As Christians We Must Judge Righteously

Judge Righteously

As Christians We Must Judge Righteously

As Christians we do not judge a person’s life, i.e., sin, because we are all sinners (Matt 7:1)., we judge righteously according to the Word of God.  The Bible commands us to judge fellow Christians teachings and their fruit. Those in the church we are to judge according to the Word of God. Those outside of the church we show them the error of their ways, preach the gospel to them and then leave them in God’s hands. We are also commanded to judge/test their teachings/doctrine to make sure it is correct and that it ties up with scripture.

There are many verses in the bible where we are told to JUDGE/TEST:

1 Thessalonians 5:21 (Amplified Bible)

21But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good; [to that] hold fast.

Matthew 7:15-20 (Amplified Bible)

15Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves.

16You will fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?

17Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit.

18A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear [excellent fruit [worthy of admiration].

19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.

20Therefore, you will fully know them by their fruits.

1 Corinthians 5:12-13 (Amplified Bible)

12What [business] of mine is it and what right have I to judge outsiders? Is it not those inside [the church] upon whom you are to pass disciplinary judgment [passing censuring sentence on them as the facts require]?

13God alone sits in judgment on those who are outside. Drive out that wicked one from among you [expel him from your church].

1 Corinthians 14:29 (Amplified Bible)

29 So let two or three prophets speak [those inspired to preach or teach], while the rest pay attention and weigh and discern what is said.

John 7:24 (Amplified Bible)

24Be honest in your judgment and do not decide at a glance (superficially and by appearances); but judge fairly and righteously.

Titus 1:9-16 (Amplified Bible)

9He must hold fast to the sure and trustworthy Word of God as he was taught it, so that he may be able both to give stimulating instruction and encouragement in sound (wholesome) doctrine and to refute and convict those who contradict and oppose it [showing the wayward their error].

10For there are many disorderly and unruly men who are idle (vain, empty) and misleading talkers and self-deceivers and deceivers of others. [This is true] especially of those of the circumcision party [who have come over from Judaism].

11Their mouths must be stopped, for they are mentally distressing and subverting whole families by teaching what they ought not to teach, for the purpose of getting base advantage and disreputable gain.

12One of their [very] number, a prophet of their own, said, Cretans are always liars, hurtful beasts, idle and lazy gluttons.

13And this account of them is [really] true. Because it is [true], rebuke them sharply [deal sternly, even severely with them], so that they may be sound in the faith and free from error,

14[And may show their soundness by] ceasing to give attention to Jewish myths and fables or to rules [laid down] by [mere] men who reject and turn their backs on the Truth.

15To the pure [in heart and conscience] all things are pure, but to the defiled and corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are defiled and polluted.

16They profess to know God [to recognize, perceive, and be acquainted with Him], but deny and disown and renounce Him by what they do; they are detestable and loathsome, unbelieving and disobedient and disloyal and rebellious, and [they are] unfit and worthless for good work (deed or enterprise) of any kind.

1 John 4 (Amplified Bible)

1BELOVED, DO not put faith in every spirit, but prove (test) the spirits to discover whether they proceed from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world.

See article:

Please share:

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

Name or Username
Terms and Conditions

After commenting you have 15 minutes to EDIT your comment. Click the gear comment-gear at the bottom right corner of the comment box, then click EDIT.

Recent Comments Section: The last page of most recent comments is displayed first. Please read all previous comment pages if there are any. Thank you.
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Thank you so much for this! So often we are condemned for judging, I can make use of this as confirmation when explaining the difference between judging people and actions.


Burning Lamp

Thank you Debs – this is one of the most misunderstood concepts in Christianity. As a result, false teachings go unjudged and leaven is spread. Ironically, those who try to alert others about them are judged divisive, critical and unloving no matter how gently and respectfully the facts are presented.


