Daily Archives: February 5, 2014

Judge Not Part 1

Matthew 7:2-5

“Judge not, that you be not judged.”

The word translated “judge” often means to condemn. It means to come to a negative conclusion about another person and then to condemn them. That is what Jesus is forbidding. Let me be a little more specific about this.

First, we are not to pass final judgment on any person. Final judgment belongs to the Lord. We are not in the condemning business. If anyone needs to be condemned, God himself can take care of that. We should have no part in it.

Second, we are not to judge the motives of others. The Bible says, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (I Samuel 16:7). Often we are quick to come to negative conclusions about others based on why we think they did something. But try as we might, we see only the outside. God alone sees the heart.

We can judge what people do; we cannot judge why they do it.

We can judge what people say; we cannot judge why they say it.

Only God can judge the hidden secrets of the heart. Leave that judgment to him. You don’t even know your own heart, much less the heart of anyone else. “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

Sometimes when little children have been caught disobeying and you ask them why they did it, they will reply tearfully, “I don’t know.” It’s a profound truth. We are so wicked by nature that we don’t know why we do what we do. All of us can remember times when we did or said something foolish and looking back we can honestly say, “I don’t know why I did something stupid like that.” But if we can’t understand our own heart, how can we ever presume to understand anyone else.

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Why Jesus died on the Cross?

How many people know what the cross really means? If we could be transported back in time and see the cross in its original context, we would realize that it was a bloody and vile symbol. It was the worst picture imaginable to see someone hanging on a cross.

Although crucifixion didn’t originate with the Romans, certainly they crucified more people than any other kingdom in history. The Romans chose crucifixion because it was meant to be a slow, torturous and painful way to die. To die by crucifixion was essentially to die by suffocation. As the one condemned to die hung from the spikes thrust through his feet and hands, he would not be able to get air into his lungs. Crucifixion was not designed to bring about a quick death; it was designed to humiliate a person.

Of course, Jesus knew from the very beginning that He had come to this earth to die for the sins of humanity.  He also knew that He would make this sacrifice on a Roman cross. If there had been any other way, do you think that God would have sent His Son to suffer like this? If there had been any other way we could have been forgiven, then God surely would have found it. If living a good moral life would get us to heaven, then Jesus would have never died on the cross for us. But He did die, because there was and is no other way. He had to pay the price for our sin.

It all began in the Garden of Eden.  Because Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit when God had said, “In the day you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17), they not only faced physical death, but spiritual death as well. When Adam and Eve sinned, in principle, we all sinned (see Romans 5:12). Sin is like an infectious disease that has spread throughout humanity. We were all born with it.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to sin? We don’t need to be taught how to sin, but we must be taught how to do right. We must teach a child manners, but we don’t need to teach a child how to sin. It comes down to this: We are not sinners because we sin; rather, we sin because we are sinners. No matter how moral or religious we are, we still sin.

This is where the cross comes in, because we were separated from a holy and perfect God by our sin. But God loved us so much that He became a man and walked among us and went to a cross and died in our place and paid the price for every sin that we have ever committed.

The Bible says that when Jesus died on that cross, He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. At the cross, Jesus dealt a decisive blow against Satan and his demon powers. At the cross, Jesus purchased the salvation of the world. This message is so deep and profound that you could spend the rest of your life studying it and still not grasp its full significance. Yet it is so simple that even a child can understand it. Still, many people do not understand the significance of what took place on that Roman cross 2,000 years ago. Jesus died so that we might live.

If ever you are tempted to doubt God’s love for you, then take a long look at the cross. It wasn’t the spikes that held Jesus there. It was His love for you.

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Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.