Amos

...now browsing by tag

 
 

An Effective Ministry, A Guest-post by Randal Amos

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

Paul’s ministry in 1 Thessalonians 2

2:1 – Paul taught his entrance among the Thessalonians was a positive thing.

What qualified the ministry to be counted as positive?

13-16“Ye received it [the word preached] not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God”.  Therefore the Word effectually changed their hearts.  They became followers, not of Jewish religion and its legal practices, but of the other churches of God in Christ Jesus.  And they suffered for this culturally and religiously but kept going on.

Why were the results effective?  Following are 8 things that characterized his ministry. 

#1.   2:2The Right Mentality  (mental toughness)

Paul was jailed and shamed in Philippi.  Yet he and the others did not quit.  They then went on to Thessalonica and “were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention”.  They had the heart of a lamb but the hide of a rhinoceros.

Negative happenings did not change their faithfulness.   

#2.   2:3-4The Right Message

Their message was not religious law, political reform, financial prosperity, a better health-diet or a self-help program but “the gospel of God”.  Their “exhortation was not of deceit” with twisted error or trickery.  It was a message that did not try to please men but only God.  He opened God’s Scriptures and proved the gospel – that Christ suffered fully for our sins to save from our due judgment.  And that this Jesus rose from the dead showing He is that Christ (God’s anointed Lord and Savior), Acts 17:1-3.

Many speakers dynamically motivate but with the wrong message.

#3.   2:5-6The Right Motive

Paul did not wear a “cloke of covetousness”, i.e. pretending on the outside to care and represent God which would mask from them his real reason – being after their money through guilt, greed and gimmicks.  He did not make “merchandise of you” (2Pet. 2:3).

Neither did he flatter their egos to make them feel ok and special the way they were so they would like him.  “Nor of men sought we glory” that would make him a spiritual hero to them thus making it easy for him to take advantage of them.  They, as saved souls, in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ were his only glory and joy, 2:19, 20.

He was not in it for self but for God – Who tries the heart, and is a witness of it.  

#4.   2:7, 11The Right Match  (balance)

When Paul was among them he was neither a tyrant nor a wimp.  He had both father and mother qualities to him.  He was “gentle among you” (not harsh) as a nursing mother is with her dear children.  But he also “exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father” does his to children.   He was kind but firm in the things of God.

He had grace and truth like his Lord. 

#5.   2:8, 17-20The Right Moving  (what moved his heart was love, not self)

He had heart affection for the people themselves.  He just didn’t give them the gospel and ‘hit and run’. “Ye were dear unto us”. With desire he tried to return – then wrote them.

He loved the Lord and His people also.  He knew a head has a body – both are cherished.

#6.   2:9The Right Method

It was more than just bringing the saving gospel word to them but he used methods that were strategically meant to reveal God’s character and ways – thus aiding their knowledge of God.  Because they needed the example to work for a living, he, rather than depend on them for financial help (which was his due, 1 Cor. 9), “labouring night and day” with his own hands in hardship to help meet his needs. (Acts 18:3, 20:34).  Thus they would learn not to covet.  Later he could compellingly and un-hypocritically charge from God to the idle busy bodies; “if any would not work, neither should he eat”, (2 Thess. 3:10).

The method in telling the message of God should compliment the God of the message, (1 Cor. 2:1-5).

#7.   2:10The Right Manner of Life

Paul not only told them what was right, he lived what was right.  “How holily, and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe.”  Holy is piety toward God.  Justly is righteous fairness toward man.  Blameless is public reputation.  Paul was a living example of his message – written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God.

Paul not only talked the walk but he also walked the talk. 

#8.   2:12The Right Mark  (aim of ministry to hit – goal)

Paul was not after money or fame.  He was not after stunning numbers but after their walk“That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory”.  As he would further write in 4:1; “ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more”.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth”, 3John: 4.

May we seek these 8 qualities by His grace in our ministries for the Lord Jesus.

Discipleship and the Church: A new way for a new day (A guest-post by R.P. Amos)

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

While our Lord was on earth we read of “His disciples”. A disciple is one who learns from and follows his master’s ways. The 12 disciples had one teacher to disciple them: Jesus on earth. But the early Christians did not have Jesus on earth to teach them.

