Didn't God Instruct Us Not to Judge One
"...Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not
for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment."
(II Chronicles 19:6)
In the world today, the admonition not to "judge" is
frequently used to place a virtual gag order over those who would
speak up against popular and accepted world practices. Even some
Christians will use a "don't judge" stance when erroneous
teachings and ministries in the church are examined. In fact, many
false prophets are using Scripture references like "touch
not my anointed" and "do my prophets no harm"
in order to protect their doctrines and actions from exposure. The
word judge has been so perverted that to judge anything is
now considered by many to be anti-Christian behavior, and anyone
who does so is likely to be labeled as an "accuser of the
Well, what does God have to say on this subject? Is it true that
Christians are told not to judge? The simple answer is no. In fact,
according to Scripture those who do not judge are more likely to
be led astray by false doctrines and are less effective witnesses
To get a complete understanding of this topic we will be looking
at the following: what does it mean to judge,
who is supposed to judge, how
do we judge, what are the restrictions on judging,
and why are we to judge.
What Does It Mean to Judge?
Webster's defines the act of judging as "to form an opinion
about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises."
Simply stated, judging is simply the process of evaluation that
people naturally employ everyday to make determinations of what
is true: we judge when we need to leave to arrive on time to a particular
destination; we judge what we should wear based on what the weather
is for the day; we judge the credibility of others, etc.
The problem arises because judging can be subjective. In other
words, your judgements are based on your perceptions, motives, and
understandings. This is why two people can judge the exact same
situation and come up with different determinations. Since the judgments
of man are therefore rooted in the "opinions" of man,
no man's judgements can be taken as absolute or complete truth.
This is the implied accusation behind every admonition not to judge.
"Who are YOU to judge? What makes you think YOUR judgements
Who is Supposed to Judge?
We know from Scripture that God is the Judge of all
(Genesis 18:25; Judges 11:27; I Samuel 2:10 Psalms
50:6; Psalms 96:13; Psalms 98:9; Isaiah 3:13; Isaiah 33:22; Jeremiah
11:20; Ezekiel 18:30; Ezekiel 33:20; Hebrews 12:23; I Peter 1:17;
Matthew 12:27). God is set in position as our Judge
because He is all-knowing, He is Truth. As such God's judgements
are righteous and true (John 8:26;
Romans 11:33; Revelation 16:7; Revelation 19:2).
Although God alone is the Judge, this does not
mean that only God judges. In fact, the Word of God
says that God enables man to judge, commands man to judge, and is
pleased with those who seek to judge righteously.
Scriptures clearly show that throughout time God has imparted to
man the authority to judge (Leviticus
19:15; Deuteronomy 1:16; Deuteronomy 16:18; Judges 2:16-19; II Chronicles
19:5; Ezra 7:25; Isaiah 1:17; Ezekiel 23:45; John 7:24; Romans 2:27;
I Corinthians 2:15; I Corinthians 6:). In Zechariah 3:7 God
states that He gives those who obey Him the authority to judge,
"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways,
and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my
house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places
to walk among these that stand by." There are also additional
references in Scripture to this process of judging that may not
specifically use the word judge. For example, in the original
languages, the words translated as judge in Scripture are
also translated examine, search, discern, ask, question, contend,
esteem, and determine.
In the Old Testament, God specifically identified those who were
set in positions as Judges over His people as chronicled in the
Book of Judges. We also see that one responsibility of the prophets
was to declare God's judgment to the people (Judges
4:4; II Samuel 12:1-12; Micah 3:1-8; Malachi 4:4; Hosea 6:5).
In Ezra 7:25, it states that those who judge serve two purposes:
1). To judge those who know the law; and 2). To teach the law to
those who do not know.
Scripture also shows that God considers the exercise of judgement
to be evidence of our seeking truth (Jeremiah
5:1). The fact that the desire to judge righteously
is highly esteemed by God is clearly illustrated in I Kings 3:9-13.
In verse 9, King Solomon asks, "Give therefore thy servant
an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between
good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?"
We see here that Solomon asked God for discernment to judge
between good and bad. This request not only pleased the Lord, but
God blessed Solomon greatly for asking for the wisdom to judge.
