Monday, March 28, 2011
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you."
[This verse] is one of those passages of Scripture, which we must be careful not to strain beyond its proper meaning. It is frequently abused and misapplied, by the enemies of true religion. It is possible to press the words of the Bible so far that they yield not medicine, but poison.
Our Lord does not mean that it is wrong, under any circumstances, to pass an unfavorable judgment on the conduct and opinions of others. We ought to have decided opinions. We are to "prove all things." We are to "try the spirits."--Nor yet does he mean that it is wrong to reprove the sins and faults of others, until we are perfect and faultless ourselves. Such an interpretation would contradict other parts of Scripture. It would make it impossible to condemn error and false doctrine. It would debar any one from attempting the office of a minister or judge. The earth would be "given into the hands of the wicked." (John ix. 24.) Heresy would flourish. Wrong-doing would abound.
What our Lord means to condemn is a censorious and fault-finding spirit. A readiness to blame others for trifling offenses, or maters of indifference--a habit of passing rash and hasty judgments--a disposition to magnify the errors and infirmities of our neighbors, and make the worst of them--this is what our Lord forbids. It was common among the Pharisees. It has always been common from their day down to the present time. We must all watch against it. We should "believe all things," and hope all things" about others, and be very slow to find fault. This is Christian charity. (1 Cor. xiii. 7.)
These are some find words from Bishop Ryle. What a deep and humble pastor of our Savior he must have been. You can surely see he was such a fine Christian man from the way he expounds upon the truth of God. I look forward to meeting John Charles one day, so that I might thank him for his diligent work in the study of God's truth, and for taking the many, many hours of writing down his teachings and lessons. Surely he did all this for he was called to do so, and he surely longed to obey his Lord. And I'm sure his heart was also steadfast to teach the Word to all his sheep as a under-shepherd of Christ, the One Good Shepherd of all.