Hudson View Baptist Church
Christ’s Prescription for Discernment
January 23, 2022

Christ’s Prescription for Discernment

January 23, 2022

Christ’s Prescription for Discernment

Matthew 7:1-5

  • Our society defines success in several ways, but as a follower of Christ, it is crucial that we define what true, Godly success looks like.
  • So far, we have seen that those who follow Christ will have success when they…
  1. Possess spiritual qualities that are realities of Christ’s inner working and for the benefit of God and others (Beatitudes)
  2. Recognizes that he is the agent of change and spiritual direction in this corrupt world (Salt & Light)
  3. Rejects a rote following of rules to follow Christ and lives in such a way that gives fuel for a Christ-based confidence.
  • The final segment of Christ’s discourse will examine the believer’s spiritual discernment.
  • Discernment: the ability to make accurate appraisals or judgments (Wood).
  • This final chapter will bring together the theme that we have been exploring: “Foundational Principles to Godly Success.”
  • IMPORTANT: Based on teaching elsewhere in Scripture, this is not a command altogether against exercising judgement. (Matt. 7:6 & 15, Phil. 3:2, I John. 4:1, Hebrews 12:1-14, I Cor. 5:1-11, Matt. 18:15-17, Gal. 6:1, 2 Thess. 3:6-15, I Tim. 1:20, I Tim. 5:19-20, Tit. 3:9-11). All of these commands require judgement.
  • The spirit, in context of where we have already gone in the SOTM, is to avoid a critical spirit that delights in condemnation. This is more of a command to correctly judge rather than to avoid judgement altogether. A Christian who rejects all forms of judgement is a Christian who is not discerning.
  • This leads to the hypothesis for this sermon: For Christian, judgement is necessary but must not be loved. 

The Error of Judgement (v. 1)

  • “The Pharisees were judging Christ and finding Him inadequate. He was not offering the kind of kingdom they anticipated or asking for the kind of righteousness they were exhibiting. So, they rejected Him. Jesus therefore warned [His followers] against hypocritical judgement” (Zuck).
  • Lloyd-Jones give a few examples of wrong judgement:
  1. Applying matters of faith that are essential and matters of indifference as equal (Paul’s command about days and food and drink – Romans 14).
  2. Giving judgement in matters that of no concern of us at all.
  3. Imputing motives upon others.
  4. Pronouncing final judgement upon others – a right reserved only for God.
  • We must not judge rashly, nor pass such a judgment upon our brother as has no ground… We must not judge uncharitably, unmercifully, nor with a spirit of revenge, and a desire to do mischief. We must not judge of a man’s state by a single act… We must not judge the hearts of others, nor their intentions… nor must we judge of their eternal state, nor call them hypocrites, reprobates, and castaways; Counsel him, and help him, but do not judge him” (Henry). 
  • Judgement is absolutely necessary and when done within the bounds of Scripture provides safety, accountability, and love; but when done selfishly it causes division, hate, and rampant fleshliness.

The Retribution of Judgement (v. 2)

  • “Judgement is a boomerang.”
  • In this law we find the Golden Rule that Christ will teach in just a few verses (v. 12). 
  • Speaking of the nature of reciprocal judgement: “There is nothing I know of that is so likely to deter us from the sinful practice of condemning others and from that foul and ugly spirit that delights in doing so” (Lloyd-Jones). 
  • Consider this truth in light of these passages of Scripture (1 Cor. 3:13, 2 Cor. 5:10, Rom. 2:1-2, Rom. 14:10).
  • “What would become of us, if God should be as exact and severe in judging us, as we are in judging our brethren – if he should weigh us in the same balance?” (Henry)

The Inability of Judgement (v. 3-4)

  • Here Christ, gives the picture of a distracted optometrist.
  • May we be delivered from gladly pointing out the stain of sin on the life of a brother and may we approach this important and holy privilege with personal examination and weeping at the thought of the destructive sin that has come upon one we love.

The Introspection of Judgement (v. 5)

  • God in His sovereign plan has given us one another to grow to be more like Him. And in this plan, God calls us to exercise Godly discretion toward and for others.
    • But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day – Hebrews 3:13
    • reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. – 2 Timothy 4:2
  • Inspection and care for the sin of another soul is a very delicate task.
  1. Inspection (Psalm 26:1-2; 139:1-2, 23-24)
  1. Confession
  • Inspection is nothing but coming to the knowledge of what is needed to be fixed. There must follow an admittance of wrongdoing like the heart-felt confession of David in Psalm 51.

 

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