Vol.III No.X Pg.1
November 1966

Judge, Or Be Judged!

Robert F. Turner

Jesus reproved rash judgment with the well known admonition: "Judge not that ye be not judged" (MAT.7:1). He did not say we could avoid final judgment by being noncommittal about the sins of the world ("We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ -- " 2CO.5:10). The context shows Christ forbade hypocritical and blind judgment -- "first cast the beam out of thine own eye -- ".

Nor must one be perfect before he may see faults in others. "Righteous judgment" (JOH.7:24) is not superficial, but according to an objective appraisal of "fruits" (MAT.7:15-f).

But some persist in the idea that we can avoid judgment by a "broadminded" (?) refusal to measure human conduct by the divine standard. These folk should read 1CO.11:31, "If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged". There is a judgment on our part, absolutely necessary, if we are to avoid judgment from God. The general subject of this part of 1CO.11: is the Lord's Supper, and the abuse made of it by the Corinthians. After instructing them concerning the proper use of the emblems of this memorial feast -- and particularly concerning their attitude in partaking -- Paul says (vs 38). "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup". Self-examination must first be made. We either find ourselves having the proper attitude for communion with the Lord; or, failing this, we make correction before we partake.

Note, Paul does not suggest that anyone is "worthy" to partake. This privilege is ours by God's grace. But the attitude and manner of our partaking is under consideration -- we must partake "worthily".

Paul urges us to use introspection -- to "judge ourselves" -- making the necessary corrections, so that God will not have to judge us adversely. David said, "I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies" (PSA.119:59). Honest judgment now, by ourselves or others, gives us opportunity to prepare for the final irrevocable judgment of God.