Follower and Believer of Christ
If I ask you to quote me the words of John 3:16, most could without delay. This, like many Bible verses, we know like the back of our hand and can quote in our sleep But what if I asked you to quote Matthew 7:1, could you? In a recent survey, this verse was stated as one of the most quoted Bible verses today. A verse many have heard and know well, but a verse many could not tell you where to find in the Scriptures.

Do not judge so that you will not be judged.”, Matthew 7:1. One of the most quoted verses in the Bible, is also one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. A verse far more often used by those who still have the plastic wrap on their Bibles, than those who find the pages of their Bible well worn. A verse that is usually accompanied by the words, “Who are you to tell me what I am doing is wrong?”, or “Everyone sins, so you have no right to judge me.

This verse has become a hammer in the secular world’s hands, in order to beat the Church into submission. The problem is, we are allowing the world to beat us to death with our own hammer! A verse that actually serves as our greatest defense, not our most trying obstacle. With this in mind, let us take a close look at the words of this verse.

Many see this verse and tell us that we cannot look at someone’s situation and determine if the behavior we observe is sinful, as we have no right to judge. What they choose not to understand, this verse is not telling us we cannot judge, but that we cannot serve as the Judge. The true Judge has already made His ruling, the case has already been decided. The case titled “The People vs. Sin”, has already been heard in His court. The arguments have already been made, and His decision and ruling has already been recorded. Each time we open our Bible, we read that ruling. The Lord has found sin guilty, and has proclaimed for all exactly how sin will be sentenced. The problem we face today, much of the world is trying to appeal His ruling!

To best understand this verse, we simply need to read the words of Christ. And in doing so, we need to read no further than the next verse. “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”, Matthew 7:2.. Twenty times Jesus used the term “hypocrite” or ”hypocrisy”, and referred to the act several more. This verse serves as one of those referrals. The Greek word for “hypocrite” means, “an actor, one who tries to deceive or pretend”. Jesus was speaking against hypocrisy, telling each of us to judge righteously. That in order for anyone to judge, we must be first willing to judge ourselves. To recognize sin, not only in the lives of others, but in our own lives. Jesus was telling us to not judge hypocritically, to judge with discernment(John 7:24). Christ teaches us to judge with compassion and understanding(2 Timothy 2:4), also with the goal of showing the world the solution to their sins. A solution that can only be found in Christ. In this verse Christ is telling us not to be pretenders, but righteous defenders of His Word!

When we look at this verse logically, and we look at the actions of those who use this verse to defend their own objectives, we can quickly find two major flaws. First, if I cannot judge wrongful behavior, then I cannot judge righteous behavior. Therefore, without judgment you cannot have praise. Unless we first have judgment, we cannot experience forgiveness. Forgiveness requires us to have first received a negative judgment, one that caused each of us to turn to God. Without judgment, you have no need for mercy. Without judgment, there would be no temptation. And without judgment, there would be no way to identify sin. There would have been no need for Christ to have given His life on the Cross so our sins would be forgiven from the judgment that will one day come in each of our lives. We so easily forget, when we choose Christ, we make a judgment.

Second, those that would tell you, “Who are you to judge me?”, condemn themselves. Their own statement is just that, a judgment! They are judging others, by telling them they have no right to judge. They try to use Jesus’ own words to set a standard that they cannot live by. They tell you it is wrong to do what they then turn around and do. Their own words make them the hypocrite that Christ was addressing in this verse. The very statement, “Who are you to judge me?”, is actually the very statement that condemns their own actions. They are using their own faults and flaws as a standard to then judge you by. They cannot see the log in their own eye, because they are focused on trying to create a speck in the eyes of others.

The truth of the matter, the use of this verse by many today has little to do with God, but a lot to do with self. They use this and other similar verses to justify their own actions, redefining sin as not to condemn their own chosen paths. Right and wrong are no longer being seen as a standard set by God, but by an evolving view accepted and determined by man. In the worlds eyes, judgment and sin are out, tolerance and acceptance are in. The problem the Church now faces, we have allowed tolerance to be redefined without the presence of God found within the word. The world has now told us, that in order to be tolerant, all views must be seen as equal to God’s views.

