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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Are We Supposed to Judge One Another?

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Don Stewart
Many question arise in the area of believers executing judgment. In one sense we are not to judge anyone for The Bible tells us not to judge lest we be judged.

Judge not, that you be not judged (Matthew 7:1).

Yet in other situations the Scriptures command us to judge. How do we explain these distinctions?

The answer can be found in that the word judge has a variety of meanings.

Not Condemnation

Believers should not try to judge one another in the sense of damnation.

Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters. Whoever speaks evil against another or judges another, speaks evil against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge (James 4:11).

Who are you to judge another's servant? To their own master they stand or fall. Indeed, they will be made to stand, for God is able to make them stand (Romans 14:4).

Litigation And Excommunication

The church does have the responsibility to judge in the case of litigation and in the case of excommunication. This type of judging is to be done within the church itself:

For what have I to do with judging those who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside (1 Corinthians 5:12).

Judge Righteously

The Bible commands us to judge righteously:

Do not judge according to appearance but judge righteous judgment (John 7:24).

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment (Philippians 1:9).


Judgment is something that believers are commanded to do in certain ways. We are not to judge people in the sense of condemning them. The church does have the responsibility to excommunicate people for sin. Any judgment that is done, is to be done righteously.

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