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[Illustration - "While
visiting a neighbor, five-year-old Andrew pulled out his kindergarten class
picture and immediately began describing each classmate. "This is Robert; he
hits everyone. This is Stephen. He never listens to the teacher. This is Mark.
He chases us and is very noisy." Pointing to his own picture, Andrew commented,
"And this is me. I'm just sitting here minding my own business."]
[Considering the context.]
[James just finished describing a number of terrible
divisions in the Church. There
were wars, fighting, and killing among them (James 4.1-2).
These conflicts were the result of warring lusts in the individual
members. The cure for their
conflict was to submit to God, and resist the devil.
More specifically James said they
[An Inoculation of Grace (vs 6)]
[The Inauguration of Divine Authority (vs7)]
[An Infusion of Divine Direction (vs 8)]
[The Introspection of Divine Dependency (vs 9)]
In this text James reveals,
The Manifestation of Judgment (vs 11, Eph
4.31-32; Prov 29.22-23) [-
Speak not evil one of another, brethren.
He that speaketh evil of his
brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law:
but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. -
James now takes us a step
further and tells us never to speak evil one of another, because when we speak
evil of another person we place ourselves in a position of judgment.
Hence, we must discipline ourselves to watch what we say.]
[Speak not evil -
(Gk) - as expressing hostility in
speaking speak (evil) against, slander, revile.
Some has suggested that this is
literally speaking in an authoritative manner, with the goal of pulling another
down. Hence , It is self-serving and self-glorifying.
It is not righteous, pure speaking; but is evil to its very core.
When we speak evil of another in a slanderous way we become guilty
[In this act we piously set ourselves up as the authoritative
lawgiver, we seek to render God's Word subject to our opinions.
Thus, we are not a doer of the law, but a judge in and of ourselves; this
is a haughty act of self-exaltation.]
[How should we speak of other people?
The Bible says,]
31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and
and evil speaking, be
put away from you, with all malice: 32
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one
another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. ]
[Notice here that Paul says when bitterness, wrath, anger, and
clamour seek to pour themselves into you and then out of you that you are to put
away from you all of these including evil speaking.]
(Gk) - to clamor or cry. An
outcry, usually for public information (Matt. 25:6; Rev. 14:18); of tumult or
controversy, clamor (Acts 23:9; Eph. 4:31); of sorrow, wailing (Rev. 21:4; Sept.
:Ex. 12:30); of supplication (Heb. 5:7; Sept.: Job 34:28).
boé̄ (995), a cry for help.]
[What is it that our sinful human natural side loves to do
when we have been offend or wronged?
We love to stir up the clamor.
We love to let the world know how we have been victimized.
In raising our clamor we know that our cries would never be complete
without the finger of accusation, no, even more the finger of conviction
(guilt). Our assailant is clearly
guilty by our accusation, no discernment is need, no witnesses are necessary we
have already rendered the judgment they are guilty.]
[This is exactly what both Paul and James are talking about.
Paul says put the clamor away, James says speak not evil one of another.
Why? Because when we strive
to bring another down, we are striving to lift ourselves up and that’s when we
become judges of the law, or authorities in ourselves.]
[In contrast to this
scriptural truth the Bible says,]
22 An angry man stirreth up strife, and a
furious man aboundeth in transgression. 23
A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in
[James takes us from the battles and conflicts that we will
certainly face in life and he now gives us the gauge or measuring stick whereby
we can discern how we have responded when faced with difficulties in our lives.
What you find yourself saying about those who are involved in your
conflict reveals much about how you are fairing through your conflict.
Your words manifest who and what you are.]
[Are your words clamorous?
Are you tearing others down with your words?
Then you are speaking evil of others and you have made yourself into a
judge. There is but one judge in
our lives and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.]
The Manipulation Of Judgement (vs 11-12;
John 7.24; Matt 7.1-3) [- Speak not
evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of
his brother, and judgeth his
brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the
law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to
save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? - Know the one
true source of authority. God
is the only law giver, our opinions will not last, God's Word will stand
forever. Always remember who you are.]
[Many use the phrase,
“Judge not lest ye be judged.” If you
are judging for your own personal cause then this phrase needs to become your
rule of thumb. Because, while you
think you are right in your cause, the truth may be distinctly different.
The fact is that we must make judgments or judgment calls every day of
our lives. What we really need to
learn to do is to,]
Judge not according to the
appearance, but judge righteous judgment.]
[Yes, our Lord Jesus
Christ really did say,]
Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what
measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is
in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the
beam that is in thine own eye?]
[What did our Lord mean?
He meant that we need to be sure that our judgment is right and true.
This is exactly what James is saying to us in our text.
We must never manipulate the judgment that we render or demand to meet
our own end. When we find anger,
bitterness, wrath, and clamour marking our defense, then those are sure signs
that we are manipulating the evidence to establish our position.]
[The worst time for people to render a judgment call is when
they are in the heat of the conflict and have a personal position to protect.
Notice that our text says,]
There is one lawgiver,
who is able to save and to destroy:
who art thou that judgest another?]
[From our text we discover that there are judgments that we
are to avoid. The Bible reveals a
number of judgments we should avoid.]
Judgments we should
Concerning Salvation (vs 12) [-
There is one lawgiver,
who is able to save and to destroy: . . . – Have you ever seen
someone who while in the heat of a conflict declared that the other party in
their conflict must not be saved.
Your disagreement with someone does not determine whether they are saved or
lost. Their relationship with the
Lord Jesus Christ does that. Now,
we know from scripture that we examine the fruit of ones life, or their conduct
and get a pretty good sense of their spiritual condition.
