Do Not Judge

Time and again this is quoted by both believers and nonbelievers.

Are we to judge others?


One Example

The Lord Jesus gave instructions in Matthew 18:

15 “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses.17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17

Here's a thought; how exactly could anyone follow what Jesus himself said if they do not judge sin?


There is More

In 1 Corinthians chapter 5, Paul is writing to the church about how to deal with sin. The Corinthian church had someone among their midst that was participating in flagrant sin and the problem was that they were ignoring it. He tells them to meet together, and if this brother will not forsake his sin they are deliver him over to satan.

4 in the name of the Lord Jesus. You must call a meeting of the church. I will be present with you in spirit, and so will the power of our Lord Jesus. 5 Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns. 1 Corinthians 5:4-5

Does he really mean that? He said it; apparently, he meant it.

How can you do this if you are not to judge sin?

There is more…

9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11 I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.

12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. 13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.” 1 Corinthians 5:9-13


There you have it. I am not to judge unbelievers. God will judge unbelievers and He has scheduled a day for that. It is called the Great White Throne judgment where all unbelievers will be judged (Revelation 20:11). However, he clearly tells us that we are to judge sin in the church; people who claim to be believers.

The particular sin which happened in Corinth was not something hidden. It was not a questionable sin. It was a flagrant sin. There was not a question as to whether or not the man had sinned. Corinth’s error was that they tolerated it. They condoned the sin by doing nothing about it. They compromised, and that is the worst thing they could have done. It has been said that a pure church is a powerful church; an impure church is a paralyzed church. The fact that none of our churches handle sin as God has instructed has resulted in powerless, paralyzed churches.

This is clearly a point in which we all fail. None of us want to do this. We don’t want to be the bad guy. The world says Christians are too judgmental. The reality is that we are not judging and following what God has said. The result is that the world has crept into the church and defiled it.