“I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one comes to the Father
except through Me”
Pastors Noreen & Henry Kevern
Judging By The Fruit We Bear
I AM the true vine, and My Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it can be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.
Jesus from the gospel of John 15:1-4
The evil one is trying to silence the Word of God. He works through average people, coating his lies with pieces of the truth. As Christians, we are called by God to a higher standard, a moral standard that defines right and wrong and we must reflect that in the way that we live our lives. It’s no coincidence that there is so much depression, so many people who suffer from stress, so many people who have given up in believing in God, so many people who don’t live their faith and then blame God for what is wrong in their lives. Many people feel that as long as they tithe, live a life that is not overly bad, that God should answer their prayers accordingly. We are saturated, by news, television, newspapers and such, that decry all that is wrong with believing in God and His truths. We are told not to address sins, because it puts limits on what people can do. We have legalized evil things and criminalized things that are not evil. The evil one wants people to be politically correct, trying to silence those who bring God’s truth to the world. They call us intolerant, mean, not being true to loving one another according to Jesus’ command.
Oh what a tangled web Satan weaves. He has people convinced that we are never to speak out about sin, we are told that we are “judging” when we do so and that Jesus said that we are never to judge one another. They want sin in the flesh, allowing people to do things that God considers an abomination. They want people to break their faithfulness to God. Let’s get one thing straight, God loves us no matter what. But He does not give us a blank check to do whatever feels good to us and think that He doesn’t care. Many people think that as long as they repent before they die, then they might as well do evil. They will ask God to forgive them and then it will be alright. They are only fooling themselves. What type of love do you have for your Creator if you constantly break faith to Him and expect Him to let you continue down the path you have chosen. If you continue to claim to be a Christian, and continue to sin, then God is going to prune you, until you come in line to what He is trying to teach you. I don’t like being hurt by those I love, so how do you think our Father feels each time you hurt Him, when you hurt each other or yourself? God could destroy this world in an instant, but He chooses to let us work things out, to let us get things straight. If He returned today, not many would find themselves going to heaven for eternity. They would find themselves going straight to hell, and that’s what Satan wants.
Let’s take a look at that Scriptures and what they say about judging.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, take first the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck form your brother’s eye. (Jesus from the gospel of Matthew 7:1-5)
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
He also told them this parable: Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is full trained will be like his teacher.”
“Why do you look at that speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Jesus from the gospel of Luke 6:37-42)
Clearly, people tend to read only the first part of this Scripture. That’s why it is so important to read and study the Scriptures. Taken in whole, Jesus is telling us that we are to know what the Word of God says in regards to what is right and wrong. Too many don’t know the laws of God. People tend to believe that they only need to confess that Jesus is their Lord and Savior and that they don’t have to change the way that they live. We are led to believe that the Scriptures tell us that we are not to “judge”. We must forgive each other our sins, continually loving each other, never condemning but teaching, being each others keeper. For as disciples of Christ, we are to go out and make others disciples.
Let’s look at the word “judge”: n. 1. Senior official in court of law 2. Someone giving an informed opinion: v. 1. Consider or form an opinion especially after thought or consideration 2. Condemn or criticize somebody on moral grounds: from Latin judex “somebody who speaks the law” < jus “law, right. (Encarta College Dictionary 2001)
In Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary 2003 defines judging: The interpretation of
Matt 7:1 that Christians should not make value judgments of the behavior of others
is shown to be erroneous ([adj.] incorrect, based on an incorrect assumption) by
multiple commands in Scriptures to do exactly that (e.g. Matt 7:15-20; John 7:24;
1Cor 5:12; 1 Tim 3:10). As is frequency the case in biblical truths, the Christian’s
role in exercising judgment on others is found in a tension between warnings to avoid
judging others and admonitions concerning how best to judge others. Christians are
to judge others constructively with humility and gentleness (Gal 6:1). We are forbidden
to judge hypocritically, that is, when such judgment entails intolerance of another’s
sin coupled with blindness of one’s own (Matt 7:1-5; Luke6:37; John 8:7;Rom 2:1-4)
or when human judgment impinges (to affect the limits of something, especially a
right or law) on God’s prerogative as judge (Rom 14:4: 1Cor 4:5; Jas 4:11-12). Instructions
on proper exercise of judgment include (1) the call to judge reputed prophets by
their fruits (Matt7:15-17) (2) encouragement for Christians to arbitrate between
fellow believers who have a dispute rather than going to pagan law courts (1Cor 6:1-6),
and (3) instructions regarding church cases (Matt 18:15-20). 1Cor 5:3-5 illustrates
the functions of a church court.