In the New Testament, we continue to see that God expects us to
exercise judgement. Jesus Himself criticized the Pharisees for being
unable to judge the spiritual things of God and the importance of
judging spiritual matters continued to be stressed throughout His
disciples' ministries (Matthew 16:3;
Luke 12:56-57; John 7:24; Acts 4:19; I Corinthians 2:15; I Corinthians
5:3; I Corinthians 6:2-5; I Corinthians 10:15; I Corinthians 14:29;
Hebrews 5:14). Further, we are told that it is to our shame
if there is none among us who can judge the things of God. God also
states that judgement is considered one of the weightier aspects
of God's law, even more than offerings (Matthew
23:23; Luke 11:14).
When citing God's "command" not to judge, people often
refer to Matthew 7:1, however, let's look at the complete Scripture
in context. "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with
what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure
ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou
the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam
that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let
me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in
thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine
own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out
of thy brother's eye." (Matthew
Jesus clearly says do not judge so that you will not be judged,
but to whom is He speaking? He identifies His audience in verse
5 with the words "Thou hypocrite." Jesus is not
forbiding Christians to judge (unless He is calling every Christian
a hypocrite). He is warning that we will be held accountable for
what we know. In other words, if we know enough about sinful behavior
to tell others that it is wrong, then we have no excuse as to why
that sin would be present in our lives. This is consistent with
Paul's advice in I Corinthians 11:31-32 that we judge ourselves
first so that we will not be judged. As Jesus says in verse 5, we
should cast the beam out of our own eye and then we are in position
to point out the fault to others.
In truth, God does not forbid us to judge, but He sets up conditions
wherein we must judge.
How Are We to Judge?
The primary stipulation given for Christians regarding judging
is that we are not to proclaim our own judgements (based on our
opinions) but to pronounce the judgements of God (based on truth).
Jesus serves as the best example in this manner. "I can
of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment
is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father
which hath sent me." (John
Here Jesus confirms that all true judgement comes from God alone,
but He also sets forth the criteria for what constitutes just
judgements. Jesus says that because He places His will in subjection
to God the Father, He is able to hear God's words and
be sent by God to pronounce His judgements. Again
in John 8:15-16 Jesus asserts that only judgements that come from
God are true, "Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but
I and the Father that sent me."
This is the pattern for how we are commanded to judge righteously,
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous
judgment." (John 7:24).
We must have our will in subjection to God's which enables us
to know God's words and allows us to be sent by God to others with
Scripture also shows that God has given us His Spirit to specifically
fulfill these purposes in man (among other things), thereby allowing
righteous judgements to be pronounced by man.
* The Spirit Engenders Obedience to the Father
In Acts 5:32, we see that having our will in subjection to God as
our Father is a requirement for receiving the Holy Spirit, "And
we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost,
whom God hath given to them that obey him." Also
Romans 8:14-16; Galatians 4:6; I Peter 1:22; and I John 3:24.
* The Spirit Reveals God's Words to Us
We are also told that the Holy Spirit will reveals the words of
the Father to us as He leads us into all truth. "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 come."
Additional references include John
16:13; Luke 2:26; John 14:26; Acts 13:2; I Corinthians 2:10-14;
and Ephesians 1:17.
* The Spirit Sends God's People to Accomplish God's Work
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed
me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the
brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering
of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." (Luke
4:18-19; Also Acts 13:4)
* The Spirit Places the Words of God in Our Mouths
"For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for
God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." (John
3:34). There are other references
like Matthew 10:20; Matthew 12:18; Luke 12:11-12; Mark 12:36; Mark
13:11; Acts 1:16; Acts 2:4; Acts 2:17; Acts 4:31; Acts 21:11; Acts
28:25; I Corinthians 2:4; I Corinthians 2:13; and II Peter 1:21.
The Word of God also states that one of the gifts of the Spirit
is that of discernment (I Corinthians
12:10). In fact, this is the same discernment that is cited
as an evidence of one's maturity in God in Hebrews 5:12-14, "For
when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one
teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of
God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong
meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of
righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to
them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have
their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
Through the Spirit of God, man is able to hear God's words and
proclaim His judgements righteously. "But he that is spiritual
judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man." (I
What Are the Restrictions
Although Scripture shows that God expects, equips, and commands
man to judge, there are stipulations that govern this decree.
We must not be hypocrites when judging others. God states
that when we judge others for committing sins that we partake in,
we are condemning ourselves. (Matthew
7:1-5; Luke 6:37-42; Romans 2:1-5; Romans 2:20-23) This is
clearly depicted in God's judgement of David for the killing of
Uriah. The prophet Nathan approached David for judgement regarding
a story of a rich man that had stolen from a poor man. Yet, after
David pronounces his judgement, Nathan's words were"Thou
art the man..." (II Samuel 12:1-7)
This is what God is warning us. We will be measured by the same
yardstick with which we measure others.