What they had was a plurality of men: the Lord’s chosen apostles. The apostles received the Lord Jesus’ continuing revelation of new mysteries from heaven (1 Cor.2:7,10,13). They transmitted it orally or in written form, called “the apostle’s doctrine”. In this way the chosen apostles fulfilled the risen Lord’s command to them: “teach [disciple] all nations …teaching them to observe all things…I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:16-20).

But the term “disciple” is never used again in God’s Word after Acts 21:16. The written instruction to the Christian church (the epistles) uses in its place terms such as“brethren” (family relationship), “saints” (holy ones indwelt by the Holy Spirit), “body” (a living organism connected to the Head). Now, by definition, our Lord Jesus Christ does what no other discipler of men could or can do! Christ is not merely with us at times teaching us. Christ is in us continually teaching us (“revealing” to us – giving us to understand) “the deep things of God” through His Spirit that is given to all believers (1Cor. 2, Eph. 4:20,21). Now we have the whole written Word taught by His Spirit.

The New way: the Church in Christ

Each member of this body has different manifestations of the Spirit. These are called gifts, (1Cor. 12:7). While no one individual possesses all the given gifts, the body as a whole does. No longer is it just one individual that is complete, like Christ or even an apostle. Now it is the body, joined together as one, that is both multi-gifted and complete. This unique group is Christ’s living extension. This is “the church”. For this reason the epistles put the emphasis on believers learning by assembling together “in the church” (a meeting). There, the different gifts given from the one Head “come together into one place” (1Cor. 14). In the New Testament church meeting, when this plurality of gift functions, the results are “that all may learn” (1 Cor. 14:31). In the Greek this word “learn” comes from the word “disciple” – it is what a disciple is meant to do.

The Shortcomings of the Old Way for Today

We all know how horses were once a great way to make progress in travel. But to ride a horse on a super highway today presents many dangers and would border on insanity.

To view discipleship as mainly one person teaching or mentoring another person (or persons) belonged to a past age before the creation of the Body of Christ. This is not to say that there is never liberty to teach others outside the “four walls” of a church meeting. (See Acts 18:26, 20:20 / Titus 2, etc.). But to fail to view God’s design of the New Testament church and its meeting, that uses a functioning plurality as His new and ordained way for learning, misses the new body dynamic – and can present the following dangers.

Danger 1 – Man is perceived as a master Discipling implies the one teaching is the master. There is only one master (teacher) and He is in heaven; “all ye are brethren” says the Lord (Matt. 23:8-10). We read in Acts 20:30 that from among even those who were elders some would speak perverse things to “draw away disciples after them”. All true ministry will therefore guide believers to dependence on the Head and to fellowship with His body.

Danger 2 – Bypassing God’s checks and balances Individual discipling can unwittingly bypass the accountability God has ordained in His church. A plurality of elders or overseers (who meet the qualifications) with the Holy Spirit’s enabling is to shepherd each local church (Acts 20:28). Correcting an erring believer will require the whole assembly when ‘one on one’ was insufficient to succeed (Matt. 18: 15-17/ 1Cor. 5:4). We are not to be accountable to just one person. Serious failings and sins are not to be kept secret or limited to the knowledge or judgment of only one person. The NT church meeting has a plurality of gift that function with accountability. “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge”.

Danger 3 – Bypassing the plurality of gifts and elderly wisdom “Discipling” can lock a person into only one person’s style and abilities – with its limitations. By God’s intention, no one person has all the gifts. “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing …” (Romans 12:4). Titus 2 teaches that the aged men and women, with their wisdom, experience and godly example, have a great role to play toward the younger ones. To bypass involvement in the body is but a partial diet that will stunt one’s growth.

Danger 4 – Bypassing the Lordship of Christ displayed in a church meeting We’ve learned why individual discipling is not the highest form of learning. It is “in the church” of God that believers not only learn the word, but they also learn the ways of God. Among other things this includes reverence, order, protocol, respect, and the authority of headship and submission. There is an authority and an experience of the way of the risen Lord that is uniquely demonstrated when in assembly (1Cor. 14:23-37). It is what Psalm 77:13 speaks of: “Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary”. A body has only one head and needs authority and wisdom from that Head to function effectively

Danger 5 – Not providing an outlet for interactive growth Discipling is learning. But to learn all that there is to be learned we don’t just hear words. We also need to do according to what we heard. So for a body to grow and be healthy it not only needs to take in (eat), it must also exercise and give out to others. The NT church meeting is not just a place to sit and receive. It is also a place for the body members to function according to one’s heart, gifts and roles for the edification of all (1Cor. 14). The more a person grows from a baby into adulthood, the more that person increasingly develops the ability to give to others, which matures them in life.

When you’re involved in the NT church you are involved in the new way of discipleship!

Guest-post by R.P. Amos: In light of World Political Events . . . A Vital Reminder

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

SOMEONE HIGHER THAN POLITICS

“The most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men” – “The powers that be are ordained of God” Daniel 4:17 / Rom. 13.1

NebuchadnezzarA dictator monarch  “whom he would he slew; and whom he would he                                                                            kept alive; and whom he would he set up…”.  Dan. 5:19

THE MOST HIGH GOD – Gave him power “The God of heaven hath given thee a                                                                      kingdom, power and strength, and glory”.   Dan. 2:37

NebuchadnezzarAnti Semitic and destroyed Jewish temple  “Came Nebuchadnezzar                                                             king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it”.  Dan. 1.1

MOST HIGH GOD – Gave him victory “The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into                                         his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God…”.   Dan. 1:2

NebuchadnezzarDeported Jews from Israel to Babylon  “that he should bring certain                                                           of the children of Israel…to…the king’s palace”.  Dan. 1:3-4

MOST HIGH GOD – Used him  “Nebuchadnezzar…my servant”.   Jer. 27:6

NebuchadnezzarChanged Jewish culture  “The king appointed them a daily provision of                                                                                       the king’s meat, and of the wine”.  Dan. 1:5

MOST HIGH GOD – Taught him wisdom from Jews “In all matters of wisdom and                                                              understanding…the king enquired of them”.   Dan. 1:20

NebuchadnezzarFurious temperament; out to purge the wise “the king was angry…                                                  and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon”. Dan. 2:12

MOST HIGH GOD –  Awakened him “Of a truth it is, that your [Daniel’s]God is a                                                                         God of gods…”.   Dan. 2:47

NebuchadnezzarForced religious worship & practiced torture  “whoso falleth not                                     down and worshippeth shall…be cast into… a burning fiery furnace”. Dan. 3:6

MOST HIGH GOD – Grew him in knowledge & protecting Jewish religious rights

                                     “God…changed the king’s word…Every people…which speak                                              anything amiss against the God…shall be cut in pieces…because                                                  there is no other God that can deliver after this sort ”. Dan. 3:28-29

NebuchadnezzarAn arrogant great builder  “Is this not great Babylon that I have built                                 for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honour                                          of my majesty”?   Dan. 4:30

MOST HIGH GOD –  Humbled & Converted him “The inhabitants of the earth are                                   reputed as nothing…Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and                                        honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways                                          judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase”.  Dan. 4:35-37

“The appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords”.  1Tim. 6:14, 15.

The Divine Plan Revealed in the Orderly Layout of the Bible

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Randal Amos’ latest outline is available for download in pdf. here: Orderly Plan new.

Guest Post by R.P. Amos

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

CHRIST IN THE SCRIPTURES

“He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself”

 

Old Testament – He’s coming                           Isa. 9:6 / Dan. 7:13-14 / 9:25

Gospels –              He comes                                Matt. 1:18-23 / 27:50

Acts –                    He saves                                  Acts 1:3 / 16:31

Epistles –             He leads                                  Eph. 1:20-22

Revelation –        He reigns                                 Rev. 11:15

 

Old Testament – He’s portrayed in picture types           Ex. 12 / Passover lamb, etc.

Gospels –             He comes in visible humanity              John 1:14

Acts –                   He comes in invisible Spirit                 Acts 2:32, 33

Epistles –             He’s interpreted in written words        1 Cor. 14:37 / Eph. 3:1-7

Revelation –       He comes in glory of world empire     Rev. 19:11-16

 

Old Testament – He’s promised to Israel                       Micah 5:2

Gospels –            He’s presented to Israel                      Matt. 21:5-9

Acts –                 He’s proclaimed to the world              Acts 1:8

Epistles –           He’s possessed by the church             1Cor. 3:16 / Gal. 4:6

Revelation –      He’s preeminent in the universe          Rev. 5:12-14

 

Old Testament –  The foretelling of His sufferings                     Isa. 53

Gospels –               The fulfillment of His sufferings                     Luke 24:44-46

Acts –                    The forth-telling of His sufferings                  Acts 17:1-3

