What is the Meaning of Matthew 7.1-5

“Do Not be Judgmental”

Matthew 7:1-5

INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Matthew 7.1-5

Matthew 6. After a few months of the Lord saving me, I became judgmental of preachers and preaching. I was in a church that had a powerful preacher, but I had determined that the pastor wasn’t a strong Bible teacher. So, with my great Christian wisdom that I had derived after being saved for more than 3 months, I decided to do something about it. So, with tears and all sincerity, I approached the pastor’s mom!

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Bad decision. The pastor’s mom was very gracious, as we would expect. Soon afterward, the Lord called me to South Carolina to study for the ministry.

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Knowing I was judgmental against him, this week I googled Pastor Rick Dawson in order to apologize to him for that, and I’m one month too late. He passed away last month, in August.

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After that church, I continued to struggle with my judgmental spirit about preaching. I attended Bob Jones University to study for the ministry. Chapel was always difficult for me. Men would read a verse and preach there from never to return there to! Only one time that I recall was there something false theologically, and I wrote a letter, to the man who preached, the vice president, which is a whole nother illustration. But the preaching at Bob Jones was consistently against sin and repentance. But I often would leave chapel’s stewing over the fact that the preacher failed to preach the verse in its context.

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I reflect back on that time and wonder how much blessing did I fail to receive? No one could argue with the fact that I was right, that the preaching was not teaching the point of the verse itself. He didn’t preach false doctrine! But how many times did the preacher preach on something that I needed to hear but I was only concerned about him taking one verse out of its context.

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I was being judgmental! Thankfully, while at Meadowlands Baptist Church in Edmonton, I prayed deeply about it and the Lord convicted me and after much prayer, rescued me … for the most part…for being judgmental. Now, I still discern what is good preaching and if it is stripped from its context or not, but praise God, He has helped me not have that critical spirit toward preachers. I’m not perfect, but He’s helped me.

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As I listen to a message, the right spirit is to try to get a blessing out of everything I heard, no matter how unfaithful the message was to the text. There is always something to gain in a faithful man’s message. We would do well when we gather to expect a blessing from the Lord, no matter who is preaching or how whatever it might be.

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What I needed, which I’m sure I had read dozens of times without thinking me and my problem is directly addressed in …

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Matthew 7:1–6 1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 “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? 4 “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? 5 “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. 6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

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In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in verses 5-7, He has been so strict in His kingdom standards. Why? The point is to get people lost. You have to have a righteousness greater than a Pharisee to enter into God’s kingdom, which is saying something. Can’t look with lust, no anger, … Pharisees can’t even do that, that’s convicting. Once that conviction has its way in my heart, when I repent and realize I’m undone, lost, unable to please my Creator and I trust Jesus and grow in Him and in serving Him … the temptation is for to be critical and judgmental of those who do not follow Jesus, or follow Him like we do, and to look down our long noses at them.

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Judgmentalism is subtle in the human spirit. It is not easily noticed. It flies under your radar so often and you might already be thinking of other people who do it very well! It’s so subtle because at your heart, you are judgmental, but on the outside you are wearing a cloak that is passionate about what is right. You’re hiding what’s really going on: you are judgmental, but it seems to you, you just that you want what is right. And who should compromise? I mean, we shouldn’t take and teach verses out of their context, right? And no one of course is asking for compromise!

But as a church, we can be this way. Our church has simple expectations of its members, particularly of repentance. We insist on holding each other accountable and that our members be serving in some way, either through discipleship or through the church in some way. Because of that, it’s very easy for us to look down on other Christians in the church or in other churches, or on other churches that don’t do what we do. And we can become judgmental and critical of them personally or of their church as a whole.

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No one is asking that we not discern what’s going on in those other churches. But what we need to take to heart are Jesus words, “Do not judge. “Do not be judgmental.”

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But how could you know if you are judgmental?

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How would I know if I’m being judgmental

What expertise do you have? What are you good at? It’s very easy for you to despise someone who’s not as good as you.

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  • Perhaps you believe that everyone is out to get you. Someone who is judgmental naturally believes that other people are judging them.
  • You are strict on other people always being on time, but you are patient with yourself when you’re late.
  • Without examining all the facts, you arrive at a negative conclusion about someone.
  • How often have you been unwilling to accept another explanation, especially when it clears someone’s character.
  • What would happen if someone loving and gently confronted you about being so critical and judgmental? Just picture that. Would you become…um … critical and judgmental?
  • And you might be judgmental, if you’re primarily thinking of someone else during this message.

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I think we can see from our passage, 3 points…Judgmentalism boomerangs, judgmentalism judged, and judgmentalism corrected.

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  1. Judgmentalism boomerangs (vv.1-2)

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    ILL: I remember being in my yard with someone’s boomerang that we got from their trunk, I forget whose, if it’s yours, tell me after the service, and I threw it…whoosh…[boomerang sound]… and it came right back to me… no actually, it went into the woods and my kids eventually found it. But if it had worked, it would have been a perfect illustration for verses 1-2

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Matthew 7:1–2 1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

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If you are judgmental, you will be judged. Just like how you are critical and judgmental towards others, so also God will measure back to you the same standard by which you measured others!

