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Exposition of Matthew Chapter Seven

Exposition of Matthew Chapter Seven

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 13, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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EXPOSITIO OF MATTHEW CHAPTER SIXBy JOH BIRD SUMER, D.D.LECTURE XXVII.UCHARITABLE JUDGMETS FORBIDDE.MATT. vii. 1 5.1 . Judge not, that ye be not judged.In one sense, it is our duty to judge. St. Paul ex-horts us to " prove all things, and hold fast that whichis good :" * and instructs the Roman disciples to " mark them which caused divisions and offences contrary tothe doctrine which they had learned, and avoidthem." 2 Further, our Lord himself commands usto "beware of false prophets," and to form our judgment of them according to wise discrimination ;saying, " Ye shall know them by their fruits."That which is here forbidden, is the too commonfault, rash and censorious judgment : imputation of bad motives, where motives are doubtful; con-demnation of others, without accurate knowledge of the circumstances under which they have acted.Joseph, for example, in the book of Genesis, wouldhave been blameable if he had spoken in earnestwhat he did speak to prove his brethren, when heaccused them of coming down to Egypt with theevil intention of spying out " the nakedness of theland:" examining how they might best invade it. 31 1 Thess. v. 25. Rom. xvi. 17.3 Gen. xlii. 9.
MATT. VII. 15. 123They might possibly have had that design : and onthe other hand, there was nothing improbable in thedesign which they professed, the providing food fortheir family at home. To assume the wrong mo-tive, and reject the innocent purpose ; to treat themas spies because it was possible they might be spies,would have been unrighteous judgment. For it isone among the features of charity, that it " belie vethall things ;" 4 believeth the best that the case admits :" thinketh no evil," where there is any opening tothink well, and hope favourably. Charity will ratherbe deceived, through an unwillingness to suspect,than injure another even in thought. For, as St.Paul argues, " Who art thou that judgest anotherman's servant ? To his own master he standeth orfalleth." 5 He said this concerning a matter of in-difference ; the eating or not eating of certain meats ;the keeping or not keeping sacred certain days. Iit had been a question concerning any part of duty,of worshipping, for instance, or not worshipping inan idol's temple, they would have been bound to judge, and to pronounce such worshipping sinful,even though it condemned any of their brethren.But of things indifferent, or when there was noneed of censure, he solemnly asks, " Why dost thou judge thy brother, or why dost thou set at noughtthy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Every one of us shall giveaccount of himself to God." 6The sanction by which our Lord enforces thisprecept, is remarkable :* 1 Cor. xiii. 7. 5 Rom. xiv. 4,6 Rom. xiv. 1012.
124 MATT. VII. 15.2. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged :and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to youagain ,As it is written, " Blessed are the merciful, forthey shall obtain mercy :" and as we pray, " Forgiveus our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespassagainst us :" in the same spirit is it said, With whatmeasure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.A habit of harsh and censorious judgment, indicatesa heart not properly renewed and influenced by divinegrace ; indicates, therefore, a heart not sound in thefaith of Christ, and liable to be judged by Him, " inwhose sight no man living shall be justified." If hewere to mark severely what is done amiss, who couldabide it? And if we break his commands, by judginguncharitably of our neighbours, how can we expecthis clemency to judge mercifully of ourselves, notweighing our demerits, but pardoning our offences ?Our business, in fact, is not to judge others, butourselves, and the best security against severecensures of our brother, will be to look closely anddiligently at home.3. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy bro-ther s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine owneyel4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull outthe mote out of thine eye ; and behold, a beam is in thineown eye 15. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thineown eye : and then shall thou see clearly to cast out the moteout of thy brothers eye. 7

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