Epistles –             The fruit and fellowship of His sufferings      1Pet. 3:18 / Php. 3:10

Revelation –         The fame of His sufferings                             Rev. 5:11-14

 

Old Testament – A lamb for a person, family and nation            Gen 4 / Ex. 12 / 1 Sam 7:9

Gospels –            A lamb for the world                                       John 1:29

Acts –                   A lamb for whosoever                                     Acts 2:21 / 8:32-38

Epistles –            A lamb for all history                                      1 Pet. 1:19, 20

Revelation –      A lamb forever                                     Rev. 22:3-5

 

Old Testament – Creates and Prophesies  Gen. 1:1 / Jn. 1:3 / Hos. 12:10 / Heb. 1:1

Gospels –           Dies and rises                          Matt. 27-28

Acts –                  Forgives and justifies              Acts 13:38, 39

Epistles –           Sanctifies and edifies               Eph. 4:11-12 / 5:26

Revelation –     Punishes and glorifies             Rev. 19:15 / 21:23

 

Old Testament

           Prophet / man is dark and needs guidance   Deut. 18:15 / Col. 1:13

          Priest / man is dirty and needs guilt removed   Ex. 30:30 / Heb. 9:14

          King / man is defiant and needs ruled    1Ki. 1:34 / Luke 19:14

Gospels –  He’s Prophet on earth to Israel         Jn 4:44, 6:14 /Acts 3:22

Acts –         He’s Prophet via Spirit to the nations    Acts 2:18, 33 / 9:15-17

Epistles –  He’s Priest in heaven for the church  Heb. 4:14

Revelation – He’s King of the world                      Rev. 11:15 / 19:15-16

Guest post from R.P. Amos: “The Tyranny of Choice”

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

America is known as the land of the free with liberty for all. Its very government was built on choice to escape religious oppression and political tyranny. There was the choice to pick one’s leaders, not a royal dynasty. There was the choice to own property, as you were able. There was the choice to choose your education or profession. And as it grew richer the opportunity was there to fulfill that dream of choice. There was the choice to choose your religion (or no religion). There was freedom of speech to express oneself religiously or politically. And government had no power to suppress that personal choice.

Governmentally speaking, Choice was a delightful baby in a world of oppression. It allowed for mutual respect of all citizens and coexistence in peace. It provided the incentive to be all that you could be. And in the free market system America became the richest and most powerful country in the world. The gospel and the church flourished here because of this very freedom and became a beacon of light to darker nations.

Choice, however, did not have a birth certificate (its legal documents) stamped with the gospel of Christ (His cleansing blood) or the Word of God. Choice was birthed in the womb of assumption that its citizens would be grounded in morality and virtue.

 “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”     John Adams

 “Unless virtue guide us our choice must be wrong.”     William Penn

 “America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”      An old adage

 “Righteousness exalteth a nation.”    Proverbs 14:34

  Now Choice has grown up and has become a king not a servant. Choice gives a woman the permission to have legal freedom to kill a baby in her womb. Choice grants one the freedom, without being judged, to choose their sexual lifestyle when and with whomever they choose. Choice permits one the liberty to marry the same sex. Choice gives one the right to be a witch or wizard and worship Satan or a plate of spaghetti.

Choice is not a preacher. It does not instruct in absolute morals, ethics or virtue. Choice is conscienceless and sterile. Choice is non judgmental. Choice is not biased. Choice is tolerant. Choice is accepting of all. Choice is kind. Choice is fun. Choice is love.

And now Choice as a master is tyrannical. Choice demands that it be submitted to as the only way and truth. To criticize another’s choice as sin is sin against Choice. To claim there is only ‘one way’ is to deny Choice’s one way – blasphemy. To choose to refuse another’s choice (no matter how void of morals or truth) in your business or school or even a church’s legal functions such as marriage is becoming a criminal act and could be called a felony – worthy of punishment. To not make your restrooms open to Choice is discrimination. To not grant Choice every area of your life and government is looked at as insubjection and insurrection. Choice now wields the sword – bow or be punished. Choice judges those who judge her.

Choice decrees the judging of evil is more wrong than the doing of evil. Choice will not tolerate what doesn’t tolerate her.   Choice will not accept what doesn’t accept her. Choice will absolutely censure what absolutely claims absolutes. Choice will not be kind to those who are not kind to her. Choice will not love those who don’t love her. Choice will not let others choose who don’t choose her. Choice denies only “one God” – but her. Choice is now god. Therefore, Choice will wage war against her atheists. Choice will choose what you’re free to say. Choice has chosen to enslave her subjects.

