Judging - 2

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


Familiar maxim:

     Often we hear this verse quoted by unbelievers or carnal Christians when someone will say something about them, their actions, dress , etc. It is used as a rebuke to those whom they regard as intolerant to them or their ways. These are the words of Christ and they are given as a warning to the self-righteous condemnation of others with whom they disagree on the basis of superficial criteria.


Differing words:

      Matt 7:1krino:  ”to pass judgment; to sentence”

      1 Cor 2:15anakrino: “question; examine; evaluate”

      1 Cor 11:31diakrino: “make distinction; weigh thoroughly”

      Gal 6:4; 1 Jn 4:1dokimazo: “test; examine; interpret”

  2 Cor 13:5peirazo: “examine; to prove; to try”


Discerning and judging:

      The command of Jesus not to judge does not relieve us of our duty to be a discerning and examining people. We are to evaluate beliefs, actions and spirits in light of Scripture. Matt 10:16 is a directive from Jesus for us in this world of wickedness.

      It is important for us to know the difference

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Judging one another - 1

James 4:11-12  Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. 12  There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?


Two types of sin:

     Christians commit two types of sin in the area of criticism – they are too harsh in criticizing others; and they get offended if they are criticized. Criticism can be good and/or bad. If it is designed to help a fellow Christian in their walk with the Lord, then it can be very beneficial. If it is too harsh or extreme and spoken in the wrong manner, it can become very bad, even sinful, because it enters into the realm of judging which only God is qualified to do.


Results of criticism:

            Criticism, even constructive, can generate resentment, quarreling and enmity. It can damage the character of the critic as much as the recipient. It can build walls between Christians (Prov 18:19) and cause divisions.

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Jesus, the Vine

John 15:1-2   I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.


Analogy from nature:

     While on the way to the garden where He will be taken captive and carried to the place of His death, Jesus gives instruction to the eleven disciples using nature and an Old Testament example to them. Jesus calls Himself the True Vine and the eleven and us branches growing out of the Vine.

      The disciples would have identified the vine as being representative of Israel from Old Testament passages (Isa 5:1-2, 7; Psa 80:8-9; Hos 10:1). Jesus used the adjective “True” of Himself as opposed to something that was false or untrue. Israel did not prove to be the true vine that God desired of them and they were disposed of being that desired vine (Matt 21:43). Jesus also used this adjective in other examples as well (Jn 1:9; 6:32; He 8:2). Paul used it to show us that we are to seek true holiness

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Blessed is the nation

Psalm 33:12  Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.


          America was founded upon Christian principles and ideals. Although not all the Founding Fathers were Christian they were all God-fearing men and women. Some in recent years have tried to change history to tell us that they were all atheists and unfortunately there are those who actually believed this lie. The Fathers prayed for three hours before their congressional meetings, asking for divine help and guidance. If they were all atheists they would not pray at all let along for three hours.

          The Founding Fathers knew the text verse and its implications for our nation. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD. The word LORD is Jehovah, the great I AM of the Old Testament times and especially the God who met with Moses to bring Israel out of Egyptian bondage and into the Promised Land. They knew which religion was being expressed by this passage and what the implications of it were. They were convinced that the God of the Bible was being identified as the One who blesses any nation that

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Power in the ark

1 Samuel 5:1-3 (KJV)1 And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod.
2 When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.
3 And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.
He is Lord of all:
The ark was the most important piece of furniture in the tabernacle Israel made in the wilderness then moved into the Promised Land. It was a box made of acacia wood overlaid with gold with a pure golden lid. Above it stood the cherubim stretching their wings over the lid – called the Mercy Seat. Upon this Mercy Seay the blood of innocent animals was sprinkled every year for the remission of the nation’s sin, as well as those of the high priest. It was covered with skins when moved from place to place and always abode within the holiest while the tabernacle was standing. Later when a temple was made it remained within the holiest
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Invitations of God

John 1:39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
Invitations from Jesus
Our text is the first invitation of Jesus to “come” to Him. On this occasion, right after His baptism by John the Baptist, He invited two potential disciples to come with Him to His dwelling place. It is very likely that Jesus stayed as a “street Person” because on one occasion He said, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” (Matt 8:20) One night abiding with Jesus made a deep impression upon these two and they became His disciples.
Later Jesus issued another invitation to them (Mk 1:17); first Jesus invited them to come to see Him and begin to get to know Him, then come along with Him as He goes out to win the lost. The promise to them in this invitation was that they would become fishers of men.
Another wonderful invitation is to those who are burdened and weighed down with cares (Matt 11:28). The benefits of
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In time of trouble

Psalm 27:5  For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.


David’s confidence in God

            David says that even though his enemies came to destroy him (2); in spite of the danger he looks to God for safety (1). David is trusting in God for his earthly salvation as well as his eternal salvation. But why was it that God would preserve David?

