There's a huge difference between making a judgment and passing judgment.
There is a new John 3:16. The old John 3:16 was John 3:16. That was the verse that everyone knew, the verse that was familiar to all, the verse that you saw plastered all over the place, the verse to which people would point, the verse that even people who didn't know the Lord had somehow committed to their memory. John 3:16 was ubiquitous. The new John 3:16 is Matthew 7:1. Of course the old John 3:16 people knew as "John 3:16." They could tell you the address of the verse. No one knows the address of the new John 3:16, Matthew 7:1. They just know its principle, and they only hold Christians to this principle, not themselves. "Judge not that you be not judged." The shorthand for this new John 3:16 is quite simple: Don't judge me. That's our attitude both inside and outside the church. In fact, we use this as a baseline for establishing genuine love. Genuine love is a love that doesn't judge. Genuine love is a love that receives me just as I am. If you are judging me, you are not loving me.
Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
First, I want us to experience the full weight of this text in its context, and then I want us to balance it against those areas in Scripture where judgment is clearly called for. We make judgments every day. We could not survive if we didn't do this. What ...
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Dr. Voddie Baucham is Pastor of Preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas.