Thou Shalt Judge

Contrary to popular opinion the Bible actually requires us to make judgments – all the time!

Thou Shalt Judge

What is the first scripture that comes to mind when I say judging?

Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that you be not judged

It’s a foundational scripture that I had growing up and it became the basis for the philosophy for judging among all my peers and anybody that knows anything about judging, or so they think.

The reality is that we make judgments all the time. We make judgments of one sort or another every day.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Even if you believe that you shouldn’t judge people, I think most people still make judgments about others all the time, whether they realize it or not.

What does the Bible say about judging? What does it say about judging others? Would you believe that the Bible actually says that we are to judge others?

Today we will go over that and more, but first:


  • Krino – to judge
  • Diakrino – to judge between (discern)
  • Katakrino – to judge against (condemn)
  • Krima – Judgment (as in The final Judgment) Condemnation

There are more words that relate to judgment. These are some of the main ones and the ones that I wanted to concentrate on today.

How does man judge?

John 8:15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.
John 8:16 And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me.

Man, judges according to the flesh. He is not using the right basis for making his judgment. He is pulling from his own being. Who he is and what he thinks. Of course, we know where the ways of man lead to.

To learn how to judge we must first begin with our self.

Now we quickly come to the reason for the definitions.

1 Corinthians 11:29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment [KJV:damnationG2917 krima] to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
1 Corinthians 11:30 For this reason many
are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
1 Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge [diakrino] ourselves, we would not be judged [krino].
1 Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged [krino], we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned [katakrino] with the world.
1 Corinthians 11:33 Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.
1 Corinthians 11:34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment [KJV:condemnation
G2917 krima]. And the rest I will set in order when I come.

Condemnation: con with damnare “damage, injury” discredit, find fault, disapprove, reject.

What we learn we must first apply to ourselves in terms of judgment.

Romans 14:1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.
Romans 14:2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats
only vegetables.

Romans 14:10 But why do you judge [krino] your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Romans 14:12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
Romans 14:13 Therefore let us not judge [krino] one another anymore, but rather resolve [krino] this,
not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. [judge yourself] Romans 14:14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
Romans 14:15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of
your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.
Romans 14:16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;
Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Romans 14:18 For he who serves Christ in these things
is acceptable to God and approved by men.
Romans 14:19 Therefore let us pursue the things
which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
Romans 14:20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed
are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.
Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor
do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.
Romans 14:22 Do you have faith? Have
it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn [krino] himself in what he approves.
Romans 14:23 But he who doubts [diakrino] is condemned [katakrino] if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

But does this mean that we are not to ever judge?

Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. [judge yourself] Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. [be careful of the lack of mercy compassion and understanding with which you do this, because you will be inviting the same level of severity upon yourself] Matthew 7:3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
Matthew 7:4
Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?
Matthew 7:5
Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. […then you can make the judgment]

If we are told elsewhere to judge, then we must look at this with a narrower point of view or limited in scope and implication.

Christ is saying to be careful how you judge.

Romans 2:1 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn [katakrino] yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
Romans 2:2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.
Romans 2:3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?
Romans 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Romans 2:5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment [diakrino] of God,

James judges and does so rightly by the Holy Spirit.

Acts 15:12 Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles.
Acts 15:13 And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Men
and brethren, listen to me:
Acts 15:14 Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.
Acts 15:15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:
Acts 15:18 “Known to God from eternity are all His works.
Acts 15:19 Therefore, I judge [krino] that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God,

Acts 15:22 Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.
Acts 15:23 They wrote this
letter by them: The apostles, the elders, and the brethren, To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: Greetings.

Acts 15:25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, [they went along with the judgment] Acts 15:26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 15:27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth.
Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the
Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things

Paul Judged
2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge [krino] thus: that if One died for all, then all died;

Paul Tells Us to Judge
1 Corinthians 10:14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
1 Corinthians 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say.

We have a responsibility to judge others.

Christ Invites Judgment
Luke 7:36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat.
Luke 7:37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that
Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil,
Luke 7:38 and stood at His feet behind
Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.
Luke 7:39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw
this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
Luke 7:40 And Jesus answered and said to him,
“Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.”
Luke 7:41
“There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
Luke 7:42
And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”
Luke 7:43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.”

John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

Katakrino: judgment against

John 8:10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
John 8:11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her,
“Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” [He judged that she had sinned]

It is a Way of Showing Love
James 5:19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back,
James 5:20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

This is a part of loving the brethren.

Caveats to judging another:

  • within your purview to do so
  • pick your battles
  • do not nitpick

We Have Responsibility to Judge Doctrine
2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

We Are to Judge and to Judge Rightly
1 Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?
1 Corinthians 5:13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “PUT AWAY FROM YOURSELVES THE EVIL PERSON.”

1 Corinthians 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?
1 Corinthians 6:2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge[G2922] the smallest matters?
1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
1 Corinthians 6:4 If then you have judgments [G2922] concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge?

G2922kritērion: a standard on which a judgment or decision may be based; set of rules

1 Corinthians 6:5 I say this to your shame. It is so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren?
1 Corinthians 6:6 But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!
1 Corinthians 6:7 Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?
1 Corinthians 6:8 No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your own brethren!
1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?

Judged Inaccurately
Acts 26:8 Why should it be thought [krino] incredible by you that God raises the dead?
Acts 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge [krino].
Act 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

We Are Not to Condemn
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation [katakrima] to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned [katakrino] sin in the flesh,
Romans 8:4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those
who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Romans 8:30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Romans 8:33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?
It is God who justifies.
Romans 8:34 Who is he who condemns? [katakrino] It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned [katakrino] the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

James 5:9 Do not grumble [murmur] against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned [katakrino]. Behold, the Judge [krites kree tace’] is standing at the door! [this is the opposite of loving the brethren; plus there is a right way to deal with situations – reconciliation; There is only One that is in the position to condemn (pronounce correct judgment against)]

The Church Judges
Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
Colossians 2:16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,
Colossians 2:17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
Colossians 2:18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in
false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
Colossians 2:19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase
that is from God.
Colossians 2:20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as
though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—
Colossians 2:21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,”
Colossians 2:22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men?

A certain amount of judgment is left to the church.

Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Matthew 16:19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in

How God Judges
God judges the heart; and mind; Judges righteously/rightly; which is why most of the time judgment is associated with God.

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

God looks at the heart.

Psalm 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide.

Psalm 40:8 I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.”

Revelation 2:23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

Hebrews 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

God is Judging
1 Peter 4:17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

We are being judged now. This is why we should be judging ourselves.

God will judge us if we fail to judge ourselves properly and do not heed the righteous judgment of others or if we are not convicted by the Word of God.

Judgment of Condemnation
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
Hebrews 10:27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
Hebrews 10:28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
Hebrews 10:29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
Hebrews 10:30 For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”
Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

It’s God’s way or the highway (and there is no highway). There will only be one way. God has a set of rules that are fair and equitable and are ultimately for our benefit.

Judgment to Salvation
We have chosen to be judged. We have accepted our calling and are allowing God to work in us.

There are two sides to this coin. We don’t have to look at the one side, the bad side, though it can act as a motivator. But rather let’s focus on judging ourselves through the prism of God’s word that when a judgment is made we will be hearing.

Matthew 25:21 Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’