But, there are, have been, and likely will be times in the midst of a
conflict when others looking at our situation will determine that you must not
are Sanctimonious (Luke 6.39-42: cf. Matt 7.1-5) – These are
self-righteous judgments that condemn someone for being or doing something that
you do yourself. Jesus said,]
And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind?
shall they not both fall into the ditch? 40
The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect
shall be as his master. 41 And why
beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the
beam that is in thine own eye? 42
Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that
is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own
eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then
shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.]
21 Thou therefore which teachest another,
teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou
steal? 22 Thou that sayest a man
should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest
idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? 23
Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law
dishonourest thou God? 24 For the
name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, . . . ]
[We might best recognize this principle in judgment
with the memorable phrase,
Do you practice what you
are Silly (Titus 3.9) [– But
avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about
the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. – There are many things that
people debate and argue about that are just wastes of time.
They render no saving or sanctifying results and they just are not worthy
of the time they consume. This is
never more true than when you are in the heat of a conflict and you are trying
to defend your personal position.]
[Consider again for a moment what we discovered last week in,]
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye
ask amiss, that ye may consume it
upon your lusts.]
[If you are praying about your conflict, and God is not giving
you the answer you have been praying for, then perhaps you ought to consider the
possibility, even the reality that your desired end is not God’s will and
perhaps your justifications for your positions are out of God’s will as well.
Be careful to avoid manipulative judgments that misrepresent your
A Magnificent Judgment (vs 12; John 7.24;
1 Cor 5.1-13;
Matt 18.15-17) [-
There is one lawgiver,
who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? –
There are judgments in life that we are called to render.
Again our Lord said,]
Judge not according to the
appearance, but judge righteous judgment.]
[Are we ever supposed to judge?]
taught the Church to Judge (1
Cor 5.1-13) - Paul judged a man for fornication with his father's
[Paul judged this man even to the point of delivering him unto
Satan (vs 5).]
5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for
the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the
Lord Jesus. ]
[This may appear harsh but it in reality expresses the serious
nature of the judgments we will be called upon toe render.]
[Paul's standard for
judgment (vs 6-13).]
[A little leaven destroys the whole (vs 6) – Leaven is
never a good thing in the Bible.]
[Purge the leaven out, and cleave to Jesus (vs 7).]
[Be careful that this purging is sincere and bound up in
the truth - righteous judgment (vs 8).]
[Don't go to extremes - we must live in this world (vs
[However, purge your fellowship, those that you would
trust to watch for your soul (vs 11).]
[Care carefully for the Church, and leave the world in
God's hands (vs 11-12).]
[Christian judgment must always have reconciliation as
its goal (2 Cor 2.5-11).]
5 But if any have caused grief, he hath
not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.
6 Sufficient to such a man
is this punishment, which
was inflicted of many.
7 So that contrariwise ye
ought rather to forgive
him, and comfort
him, lest perhaps such a one
should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. 8
Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm
your love toward him.
9 For to this end also did I write, that
I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I
forgive also: for if I forgave
any thing, to whom I forgave it,
for your sakes forgave I it in
the person of Christ; 11 Lest Satan
should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. ]
[Paul commanded the Church to execute judgment.]
[Jesus gave the
discipline of the Church (Matt 18.15-17).
Jesus commanded the Church to judge within itself.
judgment must be:
(vs 15) -
Moreover if thy brother shall trespass
against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall
hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.]
[Persuasive (vs 16) -
But if he will not hear
thee, then take with thee one
or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be
[Protective (vs 17) -
And if he shall neglect to hear them,
tell it unto the church: but if
he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a
[The only way to
judge righteous judgment is to be sure you allow your Heavenly Father to guide
your judgment, so that you are absolutely certain that He is rendering the
judgment and you find yourself in absolute agreement with Him.
Hence, in life there are judgments we must render and these are revealed
in the Bible.]
scripture we discover that there are judgments that must be rendered.]
Judgments that must be rendered,
Purity (1 Cor 11.31) [- For if we
would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. - One must filter his or her
own life through the filter of God's Word.]
[It must be
COMPREHENSIVE - Reaching to the inmost depths of ones being.]
[It must be
COMPARATIVE - Considering every portion of God's revealed Word, barring
[It must be
COMPELLING - Causing a positive, repentive change within the individual.]
Preservation (2 John 1.7-11; Matt 7.15-20) [- To judge others for their
potential affect on the Church in fellowship and on individuals in their
[Deceivers - Do not bid God speed (2 John 1.7-11).]
7 For many deceivers are entered into
the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a
deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look
to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we
receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever
transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that
abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
If there come any unto
you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into
your house, neither bid him God
speed: 11 For he that biddeth him
God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. ]
[Judge their fruits (Matt 7.15-20).]
15 Beware of false prophets, which come
to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth
forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil
fruit, neither can a corrupt
tree bring forth good fruit. 19
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the
fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits
ye shall know them.]
[To Judge Or Not To
Judge – So where has this study
taken us? On one hand I have
preached that we must not judge with a manipulative judgment or an unrighteous
judgment; which is what we tend to do when we are in the heat of a conflict.
This is what James is writing about.
But James is not telling us that we should never render any judgment for
judgment calls are a regular and necessary part of our lives.]
[Christians must render righteous judgment that is based on
the Word of God and the character of God.
We must, as a Church, and as individuals make those necessary righteous
judgments that protect our purity and preserve our doctrine and faith.]
[In the end this study leads us to consider why we feel the
way we do, and why we are saying the things we do about one another.
Are we exercising Godly and righteous judgment in the way we are talking
about and treating one another?]
Church, Evening, 22 March