How To Judge Righteous Judgment

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, July 21, 2002, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                      Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                      Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:1-2; John 7:21-24

Text: John 7:24

John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

Introduction: Here we have two verses which appear to contradict: Matthew 7:1 and John 7:24. One commands NOT to judge; the other commands TO judge. The answer is that the first one is a warning that a hypocritical judging of condemnation will result in a reciprocal condemnation. That’s why wicked people and liberals never preach against anyone’s sin; they know they are living wickedly and they don’t want anyone to condemn them.

Jesus commanded us to judge, not according to appearance, but righteous judgment. Appearances can be deceptive, or, as we say, things are not always as they appear. For instance,

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

If the people and things of Satan often APPEAR as the people and things of God, how are Christians to judge? Here are some helps:


2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

A. Saturate your thinking with this Book

B. School your thinking with this Book

C. Scan all things with this Book!


John 5:44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

A. Desire to be in agreement with the Lord

B. Desire to have the approval of the Lord

C. Desire to have the assistance of the Lord

  • Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?


Romans 3:3-4 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? 4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

Mark 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

A. The seducers of religion

B. The scoffers of science

C. The subtleties of philosophy


1 Corinthians 2:11-15 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to com


A. The Spirit of God indwells the believer

B. The Spirit of God instructs the believer

C. The Spirit of God invites the believer

  • To the word of God
  • Toward further growth
  • To take a stand against error


1 Corinthians 4:3-4 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

A. The saints will sometimes be wrong

  • These could even be fellow church members or Christians in other churches.
  • These could even be family members.

B. Sinners will nearly always be wrong

C. The Savior is the Person to whom you must give account

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