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Outline and Audio Sermons:
Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

www.thischristianjourney.com

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Practical Christianity

Complain, Complain, Complain

James 5.7-12

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[Having heard the warnings of our Lord through James about wealth and its misuse.  We now focus on our response toward those who, in spite of God’s warnings, misuse their wealth.  James mentioned those who hold back the wages of their workers, obviously to gain control over them, and those who use their wealth through bribes to influence justice for their own purposes.  Now the focus flips to the response of those who are unjustly affected by the misuse of the wealth God has provided.]

[Notice what James wrote in verse 9 of our text,]

[James 5:9 9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. ]

[Grudge not?  What does this mean?]

[Grudging στενάζετε (Gk) - narrow, contracted (as when one is squeezed or pressed by circumstances). To groan, sigh, used intrans.of persons in distress, affliction (Rom. 8:23; 2 Cor. 5:2, 4; Heb. 13:17); grumble from impatience, ill–humor (James 5:9); of those who offer silent prayer (Mark 7:34 [see Is. 24:7; Lam. 1:21]).[1] ] 

[Hence grudging means murmuring or complaining.  It is the equivalent of saying stop your belly aching.  I recall hearing David Ring, an Evangelist with Cerebral Palsy.  In the time frame when David was born most children with cerebral palsy didn’t live all that long, but David did.  When he was 14 years old David was orphaned and bounced around from family to family.  David went on to find the Lord Jesus Christ and then become a herald for the Gospel of our Lord.  I heard him preach a message entitled “Stop Your Belly Aching.”  If there were ever a person who had just cause to grumble and complain it is David Ring.  But he heard the Word of God, and believed the promises of God, and declares with James, GRUDGE NOT!] 

Consider From Our Text, 

A.     The Sin of Grudging [– Make no mistake about it complaining, murmuring, and grudging is a sin against God.] 

1.      The Condemnation of Complaining (vs 9; Mark 4.64) [–  Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. - Let us not miss the force of the words James used in this text.  James undeniably states that if we murmur and complain we stand in the way of condemnation.] 

[Condemnation – κατακριθητε (Gk) - from katá (2596), against, and krínō (2919), to judge. To pronounce sentence against, condemn, adjudge guilty.

(I) Followed by the acc. of person and the dat. of punishment (Matt. 20:18, “they shall condemn him to death”; Mark 10:33; 2 Pet. 2:6); by the acc. of person and inf. (Mark 14:64); by the acc. of person, the crime or punishment being implied (John 8:10, 11; Rom. 2:1). Used in an absolute sense (Rom. 8:34; pass. in Matt. 27:3). Of the last judgment (Mark 16:16; 1 Cor. 11:32). Figuratively (Rom. 8:3, condemned or passed sentence upon all carnal lusts and passions, in antithesis to Rom. 8:1 [cf. Rom. 6:1ff.]).

(II) By implication, to condemn by contrast, i.e., to show by one’s good conduct that others are guilty of misconduct and deserve condemnation, followed by the acc. (Matt. 12:41, 42; Luke 11:31, 32; Heb. 11:7). Pass. in Rom. 14:23.[2]]  

[Manuscript Variation - The word translated here condemned is found in the Textus Receptus but a different Greek word is used in the NA27.  Hence, there will be a noticeable difference in the way the King James reads when compared to most modern translation.  The word used in the Textus Receptus and the King James Bible is far stronger than that which is used in the text of modern translations.] 

[Final Judgment - James says that grudging, complaining, and murmuring has the force and power of condemnation.  This condemnation means to reach a final judgment, a judgment potentially unto death.  Modern translations dramatically soften the severity of the blow for grudging, complaining and murmuring, which of course in our human tendency.  Complaining is such a natural part of our humanity that we do not wish to admit to the depth of its depravity.] 

[The word used here for condemned, in the Textus Receptus,  is the same word used to describe the sentence rendered against our Lord in His judgment.] 

[Mark 14:64 64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death. ]

[James is using a forceful word to help us understand the severity of grudging or complaining in our lives.  There is a condemnation or final judgment that accompanies our complaints.]

2.      The Contexts of Complaining (Num 14.26-32; Jude 1.11; Num 16.31-34, 41-49; 1 Cor 10.6-10) [– In support of James position and context let us examine murmuring and complaining in the Bible.  There were many occasions when God’s people murmured and complained to God and about God.  There are more passages than I could help to expound during this message.  We will briefly touch on a few.] 

[Numbers 14:26-32 26 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. 28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: [Be careful what you pray for or say unto God, He just may give you what you ask for.  Perhaps we need to realize that when we complain to or about God we are speaking to God.] 29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, 30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. 31 But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. 32 But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness.] 

[Mortal Condemnation - Israel murmured against God concerning the report of the spies that searched out the Promised Land and as a result of their complaining they received exactly what they asked for.  They were condemned to the wilderness, final judgment was passed, and they could not enter into the land of blessing and promise because of their complaining.  There is a worldly, mortal condemnation that accompanies our grudging, murmuring and complaining. Complaining will have an undeniable impact upon your usefulness to your Heavenly Father in this mortal life and world.]

[Our next Example, The Rebellion of Korah, Which is Rebellious Condemnation -  Notice what the new testament says about the matter of Korah,]

[Jude 1:11 11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. ]

[The Levite Korah became discontented with Moses, Aaron, and ultimately God; please note you can not be upset with God’s called men and not also be upset with God.  Korah decided someone else needed to lead the people of Israel.  This was none other than an all out rebellion.  The word gainsaying is a word translated from a Greek word that literally means “to rise up a rebellion.”] 

