Does the Bible say we should judge sin in other Christians?

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 2:15, James 5:19, Matthew 18:15
What does it mean to judge? 'Thou shalt not judge' is a verse that is probably quoted more than other in Scripture. What's the context of it?
When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.
If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.

Caller: A lot of times when I talk to somebody about their obvious sins, they give me the 'judge not lest ye be judged' quotation. They're eager to follow that Scripture but yet they won't follow any other Scripture quotation. And I'm wondering about 1 Corinthians 2:15, whether or not that's telling me that I have the right to judge people, or to talk to them regarding their sin without feeling that I'm judging them?

Pastor Doug: 1st Corinthians 2:15?

Caller: Yes.

Pastor Doug: 'But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.' I'll give you an even a better one if you don't mind?

Caller: Yes go ahead.

Pastor Doug: Jesus said if you judge, judge a righteous judgment. The Bible tells us that we will know if a person is genuine or not by their fruit. You've obviously got to evaluate if someone is genuine by the fruits in their lives. So this diversionary tactic people often use of saying, 'don't judge - you're judging me', that's not how God ever meant that Scripture. It means you should not condemn and pass judgment on people but the idea that we're not to evaluate - you know the Bible tells us in essence, we are our brother's keeper. We are to care about one another. James tells us that if we see a brother who's taken in a fault, those that are spiritual should go to him and plead with him and try to bring him back again and know that he who converts a sinner from his ways has delivered his soul from death. So you know what I'm saying?

Caller: Yeah and I know in 1 Corinthians chapter 5 it talks about expelling the believer and handing him over to Satan but as far as the unbeliever I'm confused on whether or not uh - you can't accept their sin and just love them anyway. What is the equivalent to 1 Corinthians 5 to the unbeliever?

Pastor Doug: Well you know the Bible tells us that we should not wish them God Speed if they're preaching a false gospel that, again, would probably be someone you might call a believer but if they won't receive you, Jesus said shake the dust off your feet. You know there is that other group of Scriptures that are often neglected. Let me read this to you in James 5:19. I sort of quoted it from memory and I don't like to misquote. 'Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him let him know, that he which converts the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins.' Now it's understood in that passage that we are to intervene if we observe that a person is erring in their way.

Caller: I feel that responsibility when I see someone doing something blatantly in front of me, whether it be language or lifestyle and yet when you talk about it, they give you the 'judge not' thing. So I was just wondering what I could rebut with.

Pastor Doug: Well also read Matthew 18. In Matthew 18 Jesus talks about if you have animosity between you and your brother, you ought to go to them. And, matter of fact, let me see, you can go to verse 15: Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone. If he will hear thee, you have gained your brother but if he will not hear you - now he might say 'you're judging me', but Jesus doesn't say that - that's a cop-out here. If he will not hear you, take with you one or two more representatives from the church, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word might be established. If he neglects to hear them, tell it to the church. If he neglects to hear the church, let him be a heathen or an infidel, a publican. He's to be cast out in other words.

So the Bible says some very strong things about Christians using their reasoning powers and using good judgment. Jesus said if you're going to judge, judge a righteous judgment. That's the key.

Share a Prayer Request
Ask a Bible Question



Prayer Request:

Share a Prayer Request


Bible Question:

Ask a Bible Question