We are also told not to judge according to appearances or by
the flesh (John 7:24; John 8:15;
James 2:1-4). This means that sound judgement cannot be based
on what we see, hear, or think. Since God's thoughts and ways are
are higher than ours, He is not bound by our perceptions, opinions,
or prejudices. This again is a confirmation that God alone is The
Judge. Our judgements must therefore be based in His word in order
for them to be true.
We are not to judge others regarding legalistic adherence to
ordinances such as holyday (holiday) observances and what to
eat or drink, for such are only matters of faith (Romans
14:1-23; I Corinthians 8:7-13; I Corinthians 10:28-33; Colossians
2:16-23). Scripture states that in Christ we have liberty
which frees us from the law of sin and death (Luke
4:18; Romans 8:21; I Corinthians 10:29; II Corinthians 3:17; Galatians
2:4; Galatians 5:1, 13; James 1:25; James 2:12; I Peter 2:16; ).
This is the same liberty that allows Paul to say, "All things
are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things
are lawful for me, but all things edify not." (I
Corinthians 10:23) Although the Son has made us free, we
can only walk in this liberty to the degree that we have faith in
God. This is why we are told to be "fully persuaded in our
own minds" because "whatever is not done in faith
is sin." (Romans 14:5, 23)
If someone - whom the Scripture describes as having weaker faith
- chooses to adhere to such ordinances, they are doing so as unto
the Lord. To judge them is to place a stumbling block before them
because you are attempting to get them to commit what in their minds
is sin. (Romans 14:13; Romans 9:32)
This is why we are warned, "But take heed lest by any means
this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak."
(I Corinthians 8:9) Likewise,
those who are walking in the liberty of Christ should not be judged
by those who choose to adhere to such ordinances. As stated in I
Corinthians 10:29-30, "Conscience, I say, not thine own,
but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's
conscience? For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken
of for that for which I give thanks?" Those who make judgements
in these areas are mistaking matters of faith for matters of doctrine.
We should not judge anyone's eternal destiny. Although we
will judge the truth (in ourselves, in others and in doctrine) based
on the Word of God, only God can bring about the consequences of
His judgements: justification for the righteous and condemnation
for the wicked (I Kings 8:32; II
Chronicles 6:23). I Corinthians 4:3-5 states,
"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.
For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but
he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the
time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden
things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts:
and then shall every man have praise of God."
Here Paul says that although he will be judged by his brethren,
justification can only occur from the Lord and will only be known
at Jesus' second coming. God alone knows the end of the matter from
We should not base judgements on malicious lies or evil misrepresentations.
"Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh
evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the
law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not
a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able
to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?"
(James 4:11-12) To speak evil
of in this Scripture is the Greek word Katalaleo
which means to malign, vilify, or traduce. It means exposing someone
to contempt or shame based on false witness. This is why James says
that such judgements are actually judgements of the law, because
false testimony is a perversion of the law. Obviously, we should
not judge others under these conditions. It should also be noted
that these are the circumstances under which Jesus was judged by
the religious leaders of His day (Matthew
26:59-66; Mark 14:55-64). They sought false witnesses by
which they could judge Him for blasphemy. Further, we are warned
that as Christians, we should expect to be subjected to these same
"evil" judgements by the world. "Having a good
conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers,
they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in
Christ." (I Peter 3:16,
also I Peter 2:12)
Why Are We To Judge?
According to the Bible, the act of judging righteously is a benefit
to the individual Christian and to the body of believers as a whole.
Judging helps to sanctify the individual believer, prepares us to
do the work of God, protects us from heretical doctrine that jeopardizes
our faith, makes us an effective witness for Christ, and is a demonstration
of God's grace to others.
Judge Ones' Self
"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
Judging ones' self with the Word of God is a key part of the process
of sanctification through which every believer proceeds. This is
why we are told to examine ourselves to see if we be in the faith.
