of good works?

He has.

2. Have any of mankind ever been justified in that way?

None have been thus justified.

3. Why is this?

Because, having a sinful nature, no man can perform good works in an acceptable manner.

4. Since, then, we are saved by faith alone, does God still require good works?

He does, and gives us grace to help us do them.

5. Are they to be performed with any hope of attaining salvation?

They are not; for we can never perfectly perform them in this life.

6. From what motive then?

From a spirit of love and obedience.

7. What, then., is the position of works in God’s way of justification?

They are the fruits and evidence of a change of heart and of love to God.

8. With what motive should we let men see our good works?

With the hope that thus they may be led to glorify God.

 

James P. Boyce-A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine

Beware of considering faith itself the meritorious ground of acceptance with God

fuller4. Beware of considering faith itself the meritorious ground of acceptance with God. It is true, that believing is an act of yours, and an act of obedience to God. Far be it from me that I should convey an idea of anything short of a cordial reception of the Gospel being accompanied with salvation: a reception that involves a renunciation of self-righteousness, and a submission to the righteousness of God. But if you consider it a species of sincere obedience which God has consented to accept, instead of a perfect one; and if you hope to be justified in reward of it, you are still “going about to establish your own righteousness” under an evangelical name. This is the commandment of God, that ye believe on the name of his Son. Faith is an act of obedience to God, yet it is not as such that it justifies us, but as receiving Christ, and bringing us into a living union with him, for whose sake alone we are accepted and saved.

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered

The Greatest Trading Post in the World

April 24, 2013 2 comments

Wednesday word: The Greatest Trading Post in the World

In the cross of Christ, we find the greatest trading post in the world. There, our filthy robes of self-righteousness were traded for Christ’s robe of perfect righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). Our guilt was traded for grace and mercy, and our condemnation was traded for our justification. This is not make-believe or some kind of legal fiction. This is reality (Hebrews 9:22; 1 Peter 2:24).

As believers, all of Christ’s righteousness is credited to us. Did you catch that? ALL of Christ’s righteousness is reckoned to us. In the gospel, we are not given a righteousness that looks like Christ’s or one that is similar to Christ’s, we are given Christ’s very own righteousness. All of His perfection, in all its completeness, is now reckoned as being ours. This is no empty theory; this is gospel. Live in it and enjoy it. At the cross, Christ Jesus took legal liability for us and gave us the gift of His righteousness. This is such good and powerful news that, if this gospel were continually preached and believed in our churches, then believers would be transformed and delivered from lives that so often entangle and entrap them.

There are many whom I’ve met who, in their flesh, are striving after their own brand of holiness. They fail to realize that the all-holy God requires perfection. These folk, neither understand true holiness nor the true nature of sin. They, therefore, go about trying to meet what they suppose to be God’s standard. To them Christianity is about keeping the rules and trying to impress God and man. Failing to grasp the gospel fact that Christ has already reached God’s standard on our behalf, these folks are doomed to live lives of misery and failure. The only way they can live a so called perfect life is to either lower the standard of perfection or to excuse sin as not being sin at all! As a result, they lie to themselves about having reached a higher state than the rest of us. Some of them are so deceived that they believe they can actually live throughout the day without sin. They know nothing of the ‘Gospel Trading Post’.

As believers, we must have a good understanding of the Trading Post of the cross. There we encounter the righteousness of God in Christ. Everything that God requires of us is met in Christ; it is supplied in Christ and is fulfilled in Christ. God demands perfection, and the believer has that in Christ. God demands full and total obedience, and we have that in Christ.

Horatius Bonar, in his book, “The Everlasting Righteousness” comments on Ezekiel 16 saying,

“Although the prophet was speaking of Jerusalem we can apply his words to believers. The word of the Lord to us through Ezekiel is choice. The Lord says,

 

1. “I said to you, Live” (Ezekiel 16: verse 6).

2. “I spread my skirt over thee” (verse 8).

3. “I entered into a covenant with you, and you became mine”  (verse 8).

4. “I washed you” (verse 9).

5. “I anointed you” (verse 9).

6. “I clothed you” (verse 10).

7. “I shod you” (verse 10).

8. “I girded you” (verse 10).

9. “I covered you with silk” (verse 10).

10. “I decked you with ornaments, bracelets, chains, jewels, a  beautiful crown” (verse 12).

11. “You were exceeding beautiful” (verse 13).

12. “Your renown went forth for your beauty” (verse 14).

 

This is a snapshot of the ‘Trading Post’ and the perfection with which we, as believers, are now clothed. The Lord Himself is our righteousness and He says to us, “Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee” (Song of Songs 4:7). As we believe this, we enter into rest.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles McKee,

Minister of the Gospel

www.milesmckee.com

The Salvation of Sinners is Due to God’s Grace

NO truth is more plainly taught in God’s word than this, that the salvation of sinners is entirely owing to the grace of God. If there be anything clear at all in Scripture, it is plainly there declared that men are lost by their own works, but saved through the free favor of God their ruin is justly merited, but their salvation is always the result of the unmerited mercy of God. In varied forms of expression, but with constant clearness and positiveness, this truth is over and over again declared. Yet, plain as this truth is, and influencing, as it should do, every part of our doctrinal belief, it is frequently forgotten. Many of the heresies which divide the Christian church, spring from a cloudness upon this point. Were that word “grace” but fully read, marked, and learned, the great evangelical system would be far more firmly held, and plainly preached: but forgetfulness that “by grace ye are saved,” is a common fault among all conditions of men. Sinners forget it, and they seek salvation by the works of the law; they refuse to surrender to the sovereign grace of God, and entrench themselves behind the tottering fence of their own righteousness. And saints forget this, too, and therefore their minds become dark, their spirits fall into legal bondage, and where they ought to rejoice in the Lord unceasingly, they become despondent, and full of unbelieving dread. Brethren, I am incessantly preaching here the doctrines of grace, they are growingly dear to me; but often as I preach them, I trust they are not wearisome to you; and if they should be, that sad fact would not induce me to be silent upon them, but rather urge me to proclaim them more frequently and fervently, for your weariness of them would be a clear proof that you required to hear them yet again, and again, and again, until your souls were brought to delight in them. There is no music out of heaven equal to the sound of that word “grace,” save only the celestial melody of the name of Jesus. One of the early fathers was called the angelic doctor; surely he is most angelic who preaches most of grace. Grace among the attributes is the Chrysostom, it has a golden mouth; it is the Barnabas, for it is full of consolation; it is the Boanerges, for it thunders against self-righteousness. It is man’s star of hope, the well-spring of his eternal life, the seed of his future bliss.

Charles H. Spurgeon–Sermon No. 958 “Dei Gratia”

Concerning our Love for Sin

August 30, 2011 1 comment

Man loves his own ruin. The cup is so sweet that though he knows it will poison him, yet he must drink it. And the harlot is so fair, that though he understands that her ways lead down to hell, yet like a bullock he follows to the slaughter till the dart goes through his liver. Man is fascinated and bewitched by sin.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)_Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit_ Vol. 13 [1867]