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Monday, July 23, 2012

James 4:11-12


James 4:11-12 11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against 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 only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? James 11 says "Do not speak evil again one another." James is coming right back to some other things that he has spoken on. Go back to chapter 3. He tells us to tame the tongue. The he goes on to warn us about worldliness and now is back to yet another form of being worldly. That is speaking evil again one another. Well, what does he mean by speaking evil against one another? It certainly is not correcting those who are in doctrinal error. Look at how James talks to the people in this letter. To see this just back up to verse 4..."You adulterous people!" That is strong language...He is not opposed to correcting others and letting them know that they are wrong. In fact he spends most of his time in this letter doing just that; Correcting. So what is James getting at? Psalm 50:19-20 "You give your mouth free rein for evil, and your tongue frames deceit. 20 You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother's son. Psalm 101:5 Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure. Romans 1:28-32 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. Look at what Paul groups people who slander with. He puts them in the same group as people who are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, haters of God...It's not a good group to be a part of. This is what James is getting at; slander and talking evil against one another...The things that James speaks against people is good. He gives them truth. He is telling them. He is addressing them so they can be corrected. Speaking evil is something we are not supposed to do. We are not supposed to go around speaking and gossiping behind peoples backs. Do not...Do not do it. I don't know how you can get clearer than that But why? Why are we not to slander and gossip and speak evil towards one another? Notice the words the James uses. He says "Brothers. Don't speak against a brother, don't judge a brother." Three times he calls them brothers. We are all in the same family. We have all been adopted by God as Sons. We are all heirs with Christ. So why are we talking bad about each other? Why the gossip? Why the slander? And what are the results of speaking evil against each other? What kind of person are we if we are speaking against one another... James tells us... He says that if we speak against our bother we speak evil against the law and judge the law. This is an interesting statement and I would like to walk through what he means by this. By speaking evil against a brother, we actually speak evil against the law. When we judge a brother, we actually judge the law. When we go against the words of scripture we sit in Judgment of the law. We have decided that we know what to do. We have chosen to make our own laws. And this passage is clear. There is one lawgiver. One Judge. And it is Christ. Christ alone is able to judge. He is the only one who can give the law. It is him and him alone that will save and destroy. And this should frighten every one of us. When we gossip and slander we put ourselves above Christ. We exalt ourselves. We do exactly what James warns about a few verse up. Right before James said "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. If we Slander and Gossip we are proud arrogant people who have chosen to become Judges of the law. We will be opposed by God. Gossip and slander do not draw us near to God, but away from him. If we judge, we will be judged.

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