Do Not Judge A Brother
JAMES PART EIGHT: 11/30/16
4:11 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?
“Speak evil” is not constructive criticism or a loving admonishment – it’s talking about them negatively – putting them down so you’re raised up. Tarnishing their image and hurting their reputation – or lying.
“Doesn’t the Bible say ‘judge not’ – who are you to tell people what they can, and cannot do.
John 7:24. Here Jesus encourages His followers to “judge with righteous judgment.”
This misrepresentation of “judging” is an attempt to conform scripture to support opinions.
We tend to pick and choose certain Scriptures as if they were choices on a menu. But we can’t choose those we like and discard the rest.
Judging within the context of Matthew 7:1 refers to the type of judgment that a judge would render in a court of law, such as in Romans 14:4, “Who are you to judge another’s servant?” A judge hears the evidence and pronounces a judgment – it has to do with “sentencing” not “discerning”.
Romans 14 is judging, or not judging, based on our own convictions: Holidays, Schooling, Food, Lifestyle, Movie clips, or Images (1956 commentary – not even slides from missionaries), TV in the lobby, Religious Pics., Communion, etc.
Err on the side of grace.
Know the facts – is it necessary to say something?
Remove the plank from your eye first.
Call others out when they gossip.
SUM IT UP – This passage is about Fault-finding
In John 7:24, however, Christians are to judge or “call into question” those things that clearly contradict God’s principles. In 1 Corinthians 2:15, the apostle Paul said that those who are spiritual should judge and discern all things.
The famous reformer, John Calvin, commenting on this topic, said, “These words of Christ do not contain an absolute prohibition from judging, but are intended to cure a disease—criticism.”
Regarding moral issues that destroy lives and dishonor God, we are to judge (“call into question”) behaviors, choices, and lifestyles that lead people in a dangerous direction, especially if these issues are to become social policy and legally sanctioned.
ON A DIFFERENT NOTE: within the church itself we are to judge – Matthew 18. And Titus 3:10– Warn a divisive person two times, but after that, have nothing to do with them.
Believers and Unbelievers are handled differently in this area.
BUT we can easily become “wrongfully” judgmental…failure to recognize diverse gifts.
Do Not “Boast” About Tomorrow. Doesn’t say not to talk about or to plan for; it says not to boast.
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”;14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
THE RIGHT WAY: Lord here’s what we would like to do and what we feel you’re calling us to do but you direct us.