David had a heart for God

            David was declared by God to be a “man after His own heart”. This means that David sought after the things of God and desired God’s honor. When David went against Goliath his concern was for God and His name(1 Sam 17:26, 45-47). David was concerned about God’s anointing upon Saul when Saul was trying to kill him (1 Sam 24:6). In this Psalm David speaks of his desire to seek God (4, 8, and 11).

It is God’s nature

            By His very nature God hates evil and extends grace to His own. God is

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In the fullness of time

Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
God’s time
When something happens to us suddenly like the strike of lightning or the eruption of a volcano or an earthquake, we think of God and His power. We think of God coming suddenly in the affairs of man and earth. It seems to us as if there was no warning – just all of a sudden “boom”.
God can and does come suddenly upon us and the world, but more likely it is probably the opposite. We see God in nature and His working in our lives and that of others, but we see perhaps only the climax of His workings and not the process.
Throughout Scripture we see God revealing Himself not all at once, but over years of progressive revelation as He builds upon that revelation thru His prophets and the events of life. God told of His coming to earth thru the prophets and each had their own part of the revelation until as
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How to know the truth

John 7:17  If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.


Ever learning:

      Paul writes about certain philosophers in 2 Tim 3:7 saying that they were unable to come to the knowledge of the truth. In the next verse, Paul tells us why they cannot – even though they are highly intelligent or well educated – they resist the truth. Resist means to oppose, set against, to withstand. They could not learn the truth because they were not willing to believe it or obey it when they learned it. An example of that today is the controversy among Christians about the Genesis account of creation. The written text says six days and there are those who say that it means six literal twenty-four hour days and others who say it means thousands, even billions of years. Often the unbelief or unwillingness to believe the plain reading of Scripture comes because of man’s contrary teaching and supposed evidences opposing what the Bible says.

      The difficulties in this as well as in other doctrinal difficulties are a basic unwillingness to believe the Bible when

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Homosexual issue

Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Leviticus 20:13  If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.


Abomination to God:

      The word used for abomination is toebah and literally means “a disgusting thing, abomination” and in every occurrence it is either translated as abomination, abominable thing or just abominable. When a person commits the sin of homosexuality it is also called “going after strange flesh” (Jude 7); the word strange is also used in relation to other gods (Josh 24:23), and also a foreign woman or a prostitute or temptress (1 Ki 11:1; Prov 6:24).


Called sodomy:

      The name sodomite comes from the city of Sodom where this prevalent sin is recorded in Scripture was that of homosexuality (Gen 19:4-5). This was not their only sin because there was much wickedness in it (Jer 23:13-14; Eze 16:48-50).

      The practice of sodomy was associated with false gods and the worship of them (Jud

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Holy Spirit fruit -- longsuffering

Ephesians 4:2-3 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
If our relation to others is shown in these three characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit, then it is fitting that it begins with longsuffering.
Longsuffering is patience, constancy, perseverance, endurance and steadfastness. The fact that “suffer” is part of the word means that there will be some suffering on our part in regards to others. Longsuffering is a quality of God written by the prophets and others (Ex 34:6; Psa 103:8) and with it goes the idea of not easily angered or not retaining anger long.
Paul also talked about “forbearing” or enduring, literally hold oneself erect and firm. Through the power of the Spirit we are enabled to be right and righteous even in the face of ornery and testing people. Paul says the purpose of longsuffering and forbearance is so that we keep the unity of the Spirit in peace.
Longsuffering is something that we go through not the other; it means to keep sweet in face of opposition, disagreement and wrong by another.
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Holy Spirit -- Fruit of peace

Romans 5:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:


Three-fold aspect of peace:

     The Bible presents a three-fold aspect in the area of peace – peace with God; peace of God and peace on earth.


Peace with God:

Peace with God (Ro 5:1; Eph 2:14-17), the peace provided between the sinner and God through the work of Christ, entered into by faith. Sin is in direct opposition to God and when we sin or align with sinners we are in an enemy relationship to God (Jam 4:4; Isa 48:12; 57:20-21). Sin keeps us from God and hides His face (Isa 59:1-2). When Christ died for our sins He took away that barrier between us and God and all who admit they are sinners and seek forgiveness can now enter into peace with God (2 Cor 5:18-19).


Peace of God:

Peace of God (Phil 4:7), inward peace, the state of the soul that has through faith entered into family relationship with God (Lu 7:50). The state of the soul when one has given their anxieties to God

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Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.


Christian character:

      Christian character is more than mere moral or legal correctness, but possession of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit, manifested in our lives. The nine fold expressions of the fruit of the Spirit can be divided into groups of three, each representing an aspect of our character. Love, joy and peace are inward qualities of the Christian. Longsuffering, gentleness and goodness express our fruit toward our fellow man. Faith, meekness and temperance as character qualities toward God, all representing the moral portrait of Christ. Taken together they present the explanation of Paul in (Gal 2:20)  “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

      Exemplifying this nine-fold expression of fruit of the Spirit is possible only as Jesus outlined in Jn 15:1-8; and can be exhibited only when three criteria are followed.