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  1. What judgmentalism isn’t: Discernment

    And so to be clear, when Jesus says “Do not judge,” He isn’t talking about how you shouldn’t discern or you shouldn’t tell someone else that what they are doing is wrong. As if you can’t take a speck out of someone’s eye. No, end of verse 5, you can get to the point where your eye is clear enough to take the speck out of someone’s eye. That requires love and discernment. Further, verse 6, you need to know what is a dog and what is a swine, in order to respond correctly to them. You wouldn’t want to give something holy or valuable to them! That takes discernment, “That’s a pig.”

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    So judgmentalism isn’t simply informing someone that they are wrong in some way. Otherwise, parenting, teachers, police officers, you name it, would all be out of a job. Can you imagine a student, after saying 2+2=5 and the teacher telling him that he’s wrong, … can you imagine him saying, “Jesus says, ‘Do not judge.’” That’s ludicrous.

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    We should correct people regarding immaterial laws, laws of math and morality.

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  2. What judgmentalism is

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    For a clear understanding of what judgmentalism is, you could make a note right here in your Bible and write down this verse: Ro. 14:10 and turn there.

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    The issue in Ro. 14 is this: some Christians eat meat, some don’t. The two camps were being judgmental against each other. “If you do that, who are you, if God has accepted him.”

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Romans 14:10 10 But you, why do you [same word…] judge your brother? [put that another way for us Paul…] Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt?

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To regard with contempt is to despise, to be critical, to be judgmental. If you are going to do that, you need to know something about Jesus the Son of God. He’s the judge, you’re not!

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Jesus Himself says…

John 5:22 22 “For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son,

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That last phrase in Ro. 14:10 that we didn’t read says, “For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.” Jesus, now back to Matt. 7, again says…Matthew 7:1–2 1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”

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What is He saying? He’s saying, the way you are sooooo judgmental against others, you are regarding your brother with contempt, Jesus Himself will hold your exact same standard for you!

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ILL/EXP: It’s a divine measuring. If you were to measure out a cup of flour and hand that to someone…. “It looks like you’re worth, about this much….” That will be done to you. Jesus is evangelizing you! Jesus is your judge.

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If that’s you, the best to you.

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ILL: An illustration of divine measuring happened when the Hebrews entered the Promised Land and after the death of Joshua, in the first chapter of Judges, the LORD sent the tribe of Judah against the Canaanites and they found a king, Adoni-bezek

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Judges 1:6–7 6 But Adoni-bezek fled; and they pursued him and caught him and cut off his thumbs and big toes. 7 Adoni-bezek said, “Seventy kings with their thumbs and their big toes cut off used to gather up scraps under my table; as I have done, so God has repaid me.” So they brought him to Jerusalem and he died there.

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I fear that because of your judgmentalism, at least you’ll be empty of rewards at the judgment seat. “By your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” But since the Sermon on the Mount is an evangelistic sermon…are Christians really this way? God’s people have at least some measure of success in this area.

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Example: What does a judgmental person look like.

You despise the lazy, but you’re a workaholic. You bemoan materialism, but you aren’t generous. You listen to gossip that is judgmental and you believe it! You somehow have all the insight into what other people’s motives are.

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You exaggerate the offense, putting the worse possible spin on it. You are so quick to confront without a thoughtful, loving approach. On a whim, you blow up because of a mistake they made.

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How often have you thought ill of someone else because of what they said and it turned out that’s not what they were saying at all? And you are very slow to deal with yourself.

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You give every benefit of the doubt to your own faulty words and actions and expect others to do the same. But when it comes to others, you hold them to a higher standard. You think, “See, I’m motivated by good intentions,” but you’re not.

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How many Christians complain about the immorality in society and but then they watch it in movies or listen to it in their music. You complain about the government and lost people’s action, but how much do you look to yourself?

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Imagine if instead, Christians loved people dearly outside the church, giving every benefit of the doubt, and loving and patiently holding ourselves accountable to living for Christ authentically, looking to our own selves, first. That is right!

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TRANS: Are you willing to be dealt with by the LORD about each tiny speck in your life? Or, do you want the LORD to show mercy to you on those small things?

Very simple, you’ve learned if from childhood…do to others what you would want them to do to you. Those who show mercy, get mercy. Christians are known for their mercy.

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TRANS: To help you remember this teaching, Jesus now shows how ridiculous it really is.

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  1. Judgmentalism judged (vv.3-4)

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Matthew 7:3–4 3 “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? 4 “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?

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So Jesus gives this rather humorous situation, talking about logs and sawdust. But where they are located is humorous and over the top, really. Attention grabbing. Picture it!

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With such a grotesque injury to your eye, a beam in your eye…your vision would be slightly impaired…um, you can’t see clearly! That’s generous of Him to say. Just picture a beam that is used to build a house, and having that in your eye. What if somebody came to you who is like that and, as they slowly swivel that beam around in your direction …as you duck and they say, “let me take the piece of sawdust out of your eye.”

