Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine; no more can you except you abide in Me …. John 15:4
You can measure whether you’re in Christ by observing the signs.
If you’re in Christ, you’ll …..
- be seeking no reputation, like Christ, because God will be 1st; not family or friends Philippians 2:7
- be seeking to be a servant, like Christ Philippians 2:7
- be hated, like Christ John 7:7
- be only interested in the Father’s will, not yours John 6:38
- be unsettled on this earth John 12:25
- respect your neighbour’s opinion more than your own Philippians 2:3,4
- be tolerant of others’ weaknesses because you know you have your own, and thus be forgiving
- repent when you do wrong
- make judgments based on God’s Word, which will put you at odds with family, friends & the world Matthew 10:36
- have faith in God’s ability and plan
If you’re out of Christ, you’ll ….
- be seeking popularity and value in the eyes of men John 12:42,43
- be doing whatever suits me, even if it looks like I care for others Philippians 2:21
- make judgments against people for being stupid, or for hurting your feelings
- be moody and murmur about your circumstances Philippians 2:14
- envy your neighbour’s better deal James 4:5
- be too proud to repent
- be too proud to forgive
- mix Christ with the world James 4:4
- tell God how it’s supposed to be
- blame others for your circumstances
- live in the fear of loss
- believe that you are special and have a special calling, and worthy of God’s special blessing
Christ in you, but you not in Christ
Christ can be in you, but that doesn’t mean that you’re in Christ. King Saul had the Holy Spirit but eventually his unrepentant envy saw him cut off from the vine. Peter had the Holy Spirit, but he denied Christ and spoke Satanic words. Christ was in him, but he wasn’t in Christ until his embarrassment and failure exposed his elevated self-value, and he finally saw his pride and repented. It’s not the ‘do’ that counts, it’s the motive of the heart.
Judging is the defining line
You can be as good as you like and do as much good as you can to make yourself feel like you’re in Christ, but it’s JUDGING others for their stupidity or hurt towards you that ultimately defines your position in Christ. What we fail to realise is that this type of judgment is only Christ’s prerogative, so when we judge we are acting as god. You can make your own errors of judgment; that’s between you and Christ, but when you judge someone else for their errors of judgment, it’s now between you and them, and God will bring their judgment on your head.
Judgment of others’ faults is the evidence of your own self-righteous elevated pride. Judging should alert you to your own pride and scare you into repentance; but sadly, no one seems to care; they’re too proud and too full of their own importance; which is why they judge in the first place. Thus, even though Christ may be in you, judging others without coming to repentance, will eventually see you separated from the vine because Christ will not let your arrogance perpetually mix with His blood.
When you judge someone out of your wounded pride, God says that you are actually speaking evil, not only against the person, but also against God’s law, James 4:11. No one likes to see that because their pride is too important to them, and it blinds them.
Demons take advantage
God instructs us not to judge because …
- it’s Christ’s job, not yours. King Saul decided to step in and do the sacrifice himself instead of waiting for Samuel. His arrogance had persuaded him to usurp his position. He had put himself above his position and ultimately became demon-possessed.
- it’s sin
- it exposes us to demonic influence
- it leads to separation from the vine
Hypocrisy is more than judging someone for doing something that you wouldn’t do but yet you do it yourself. Hypocrisy is built on the envy that I am more important, more intelligent, more skilful, or more knowledgeable than you, or the envy that these qualities are in you more than in me. Hypocrisy is really believing that you’re someone who has the right to tell someone else that they’re not who they think they are. Hypocrisy is the door that Satan enters through to take control of your spirit. In James 3:13-17, we read that hypocrisy is a sign of demonic activity in you. This is reinforced in Matthew 18, where we read the story of the servant who was forgiven much but refused to forgive little. The consequences were demonic torment and separation from the Lord until he repented.
Judge not that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete it shall be measured back to you. And why behold the mote in your brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam in your own eye? Or how will you say to your brother, let me pull the mote out of your eye when there is a beam in your own eye? You hypocrite; FIRST pull the beam out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to cast out the mote out of your brother’s eye …. Matthew 7:1-6
If you’re ever going to stay in Christ then you must overcome the evil desire to make judgments against people for not doing it according to your thinking. You must open your eyes to your envy-pride and seek God’s repentance. It’s your responsibility to cease judging (it’s not God’s responsibility to change you), and only after you sincerely face this pride in you will God step in and change your old nature into His nature.
May God open the eyes of our selfish hearts, for without having our blindness removed we will never see Christ even though we believe we’re living for Him.
Pastor Phil McNaughton