WHAT IS A “RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT”?
The Bible does say 'by their fruits shall ye know them.' and it also says:
John 7:24 (KJV)
Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
We are to notice failures and sins, but we are to be careful not to be just judgmental, looking to create wrong, when we cannot find real wrong. All of us are imperfect. All of us have sinned and failed God. That should temper our observation of others failures.
John 8:7 (KJV)
So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
Therefore, as Jesus shows, we are not to be condemning motes, we are to be helping to remove motes. We exhort, and preach the truth, the truth of the grace and mercy of God.
INSPECT the FRUIT
Galatians 5:22-25 (KJV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
If a person is saved, he/she will have the fruit of the Spirit. ‘All things became new’ when one was saved, and ‘old things passed away.’ Proof of salvation is the fruit. We are not to judge and condemn, we are to inspect for fruit, to determine if one is saved. If in ‘fruit inspection’, we find no fruit, we need to love the sinner, preach the gospel, and get them truly saved.
The fruit of the Spirit is Holy Spirit produced. It is with purpose that Paul uses the word "Spirit", to denote that these fruit do not flow from our own nature. The virtues which he enumerates are produced only by the person of the Holy Spirit. Hence Paul does not let it be thought that they can come from our own hearts, even when regenerated.
What is in this ‘fruit’ that is to be looked for?
This love is one that is for God and for other persons. On the meaning of the word love, 1 Corinthians 13:1 was written, and embodies far more than mankind could ever create.
In the love of God there will be joy. By the pardon of salvation from our sins, there comes a communion with the Redeemer. As we begin to serve Him, the joy continues.
This comes with realization of the reconciliation with God.
Romans 5:1 (KJV)
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
When we are in affliction and trial, and when injured by others, we choose now to suffer long, and not to seek to retaliate.
1 Corinthians 13:4 (KJV)
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
The word means goodness, kindness, benignity; unlike the harsh, mean temper. It is a mildness of temper, calmness of disposition, a politeness. The Holy Spirit sweetens the irritable; makes the heart kind; disposes us to make those near to us as happy as we can. This is a kind of politeness which is only authored by the Spirit.
This is the disposition to benefit others.
Romans 15:14 (KJV)
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.
This is a fidelity, a faithful person to his word and promises, a person who can be trusted. The Holy Spirit makes a person faithful to neighbour, to friend, mate, to child. All pretensions to being Spirit filled and to not have fidelity are deceitful.
This is the taking of offences as though they were not cumbersome. It is the accepting of the troubles in life, as though they are all going to ‘work together for good.’
This is self-control. It is derived from strength; and has reference to the power evil passions of all kinds. It speaks of self-rule of a person over the evil desires of his nature. We often think of abstinence from intoxicating drinks, but the word is much more extended in meaning. Temperance is dominion over all evil desires, a moderation to all indulgences, as well as abstinence from alcohol. Temperance makes a person moderate in all indulgences; teaches that person to restrain his passions, and to govern and to control his evil tendencies.
There is no law of God against these fruit. These things in a person should never be condemned. Law condemns sin and sin only. Those with the fruit of the Spirit are not sinning when they have the fruit of the Spirit. They have crucified the flesh, have yielded to the Spirit’s control. The Spirit has therefore put these fruit upon the ‘dead stick’ that is our life. We now have life.
If we live in the Spirit, we are under the influence of these ‘fruit’ from the Spirit. Let our sins of intention cease, and if we fail, let it be unintentional, and be quickly repented. We profess not to be under the influence of the flesh; and to not be controlled by its appetites. Let us yield ourselves to his influences, and show that we are controlled by that Spirit.
THERE IS FRUIT IN EVERY CHILD OF GOD,
OR THEY ARE NOT A CHILD OF GOD.
John 15:1-11 (KJV)
I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman.
Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in hm, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.
If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
If ye abide in Me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.
As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love.
If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love.
These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Jesus is the True Vine. We, when attached to the true vine, produce fruit, and if there is no fruit, it is cast away. There are many false vines, that produce wild grapes. They are evil, lead astray, have no truth to their message of being the way to heaven. Only in Jesus do we find the True Vine. Only by being a branch on His vine can we bring forth fruit worthy of consuming. Only by being attached to Him, the True Vine, will be not be cut off and thrown into fire. Jesus is the only Way. He is the source of all Truth. In Him only can we have Life. Being in Christ as the True Vine will we bring forth good fruit.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Being attached to Jesus, as a Christian, having our eternal life Source being He and He alone, we should bring forth fruit, good fruit. Everyone who does not bring forth good fruit, is not attached to the True Vine, or He would. If the fruit is bad, the source is bad.
So, a righteous judgment is not simply condemning sin, or what looks to us to be sin. Righteous judgment is inspecting for fruit, and thereby, determining if one is connected to the True Vine, Jesus. If they are not, we do not condemn, judge, berate. Rather, we, with love, seek to win them to the TRUE VINE.
Vines in a vineyard intermingle, and there may be a multitude of vines producing fruit, in one vineyard. As the vines interweave, it is hard to see which branch comes from which plant. But, if in the Lord’s vineyard, there is bad fruit, or no fruit, that is indicative that this fruitless, or bad fruit vine, is not attached to the True Vine. If the believer is fruitful, God then purges to produce more fruit. If the branch is fruitless, the branch is of an untrue vine, and it is removed from being part of the vineyard.
The Father does this, not man. No man is worthy to pluck a branch from God's hands. God does not nurture branches growing from bad vines. If a branch is fruitless, dead, and useless, it ends up in the fire. The Vine dresser prune the fruitful branches, and removes the dead or ones not bringing forth good fruit.
Now ye are clean
The word ‘clean’ is the Greek: katharos (G2513). It refers to real purity within the soul. We are to be pure, cleansed, free of sin and its defilements. This is done by the Lord at salvation, where our sins are remitted, we are redeemed, and our righteousness is His. The branches attached to the True Vine are such kind of branches.
In that carthartic state, we are told to ‘abide’. This is the Greek word: meno (G3306), meaning to ‘remain, to continue, to dwell, and to abide’. This is a command to remain in Christ, and to keep Him alone as our Source of life and wisdom. The reason we must do so, is spelled out by Jesus here, for we will not produce good fruit, unless we do remain, abide in Him.
Lack of purity, lack of fruit of the Spirit, prove one in not attached to the TRUE VINE. The Lord will cast forth the impure, the unfruitful.
If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth
Believers must remain receiving from Him, if we want to bring forth good fruit. If any man does not abide, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered and burned.
WE NEED TO BE POSITIVE, NOT NEGATIVE.
Judgmentalism is wrong and forbidden. Fruit inspection is good, and commanded.
There are two circles of saints. Some in this revival talk of miracles, healing, and salvation. Some others talk of backsliding, sin, failings, judgment, and how hard it is to witness. Both of these extremes are present. The Lord can do little with the second group, but the first group who see the "silver lining", instead of the "dark clouds" are more easily moved by God toward perfection, power, and victory. The same is true for the ones suffering from the mistreatment of others. Those who have set themselves up as ‘judges’ in our life, trying to pronounce us ‘stupid, awful, weak, unspiritual, lazy, ugly, etc.’ are not to be foremost in our mind. They are not our judge, we have only the Lord to Whom we answer. His judgments are wise and ‘unsearchable’.
Romans 11:33-36 (KJV)
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counselor? Or who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
God is not seeking to judge and condemn. He is still pouring out mercy on all who will choose Him. Coming to Him in our pains and in our sorrows, we can be assured that He is happy and willing to aid us. If there are unrepented sins, wrongs we have done to even those who hurt us, all He is seeking is repentance, not judgment.
Surely, there is death, persecution, and the wrath of the sinners to come in attack against the saints. Yet, there are also blessings, revival, the rapture of the church, the judgment seat of Christ, and the joys of heaven also soon to come for we His children. On which do you contemplate?
If God is not ready to judge yet, why do we want to hurry that time up, or why do we try to do that for Him. He will remove barren branches, and all we are to do, is lovingly inspect for fruit, that we might know how to love and how to encourage that person toward becoming part of the True Vine.
When God does need to do a bit of work on our own persons, He does it with the expectation that we will turn to Him during the judgment.
"...in their affliction, they will seek Me early."
If we must speak of trials, let us also speak that:
"...all things work together for good."
When we must speak of the great sins of the day, let us add:
"Where sin abounded, grace did the much more abound."
When we speak of being beat down by the unmerciful ones, let us not forget to add:
"...we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us."
Also, remember that we have the strength of the Lord, to give us victory in all our trials.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (KJV)
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.