Hi Deborah

I was also reading from Corinthian last night and this morning – ‘nogals’ studying Cor 4 to 6 in depth to measure and judge myself and my own actions and feelings towards things currently going on in the world. I actually start reading my Bible from the front again each when I come to the end and God is so true – He knows when I am going to need some answer or when I am going to be at some crisis in my life because at that time I’ll be at the answer He has for me for that time. He is my HERO.

Another thing while on the judging righteously topic. I ‘happened upon’ 8^) the order of the Eastern Star in a secular book I started reading and it prompted me to do some research about it. Have you ever researched it? The thing that caught my attention was the name Esther – the Esther conferences immediately came to mind. I’ve heard about them but do not know excactly what is is about. Can there possibly be a connection and reason for concern?

Have a stunning Sunday and God Bless!


Absolutely,if there was nobody who could correctly discern truth from error, there would be no true church left.

I still think that we are too kind in calling out false teachers.

Jesus did not mince words in his dealings with the Pharisees. It was more like a slowly simmering situation which boiled over in Jesus calling them “hypocrites” and “snakes”.

My last experience of the local C3 Church was noticing one of the ushers who was clearly anointed by the Spirit of God.
After the service, the “Pastor”, greeted me with an edge to his tone and looked at me with the blackest eyes.

I never called him a snake, I decided to be less confrontational.


Deborah, you know, I pray daily for a spirit of discernment simply because I do not want to make the things I research a witch hunt and my wish is to stay objective and realistic about everything. But then, for some reason, something like this jumps at me and I start digging. I mean, a secular book led me to research this. My walk with God led me to realize exactly how mysterious Gods ways with us are. We know satan is using even the church to lead us astray so when I read about the goddesses of the Eastern Star and saw Esthers’ name (which is actually the goddess Hebe) the Esther conferences jumped to mind. Why? To unsettle my Sunday? 8^) I do not know hence my question on this site. I found many answers here when I was searching – heck, I even found a few I wasn’t searching for that shocked me out of my socks and had me in tears in the middle of the night! Hopefully this one is a false bell but knowing how active, influential and powerful the masons are in our churches the bell SO does not want to be silenced. 8^) Maybe it will calm down tomorrow but if not and there is a link I’d really like to warn people out there about it. I have friends and family who attended these conferences, were really impressed and cannot wait for the next.

God bless!!!


Hi Deborah

Yes, I’m aware of the fact that we have the Holy Spirit residing in us and I cannot thank God enough for that privilege – I never want to be without Him. What I pray for is that I’ll always stay aware of the fact that the discerning Spirit I know I have is Him, stay humble about it never become self-righteous. I believe there is also an enormous responsibility connected to the Spirit of discernment – especially if we want to use what we learn to warn other people.

God Bless and njoy your day!

Chris De Wet

Hi Deborah. Good to have this site and your input on judging is important and very relevant today – especially today.

There are however Scriptures telling us to judge sin in other peoples lives – so aught we to be judged and correctedin turn. For instance reading 1Cor.5 – 6 we read about Paul’s dismay regarding the brother in adultery with his father’s wife. Paul rebukes the Corinthians for not Judging this brother. 1Co 6:5 “I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?”

In Matthew 7 the context is that of a hypocrite in other words being guilty of the same sin, one dare not judge another. In verse 5 the order is for the hipocrite to FIRST remove the beam from his own eye – THEN he is able to see the mote in the other’s eye. That is also what the Greek word Hypocretes denotes.

We dare not judge someone else if we are guilty of the same sin. Paul would not have been in a position to force such harsh judgment upon the person in 1Cor.5 if he was himself guilty of adultery.

I suppose this is why a bishop is supposed to be blameless.

May we stay in the hands of the Lord

Elmarie A

Rista wrote:

I’ll always stay aware of the fact that the discerning Spirit I know I have is Him, stay humble about it never become self-righteous. I believe there is also an enormous responsibility connected to the Spirit of discernment – especially if we want to use what we learn to warn other people.

