“This is a painful subject, and so far we have looked only at the injunction. We have not yet considered the reason which our Lord adds to the injunction.
We have just taken the two words, and I trust we shall always remember them. ‘Judge not’. (Matt. 7:1)
As we do so let us thank God that we have a gospel which tells us that ‘while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’, (Rom. 5:8) that not one of us stands in his own righteousness, but in the righteousness of Christ.
Without Him we are damned, utterly lost. We have condemned ourselves by judging others.
But then God the Lord is our Judge, and He has provided a way whereby we pass ‘from judgment unto life’. (John 5:24)
The exhortation is that we should live our lives in this world as people who have passed through the judgment ‘in Christ’, and who now live for Him and live like Him, realizing that we have been saved by His wondrous grace and mercy.”
–D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, Second edition. (England: Inter-Varsity Press, 1976), 485–486.
“Here is something which is truly important, and something which is basic and fundamental to the whole Christian position. The order in which these things are put is absolutely vital. The Apostle does not ask us to do anything until he has first of all emphasized and repeated what God has done for us in Christ.
How often have men given the impression that to be Christian means that you display in your life a kind of general belief of faith, and then you add to it virtue and knowledge and charity! To them the Christian message is an exhortation to us to live a certain type of life, and an exhortation to put these things into practice.
But that is an utter travesty of the Gospel. The Christian Gospel in the first instance does not ask us to do anything. It first of all proclaims and announces to us what God has done for us.
The first statement of the Gospel is not an exhortation to action or to conduct and behavior. Before man is called upon to do anything, he must have received something. Before God calls upon a man to put anything into practice, He has made it possible for man to put it into practice.”
— D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Expository Sermons on 2 Peter (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1983), 23-24.