[Gainsaying - ἀντιλογίᾳ (Gk) - to contradict. Contradiction.]

[(I) Controversy, question, strife (Heb. 6:16; 7:7). Spoken of a controversy before a judge (Sept.: Ex. 18:16; Deut. 25:1; 2 Sam. 15:4).]

[(II) Reproach (Heb. 12:3 [cf. Matt. 26:60; 27:22, 29, 40–49]; Acts 13:45; Jude 1:11). Rebellion or strife or reproach (Sept.: Num. 20:13; Deut. 21:5; Ps. 80:6).[3] ] 

[Hence, God leads Moses to bring Korah and his company and God’s chosen men Moses, Aaron and his sons before God and His tabernacle and God shows who His called men are.  The end of the story is,] 

[Numbers 16:31-34 31 And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: 32 And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. 33 They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. 34 And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also. ]

[Be careful about grudging and complaining they grow like wild weeds and will build to utter rebellion if you don’t get them under control quickly.  The end of gainsaying is Rebellious Condemnation.  Korah and his cohorts met physical death for their rebellion and many were judged with them.  Grudging and complaining will always impact those who are around you.]

[Our next example results in Fatal Condemnation]

[Shortly after the fall of Korah and his company the people of Israel rose up and murmured against Moses, Aaron, and ultimately God.  The passage reads,]

[Numbers 16:41-49 41 But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the LORD. 42 And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared. 43 And Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of the congregation. 44 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 45 Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces. 46 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun. 47 And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. 48 And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed. 49 Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah.]

[Of this Murmuring the New Testament records,]

[1 Corinthians 10:6-10 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.]

[All of this has been said to demonstrate to you just what God meant when He said that grudging will result in condemnation.  God is talking about mortal condemnation, which is complaining that will destroy the blessings God has for you in this life. It also refers to Fatal condemnation, which is complaining that can bring your mortal life to a quick and unexpected end.]

B.     The Significance of Grudging [– We might ask, why is grudging, murmuring, and complaining so destructive in our lives?  Grudging is destructive because a complaining spirit reveals some rather large deficiencies in our relationship with our Heavenly Father.] 

1.      Our Complaints Show a Lack of Patience (vs 7-8) [- Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.  – The sowing and reaping principle permeates the word of God and demonstrates dynamically how our Lord works in our lives.   This principles teaches that,] 

[We must labor to sow the spiritual seeds of faith and life.] 

[We must wait for God to give life and growth to those seeds.] 

[We will reap a harvest if we sow and patiently wait on God.] 

[Murmuring and complaining reveal a lack of patience and a failure to agree with God’s plan for our lives, our world, and eternity to come.  Murmuring and complaining demonstrate a lack of surrender to the Lord of all creation, and a demand to rule over ones circumstances and situations.  It is the outward manifestation of the lie that Eve bought into in the Garden of Eden when Satan convinced her that she would be as God.  Hence, when we murmur and complain we demonstrate a lack of patience with and toward God.] 

[How long does James say we should be patient in our lives?  James says it twice,  . . . until the coming of the Lord (vs 7-8).] 

2.      Our Complaints Show a Lack of Persuasion (vs 9) [– Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. – The persuasion I’m referring to is the persuasion that God and God alone is the final authority, the only authority in life.  Our complaints reveal that we feel that we are somehow a controlling authority for our lives.  This is the American mind set.  It is the individualistic idea.  It is the philosophy of humanism.  ] 

[James reminds us that there is one and only one judge in life and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.  Through complaining and murmuring we demonstrate that we are not satisfied with the judgment of Almighty God.  We presume that there is a better way to handle the affairs of life and this world and we presume to know what that way is.  Notice how Paul continued his discourse in 1 Corinthians,] 

[1 Corinthians 10:10-14 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. ]

[My Christian friends let us be careful about the temptation to think ourselves wiser than our Heavenly Father, which is undeniably revealed in our grudging and complaining.] 

3.      Our Complaints Show a Lack of Persistence (vs 10-12, 8) [-  Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. 11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. 12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. -  James now reminds us that through the circumstances of our life we are called upon by our God to stand firm and endure to the end.  We must stand in purity and righteousness no matter what comes our way.  We must anticipate and expect difficulty and trials but must patiently trust and obey our Lord at all time.  James wrote,] 

[James 5:8 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. ]

[As the children of our Heavenly Father we must understand that we do not always see things as our Lord sees things.  Therefore, we will seldom fully recognize why things must happen they way they do.  None-the-less we must trust His sovereign hand and teach ourselves to be content with His plan and purposes for our lives.]

C.     The Surrender of Grudging (vs 9; Philip 2.14) [- As the children of our Heavenly Father we must learn to hear our Lord and,] 

[James 5:9 9 Grudge not one against another, . . .  ]

[Paul wrote,]  

[Philippians 2:14 14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:]

[Nothing divides and destroys like grudging, complaining, and murmuring. A murmuring spirit is contagious like the worst diseases known to mankind.  It will destroy the reputation and testimony of the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It will devour the joy and lives of those who are around it.  Let us refuse to Grudge and surrender our murmuring spirit to our Lord Jesus Christ.]

 



[1]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G4727). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[2]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G2632). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

[3]Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G485). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

 

 

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