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Monday: The Lawgiver Is Judge — 15 Comments

  1. Almost no one likes to be told “you are wrong.” So it is popular to say “Don’t judge me.” Is James saying we should ignore women abusers, child molesters, serial wrong doers or mischief makers because we are not judges (James 4:12)? Are not judgments of conduct made on the church’s nominating committee (1 Timothy 3:1-12)?

    Is the person who accuses another of being judgmental in the same vein being judgmental, that is, making a negative judgment about someone? What does it really mean to be judgmental?

    Quoted from the lesson: “He who submitted to be arraigned before an earthly tribunal, and who suffered the ignominious death of the cross - He alone is to pronounce the sentence of reward or of punishment.” - Ellen G. White, Maranatha, p. 341.

    We have no authority to declare who is sealed for heaven (which often occurs) or the other place. Being judgmental is condemning, as if to pronounce the final sentence of punishment. This is God’s prerogative. Harboring a critical spirit devoid of the intent to uplift is closely related to this idea of condemnation (James 4:11).

    On the other hand there is a place for reasonable judgment among mortals, based on evidence (not the intent of the heart). It was God who set up such a system among His people (Deuteronomy 16:18). Paul indicates that the saints are capable of judging (1 Corinthians 6:1-5). He also confronted others about certain faults, including Peter (Galatians 2:11-14).

    Note too Jesus did call out the Pharisees to protect the faithful (Matthew 23:13). As well by telling people to “go and sin no more” Jesus did not condemn, but effectively declared that the people were presently guilty of sin (John 8:11). Jesus intent was restorative (Galatians 6:1). When moved to make any such pronunciation our intent ought also to be restorative or to protect others and should be preceded by prayer for wisdom, not detective work.

    Though an unwelcome task if we are our brother’s keeper and really care we will sometimes need to approach a fellow saint whom we love and say what needs to be said.

    • Brother Hugh,

      I enjoyed your insightful remarks. When shepherding a flock
      it can be very difficult to reign in those who are erring.
      Your comment about restoration and protection being preceded
      by prayer was particularly important. Thank you for providing
      just the sort of uplifting message I needed after a very difficult
      weekend of church business.

    • Thanks you for this insight, Hugh.

      I guess that the key here is the word, "evil." Speaking "evil" against a brother etc. But even this can be misunderstood.

      And as far as the "reward," given by the Law Giver according to their works etc., this should be compared with the parable of the "Laborers," that Jesus, the Law Giver, told: In this parable all recieved the same "reward," even those who had "worked" the longest in the Lord's vineyard. Therefore, concluding by this, the reward is based on the evidences of "faith" of the believer and "grace" from the Law Giver and not of the "works of the Law."

  2. The question is asked - Either reward or punishment, we will face only one or the other. What’s your only hope of reward?
    At first read this question raised my hackles, it sounds so self-serving, like so many today saying – what’s in it for me?
    However the article states correctly – Jesus came to save us from sin, to save us from eternal death.

    Our reward is to be with Jesus in a perfect, good world.

    So what is the judgement? To decide who deserves to be in the world made new? Or to decide who has accepted the LORD as Lord and Master and who has rejected Him as the Ruler in their lives?

    1Th 2:19 For what is our hope or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are you not even to be in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?
    2Th 1:8 …. those who do not know God and who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ 2Th_1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

  3. Instead of judging, condemning and criticizing one another let us work out our own salvation by fear and trembling. for all of us will one day stand in front of the righteous judge.

  4. The Commandments are a transcript of the character of God and cannot be altered in any way. God revealed His Glory to Moses on Mt. Sinai when He gave him the two tablets of stone written by His own finger...see Exodus33:18-34:1 James 2:10 is clear that "if we offend the Law in one point, we are guilty of it all."

  5. For the LORD shall be our judge, the LORD shall be our lawgiver, the LORD shall be our king; he himself will save us....
    Isaiah 2:4....Isa. 33:15-24 The true believer watches against all occasions of sin. The Divine power will keep him safe, and his faith in that power will keep him easy. He shall want nothing needful for him. Every blessing of salvation is freely bestowed on all that ask with humble, believing prayer; and the believer is safe in time and for ever. Those that walk uprightly shall not only have bread given, and their water sure, but they shall, by faith, see the King of kings in his beauty, the beauty of holiness. The remembrance of the terror they were in, shall add to the pleasure of their deliverance. It is desirable to be quiet in our own houses, but much more so to be quiet in God's house; and in every age Christ will have a seed to serve him. Jerusalem had no large river running by it, but the presence and power of God make up all wants. We have all in God, all we need, or can desire. By faith we take Christ for our Prince and Saviour; he reigns over his redeemed people. All that refuse to have Him to reign over them, make shipwreck of their souls. Sickness is taken away in mercy, when the fruit of it is the taking away of sin. If iniquity be taken away, we have little reason to complain of outward affliction. This last verse leads our thoughts, not only to the most glorious state of the gospel church on earth, but to heaven, where no sickness or trouble can enter. He that blotteth out our transgressions, will heal our souls.Amen

  6. We, Christians, are justified {just as if we had never sinned} in Jesus. Jesus, as Judge, decides who are saved and who are lost. He is the just Judge.

  7. not all judging is condemnatory. Some judging is constructive as is some criticism. Jesus Himself seems to have allowed for this type of judging, John 7:24.

    That is why also I see nothing wrong with discussing a brother to another as long as it is not "evil," or for the purpose of destroying him in anyway shape or form. And that is why I feel that Jesus gave the counsel in Matthew 18:15 for the offended brother to strictly follow and Matthew 5:23,24 for the brother who has offended another brother to stictly follow.

  8. I have faith in Jesus. That is the only hope I have and that is because He is my High Priest who was tempted in all points as a man. Hebrews 4:15-16.

    I am pleased with the authors statement from E. G. White quotes, "God has committed all judgment unto the Son, for without controversy He is God manisfest in the flesh.
    God or the entire heaven descended to save humanity in human body of Jesus Christ. The same Jesus is going to judge and He is well aquainted in the struggles of man on this sin-sick planet.


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