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God’s Gospel

Romans 2 – Judging
Part II

I know you are excited to hear God’s praise of your life, however we are not yet at that point for Christ has not yet returned. 

Maybe today! 
That is our hope.

There is a point I want to go back and pick up. The implications in the statement “judge nothing before the time” in First Corinthians, chapter four, verse five.

“Therefore, judge nothing before the appointed time…” New International Version.
“Therefore, judge nothing before the time…” King James Version.
“So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time…” New Living Translation.

God’s Word did not tell us to not make any judgments.
Too often we remember the words judge or judgment but forget the definition of krino.

Acts 20:16
 For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost. 

“Determined” is the Greek word krino. Due to time constraints Paul judged, he determined he did not have time to stop in Ephesus. Paul examined the information and reached a decision.

Titus 3:12
When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.

“Determined” is again krino and it is a good translation. Paul judged, decided or determined it was best to winter in Nicopolis and wait for Titus to reach him in that city. There are a few cities named Nicopolis in the first century and I do not know exactly which Nicopolis Paul means. However, the one carrying the letter from Paul to Titus knew exactly which city he left. 

My point is simply this, we make decisions or judgments every day. God wants us to not judge the salvation of another person. He does not want us to stop making decisions or reaching a conclusion when we have examined the information pertaining to a subject or a situation. 

Let’s consider the elephant in the room. No one wants to be judged. The words judgment, judging, judged and other words in that vein have a negative connotation and generate a defensive response. A person can feel unfairly criticized or unjustly condemned. Sentenced to a bad reputation without cause. When a person feels judged he can become isolated and hard toward others. He can fight back with his own harsh judgments and criticisms due to emotion. Within the Body of Christ what was perhaps a simple issue has now become overblown and gained the added issue of division.  

The Greek verb krino is used 114 times. The Greek neuter noun krima is used 28 times. The feminine Greek noun krisis is used 48 times. Krino is used with a prepositional prefix 61 times. In all of these we forget that krino is to separate and examine the information that pertains to the situation or subject. To fully investigate a situation or a subject and after a complete examination to arrive at a conclusion, an evaluation, a decision.

Most people are fine when it is God sitting as the judge. Some may fear “how” their judgment will turn out, but for the most part that fear is based on ignorance of what God’s Word has to say about God’s righteous judgment.

It is the judgment of another man that is most feared and deemed unfair or unjust. When one person gives an opinion about another’s spiritual walk, or life in general, it is received as it is given, as just another opinion! From one believer to another, opinions are not wanted or needed. But God’s Word brings God’s light to a situation and that light will expose and can dispel all darkness. When God’s Word is offered you will have genuine reproof and genuine correction.

There are times when krino is used and translated judged but should be understood as “determined or concluded.” Consider 1 Corinthians 5.

In order to set the tone and context of chapter five, we need to consider the last verse of chapter four.

In First Corinthians chapter four we are told to judge no one before Christ returns. This is in relationship to our feelings, our opinions, as seen in the usage of the Greek words me tis for “no one.” A judgment based on our feelings rather than God’s revealed Word is not reliable. A senses judgment is a waste of time and ungodly. When you lack the information to examine forgo the judgment. Therefore, judge no one before the time. Christ will make the righteous judgment when the secret things of the heart are revealed. 

1 Corinthians 4:21a
What will ye? 

This verse should have been the beginning of chapter five where Paul introduces them to reproof that they need to receive and reproof they need to give.

This is the figure of speech anacoenosis which is an appeal to others that have a common interest. The common interest is the spiritual health and growth of the fellowship of believers. 

It is also the figure of speech symboulesis which means to counsel together. Paul is trying to get the Corinthians involved with reproof that is required. He wants the Corinthians to be part of the solution.

1 Corinthians 4:21b
… shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?

Finally, it is the figure of speech hypocatastasis which is a comparison by implication. The “rod” implies reproof of a child, a disciplined training of a child by his father.

1 Corinthians 4:15
For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus, I have begotten you through the gospel.

Paul is their father in God’s Word.

1 Corinthians 3:1
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

The word “babes” is the Greek word nepios and should be understood as a child who is not yet of age. 

Galatians 4:1
Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

“Child” is again the Greek word nepios and is a young child under the direction of tutors and governors.

Galatians 4:2
But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.

A “tutor,” epitropos in the Greek, is a man appointed by the father and is responsible for the supervision and training of the child.

Now back in 1 Corinthians chapter four, Paul has set the tone, as a father, for his children. It is time for disciplined training in God’s Word. They are about to learn how to receive reproof and how to give reproof.

Proverbs 13:24
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Hebrews 12:5-8
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, my son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Reproof, when it comes from the words of God and in the love of God benefits the one receiving the reproof. Opinions are useless. But the God breathed words of God are profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction with a view to disciplined training in the righteousness of God.

Proverbs 29:15
The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

Paul wants the Corinthian’s to be a part of the solution to a problem greater than the issue of who is a better leader. But in order to handle the problem in First Corinthians five their problem with leadership must be handled first. Do they want to handle it now and together or have Paul handle it when he comes?

Now, in First Corinthians chapter five the believers are being told to decide about a believer in a fellowship. Paul is reproving the Corinthian’s for not having made the decision, the krino, already. 

1 Corinthians 5:1
It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.

This is a man who, upon hearing the foundation planted by Paul, believed. But he kept the same lifestyle he was living as a pagan, an unbeliever.

1 Corinthians 5:2
And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

This tells us we need more from the context to understand what is going on in this verse.

First, what is puffed up?
Then, why are they puffed up?
Why should they have mourned?
What is mourned?

“Puffed up” is the Greek word physioo, which means to inflate and comes from the root word physa, an air bellows.

Colossians 2:18
Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up [physioo] by his fleshly mind,

“Puffed up” is a term of ego and carries with it the arrogant attitude that comes with egotistical behavior. The Corinthians were blinded by their egos to this man’s ungodly behavior and the damage he was causing in the fellowship. What caused their ego’s to be so overly inflated? Their division over the best leader.

1 Corinthians 4:6
And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

While the Corinthians were prancing around supporting their idea of the best leader this man was spreading wrong practice in the fellowship about holding on to former pagan practices. Paul gave the Corinthians the example of he and Apollos as planting and watering, while it was God who gave the increase, the growth. It is God that brings His words to pass when they are believed.

1 Corinthians 3:5-6
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

Paul and Apollos are just men, BUT it is God that gives the increase. Also notice God’s sense of humor. Apollos watered! Remember Apollos is the one who was into water baptism when he met Aquila and Priscilla.

Paul told the Corinthians to stop elevating men, they are carrying words that God will back up and bring to pass when believed. The men are ministers not the originators of the words, not the power behind the words.

“Mourn” is the Greek word pentheo which means to grieve over a death or the loss of a close personal relationship. Both can be gut-wrenching. When they should have been in mourning over the loss of this brother in Christ, they were having over inflated egos about the leader they supported.

1 Corinthians 5:3
For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

“Judge” is the Greek word krino and is better translated determined, decided or concluded in this verse.

What happened to judge no one before the time?

Here is the situation. This man has heard the doctrine, the Epistle to the Romans, Paul has laid for a foundation the Gospel of God as it pertains to Christ. I understand the Epistle to the Romans is not yet written, but it is what Paul is teaching as the foundation. What is written in Romans is what they heard Paul teach for the 18 months he was in Corinth.

In that foundation is Romans chapters six and seven that discuss sin no longer having dominion over us.

If someone has heard God’s Word and believed, but is now acting contrary to what they believed, they need reproof or correction. In this context, a brother or sister in Christ who is not walking on God’s Word a judgment, krino, must be understood as reproof or correction. However, you, as another believer, should reprove or correct no one.

Opinions are meaningless and unfruitful. However, holding forth the words of God allows God to offer the reproof or correction. Paul is their father in God’s Word, but God is their ultimate Father.

Romans 6:1
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Shall we keep our old unbelieving habits of sin to try for more grace?

Romans 6:2
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

“God forbid” in the Greek is me ginpmai and means, “Let it not be.” Clearly, the new believers in Corinth have been instructed to leave behind their old sinful ways and to put on the mind of Christ. This believer in Corinth thought he was the exception to the rule.

Most believers think they are the exception to the rule and continue in some of their old ways. Consider the early Judean believers in the book of Acts. Peter was given the keys, symbolic of having the authority. Yet even Peter indirectly sets up a council of elders over himself and the other apostles beginning in Acts chapter six. 

There was no teaching in the gospels by Jesus Christ to Peter or the other apostles to set up a council of elders. Nor has there been revelations between Acts chapter two and chapter six to set up a council of elders. But that is what happens starting in Acts chapter six. By Acts chapter eleven they are calling Peter out for his actions they did not like with Cornelius in Acts chapter ten. Then, by Acts 15 Peter makes a declaration that is utterly ignored while the group waits to hear from the head of the council of elders.

A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

The point I am making is this, new believers have a tendency to carry old habits into their new life, their new walk with God. But when you bring them into the fellowship and, in essence, promote sin, a little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Romans 6:11-13
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

“Reckon” is the Greek word logizomai and it means to reason, to use spiritual logic. Reason mentally that you are no longer under sin, therefore do not obey it. “Reign” is the Greek word basileuo and it means to rule, to be king. Do not allow sin to be the king over you. Then, the Greek word paristemi is translated “yield.” Paristemi is a compound Greek word of para meaning alongside of or near and histemi which means to place or to stand. In other words, do not bring your unbelieving ways into the fellowship of believers. Do not bring the idolatrous actions you learned and performed into the fellowship of believers. 