We have watched as the world has redefined tolerance from acknowledgement to acceptance and support. As Christians, we are called to be tolerant, as tolerance was originally defined. God’s Word tells us that we see and define tolerance when we acknowledge the world around us. When we recognize the flaws we see in man, and we determine man’s need for God. Tolerance is recognizing that need, but realizing all may not come to accept that need. We see the example of this teaching in the words of Jesus. Christ tells each of us we are to be a light for all to see(Matthew 5:14-15). It is in the darkest of situations that a light shines the brightest. So in order for our light to shine, we must acknowledge the world around us, the world we find ourselves in. But we defeat this calling if our light is to become a spotlight, shining support upon sins the world has often placed on pedestals. At this point tolerance becomes endorsement, tolerance becomes sin.

Christians can acknowledge the right of others to have different beliefs, but we cannot allow those beliefs to go unchallenged if it leads others away from the Cross. We can accept the inevitability that the world will see us as intolerant under today’s logic. What we cannot accept is when our fear of being seen as intolerant turns us from the Truth of God’s Word. We must not only know what we believe, we must be willing and able to teach the world around us why we believe. We must not forget God’s Truth, and we also cannot forget why we are called to tell others that Truth. The words we speak can still boil in Hell, and Christ did not spend time there so His Word would serve as a path to lead others to its’ gate. We must remember those words, and tell the world around us why they must not just hear those words, but why they must follow those words. The world must know, God does not tolerate sin, He only tolerates the sinner. God may love us the way we are, but that love is too strong to see us remain the way we are.

We must reteach this world that love and tolerance are not the same. The world may say that in order to love someone you must be willing to tolerate all the behaviors of that person. We must again show the world that love is not defined by tolerance, but through repentance. We must use the words of Christ as our example. When looking in the face of a sinner, Jesus found love and compassion. But this love led Christ to speak the words, “Go and sin no more”(John 8:11). The righteous judgment of these words should serve as our perfect example. Christ did not tolerate sin, so as a Christian, I should not tolerate sin. The love Christ has for each of us is unconditional, but His tolerance of sin is just as equally unconditional. Jesus already put into action the words that Paul would later speak. “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”(1 Corinthians 13:6). The love Christ taught cannot be found where sin is endorsed and accepted. True love can only be found in truth.

The world would tell us today that judgment and tolerance reject the existence of objective truth. But in this statement, the world now finds itself judging the Word of God. The Bible clearly teaches us that truth does exist. It proves to us that God is truth. And it shows us the reality of why we should follow that truth. It is only in truth that tolerance can be found, and it is only in truth that righteous judgment can be given and received.

Sadly, we have watched as the Church has found it easier to appease the world than to stand with God. Today’s sinful Church has willfully forgotten the words Christ spoke to the woman who found herself immersed in sin. “Go and sin no more.” In these words we find true love and compassion, and in these words we also find the importance of righteous judgment. Every word that makes up the Bible gives us the understanding and the wisdom to make righteous judgments when we see the behavior this world has come to embrace. In order to make sure these judgments are righteous, and reflect the love that Christ shows us, we simply need to read and follow the words on each page, instead of just glances at the verses that fit our own agenda. Before it is too late, it is time the Church again found itself reading every page of God’s Word, and proclaiming to the world the Truth that is found in each of the words we read. If not, then we need to prepare to be judged!

Praying the Church will again remember the words spoken to Hosea(Hosea 4:6).



Excellent post! It's so important to not single out verses from The Word without carrying forward the context of those verses. "Judge no lest ye be judged" doesn't apply solely to a Christians, it applies to the entire world.

Belle of Grace

Longing for Home
Bro. Mike, I keep saying this, 'This may be your best one yet.' An outstanding article for sure! It is indeed a message that needs to be shared. I printed it off and also emailed a link to your blog to a couple of family members who will likely enjoy reading it as well. Thank you for posting it here.


Follower and Believer of Christ
Excellent post! It's so important to not single out verses from The Word without carrying forward the context of those verses. "Judge no lest ye be judged" doesn't apply solely to a Christians, it applies to the entire world.

Amen Micki! Way to often we watch as a single verse is quoted in an attempt to make a point. A verse taken out of text, and a verse that is often explained by the surrounding verses. When this was done in times past, many would quickly correct the one making the point, because they knew those surrounding verses, and the message God has given us in those verses. Sadly, we watch today as the Church can no longer do this, they can no longer defend and explain God's Word. Many churches now fail to teach those surrounding verses, and only a few spend enough time in God's Word to actually read and understand those verses.


Looking Up
This subject has been one of my most frustrating as a Christian. Christians who refuse to judge when they need to be judging. (Or worse they tell others that they shouldn't be judging either.) This life is teaching and honing us for the next one. Doesn't Jesus say that we will reign with him? You must know how to judge to reign.

Excellent article!