(II Corinthians 13:5) This
is not simply an act of casual reflection. God is charging us,
"Judge yourself to see if you really are what you
claim!" Does the fruit of our lives attest to the words
of our lips? Although we proclaim to be Christians, do our day-to-day
lives line up to the Word of God? Christ has come in direct opposition
to the god of this world, the Father of lies. To combat the lies,
Jesus presents us with incorruptible Truth. It is only by submitting
to this Truth that the Spirit of God can be a lamp unto our feet,
searching out our souls and turning our stony hearts into hearts
of flesh. (Psalms 119; Acts 26:18;
Romans 15:16; Ephesians 5:26-27; I Corinthians 6:11; II Corinthians
3:3; I Thessalonians 5:23; II Thessalonians 2:13; I Peter 1:2, 22)
Sanctification is not a one time, immediate change that occurs
when we accept Christ. It is a process of being cleansed through
the washing of the water by the word whereby we can be transformed
into the image of God as we walk in relationship with Him. It is
this process of judging ones' self that prompted David to cry out,
"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my
thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me
in the way everlasting." (Psalms
As we judge our own selves in the light of God's word we continue
in the process of sanctification, which is the will of God for every
Christian. "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification,
that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should
know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour."
(I Thessalonians 4:3-4) In
fact, the Apostle Paul said that if we would simply judge ourselves,
we will not be condemned when God judges us. "For if we
would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are
judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned
with the world." (I Corinthians
Not only does judging one's self keep you in a place of being sanctified
by God, it is only then that we are made fit for the Master's use.
"If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be
a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use,
and prepared unto every good work." (II
Today, the judging of doctrine is predominately taking one of two
extremes. Many refuse to judge anything for fear of being called
divisive. Still others cause senseless disputations by making everything
a matter of doctrine; judging others in legalistic areas that are
not germane to salvation. However, Romans 16:17 makes it clear not
only what constitutes a division, but how to treat those who cause
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions
and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and
First, this Scripture does not say to simply mark those
who cause divisions or offenses (although this is what many who
will say not to judge would like us to believe). It says to mark
those who cause divisions or offenses by espousing doctrine that
is contrary to Scripture. This is an important distinction
because it implies that there are divisions or offenses that are
not contrary to Scripture. In fact, Scripture itself can
be such a division or offense. We are told that the Word of God
is a sword dividing the wheat from the chaff, both within the inner
being of an individual and between individuals. (Ephesians
6:17; Hebrews 4:12; Matthew 10:34-36) Further, both the written
and the incarnate Word of God are referred to as a rock of offense
(Romans 9:33; I Peter 2:7-8)
Every Christian needs to settle in their minds that the Word of
God will be considered divisive and offensive by those who rebel
against God. If you have determined that you will not "judge"
so as to avoid these accusations, then you have essentially chosen
not to be a witness for Christ.
"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue
in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them
that hear thee." (I Timothy
In the above Scripture, we are warned to "take heed"
for not only our own selves but for the doctrine. In other words,
God is saying to pay attention to, watch out for, take care of the
doctrine. Why? Because not all doctrine is sound doctrine. In fact,
we are told specifically that devils also have doctrines.
(I Timothy 4:1; Revelation 2:14-15; Revelation 2:24) It
is precisely because there are these other "gospels" that
we are warned to hold fast to what was given to us originally. (II
Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6-7;Titus 1:9; II Peter 3:1-13; I
Timothy 1:6-7; Romans 6:17; Acts 2:42; Revelation 3:3) Yet,
the only way that we can hold fast to the Gospel is if we can discern
or judge between the true and the false. (Hebrews
5:13-14) Once again, the Word of God is presented as the
standard for such an evaluation (Romans
6:17; Romans 16:17; II Thessalonians 2:15; I Timothy 1:3; II Timothy
1:13; II Timothy 3:13-17; II Timothy 4:2; II Peter 3:1-13; II John
1:10; Titus 1:9; Matthew 15:3-6). Why is judging doctrine
so important? Because there are doctrines that can jeopardize your
faith and even your salvation. "Whosoever transgresseth,
and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.
He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father
and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine,
receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For
he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."
(II John 1:9-11)
I Timothy 4:16 also states that it is not only important to take
heed to the doctrine but to continue in it. This is precisely
the type of problem that the Apostle Paul was addressing in Galatians
1:6-7, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that
called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is
not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert
the gospel of Christ." We are further warned that in the
last days these doctrines of devils will be more prevalent and persuasive
than ever, even to the point of deceiving the elect of God - if
it were possible to do so. (Matthew
10:11; Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22; II Thessalonians 2:3; I Timothy
4:1-5; II Timothy 4:3-4)
Lastly, I Timothy 4:16 reveals that by taking heed for and continuing
in sound doctrine we will not only see salvation ourselves, but
so will those to whom we witness. Conversely, as supported in II
John 1:9-11, not continuing in sound doctrine results in us believing
and spreading a perverted gospel that is powerless to save.
