Thinking Out Loud - Ms. Green

Commentaries from a female, conservative Christian worldview. Intermittent observations on human behavior and current events. Occasional bursts of personal tirades,confessions, and discoveries. Frequent discussions about my "Narrow-Minded Faith".

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Most Misused Verse in all of Scripture

People have used Scripture to justify everything from handling venomous snakes (Mark 16:18) to being physically out of shape (I Timothy 4:8). There are whole denominations based on just one passage of Scripture that has been misinterpreted or taken out of context. Christians are the most guilty of this misuse, but non-believers are often guilty as well.

I’ve heard non-believers justify all of the following with Scripture:

polytheism
racism
homosexuality
universalism
anger
genocide
polygamy
slavery
drug use

Though failed attempts have been made to justify all of the above with Scripture, the single most misused passage of Scripture in this writer’s opinion is Matthew 7:1. Before you run off to get your Bible, here it is:

Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

This passage is rarely used the way it was intended. Instead, it is primarily used to justify sin. Makes sense, doesn’t it? If you are in sin, and don’t want to give it up, and have no intentions of even trying to give it up, then the last thing you want is for someone to point it out to you. You know it’s sin. You know God says it’s sin. You just don’t want to hear anybody else say it. So when someone confronts you with your sin, it’s “Judge not…!”

Here’s the whole picture presented in Matthew:

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.


Luke adds this :

For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?


We are not to judge a man’s heart or his motives. Only God can do that, because only God is omniscient.
We are to examine ourselves first and seek God’s wisdom and guidance in dealing with our own sins. That should be our primary focus.

Having said that, I point out the verse “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye: and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” Notice that the second part of this sentence indicates that once we have examined ourselves and dealt with our own sin, THEN we are to help our brother to see the sin in his life as well.

Are we to point out sin?
The Bible commands us to do so…

When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” Ezekiel 3:18

How are we to point out sin in others’ lives?

We’re to do it with compassion, with kindness, and with love.
But we are to point it out.

Why are we to point out sin?
#1. Because we are commanded to do so. (Ezekiel 3:18)
#2. Because until the lost realize their sin, they'll see no need for a Saviour
#3. Because the saved should never stop growing spiritually and becoming more like Christ


And when others come to us and likewise point out our sin to us, we’re to receive it in the same spirit in which we are to confront others with their sin.

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3 Comments:

At 5:44 AM, Blogger The Merry Widow said...

Good exposition! I covered this last week at my blog, the Great Mind thinking alike?
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!

tmw

 
At 6:50 AM, Blogger Heath said...

Very well said. Looking foward to the next one!

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger Neil said...

Yes, that is the most misused verse of all. It is so misused that I almost start to ignore it. But there it is, still convicting me in its proper context. My "hypocrisy meter" seems to be getting more finely tuned, though - I seem to catch myself more quickly when I expect from others what I'm not doing.

 

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