Just to clear things up if I may Rista. There is no such thing as “the discerning Spirit” it is infact the abbility to be able to discern the good from evil or truth from lie. It forms part of the gifts God bestowed on believers. It is not a spirit by it self please understand this clearly.

1 Corinthians 12:10 (King James Version)
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

1 Corinthians 12:10 (Amplified Bible)
10 To another the working of miracles, to another prophetic insight ([a]the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose); to another the ability to discern and distinguish between [the utterances of true] spirits [and false ones], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, to another the ability to interpret [such] tongues.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
12:1-11 Spiritual gifts were extraordinary powers bestowed in the first ages, to convince unbelievers, and to spread the gospel. Gifts and graces greatly differ. Both were freely given of God. But where grace is given, it is for the salvation of those who have it. Gifts are for the advantage and salvation of others; and there may be great gifts where there is no grace. The extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit were chiefly exercised in the public assemblies, where the Corinthians seem to have made displays of them, wanting in the spirit of piety, and of Christian love. While heathens, they had not been influenced by the Spirit of Christ. No man can call Christ Lord, with believing dependence upon him, unless that faith is wrought by the Holy Ghost. No man could believe with his heart, or prove by a miracle, that Jesus was Christ, unless by the Holy Ghost. There are various gifts, and various offices to perform, but all proceed from one God, one Lord, one Spirit; that is, from the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the origin of all spiritual blessings. No man has them merely for himself. The more he profits others, the more will they turn to his own account. The gifts mentioned appear to mean exact understanding, and uttering the doctrines of the Christian religion; the knowledge of mysteries, and skill to give advice and counsel. Also the gift of healing the sick, the working of miracles, and to explain Scripture by a peculiar gift of the Spirit, and ability to speak and interpret languages. If we have any knowledge of the truth, or any power to make it known, we must give all the glory of God. The greater the gifts are, the more the possessor is exposed to temptations, and the larger is the measure of grace needed to keep him humble and spiritual; and he will meet with more painful experiences and humbling dispensations. We have little cause to glory in any gifts bestowed on us, or to despise those who have them not.

Elmarie A

Rista wrote:

I pray daily for a spirit of discernment simply because I do not want to make the things I research a witch hunt and my wish is to stay objective and realistic about everything.

Again may I give you some advise. Rather pray that the truth is revealed to you by the Holy Spirit if it is the will of God. One cannot pray for “a spirit of discernment” there no spirit of discernment. Also as explained in my comment above.

Burning Lamp

There is a “discerning of spirits” gifting that is apparently a special ability given to certain believers to be able to sniff out error and get a check in their spirit and are among the first to spot red flags.

Of course everyone has discernment if we will but exercise it, but this gifting seems to be a different thing. Can someone elaborate a bit?


Girls, I do not think you understand what I meant. When I talk of a ‘spirit of discernment’ I do not talk about a spirit as such. I talk about the ability God gives us through the Holy Spirit in us to discern right from wrong, good from evil. Same way I talk of a ‘spirit of compassion’, ‘spirit of empathy’, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. As you said, it is a gift from God and part of your being.

Enjoy the day and God Bless!!!


Hi Deborah,

I do not personally know any of the great people together with you that run DTW, posting these informative articles, and comments, in line with the teaching of the Word, but i feel the connection!
I’ve sent you an e-mail, regarding close family, that has been led astray recently, that i need info on. Should you want to edit/paste it, I’m okay, an E-mail will do just fine, Ingels is good. ; )


It is exactly because I do not want to “sit by the sideline watching people go to hell” that I have asked these questions. Maybe my questions seemed like an attack. If so, please forgive me. That was not the intention.

To me, your response seemed like an attack. Maybe that was just my interpretation and not your attention. If so, again, please forgive me.

I do not think anyone of us on this earth know the meaming of TRUE LOVE. It is all you say. It is also all Gal 6:22 says. And, it is also to love another (not yet saved) enough to die for them. Let each one of us then ask ourselves if we are prepared to die for those disagreeing with us. When using that as measure, I still have a far way to go in becoming like Jesus.

