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James 4:11-12 - “The Judge—Judging Others

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1.      We must remember God hates all sin

2.      Judging others-condemning-criticizing-backbiting-gossiping-speaking evil-talking about others is one of the sins that are strongly &constantly condemned!

3.      There is always a strong tendency for the

—       Good person to judge the bad person

—       Gifted judging the less gifted

—       Wealthy judging the poor

—       Active judging the less active

—       Less active judging the active


I.                   Proper Judgment

II.                Improper Judgment

A.       Speaking evil of brothers

B.       Violates the law of God

C.       Sets one up as judge—as a lawgiver

D.       Usurps God’s right & authority

III.             Guidelines For Proper Judgment

A.       Properly judge yourself first—deal with your own sin

B.       Remember God is judge

C.       Don’t make yourself a judge of the law

I.                   Proper Judgement

Jesus: "Watch out when all men speak of you well" When everybody starts speaking well of you something is wrong, you have become a chameleon.

—       Luke 6:26; John 15:18-19

A.       Scriptural Support - There are times when we must judge

1.      Matthew 7:6; 7:15—Do not give what is holy to the dogs, nor cast your pearls before the swine; False prophets

2.      Matthew 18:15-20—Rebuke a person in sin

3.      Matthew 23:1-39—Jesus 

4.      John 7:24—Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment 

5.      Romans 16:17—Mark those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned and avoid them.

6.      1Corinthians 5:1-5—Like leaven which must be removed, deliver one to Satan

7.      Galatians 1:6-9—Let him be accursed if he brings another gospel 

8.      1Thessalonians 5:21—Test all things, hold fast to what is good 

9.      1Timothy 1:18-20—Hymeneas and Alexander excommunicated: who I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme  

10.  1Peter 4:17—For the time of judgment has come to begin with the house of God

11.  1John 4:1—Test the Spirits

12.  2John 10-11—If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive hi into your house nor greet him, for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds

13.  Jude 3-4—Ungodly men are turning the grace of God into licentiousness & denying the Lord

II.                Improper Judgement (4:11-12)

A.       Speaking Evil Of Brothers (4:11)

1.      Do not speak evil of one another, brethren—v.11

a.       To criticize, judge, backbite, gossip, officious meddler, condemn, and grumble against another person

b.      To talk about, to tear down another person, sharing things that cut and hurt him

c.       Sharing things that lower his or her image & reputation in the eyes of others

d.      This is all done behind this person’s back

Principles for Ministry

Defend The Pastor And The Ministry From All Negative Talk

a.       People who listen to people who criticize-backbite, etc. are just as guilty!

b.      Listening to it condones it—tolerates it & says; “I approve of it”-hypocrite!

—       Step into the conversation & boldly rebuke the gossip, replacing it with positive words

c.       Every church has its critics-we can be open to constructive criticism-we do not have all the answers

d.      But when constructive criticism becomes destructive complaining, put an end to it

e.       If you are in, or going to be in the ministry, you must steer people in a godly direction

2.      If you have spoken evil of another, You have sinned!

a.       Now others know what this person has done wrong because you told them.

b.      This is just as much failure as the person who has sinned.

c.       If you listen to this gossip, you are just as guilty.


3.      We are all brothers & sisters in Christ—the family of God

a.       When one of us falls, lets reach out & restore our brother, not push him farther down

b.      Remember he or she is a child of God-{Luke 17:3-4-you shall forgive him}

c.       Galatians 6:1-2; Psalm 51:12-13

—       Restore: when a bone is broken it is put back in place

—       This has nothing to do with judgment but helping each other bear one another's burdens

d.      Jeremiah 29:11

—       Our thoughts toward others should be of peace & not of evil, to give them a future and a hope.

There are several reasons why people tend to judge & criticize others.

a.       It boosts are own self-image

Ø      Pointing out someone else’s failures makes me seem a little better

b.      It is enjoyed

Ø      There is a tendency to hear the bad news & shortcomings about others—dirty laundry

c.       It makes us feel that our own lives (morally & behavior) are better than the person who failed

d.      It helps justify the things we have done throughout our lives

Ø      We do this by rationalizing our decisions and acts by pointing out the failure of others

e.       It points out to our friends how strong we are

Ø      How does this prove how strong we are?  By our brothers failure.

f.       It is an outlet for hurt and revenge

Matthew 5:38-42—Vengeance - official legal eye for eye and tooth for tooth - this is not personal vengeance but for the courts.  This punishment needs to be equal in the Court of Law.

Romans 12:17-21—repay no evil for evil cf. 1Thessalonians 5:15; 1Peter 3:8-10

Ø      We feel he or she deserves it!

Note: Excuse For Sin—This is an Improper Judgement As Well

1.      To allow someone to continue in sin is not love, but hating them - 

—    `You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. (Leviticus 19:17 NKJV)

2.      Proverbs 27:6— Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

B.       Violates The Law of God (4:11)


1.      He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law


a.       What does this mean?  James 2:8

b.      The criticizer & backbiter himself become guilty of transgression, violating the greatest of all laws!

—       This is the law that commands us to “love one another”

2.      The criticizer is doing more harm than the person his is judging.

a.       He is talking about another person while breaking the law of love at the same time.

—       He is saying the law of love is not that important; it can be sometimes abused & violated

b.      Guilty of double sin—Double hypocrite

—       He not only ignores the Royal Law of love by talking about others; he slanders others for their failure.