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Hereby know

1 John 4:13  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.


John’s word use:

     John uses the phrase “hereby know” eight times in his first epistle. The phrase means by this we understand, perceive or know and is the opposite of many belief systems that strand the follower in doubt and uncertainty. John emphasizes that we can know and do know by the way he uses this phrase in this epistle.


His eight uses of it:

      1 Jn 2:3 – John says we can know that we do actually know God by our lifestyle. To keep His commands is to attend to carefully; to under go something. The word “submit” relates to that; as part of the definition – to submit under. We live our daily life closely in subjection to God’s commands.

      1 Jn 2:5 – Here John equates attending to carefully; undergoing something to God’s entire word -- logos (portions of God’s word are recorded as rhemas), but logos means the entire word of God. David said that God’s entire word is a lamp unto his feet and

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Honoring God's word 2

Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Jots and tittles:
Paul taught that all Scripture is “God breathed” and reliable and profitable. Jesus taught that even the smallest Scripture (portions of letters, words and phrases) are also inspired. In numerous portions of Scripture the teaching rests on a seemingly insignificant component of the word or phrase.
For example: Paul used a differing tense of a verb to speak to the Galatians about their relationship with God Gal 4:9. Jesus used a past tense and present tense together to declare His deity Jn 8:58. Paul also used the singular to proclaim Christ Gal 3:16; Gen 22:17-18. Similarly, Jesus used present tense to correct the error of the Scribes concerning the state of those who die in the Lord Matt 22:32.
Jesus reprimanded two disciples after His resurrection because they did not believe all Scripture pertaining to Him Lu 24:25, 27. The Psalmist said (Psa 119:89)”For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” They are the words of God and they can never be broken or
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Easter is proof

(Rom 1:1-4)  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, {2} (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) {3} Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; {4} And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:


      People around the world will celebrate Easter is various ways. Some will color eggs and hide them for children; others will give candy to others (especially children) others will fast something during the days preceding Easter (Lent) and many will attend some type of religious service (for many it will be one of only two times they attend a church service). But in all these things will people really see or understand the significance of the resurrection.

      Jesus resurrected from the dead and He alone experienced a resurrection. There were others that experienced being raised to life by Jesus, but each one had to die again later. Jesus arose never to die again and has a glorified body and is seated at

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Honoring God's word - 1

Deuteronomy 4:2  Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.


It is truly God’s Word:

            Various Scriptures declare that the Bible is authored by God – Moses wrote what God told him to say and wrote to the people (Lev 1:1). Jeremiah spoke and wrote what God told him (Jer 1:4). John wrote what he was instructed to write as given to him from the resurrected Lord (Rev 1:1). Paul wrote that all Scripture is breathed out by God (2 Tim 3:16). Paul also told the Thessalonian believers that they were receiving and believing the very word of God (1 Thes 2:13). If we try to say that portions of the Bible are untrue or myths, then we have to say the whole is that way, because it is declared to be wholly given by inspiration – God-breathed.


            Warning about the Word of God:

                        God gives us four such warning about tampering with His word.

            Deut 4:2

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In God's gymnasium


 Hebrews 12:5-11  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.


Sanctifying grace

      Jesus prayed for us to be sanctified – He said, “Sanctify them through Thy truth, Thy word is truth”. God uses His word to sanctify us and

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God who provides

Romans 15:13  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.


God’s provision for believers

          God provides for us far more than just our physical needs – although He does that also. These are seen in the seven titles given to Him in the NT.


The God of love

     We need love and so does the world just as the pop song said. One of the nine-fold products of the abiding Holy Spirit is love (Gal 5:22). We all need to be loved and that is the famous verse’s statement that God so loved. But more than that we need love within us in order to show God’s love to others who are also seeking to be loved (Ro 5:5). God’s love imparted to us by the Holy Spirit enables us to love the unlovely.


The God of all grace

      We are saved by grace thru faith; but we are also to grow in grace (2 Pet 3:18). God’s grace is freely given to us (Jn 1:16)

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God hardened hearts

Joshua 11:20  For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.


Complaints against God

          One of the most bitter complaints against God by critics opposed to the Bible is its portrayal of the severity of God, especially in His command to Moses to destroy all the Canaanites (Deut 7:2; 20:16-17). This seems even more severe upon reading of our text from Joshua 11:20 that God Himself hardened the hearts of the Canaanites against Israel so that they would come boldly to destroy Israel and Joshua would then destroy them.


False concepts of God

     The notion that God is merely a kindly grandfather figure is a self-serving figment of man’s sinful imagination. The attributes of God are innumerable but man tries to focus upon the kindness and mercy of God above all others so that man too often is emboldened in their sinful ways. If we take one attribute and place it above all others we get out of balance with proper

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