Just one last question, I am looking for the article you promised here:

A Message of Faith – Retha McPherson (WARNING!!! Retha’s son does not hear from God. Article pending.)



I am sorry to hear that you hav enot been well and glad to know that you are better!

On Retah: I have read one of her books and listened to some of her cd’s. I thought they were scripturally correct and rather bold – calling Christians to do the hard things (look inside our own hearts). At least, that was what I got from ot. I did not pick up anything in those that left me uneasy. You disagree. If you could just briefly exaplin why I would appreciate it.


You are going to need patience with me here as I try to understand. I have not seen evidence of Retah believing these things. Could you point me to some? The last article, if I understood it correctly, refers to a belief that only whites can be saved? This (to me) seems to contradict the book of Retah’s I have read.

I assumed that Aldo could have been saved prior to the accident or that God could have intervened at that time. My son is 12 years old, my daughter 9. Both have given their hearts to God some time ago already. I do not know that they are saved because they were dedicated to God, but because they chose Him. Could this not have been the case for Aldo?

I wasn’t bothered by the fact that Aldo calls the Holy Spirit “Wisdom” since that is one of the descriptions the Bible use for him. I am aware of Satan’s age-old attempts at counterfeiting God, including the kundalini spirit. Would Satan teach repentance and forgiveness and blessing those who wrong you though?

Sorry, as I said, patience ….


I have obviously asked for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as I read the book and listened to some of her other teachings and have done some research as I came across the accusations against her. And, I will continue to seek God’s guidance on this matter.

As I was pondering this, a question came up. How do we discern between false teachers (wolves in sheep’s clothes who willingly lead people astray for their own gain) and spirit filled, born again Christians who make fleshly, human errors (in judgement, interpretation, whatever – as we all do)? The latter, I believe, we have to correct (not expose). In love.

A post by Elmarie then caught my attention. In this, she quotes (from another website) three ways of testing whether someone displays the fruit of the Spirit, namely:
1) What does this teacher say about Jesus?
2) Does this teacher preach the gospel?
3) Does this teacher exhibit character qualities that glorify the Lord?

This is indeed very helpful, and I will use it in future.

I started reading Retah’s third book a while back, but never read the last chapter, leaving it for a time I could really pay attention. I never knew why. Tonight, I decided to read it in order to apply above test to it. What I read most certainly passed all three of these tests. Also, the entire nature of this book contradicts the idea that she beliefs in “Britsh Isrealism”.

I found it intriguing that in my search (starting with her website and book), three times, I found references to God’s love and warnings against hardened hearts. I will continue to ask God to clarify this matter for me, because I would hate to condemn one of His own through a flawed judgement.


I’m not sure I am understanding the bit about error and truth. Don’t we all err at times? Surely there’s a difference between making a mistake (which we all have) and wilfully misleading people for personal gain (false teaching)?

None of us are without mistakes. That is what I read James 3 (the message – or warning – to teachers) to mean, amongst others: “And none of us is perfectly qualified. We get it wrong nearly every time we open our mouths. If you could find someone whose speech was perfectly true, you’d have a perfect person, in perfect control of life.”

I am sorry if I am trying people’s patience as I am trying to understand. I am trying to figure the following out for myself:

The difference between false teaching and error
How I will know (be able to discern) what is truth and what is not. Of course the Bible is my guide. So, if someone teaches what is in the Bible, I furthermore ask the Holy Spirit for guidance through His inner peace. What else can/ should I use?

In my own life, I am not too concerned. I follow Jesus, not any teacher. Though teachers have helped me understand some things better, I could see error in all their lives as in my own. Though I will judge their actions, I am usually not too hasty to judge/condemn them, given my own flaws. I know we are to warn people of false teaching, but I think that is something different.

I don’t know. Maybe someone other than poor Deborah, who I have kept rather busy here, can shed some light on this for me?

1 2 3
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x