Discipleship and the Unbeliever – Part 1

Scripture 

Read Matthew 7:1-5

Study

We encounter people in our daily lives who are not Christians.  While the goal is to see these people come to Christ, this realistically will not happen with everyone we encounter.  More so, even those who may eventually become Christians, are still unbelievers at the time.  So, how should the Christian treat and react to unbelievers?

In this passage Jesus offers two ways to deal with unbelievers – and they might even seem contradictory at first glance, but they’re not.  We’ll cover the second way to deal with unbelievers in part 2.

Judgment 

Political analysts apparently know one verse of scripture and it is Matthew 7:1.  In the minds of many people, we should not judge anyone because we too will be judged.  (Ask these same people if they think murderers and rapists should walk free without punishment and I’m sure that they’ll believe in judgment then however.)

Judgment is needed and punishment needs to be handed out to lawbreakers.  God appointed authorities to rule, make laws, and uphold those laws.  Obviously if judgments were not made and laws were not upheld, we would be living in anarchy.

So, what is the point that Jesus is getting at?

God has given us standards by which to live by.  He likewise has given us a conscience to guide us.  Is there a society on earth that doesn’t know murder and rape unacceptable forms of behavior?  When we have laws that are absolutes, we should absolutely uphold those laws to the fullest extent and have every right to punish lawbreakers.

Jesus is warning against comparative judgment.  When we determine that one person is not as good as another person and thus a worse person and deserving of judgment.  Our standard is Christ and he is perfect.  If we compare ourselves to other people, Jesus reminds us that the standard we should be comparing to is Him and that we all fall short.

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