C.       Sets One Up As Judge—As A Law Giver

1.      He who peaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law (v.11)

How do you think criticizing, & backbiting a brother makes us judges of the law?

a.       He is saying that his brother is wrong, that he has the right to slander his brother because he is wrong.

b.      We judge the law he has broken as important & the law of love (loving one another) not as important

Matthew 7:1-2

1.      I am not able to see into people's hearts only God can.  I must not judge to condemn.

2.      I have no right to judge someone’s motives,  “Well I know why you did this or that.”  No I don’t know! 

Ø      Ill. of going to the store.

Ø      This is self-righteous & a critical spirit

Exposition of Verse 2

1.      One sense it relates to the way you treat others & will come back to you, but here it relates to God

2.      Real Issue: What does God think of my life since he knows that it is true?

3.      God will judge you based on the knowledge you have-if you know enough to judge then God will judge you on that standard-it will be tough since we all know more than we live out.

4.      To whom much is given, much is required

a.       We judge others by action while we judge ourselves by our motives.

Read—Matthew 7:3-5

1.      In the original language, the speck & the plank are made up of the same substance—the difference is size

2.      This is why we can spot certain sins in other people so easily—they are our own.

Ø      Isn’t it interesting how ugly our sins look on someone else?

Ø      We rationalize our own sins but condemn others.

3.      Do not be a knit-picking—sin-sniffer!

Ø      Always having a critical spirit towards others

Ø      Being guilty of a far worse sin

Ø      Remember, we will be judged by the same standard we apply to others


The Classic Example—King David

1.      David committed several terrible sins as a result of his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba.

a.       He lusted after her, then misused his authority as King, to have sexual relations with her

b.      She became pregnant, unable to make it appear that the child belonged to her husband.

c.       David conceived a plot to kill Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband.

d.      Their was a chain of sin in David’s life, beginning with lust, ending with murder—James 1:14


e.       David found a way to rationalize those sins—For almost a year nothing was said

f.       Well, I’ve pulled it off, David thought, but—“Your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23)


2.      One day the prophet Nathan paid a visit to David and told him a story, lets pick it up there

Read 2Samuel 12:1-7,9,12-14

a.       After David passed harsh judgment, Nathan pointed into David face saying, “You are the man”

b.      David was the man with many sheep-wives, Uriah had only one sheep-wive, and David took her.

Interesting how the King was willing to condemn a person for a crime much less serious than his own!

—       He thought it was fine for him to steal another mans wife, but he would have someone executed for stealing a sheep “But if you judge the law you are not a doer of the law but a judge” 4:11b

—       Does anybody come to your mind?

—       Have you been quick to see the speck in someone else’s eye but not the plank in your own?

D.       Usurps God’s Right & Authority (4:12)

This is a very strong warning to the criticizer and backbiter!

1.      There is one Lawgiver who is able to save and destroy.  Who are you to judge another?

a.       God alone is the Great Lawgiver

b.      We are setting ourselves up in the place of God, making ourselves God-claiming the right to judge

c.       We have no right to sit upon the throne of God’s judgment—It’s God’s right & His alone!

2.      God will not tolerate a person who is setting himself upon the throne of His judgment

a.       There is only one who can save and destroy

b.      Only one who can criticize & judge another person—as worthy of being saved or destroyed.

c.       Not one of us is able to know & judge the whole truth about a person—Only God knows all facts.

Several Reason Why We Should Never Criticize Others

1.      All the circumstance and all the facts are never known

2.      All people—including Christians—fall short—we all sin—1John 1:8,10

3.      All there is to know about a person is never known

4.      Judging others usurps God’s authority

Matthew 7:1-Judge not lest you be judged

Romans 2:1—Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you

judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

1Corinthians 4:5—Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring

to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will

come from God.

III.             Guidelines For Proper Judgment (Matthew 7:3-5)

A.       Properly Judge Yourself First: Deal With Your Own Sin! (Verses 3-5)

1.      First Work On Your Own Life

a.       Spend more time on our own sin in repentance and humility.

b.      Literally a twig or little stick, vs. a bean or 2X4

c.       If we judge this way it shows hat we don't see our own sin of pride and false perception of ourselves.

d.      Terrible- to see all the sin in others and see none in our selves-in that state you cannot help any person - probably because I have sin in my own heart

e.       Take care of this spirit and then you can help others-when we are overwhelmed with our own sin, then with that kind of spirit we can help others.

B.       Remember God Is Judge

1.      The Father is Judge and He has committed all judgment to the Son # John 5:22

C.       Don't You Make Yourself a Judge of the Law—James 4:11-12

D.       Use Discernment In Judgement (Matthew 7:6)

1.      Scriptures

a.       Proverbs 26:4-5

b.      I must know when to speak and when not to speak

c.       The kind of spirit I should have is, "How can I ever help anybody to get their life straight because I am not perfect

2.      Illustrations

a.       Dogs - not little lap dogs name fluffy but a mongrel in the city which ran in packs, ate garbage and in O.T. ate Jezebels body

b.      Part of the offering was eaten by the Priests and part ate by you - the priest would not throw that part away and give it to a pack of wild dogs-use discernment

c.       Jesus told them to shake the dust off their feet if a city did not receive them

3.      Pigs a little bit rougher in that day:

a.       Pearls were priceless - so nobody would do that

b.      If you gave it to one, he would spit it out and then turn on you

4.      Example

a.       Hebrews - Melchizedek - they were not spiritually ready

b.      1Corinthians 3:1

c.       Jesus said "I have more to say to you but you cannot bear it right now"

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