Pristine Grace

For Those Who Are Quick to Judge
by John Pedersen
For Those Who Are Quick to Judge

“Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.” - Matthew 21:31

    These words of the Lord Jesus, together with His excoriation of the Pharisees in passages like Matthew 23:1ff. and Luke 18:10ff., underscore the following:

    Self righteousness is the penultimate expression of human evil. 

    The relevance of this point for those who profess the gospel of Scripture can not be overstated, because it is the clear testimony of Scripture that those who who have received and do profess the true, biblical gospel can nevertheless fall prey to the temptations and destructive influences of self righteousness (Galatians 1:6-10; II Corinthians 11:3,4).

    Some here on FB are quick to unsheathe the sword of judgment and cut down those they condemn with solemn declarations of their reprobation. 

    These sober judges need no further clarification. They require no correction for any of the somber conclusions they make of persons they declare, with effortless confidence or even gleefulness, are irrevocably bound over to eternal condemnation. 

    A process like the one delineated in Matthew 18:15ff, or a hearing and reply such as the one for which Paul appealed in Acts 25:16, is unnecessary. It’s obvious. Kill him, and move on.

    These same judges, however, would do well to take pause and reflect on some things in their own lives and histories which should temper the zeal with which they thrust their sword. 

    This reflection should, in view of the insidious subtlety of the temptation to which they are subject, include concern as to whether their judgment is grounded in self righteousness rather than the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel.