SERMON ON THE MOUNT
WHEN MY OPINION IS DANGEROUS
#20 - SERMON ON THE MOUNT
It is very easy to pass judgment on the character, intentions, abilities, activities, words, and ideas of others. It is also very easy to be wrong when we pass judgment on the character, intentions, abilities, activities, words and ideas of others.
The theme of the Sermon of the Mount is Living Righteously. There are times when our opinions of others can be dangerous. They are dangerous because of a judgmental attitude. If we are going to live in a way that is righteous before God we must learn when we are to judge and when we are not to judge. This morning we want to examine:
STANDARDS OF JUDGMENT – Vss. 1-2
Vss. 1-2 – Verse 1 has often been misunderstood. People have read this verse, and have come to the conclusion that they should not do any judging at all. This is not what Jesus was saying. There are at least 3 specific times in which we as Christians should do some judging. One of them is mentioned right here in this chapter.
Matthew 7:15-20 tells us that we should be able to judge that someone is a false teacher. One of the problems with many Christians today is that they don’t know when someone is inaccurately and/or deceptively teaching the Word of God.
In 1 Corinthians 5 Paul criticizes the Corinthians because they did not judge immorality within the church. 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
God judges sin on the outside of the church.
God expects us to judge sin on the inside of the church.
In 1 Corinthians 6:1-8 we find that Christians should be able to resolve matters among themselves instead of taking each other to court. 1 Corinthians 6:1-2
As Christians God enables us to judge disputes between other Christians. Oh that we would seek to bring our squabbles with other Christians to other Christians so that they might be resolved peacefully.
So, if we are to judge false teachers, and if we are to judge sin among believers, and if we are to judge disputes among Christians, what was Jesus referring to when he said, “Judge not that ye be not judged”?
To judge here means to be judgmental.
This would carry the idea of condemning another.
This would carry the idea of having a critical spirit.
Very often this condemnation of others and this critical spirit are expressed through gossip.
People are forever criticizing and evaluating in a negative sense the ministry of others.
Let me warn you. It seems that anyone who is accomplishing anything for the Lord is vulnerable to criticism. And we must be careful because we are very capable of finding fault with each other.
We are capable of criticizing a person’s methods.
We are capable of criticizing a person’s motives.
We are capable of criticizing a person’s effectiveness.
How many times out loud and in our hearts have we used unjust or uncalled for criticism? I know that I have been guilty of this.
How then do we know when we are being critical or judgmental? Here are four questions that we can ask ourselves:
1. Am I criticizing because I am saddened concerning sin?
2. Am I talking about this person’s fault because I am concerned about this person’s spiritual well being?
3. Am I talking about this person’s fault because I want him to look bad and me to look good?
4. Am I critical of this person, because I am angry or bitter against this person?
There are times when people problems come up and must be talked about, especially by church leaders. But when we are talking about another may it always be:
· Out of dislike for sin, not the sinner
· Out of concern for another, not myself
· Out of love for my brother or sister, not dislike.
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged:
Notice that God promises us the same type of judgment that we administer. I, for one, would rather have fair, equitable, and merciful judgment for myself, wouldn’t you?
To receive such judgment, my judgment of others must be fair, equitable and merciful.
and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
What does this mean?
I get the impression that God is saying, when you criticize another for his failure, you will be tempted in the same area.
· Have you ever criticized another for losing their temper, and then lost your temper?
· Have you criticized someone else for being defensive and then become defensive yourself.
· Have you criticized another for being dishonest, and them been tempted to be dishonest yourself?
SEEING THE PROBLEM – Vss. 3-5
Does Jesus expect us to ignore the problems in another’s life?
The answer is “no”.
The Lord does want us to see the other person’s problem clearly.
Most of us can spot the problems of others, so we think, without seeing our own problems.
Vs. 3-4 – A mote is a piece of sawdust or chaff.
A beam is a log or a wooden rafter.
I think if Jesus were speaking today he might say, “Why are you finding fault with the splinter in someone else’s eye when there’s a 2 by 4 in your eye?
You can’t see clearly to correct a brother or a sister when you yourself have greater problems.
Vs. 5 – Notice what Jesus calls people who criticize others, but allow sin in their own lives. He calls them hypocrites!
Jesus tells us to first examine ourselves!
When we feel motivated to criticize, we should look at ourselves first, and confess whatever failures we have. 1 John 1:9
When we examine ourselves and confess and forsake our own sins, two things will happen.
1. When I am right with the Lord, I will know whether I need to deal with the problem in the other person or not. Maybe the problem was not as I thought it was before.
2. If I do go to that person with a need to correct him or her, I will do it with the right attitude. And the person is more likely to be receptive. Galatians 6:1
SHARING THE TRUTH – Vs. 6
Vs. 6 - Matthew 7:6 - Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
A Jew would not give a piece of sanctified meat from a sacrifice to a dog.
A Jew would not give that which was precious, like a pearl to a pig. Pigs were considered “unclean” animals.
There is no doubt that you and I should share our faith with others. The Great Commission is very clear about that. Mark
There is also no doubt that God has appointed us to share what we have learned of Christian truth with each other. Colossians 3:16, Hebrews 10:24-25
Although Jesus has ordained that we share the Word of God with Christians and non-Christians alike, there are times to be silent.
When an unbeliever continues to mock and demean the Gospel when we try to present it, we need to remain silent until that person is ready to listen.
If a “Christian” is mocking and demeaning the Word of God as it is presented it is better to be silent.
When the Apostle Paul met stiff opposition in the Synagogue, he would move to another location. Acts 19:8-9
We are not required to share our testimony or the Gospel or blessing in walk with God to people who seek to mock, make fun, or ridicule our Christianity. Instead we are to share our pearls with those who will listen respectfully.
But when someone is seeking to cause embarrassment for the Gospel, we are become silent.
I need to be careful.
There is a time when my opinion is dangerous.
STANDARDS OF JUDGMENT
SEEING THE PROBLEM
SHARING THE TRUTH