World English Bible translation
4:11Don't speak against one another, brothers. He who speaks against a brother and judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge. 4:12 Only one is the lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge another?
Factions and splits between those that seek to serve God are caused by sin. James calls these "the pleasures that war within your members." Christians covet what another has been given by God and anger results. Another lusts after that which should not be and drives a wedge that affects Christian fellowship. But, God is merciful to us. He has given His Spirit to us that yearns jealously for our redemption. We have but to ask in faith and what we need will be given to us by a Father that loves to provide for His children.
Because we have such a Father, we must learn not to speak ill of one another. Whoever is of Christ has been chosen by Him. Since it is God who saves, it is not my place to be critical of those that God chooses for salvation. How may I sit in judgment of another when Christ has died for all of my sins? If Christ chooses another, He has died for their sins as well.
So if God is our Father then all those in Christ are our brothers and sisters. HE who speaks against a brother or a sister speaks against the Father as well. As James writes, that person speaks against the Father's law and sets himself up as a judge of the law.
But who are we to judge God's law? Not long ago, we were lawbreakers. There is only one who gives the law and who has a right to sit in judgment. Only God and His Son Jesus Christ our Lord have that right. When we are placed into the body of Christ, we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ, but that does not give us the right or responsibility to judge others.
These concepts go along with the idea of humbling ourselves before God that James wrote about in the last lesson. "God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble." The humble Christian is the man or woman that knows their place before God. Out role is not that of the judge. Our role is that of the pardoned sinner that has been accepted into the family of God.
Have you wrongly judged anyone lately? Is there a part of you that is envious of others and would seek to judge those that Christ has died to save?
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