Friday, February 17, 2012

Digging Deeper (James 4:11-12

Digging Deeper 21 James 4:11-12
         Do you have a passion? Truth be told we all have our passions, things that we think about every day, things that we just can’t get enough of, we want to talk about it, read about it, we want to be around it, a passion can become an obsession if left unchecked. But what would it be like if our passion was to simply please God? How does our life look different if we woke in the morning and pursued that mission to please God! What if we couldn’t get enough of it, what if we were always talking about, what if we made it our life to know the character of God and walk in it? What if our passion for God turns into an obsession? How important does the study of God’s Word become when we have a passion to please God? Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ. A passion for Christ will create a desire for His Word. Let’s dig a little deeper in the Word!
        James 4:11 Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother, or 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 of it. Do not do it! There are not a lot of ways to misinterpret that first phrase. But notice this word “brethren” those that we have the bond of family. Family here is not limited to biological family but includes the family bonds of having the commonality of Christ. Now there are two others words actually they are one word in the Greek, speak against - katalaleo “kata” which means down and “laleo” which means to talk at random or to use thoughtless words. So this is what James is saying “Do not put a brother down”! If we are putting some one down then we are making judgments of the law which are certainly not in our realm of authority. If we are using the opinion of the law to make judgments of whether a brother is keeping the character of God then we are certainly not doers ourselves. There is only one with that kind of authority. Paul writes this concerning the issue Romans 14:1 Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions and again in Romans 14:10 But, you why do you judge your brother? Or again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.
 James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you to judge your neighbor. If God gave His law, and God alone has authority to administer judgment concerning His standard, then how are we going to put down a brother that we cannot truly see not having any knowledge of his heart? What are we going to do about it anyway? We can neither save nor destroy him so what could possibly be our intent of putting down a brother in Christ? This instruction in no way relieves us from being our brother’s keeper we need to confront sin when a brother has fallen short and when he is wrong but the confrontation must be from a heart to lift not to put down. 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the faint hearted, help the weak, be patient with all men. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all men.
Much of this is tied back to the previous verses concerning submission to God. God does not need us to be his policeman, judge and jury. There are times when our pride tells us that God is just letting some stuff go. People are getting by with sin, disregarding God’s principles. Often our response is to play judge rather than brother. It is easier to put someone down than build them up. It is easier to talk put about him and put him down, often to others, rather than having a loving confrontation. The last phrase of verse 11 … but who are you who judge your neighbor? This is a call for self examination, who are we that we can make a judgment of another’s walk with God? Imagine the unity of believers striving to lift one another up by submitting all judgment to God! This cannot be misconstrued as a passive look at sin. We are not to embrace or condone sin in our lives or the life of others. But anytime something is pushed down it raises something else up and if our heart is not right in approaching the sin in our brother’s life then we are simply pushing down to raise ourselves up. Matthew 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Submitting to God means letting Him be the judge.
Now that we have dug a little deeper what do we believe?
What do we believe about God? 
1.   God alone is the lawgiver.
2.   God alone is judge.
3.   God does not need man to do what only God can do.

What do we believe about ourselves? 

1.   We should not put our brothers down so that we can rise up.
2.   Our submission to God will guard us against putting a brother down.
3.   We cannot see how to help a brother out until we see ourselves as needing help with our own lives.

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