E. Ray Clendenen
But the words of Jesus show us that we must judge our own behavior, our own lives first. Unless we first take the plank out of our own eyes, we cannot show others the speck in their eyes. When we judge ourselves, we are then humbled and can lovingly show others where in their lives they are not following the way of the Lord.
Jesus tells us “The time has come,” He said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe that good news!” (Mark 1:15) The time has come for us. The kingdom of God is within us (Luke 17:20,21) and in order to accept God within us, we must become perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect (Matt 5:48). But we are afraid to look within ourselves, afraid to read the Word of God because then we would know the truth. And if we know God’s truth, His laws, His wisdom, then we will have to accept responsibility for all that we do and say. We would have to choose to either follow God’s way or not to follow God’s way. If we accept God, then we must follow the way of the Lord.
We are all sinners, every one of us, but when we choose to accept Jesus, we are to leave our former life of sin. Can you look deeply into yourself and confess your sins? Do you see yourself as sinless? Don’t fall into the evil one’s trap. None of us are without sin. How do you know what sin is if you don’t read and study God’s Word daily, so that you can learn all that God has revealed. Do you look upon the Scriptures as written by humans thus belittling the Word of God as irrelevant? The Word of God stands on its own. It is relevant today as when the Word of God was revealed and written by those God chose. Even God’s chosen were not perfect. Moses, Aaron, Joshua, David, and Solomon disobeyed God, and God rebuked them for their sins.
God knows that the evil one is prowling, looking to snare you from God’s saving grace. Whenever we are tempted, God leaves us a backdoor, a way out of our temptation. We have to learn to restrain ourselves away from sin. Jesus will not condemn us of our sin if we leave our life of sin (John 8:11).
When we are “born again” (John 4:3), we are to become as little children and learn what it is that is required of us. Jesus said in Mark 10:15: “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will not enter it. For us as humans, the process of becoming adults takes many years. Most feel that the age of reasoning doesn’t begin until at least 7 and continues as the lessons are taught and learned. God’s Word contains our lessons, and in order to learn them we need to read them and study them, learning as a child learns.
We need to stop being self-reliant and be God reliant. That doesn’t mean we don’t do anything, it means we surrender all to God, our position, our plans, our anxiety, our lives and the lives of our loved ones to God. We seek Him daily, prayerfully, giving unto Him all glory, honor and praise. I love you, but more importantly, God loves you best, He loves you more than anyone or anything can. Give yourself to God and become a new creation in Christ, casting off the ugliness of sin and clothe yourself in His truth. Jesus is our teacher and the author of life. Our eternal life in heaven is only through Jesus. We need to learn God’s Word, be honest about being sinners, not putting ourselves as more righteous then one another. Unless we seek out our sins in our own lives and repent of them, we cannot help others to see their sins. We don’t do anything hatefully, judgmentally, but lovingly, for its not the person but the sin that God does not want us to commit. God corrects us of sin, He prunes us so that we may produce fruit in keeping with His commands.
“A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.”(Luke 6:40) Let God teach you daily in this journey to the kingdom of heaven. Learning the way of the Lord takes courage, strength, perseverance, and truth, but most of all, it takes love. Live in God and let Him live in you. Then when your life here ends and you head into eternal life, you will have won the race, this prize, heaven, eternally with God.