The Gospel and the Church.

1 Peter 2:4 says of the Lord Jesus, He is disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God”.

The gospel of God in His Son Jesus Christ the Lord is offered equally to all sinners. It doesn’t consider color, sexual gender, age, class, country, lifestyle or religious pedigree. Any sinner who repents of his or her sin (wrong choices) and confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (who fully bore our sins in death and rose again as eternal Priest) is equally blessed. They are saved from sin, self, and Satan (deceptions via choice). They will never see hell-judgment but have eternal life being equally in the body of Christ.

A sinner is not forced to do this. He has a choice. But if he chooses to freely come to Jesus as Lord, then Christ and not Choice will be his Lord. “Not my will, but thine, be done”, like his Savior, will be his new thinking. This is because he is born again of the Spirit with a new heart that now desires and is able to understand God’s choices. The gospel teaches and provides that true virtue and morality must come from within. The believer is to show he agrees with God’s choice that Jesus is Lord by public baptism.

But beware of Master Choice trying to regain control of the mind and God’s church. Choice will tell you that “grace” still allows you to choose. Choice will tell you that choosing to obey the Lord Jesus’ commands is legalism, not love. Choice will tell you that your choices are more logical than God’s choices. Choice won’t tell you that God’s choices free you from sin to be all that you can be for His glory. Choice won’t tell you that in being a slave to God you will be free from master sin that frees you from true joy and spiritual heart satisfaction.

Choice will tell you to go to the church of your choice. Choice will let you choose what you like: your style of “worship”, music or church government. Choice will promise you liberty. And in time, Choice will liberate you and your children – from the wisdom of God and a spirituality that emits from the church functioning by the Lord’s choices. (A plurality of gifted men involved in a church meeting, the man’s headship over the woman, the centrality of the Lord’s Supper in keeping us focused on Christ, and holiness by the purging of sin and bad doctrine that can spread like yeast in the Christian church).

Choice will free you – from God’s growth, joy and rewards. Christ will bless you.

{Some Scriptures for The Gospel and the Church section. 1. Paragraph #2 – Acts 17:30, 31 / Romans 5:9, 10 & 10:9-13 / Gal. 3:28. 2. Paragraph #3 – Rev. 22:17 / Luke 22:42 / Rom. 8:4 / Acts 10:48 / John 3:3-7. 3. Paragraph #4 – Rom. 6 / John 14:15 4. Paragraph #5 – 1Cor. 5 & 11-14   5. Paragraph #6 – Rev. 3:10 / Eph. 1:3 / Psalm 1.}

Guest-post by R.P. Amos: God’s View of Contemporary Israel

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

God’s View of Contemporary Israel

With Israel so much in the news and tensions high in the world, it might be helpful for the Lord’s church to consider God’s view on Israel as taught in His Holy Scriptures.

1. Israel’s Present Spiritual State      “blindness in part is happened to Israel”

As to knowing God’s plan as revealed in Messiah Jesus, since His crucifixion, Israel has a judgmental cover over her mind.  She’s spiritually unable to see anymore (with the exception of those who repent and believe on the Lord Jesus, they are part of His church).

2. Israel’s Jesus Attitude   “Let him be crucified”

They are still rejecters of Jesus as Messiah, the Son of God and risen Lord of all.  Their attitude toward God’s saving gospel in Christ Jesus is: “Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost”, 1Thess. 2:15,16.

3. Israel’s Political Land Claim      “the LORD spake … the land is mine”

All the nations have been given land by God but the land of Israel is God’s land.  And He has chosen to give it to Israel as His own heritage on earth.  He also has chosen Jerusalem as the city for His Name.  Their land claim is not based on who occupied it first or won a war but God’s choice.  To divide God’s land among other peoples is rebellion against God.  Their claim to the land is by the unconditional covenant to Abraham.  However, their blessings or cursings in that land are conditional according to their law covenant.

4. Israel’s Immediate Political Future   “then shall be great tribulation”

Because she is unrepentant concerning the Lord Jesus, she is headed for her darkest hour.  She is back in her land but as unbelievers in Christ Jesus (as prophesied): it is a deadly combination.  She will lose her future rebuilt temple and be severely persecuted.  All nations will eventually unite against her and be poised to finally destroy her.

