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“Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:5

To judge hatefully and make assumptions and condemnations with the motive of pride and self righteousness is sin. We have seen that the technical aspect of these verses proves that the motive of our heart will indeed be the determining factor in God’s response to our behavior towards others. We have also seen the practical side, that if we go as far as to judge others for their sin but refuse to see our own sin, then we are indeed blinded by the plank and ignorant concerning how we are influencing others!

Today we will look at the spiritual side to this discussion, and we will see the proper actions that must be taken to heed Jesus teaching. First, notice that if we act as the Pharisees did, if we judge, if we presume that we are qualified to deal with everyone else’s sin because we have arrived to spiritual maturity, then He calls us outright a “Hypocrite!” One who says one thing but does another – a play actor who couldn’t be real if his life depended on it!

Secondly, notice that he never says that we are to leave the speck in our brother’s eye alone! The sin is not in the attempt to help remove the speck – the sin is when we attempt to do just that with the wrong attitude and motive! We must take steps to be sure that the sin in our lives (the plank) has been removed and that we can see clearly!

When we sin, we must confess that sin – give it to God and let Him have it. Leave it with Him! Mourn over our sin – realize our spiritual bankruptcy without Christ! After we have removed any plank that is in our eye, then we can humbly and lovingly help others to be freed from the bothers of sin they encounter. Galatians 6:1 tells us that if a brother (a member of the body of Christ) is overtaken in a sin, then we should help restore that person to a standing before God with a clear conscience. So we can identify sin in someone’s life – that is not judging! Judging once again, is the attitude that we are better and therefore qualified to rule over people and to condemn them for actions or attitudes when we can’t even see their heart, their motives, or their relationship with God.

But as we recognize sin in ourselves and deal with it we are to help others do the same – we are to as lovingly as possible walk along side and help other Christians bear their burdens! Coming along side as an equal, as a fellow sinner, and helping each other deal with sin and its effects in our lives – that is proper “judgment.”

Paul tells us and Timothy that all Scripture is God breathed (inspired) and good for “doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness.” We are told that God’s Word will help us in these areas ourselves and it will equip us to help others! Doctrine (what we believe) must come from the Bible – and we are commanded to refute false doctrine and false teaching. Reproof is the rebuke of wrong behavior or belief. Hebrews 4:12-13 tells us that God’s Word is the tool that exposes these wrong items in our lives. Correction is a term that is simple to understand, it means “restoring something to its proper condition.” You see, discipline and correction are not punishment! God doesn’t punish the believer (Christ was punished on the cross). Instead, God corrects, to train us and teach us. The Word is the tool that He uses for correction. And lastly, the Word is used for instruction in righteousness. It teaches us how to be right with God.

We are to use the Word in our lives to root out and reveal hidden sin (and maybe sin that is not so hidden)! We are also to use it to encourage others to do the same. In love, we are expected to HELP each other live up to God’s standards for us! We do this first by having the proper attitude, not like the hypocrites who judged in pride, but an attitude of service to each other as a body!

Have you noticed that some people hear but they don’t listen! Or they look but never quite see! A Christian that refuses to help a fellow believer because he thinks that to do so would be judging – that is the person who has heard the Word, but wasn’t listening! They look at truth, but they can’t seem to see anything to make sense of or to apply and obey! Watch out for each other, remembering that we are slaves to Christ and servants to each other.

Psalm 81:13
Proverbs 19:20-21; 9:8-12
Isaiah 32:3-4; 51:4-8
Jeremiah 10:24
1 Corinthians 15:3-8, 14, 21-28
John 20:1-18, 29

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