When do Christians have the freedom to do something, and when should we judge someone? Because of God’s grace the Christian has freedom, but we must not abuse our freedom and cause another to stumble. Here are the guidelines to our freedom that Paul gave to the Corinthian Church:
1. Will my freedom lead to slavery (1Cor. 6:12)
2. Will my freedom make me a stumbling block or a stepping-stone (8:13)?
3. Will my freedom build me up or tear me down (10:23)?
4. Will my freedom only please me, or will they glorify Christ (10:31)?
5. Will my freedom help win the lost to Christ or turn them away (10:33)?
The way we use our freedom and relate to others indicates whether we are mature in Christ or not.
If there comes an instance when you must judge then here is a guideline for judging that is based on Matt. 7:1-6:
1. Do not judge if you struggle with the same sin.
2. Do not judge if you struggle with a secret sin.
3. Do not judge if God has not spoken clearly.
4. Do not judge a non-Christian by Christian standards.
When you do judge:
Judge when God has spoken on a subject.
Judge what God says to judge.
Judge in God’s way.
Remember this thought about judging, which I have found to be true. The chief judgment that we have against somebody is actually the chief compliment that we have about our self.
Freedom and Judging,
One of Paul’s greatest statements is, “We wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were save” (Rom 8:23b-24a). He writes of creation that is one day released from its bondage of corruption that spoils, mars, and ruins the world the children of God now live in.
Until that day of release we groan within ourselves waiting. Waiting for our adoption to be completed, the redemption of our body, and the ultimate change into what we are to be. Paul to the Philippians put it this way, “[Christ] will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” (3:21).
Our hope is set on Christ, but not so for the atheist. The atheist looks at the world’s problem and asks, “Who is God? What is God doing? Does God care? And when they do not receive the answer they seek state, “God does not exist.” Suppose there is no God. What then? If there is no God, then who created these problems we face? The problems are turned back on the atheist, for if there is no God, it is man’s problem, and if it is man’s problem then there is no answer, and there is no hope.
We are all aware of the world’s sorrows, the dangers threatening our lives, the perils of wealth, the persistence of pain, the failure and despair many face. But we have hope, and our hope is in the one God has sent, and by this hope we are saved.