5. Israel’s Final Political Future      “all Israel shall be saved”

On the eve of destruction King Jesus will come in judgment to destroy the attacking nations and their demonic leadership.  This is to fulfill God’s promises by her prophets.  The Lord Jesus Christ will set up the kingdom of God on earth with Jerusalem (God’s land) as its capital.  Then there will be “on earth peace, good will toward man”.

6. Israel’s Spiritual Future        “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced”

Also on the eve of destruction, her national Christless self-confidence will be broken.  Her reliance on other nations to help save her is gone.  The survivors will then in utter brokenness realize the Lord is their Savior and His name is Jesus as they see the marks of the cross. The Lord Jesus will in mercy take away all her sins for He died for them.

So when it comes to Israel: “concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sake”  – but as to God’s elected political future – “they are beloved for the father’s sake”.  Be an equal opportunity gospel ambassador to all nations but don’t hate Israel.  God does not.  {Some Scriptures for Israel.  1.Her blindness – Romans 11:25 / 2Cor. 3:12-16 / Acts 28:26,27.   2.Her Jesus rejection – Matt. 27:22 / Acts 13:42-47 / Romans 10:1-4.  3.Her land claim – Lev. 25:1, 23 / Gen. 15 / Deut. 32:7-9 / 1Kings 11:36 / Joel 3:1-2 / Deut. 28.  4.Her immediate future – Jer. 30:7 / Matt. 24:15-22/ Dan. 9:27/ Zech. 14:2 / Rev. 12:12-17 & 16:12-16.  5.Her final future – Romans 11:26 / Zech. 14:2-9 / Rev. 19:11-21 / Isa. 2&11 / Luke 2:14.  6.Her spiritual future – Zech. 12:9-14 & 13:1 / Romans 11:26-27, 32 / Isaiah 53.  Last Paragraph – Rom. 11:28 / Luke 24:47 / Col. 3:11 / Rom. 10:1.}

To Judge or Not to Judge – Which is Christian? (A Guest-post by R. P. Amos)

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Sometimes an answer is not an “either or”, or even “yes or no” but both.  It can depend upon circumstances.  For example, is it right or wrong to eat peanuts?  It could be right and a source of protein if you like them.  But it could be very wrong and life threatening if you have an allergy to them.

So often we hear that a Christian is “not to judge”.  Is this entirely true in light of God’s complete revelation in the Bible?  True, the Lord Jesus says, “judge not”, but then He goes on to say, “but judge righteous judgment”.  So which is it?  Both!

The Greek word for “judge” is anakrino or krino.  Krino means to pick out, select, conclude, decide, choose, approve or disapprove.  Anakrino means to discern, examine, question and scrutinize.  Don’t we in our daily lives make continual judgments – from medicines, good or bad food, the right partner for life to the best value for our money? What government exists that doesn’t have law and order, and judges its offenders?

FOUR AREAS WE ARE NOT TO JUDGE

1.  Heart Motives.  We can’t know what a person is thinking as to why he might be doing an action. Without having further knowledge we should not reach conclusions.  1Cor. 4:3, 5

2.  Outward Appearances.  We must not judge how something appears to look on the outside without further evidence of righteous facts.  John 7:24, 1Sam. 16:7

3.  Another’s Liberty.  Each man answers to God, not us, on personal matters of liberty concerning things like celebrating days, wine, foods, etc.  Rom. 14: 2, 13

4.  Another’s Actions IF You are Doing the Same Thing.  It is hypocritical to judge something in your brother’s eye when you are doing something similar.  Matt. 7:1, 3

FOUR AREAS WE ARE TO JUDGE

1.  Ourselves.  We are to always judge what is right or wrong in our lives.  1Cor. 11:31

2.  Actions that are the Best.  Just like we make judgments on a banana if it is the best value for the price, we are to judge what is the most excellent decision.  Philp. 1:9, 10

3.  Doctrine.  It is not we who make a judgment on truth but we simply trust God’s judgment of what is true and false as revealed by His Word of truth.  1Cor. 14:29 / 1Ths. 5:20-21

4.  Sin in the Church.  While the church is not to judge the world with punishment, it is to judge “believers” living in active sin by excommunication for a time.  1Cor. 5

May we have courage to judge, and yet love when not to judge, to be used of the Lord.