Friday, June 10, 2011

To Justify or To Judge

“If we carefully judge ourselves, we won't be punished.  But when the Lord judges and punishes us, he does it to keep us from being condemned with the rest of the world”.    I Cor. 11:31-32   CEV
One of the abilities God is trying to help us develop is the ability to humble ourselves.  God told King Josiah, “Because….you humbled yourself before the Lord…I have heard you.”  (II kings 22:19-20)    As a result, he would not witness God’s judgment on his people.   The key word there is “yourself”.
When we become a Christian, God placed in our hands the right to judge ourselves.  If we fail to exercise that right, He will do it for us.   Judging ourselves is reviewing our relationship to God.   Most of the time that review will reveal something lacking or wanting.   It is at that point we must humble ourselves by admitting we are lacking and then asking God’s forgiveness.
If I judge myself, I am forgiven but not chastened. (I Cor. 11:31-32)    But if I neglect to judge myself then the Lord must step in to do it for me.   It means that He must add His “chastening” which suggest feeling His rod of correction.
The world knows nothing about judging itself, only justifying itself.   That is a key difference between a true Christian and the show Christian as well as the secular.
We can always gauge our spiritual life by asking a simple question; ‘Am I justifying myself or judging myself?’   The justifier reveals that something has gone wrong within and the carnal nature is again in control.
But the one who judges reveals that the Holy Spirit is alive and well in their heart.   They are constantly seeking a pure heart.   It is at this point that “the Lord of peace himself (will) give you peace at all times and in every way….”  II Thess. 3:16 NIV
“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death”.   II Cor. 7:10  NLT

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