Springboarding off of the Apostle Paul’s life focus, clearly expressed in 1 Corinthians 2:2, Pastor Greg launched an “open-ended” message series on January 12th, 2020 – focusing on “Just Jesus.” He is walking us through the entire New Testament, pulling passages from the Old Testament for context, and keep us focused throughout the year on “Just Jesus.” This week Pastor Greg covers Matthew 7:3-6. Jesus tells us to check our own spiritual walk before trying to fix the walk of others. However, He also gives us instruction that once we’ve done that we are to help one another get free of sin by rebuking each other in love, necessary. He also warns us to watch out for consistently evil and critical people; people he calls pigs and dogs.
Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while there is a beam in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. ~ Matthew 7:3-5
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed about himself like this: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: extortionists, unrighteous people, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.’ The tax collector, however, stood far off and would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, be merciful to me, sinner that I am!’ I tell you that this man went down to his home justified rather than the Pharisee. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” ~ Luke 18:10-14
Jesus says remove your own beam of wood (a reference to your own sin) THEN you’ll be able to see your friend’s speck (a reference to their sin) more clearly to HELP THEM remove it. He is NOT saying you have to wait until you have achieved sinless perfection before you can EVER approach someone about their sin. Paul and James both show us that. Jesus is saying do your best to get yourself right with God and then definitely help your brother and sister in Christ do the same. Don’t accuse them, shame them, berate them, belittle them, threaten them, snub them, condemn them, or exalt yourself over them. But also don’t ignore their sin that is harming them and their relationship with God. Be a good enough friend to help them come to repentance. Sometimes you have to say “I love you but this thing you are doing is not good for you. I want to help you see that and I will help you change.”
Watch yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him. ~ Luke 17:3
Literally it means to assign value as is fitting the situation, building on the situation to correct. To warn by instructing. To warn in order to prevent something from going wrong.
Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor. ~ Matthew 7:1-5
Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs; otherwise they will trample them under their feet and turn around and tear you to pieces. ~ Matthew 7:6
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. ~ Matthew 13:45-46
Don’t give your best self, your best stuff, your truest love and affection, your best works and best efforts (your pearls – your holy things) to people who will NEVER appreciate it and who will ALWAYS take advantage of you, who will trample and tear your precious and holy things apart and then turn on you and tear you apart as well.
But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person. ~ 1 Corinthians 5:11
And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. As you enter the house, give it your greeting. If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city. ~ Matthew 10:11-15