Life was designed to be lived in community.

09/06/15 Judge Not That You be Not Judged!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 Under: Sermon

Life is a Test Series - James 4:11-12

Intro: If I got a dollar every time someone said; let me give you my opinion on that matter. I would have a nice chunk of change by now. It seems everybody has an opinion and advice to freely give; sadly enough judgement is usually included. We (believers) are out of our jurisdiction when we attempt to be the jury, lawyer and the judge, and assume we can give a verdict in these cases of life were a part of!

“Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way.” Romans 14:13

Text: James 4:11-12

“Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?”

Application: “Scripture constantly and strongly condemns judging and criticizing others.”

God hates all sin, but there are a few sins that are constantly and strongly condemned by Scripture. Judging others—condemning, criticizing, backbiting, gossiping, speaking evil, and talking about others—is one of the sins that Scripture never lets up on. Judging others is severely condemned. James makes this very clear in this text. There are four thoughts that go with this Biblical truth of judging others. Here lies the test in this series this week!

1. Judging others is speaking evil of brothers: v.11

“Do not speak evil of another” The NIV calls this slandering; slander is oral defamation (insulting), in which someone tells one or more persons an untruth about another, which untruth will harm the reputation of the person defamed. Slander is very much a major issue and the world just doesn’t think so! Judging others is speaking evil of them! rare is the day when the National News isn’t covering some slanderous news of someone of influence.

While Christians are to expect slander from outside the church, slander within the church is unacceptable. “But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!’ Galatians 5:15


"Speaking evil" means to criticize, judge, backbite, and gossip against another person. Talk about a person behind his back, when he is not present.

Talking about a person is evil. It is just as much an evil as the failure of the other person. The person who judges is as guilty as the sinner. Christian believers are not to judge and speak evil of one another. When we criticize a brother or sister in Christ, we are slandering one of God's own children.

Have you ever had someone ask you if they can give you some constructive criticism? Interestingly enough they really don’t wait to see if it is okay to criticize, that is just an opening statement to the inevitable; you are going to be criticized! There are several reasons why people tend to judge and criticize. Criticism boosts our own self-image. It adds to our own pride, ego, and self-image. Criticism is simply enjoyed. There is a tendency in human nature to take pleasure in hearing and sharing bad news and shortcomings about others. Criticism makes us feel that our own lives (morality and behavior) are better than the person who failed. Criticism helps us justify the decisions we have made and the things we have done throughout our lives. We rationalize our decisions and acts by pointing out the failure of others. Criticism is an outlet for hurt and revenge. We feel he deserves it. Subconsciously, if not consciously, we think, "He hurt me so he deserves to hurt, too." So we criticize the person who failed.

2. Judging others violates the law of God: v.11

This is a shocking statement: talking about and slandering a brother is speaking evil of the law. What does this mean? When a person talks about and condemns others, he is violating the greatest of all laws, the royal law of love: the law that plainly declares that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, remember James 2:8 “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well.”

The criticizer and backbiter is speaking evil of the law; that is, he is condemning another person for some failure while he himself is standing there breaking the law. His speaking evil against his brother does not uphold the law of love; it speaks evil and tears down the love of love. "Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.” Matthew 7:1-5

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

3. Judging others sets one up as judge, as a law-giver: v.11

Judging others sets one up as a judge or as a lawgiver. When we criticize a brother, we are saying that the law he has broken is important, very important—so important that he should not have broken it—but the law of love is not important enough to keep us from criticizing him. We judge the law he has broken as important and the law of love as not so important. This is a common practice of people, a very common practice. We choose which law should be kept and which can be occasionally broken. It may be the laws governing gluttony, anger, worship, sex, controlling what we look at and desire, drunkenness, covetousness, or the great law of love being discussed in this passage. But no matter what the law is, we judge the law when we pick and choose... When we pick and choose, we set ourselves up above the law of God. We make ourselves the judge of the law; we make ourselves lawgivers. This is not our function. Scripture declares plainly that our duty is to obey the law, not to be a judge of the law. This is exactly what the end of verse 11 says: "If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge".

“Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way.” Romans 14:13

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

4. Judging others takes God's right and authority: v.12

Judging others takes God's right and authority. This verse is clear and forceful; it is a very strong warning to the criticizer and backbiter. God alone is the great Lawgiver, and Scripture declares: "There is [only] one lawgiver." He and He alone have given the laws that are to judge and condemn our neighbors. When we judge, criticize, and backbite our brothers, we are taking God's right to judge men. We are setting ourselves up in the place of God, making ourselves God—claiming the right to sit in judgment upon our brother. No person, not one of us, has the right to sit upon the throne of God's judgment. We forget this action can destroy this other person’s life.

There is only one Person who is able to save and destroy—and that Person is God. There is no way we can fully understand everything that is going on in this person’s life that we our judging. There are always many behind-the-scene facts. Children and parents, wife and husband, employer and employee, friend and friend—things happen when they are alone behind closed doors. Unless we are God we can’t know all the facts. The spirit of talk to others is the spirit of self-justification. The spirit of silence is the spirit of caring and compassion. The spirit of silence is always the spirit which desires no hurt for others, at least no more pain than what has to be borne. We all sin no one is exempt. The believer must always remember that his righteousness is Jesus Christ, and he is always dependent upon Christ's righteousness. 1 John 1:9

All there is to know about a person is never known. How then can we criticize? Judging others usurps God's authority. When a person criticizes another, he is saying that he is worthy and has the right to be the judge over other lives. He is claiming the right to be God, which is ridiculous.

"Judge not, that ye be not judged" Matthew 7:1

These are the thoughts that go with this Biblical truth of judging others. Here lies the test in this series this week! Are you passing this test or are you in deliberations? Let God be God and you not!

In : Sermon 

Tags: "life is a test series" "book of james" 
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