We need to remove our ungodly practices from their exalted position of rulership in our lives. 

Then we are given an example as to why.

1 Corinthians 5:6-8
Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is [was – aorist tense] sacrificed for us: Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

“Glorying” is the Greek word kauchema and it means to boast. They were boasting about the leader they supported. They were so busy boasting and being egotistical about the leader they supported they did not notice the leaven of malice (ill-will) and wickedness (harassing evil) spreading in the fellowship. Just a little leaven changes the entire loaf. Not confronting this man brings division into the fellowship. It sours the entire fellowship. 

1 Corinthians 5:9
 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

Search all of First Corinthians and you will not find this statement. Therefore, some think this is a missing epistle to the Corinthian’s that was lost to the Bible. But it shows us the nature of an encyclical epistle. 

An encyclical epistle means it is sent to all fellowships once it is written. The only other epistles written when First Corinthians is written are First and Second Thessalonians. The Corinthian church would have received a copy of these epistles to the Thessalonians when they believed. The fellowship in Philippi was established before the epistles were written to believers in Thessalonica. Paul would have sent copies of the Thessalonica epistles to the believers in Philippi. The same is true for fellowships established in Antioch in Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. In this manner all fellowships would receive all epistles covering doctrine, reproof and correction as spoken of in Second Timothy chapter three. 

Paul’s epistles to the believers in Thessalonica are what is referenced in First Corinthians chapter five, verse nine. This is what Paul is referencing when he said, “I wrote unto you” an epistle. Each epistle, no matter to whom addressed, belongs to the entire Body of Christ.

2 Thessalonians 3:14-15
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.

Have no “company with” is the Greek word synanamignymi, it is the same word used in Corinthians. It does not make that person an enemy, but the example of leaven in Corinthians shows the threat to the entire fellowship if the believers do not act.

What is the purpose of reproof?

To go to a brother or sister in Christ, with meekness and the love of God in your heart, to convince that beloved family member, through the light and authority of the words of God, to walk equal to God’s calling and God’s enablement’s.

Verse 15 says, “Yet count him not as an enemy but admonish him as a brother.” Do not treat him like he is hostile, the word enemy, do not treat him like he is irreconcilable. But to admonish him as a brother, in the family of God. The Greek word noutheteo is translated “admonish.”  Noutheteo means to warn or to exhort. It is used eight times in God’s Word, the number of resurrection or a new beginning. Reproof and correction are for the individual believer to have a new beginning.

Consider what God says about admonishing in His Word.

Romans 15:14
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.

That your mind is filled with goodness, a form of agathos, and filled, pleroo, filled to capacity with knowledge, a form of ginosko, an experiential knowledge. So that you are able, a form of dunamis, an inherent ability, to admonish, to warn or exhort, one another.

Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

A literal translation from the Working Translation.1

Colossians 3:16
Let the Word concerning Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another with all wisdom, singing in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with grace [favor] in your hearts to God.
Working Translation

The Greek texts read God rather than Lord at the end of the verse.

How should we admonish one another? How should we reprove one another?

Filled with God’s goodness, which is now your nature. Filled to capacity with an experiential knowledge of God’s Word as it pertains or concerns Christ. Allowing that Word to dwell, to take up residence and abundantly influence our mind and heart remaining in all of its wisdom. While our hearts, filled with His grace, sing out to God. 

Doctrine, or right instruction, reproof, correction are all necessary in an individual’s life in order to have spiritual growth, auxano. We need doctrine, reproof, correction because every man is right in his own eyes (Proverbs 21:2). We need doctrine, reproof, correction to fully equip us for our walk with God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

All (pas) scripture relating to the authority (graphe) is God breathed (theopneustos) and (kai) is useful or beneficial (ophelimos) with a view to (pros) teaching; or instruction (didaskalia), with a view to (pros) a focused conviction (elegchos), with a view to (pros) restoring a child of God to their original new birth condition (epanorthosis), with an end view of (pros) training a child (paideia) in (en) right living (dikaiosyne). In order that (hina) the child (anthropos) in a parent/child relationship with God (theos) might unendingly exist (eimi) equipped (artios) completely and fully equipped (exartizo) with a view to (pros) all (pas) genuinely godly good (agathos) deeds performed (ergon).

Your Heavenly Father gives doctrine, gives reproof, gives correction to train you in His righteous ways as a child of the One True and Righteous God. With a view to you being equipped, fully equipped on a timeless basis for deeds performed out of your godly nature. This is the renewed mind walk coupled with walking in God’s gift of holy spirit.

God's Gospel Series