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It is impossible for this man to be a help. That guy needs so much help!

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  1. Why not notice?

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    So, Jesus is asking you a question … you’ve been so judgmental against your family and coworkers…. you’re so quick to blowup and cast blame on others, why do you not notice what’s going on in your own life? Why…that demands a response, why do you not notice the log in your eye?

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    One preacher said, “We find it so easy to turn a microscope on another person’s sin while we look at ours through the wrong end of a telescope!”[1]

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    Maybe you are a perfectionistic, thinking you’re doing excellently, but really for you the value of a person is dependent upon performance. When that performance isn’t met in others, you become snappy and judgmental. People who are judgmental believe that others are thinking the same way about them. They then feel so much pressure especially in social situations, and feel socially anxious and uncomfortable in public.

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    People smothered in the grace of God think differently. Grace! Grace! The grace of God! So, why do you not notice the log…

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    OR…

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  2. How can you say?

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?

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You know, it is so easy to spot your sin in someone else. You know why? Because you have a log full of it in your own eye! You hate your sin in other people, and so you snap at it!

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You deny the existence of sin in your life by attributing it to others. And then you bite and devour and consume them. Has someone said your words are biting?

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Why can you be so downright nasty sometimes? Is it because you’ve had guilt over your over your sin and your spirit has reached a boiling point? When you blow up and wonder why other people don’t change, you’re not really caring about the speck in that person’s eye, but your care is in building up yourself.

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The judgmental person is self-rightoues and perfectionistic, which leads to judgmentalism and intense criticism, and a self-serving hypocritical attempt at helping others, and then contempt for the who has the speck. [2]

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TRANS: The counsel isn’t to mind your own business, but to help others.

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  1. Judgmentalism corrected (v.5)

Matthew 7:5 5 “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.

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See, the goal is to help others and take out any specks they may have.

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  1. How to take the log out of your own eye

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    But you have to take the log out of your own eye, first. How is that going to happen?

    1. First, you need to regularly reflect on your own sinfulness

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    We think: your sin is worse than mine.

    ILL: Here’s another test if you are judgmental. You’ve spilled a full glass of milk in the kitchen. How angry do you get when you spill something? Ok, someone else in your home spills a full glass of milk. Now how angry do you get? What happens is, we’re too often gracious with ourselves, but strict with others, right? It should be the other way around.

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    Note this: be strict with yourself, gracious toward others.

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    You get a traffic ticket, you put a dent in the truck, you forget to do a chore…you’re patient with yourself, but if it’s your spouse or your kids or your roommate or coworker, boy, now that is it! You hypocrite!

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    Families, this is a sin that will drive you apart, literally. You have it stuck soo much in your mind that you are in the right and defending yourself to others.

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    But you need to reflect on the fact that you are the sinner. You are the problem in your home. Look to your own log!

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    1. Confess your sin

    Then, second, confess it! Regularly confess your sin. Tell the Lord about your sin, do it. You’re not perfect, you’re anything but! Confess! Confess to the Lord and confess to those you’ve been judging.

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    1. Glory in God’s forgiveness

    Third, take a look at Christ on the cross! That’s what it took to forgive you, God the Son incarnate dying a horrible death, the Father’s wrath poured out on Him. He’s died for every single harsh word spoken, every single judgmental thought and action, every projection of your sin onto someone else, every time you’ve failed to see your own fault and judged someone else.

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    TRANS: That’ll do what? Doing this… taking an honest look at your own sin, confess it regularly to the Lord, and glorying in Christ’s forgiveness, that’ll give you humility, compassion and love for others.

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    That’s when you’ll see clearly!

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  2. Then you will see clearly

    When you love, you’re not condemning. Jesus didn’t come to condemn, to criticize, He didn’t come to be judgmental…, He came with compassion to save! Love people who are sinners like yourself, like Jesus.

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    What you’ll find is that those who are the most helpful and loving are the least judgmental. Those who disciple others, who take others along side to encourage and strengthen….those who witness to lost people to glorify God yes, but also because with compassion they see them in their sin, trapped for all eternity. Those people aren’t judgmental.

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    Now, how do you…

  3. Take the speck out of your brother’s eye?

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ILL: How careful you’d have to be to take a speck out of someone’s eye. What if you were to take something out of a child’s eye, parents? You don’t tear into it!

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You need gentleness, careful thoughtful planning, patience and sympathy for the other person, loving them to the point of repentance.

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You don’t tear into them out of disgust and contempt. Love no matter what! Few people are judged into life change. It takes loving confrontation.

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CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Matthew 7.1-5

You would do well to examine yourself: do I regularly judge someone? Have I been judgmental? You need to confess to whom you have been judgmental.

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Do a hard look at your own sinfulness, repent and confess your sin regularly, and glory in the wonderful grace and love of Christ. And shower that same love you’ve received upon all who need help with their specs.

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396 only a sinner

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Go to Matthew Main Page

Go To New Testament Books

Go To BibleTrove Home Page

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  1. Hughes, R. Kent. The Sermon on the Mount: The Message of the Kingdom (Preaching the Word) (p. 231). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

  2. Hughes.

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