1) Vocabulary: Krino - “to make a distinction.”
Conclusion: The literal
meaning of judging is ‘to make distinctions.’
One could speculate that, in and of itself, ‘making distinctions’ is neither
good nor evil, and one would be Biblically right.
Introduction: The following Bible passages present a balanced view
of “judging” or “making distinctions.”
2) Luke 7:43; “You have judged correctly.”
Jesus told Simon the Pharisee that he had “judged
correctly” in answering a parable presented to him. 2) In this context,
krino describes thinking. Note verses 40-42. Thinking, judging, can be a
good thing. It just depends on the situation and motivation. 3) In this
context Jesus used “judging” to teach Simon about sin, forgiveness and
3) John 7:24; “Do not judge
according to appearance, but judge with
In this context, Jesus was teaching in the temple at
Jerusalem during the Feast of Booths. After His teaching, a discussion
ensues between a multitude of Jews and Himself. In 7:19b Jesus asked,
“Why do you seek to kill me?” In 7:20, some of the multitude responded
by saying, “You have a demon! Who seeks to kill you?” In 7:21-24,
Jesus responded that some seek to kill him because He healed a man on
the Sabbath, even though the Jews perform the healing of circumcision
on the Sabbath themselves. In conclusion, He said, “Do not judge
according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgement.” 2) Jesus
did not say to not judge, but to judge righteously. Judging, thinking in a
correct spiritual manner in this context, is something we all have to do
constantly. Making righteous distinctions and what we do with them is
4) Romans 2:16; “On the day
when, according to my gospel, God will
judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.”
God will judge the whole world according to the
standard of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 2) No secrets of men will be
hidden from His judgement.
5) 1 Corinthians 4:5; Passing
judgement, motives of men’s hearts and
praise from God.
“Passing judgement” in this context is sinful and
describes how the Corinthians had “become arrogant in behalf of one
against another” (4:6b and compare 1:12, 3:3-4 and 3:21-22). The
Corinthians had picked their favorite Bible teacher and would not learn
from anyone else. 2) Paul warned in 4:5b that each of us will be judged
by God “who will bring to light the things hidden in darkness and disclose
the motives of men’s hearts.”
6) Hebrews 4:12: “For the word
of God is living and active and sharper
than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul
and spirit , of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts
and intentions of the heart.”
Conclusion: The Bible
reveals the inner man. This judgement is
good and needed.
7) I Corinthians 5:3, “ . .
. have already judged him who has so
committed this. . . “
The Apostle Paul judged a situation of incest at
Corinth (5:1-2) by delivering this person to Satan “for the destruction of
his flesh” (5:5). 2) This is another Biblical example of a good judgement.
See also 1 Corinthians 5:9-13.
8) John 7:51, “Our Law does
not judge a man, unless it first hears from
him and knows what he is doing, does it?”
The context of this statement is Nicodemus
addressing a group of Chief Priests and Pharisees who wanted to seize
Jesus and judge Him. See verses 40-49. 2) Nicodemus is citing that
portion of the Mosaic Law which describes how to judge a person rightly.
See Deuteronomy 17:1-7. 3) It is good to have law and rules of law for
9) James 4:11, “Do not speak
against one another, brethren. He who
speaks against a brother, or judges his brother, speaks against the law,
and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the
law, but a judge of it.”
Speaking against someone and judging are closely
related. When one speaks against someone, they are taking the place of
the Law as their judge. 2) Instead of speaking against someone, they
should ‘do the law’ and correct them according to the standards of
Deuteronomy 17:1-7 and Matthew 18:15-17. 3) Even if the other
person is wrong, it does not give you the right to perform sins of the
tongue toward them. Compare James 5:9.
10) James 2:4, “have you not
made distinctions among yourselves, and
become judges with evil motives?”
Conclusion: Making arbitrary
choices for the rich over the poor is
an evil form of judging.
11) Romans 14:1-13; Weak faith, eating, days and judgement.
Not judging is more important than weak faith,
eating and days. Judging is mentioned in verses 1, 3, 4, 5, 10 and 13.
2) According to the context of Romans 14:19b; weak faith, eating and
days can be considered an opportunity to “build up” through teaching.
Compare Colossians 2:16.
12) Final summary:
The following is a simple
sumary of judging: correctly, righteously,
secrets through the Gospel, motivations of the heart, the inner man, sin,
having heard, using the Law, not arbitrarily and to build. Obviously,
hopefully, humans cannot possibly judge certain of the above situations:
secrets, motivations and inner man, for examples. Judging must strictly
follow Biblical guidelines:
1Do not judge lest you be judged.
2For in the way you judge, you will be
judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. . .
5You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will
see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye (Matthew 7:1-2