"Beloved, believe not every
spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many
false prophets are gone out into the world."
(I John 4:1)
While perhaps not verbatim, the above sentiments are often expressed
when the subject of judging one another is raised. Yet these views
are not only ludicrous, Scripture directly refutes such claims.
claims to be a minister or even a Christian must be believed
by virtue of their confession. As brothers and sisters in the
Lord, we must not question or judge one another because God alone
is our judge. If someone is in error, it is not for us to point
it out. After all, no one has it all right and God will correct
them if they are wrong. To judge another person is not only unloving,
but is against Scripture.
Not Everyone Who Says "Lord, Lord" Is Your Brother
The Word of God continually warns about the presence of false prophets
in the world. Even more disarming, Scripture tells us that these
deceivers will be mixed in with the church itself. (Matthew
13:24-40; Acts 20:29-31; II Timothy 2:20-21; II Timothy 4:3; II
Timothy 3:13; Matthew 7:15; Matthew 24:11, 24; Mark 13:22; II Corinthians
11:4; Philippians 3:18-19; Galatians 2:4; II Peter 2:1) "For
such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves
into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is
transformed into an angel of light. 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." (II
Corinthians 11:13-15) God is telling us that there are ministers
of Satan in the church who are actually transformed so that they
appear as ministers of righteousness! We are even told that some
of these false ministers will have Satanic power to perform supernatural
signs, wonders, healings, and other miraculous events. (Matthew
24:24; Mark 13:22; II Thessalonians 2:9).
Throughout Scripture, God warns us about these false prophets,
false brethren, false apostles, etc. Is His direction for us to
accept these individuals without question in a show of love? No.
God is no fool and He knows that the intent of these individuals
is to pull you out of the faith. (II
Peter 2:1-22) The end times, we are told, will be specifically
marked by a great apostacy as people are drawn away after false
gospels. As a result, God commands us to judge whether they in fact
are members of the Body of Christ, discern the signs, try the spirits,
examine the fruit and be purged from these! (I
Corinthians 5:7; II Corinthians 6:14-17; Ephesians 5:11; I Timothy
6:5; II Timothy 2:21; II Thessalonians 3:6; Titus 3:10) How
do we identify false brethren? Because they preach and live a gospel
that is a perversion of the Word of God. (Isaiah
8:20) Scripture not only tells us how to identify the false,
but it shows us how to recognize the true Body of Christ? We know
them by their fruit. (Matthew 7:16-20;
Matthew 12:33; Matthew 13:23; Matthew 21:19-43; Mark 4:8, 20; Luke
6:44; Luke 8:15; John 15:1-16; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 5:9-11;
Do You Not Judge Them That Are Within?
As Christians, we are not only engrafted into the family of God,
but we are made a part of a spiritual family of brothers and sisters
with whom we can fellowship, learn, share, and grow in the faith.
We have been birthed into a body of believers who can encourage,
strengthen, support, and yes even admonish each other when necessary.
"And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that
ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also
to admonish one another." (Romans
15:14) Webster's defines admonish as "to express warning
or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous
manner." Although some in the church would say that we should
not even do that, there are Scriptures that show this as one of
the responsibilities of the church. (Colossians
3:16; I Thessalonians 5:12; Acts 27:9) In fact, we are specifically
told to admonish and rebuke those brethren who may be in error (Titus
1:13; Titus 2:15; Titus 3:10; Ephesians 5:11; Colossians 3:16; I
Corinthians 4:14; IITim. 3:16-4:2; II Timothy 4:2). "But
ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. And if any man obey not
our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with
him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but
admonish him as a brother." (II
The Bible even shows that it is sometimes necessary to specifically
name those who are erring in the faith in order to protect others
whom they may influence. "But shun profane and vain babblings:
for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will
eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning
the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already:
and overthrow the faith of some." (II
Timothy 2:16-Also I Timothy 1:19-20; I Timothy 5:20-21; II Timothy
4:10; Galatians 2: 11-14; II Timothy 4: 14-15; III John 1:9)
When a brother or sister is in error, it is an extension of God's
grace and mercy to have another member of the Body provide correction.
This gives the one in error an opportunity to repent and it serves
as a witness for others in the faith. Letting a brother or sister
continue in error is the most unloving and self-righteous act, because
it allows them to continue in something that may result in them
falling away from the Lord. Our fellowship with each other is but
one of the ways in which God helps to steer us in the right direction
when we go astray.