Sermon:  Doers vs. Judges 

Summary:  We are to be doers of the law, which says we are to love our neighbors 
as ourselves.  If we speak against our brother instead, we put ourselves in the 
position of judge, which we are not.  Only God is the lawgiver, judge, savior, and 
destroyer.  We, on the other hand, are to be faithful servants and nothing more.

Know:  We are to be doers of the law, not judges

Feel:  A need to make love a major part of your character since God is love

Do:  Reflect on the nature of love and how it is the foundation for the entire law.  
Discuss how James instructs that love is to be demonstrated.  Identify barriers to 
expressing love to others.  Describe the ways that speaking against and judging a 
brother is wrong.  Identify the ways you already show love, and challenge yourself 
to develop a deeper more godly love to others in every kind of situation.  

Text:  Jas 4:11-12

Scripture Reading:  Rom 13:8-10

1.  Do you know what the most powerful muscle is in the human body?
	a.  Not the back, biceps, legs
	b.  It is only about three inches long - It is the tongue
	c.  When looked at James 3, saw that it can cause great destruction
		- Hurt feelings, broken relationships, wars
		- Can steer the direction of a family, company, a country
2.  There is a lot in the text about the tongue.
	a.  The tongue is connected to the heart
		- How you use your tongue connected to the type of person you are
		- It is a reflection of what is in your heart
	b.  A perfect/complete/mature man is one who is able to bridle the tongue
	c.  If you do not bridle the tongue, your religion is worthless
3.  This is the last instruction in James about speech, the conclusion.
	a.  It says - Do not speak against your brother
		- Speak against is katalaleo - To speak against, speak evil of, 
		   defame, slander
		- What did speaking against include?
		- Context - 4:1-2 - There was fighting, quarreling, conflicts, etc.
		- Speaking against also includes backbiting, innuendo, carrying 
		  tales, cursing, etc.
	b.  It also seems to include judging according to v. 11
		- Speaking against AND judging your brother is bad
		- Jesus said the same thing in (Lk 6:36-37)
	c.  This does not mean we accept sin or allow a brother to stay in sin
		- 1 Cor 5 - Put away an immoral brother until he changes
		- 1 Tim 5:20 - If elder continues in sin, rebuke in the presence of all
		- Tit 1:13 - Reprove them severely so they will be sound in the faith
		- Gal 6:1 - If caught in trespass, you who are spiritual restore such 
		  a one in a spirit of gentleness
		- 2 Tim 4:2 - Reprove, rebuke, exhort with great patience and 
	d.  What this is saying is not to speak against or condemn a brother
		- We don't condemn them to Hell
		- We don't carry tales, stir up trouble for them, fight with them, etc.
4.  Text gives us reasons why we are not to speak against or judge a brother

I.  You become a judge and not a doer
	A.  Early in James, it told us to be doers of the word, not just hearers
		1.  Now it is saying be doers of the word, not judges of it
		2.  You can't be a doer of the law AND a judge of the law
		3.  You either keep the law, or you judge the law
		4.  We are not on God's supreme court to judge the law
	B.  How does speaking against a brother make you judge of the law?
		1.  (Jas 2:8) - Look at what the Royal Law/Law of the Kingdom says
			a.  The Royal Law is the law of love
			b.  If I love, I am not going to backbite, condemn, speak 
			     against, and do things to hurt and destroy a brother
		2.  If I speak against a brother, I not keeping the law, but judging it
			a.  My actions show I don't think much of the law
			b.  My actions show I don't think it is important to keep it
			c.  My actions show I think I am entitled to set the law aside
		3.  Yet, the Royal Law is part of the foundation of all the law
			a.  (Mt 22:39) - It is the second greatest commandment
				- This is part of what all the law and prophets rest on
			b.  (Rom 13:8-10) - Love is the fulfillment of the law
				- Love does no wrong to a neighbor
				- In other words, you do not speak against a brother
		4.  This shows us that speaking against a brother is an affront to 
			a.  You become a judge of the law, God's law
			b.  Set aside God's law puts you at odds with God
			c.  Speaking against a brother is to speak against God
	C.  ILL:  Driving to Boston, got pulled over for hanging in the left lane
		1.  The trooper was kind of nasty to me
		2.  I continued to be respectful to him.  Why?
			a.  Not just because he could make life difficult for me
			b.  Because I had respect for the uniform, for the law
		3.  What would have happened if I disrespected him?
			a.  Could get cited, even arrested.  Why?
			b.  To disrespect an officer of the law is to disrespect the law
			c.  He is a representative of the law
		4.  Your brother is a representative of Christ
			a.  He has the Spirit of Christ
			b.  He has been redeemed by the blood of Christ
			c.  He is a child of God, whom the Lord loves deeply
			d.  To speak against him is to speak against God
	D.  So, we need to be a doer of the law, not a judge of it
		1.  At the center of the law is the law of love
		2.  Being a doer of the law is to love God and love your brother
		3.  If you do not, then you become a judge of the law
		4.  What is the problem with being a judge of the law?

II.  God is God, you are not
	A.  There is only one God and one Lord
	B.  God is God, we are not God
		1.  Notice how the text describes our one God
			a.  One lawgiver
				- Ex 20:1 - First gave the law at Sinai, began with "I 
				  am Yahweh, your God, who brought you out"
				- Mt 5:17 - Jesus, lawgiver, not abolish law, but fulfill
					= Jesus then teaches what it means
					= Jesus demonstrated in his life what it means
				- Our Lord is the lawgiver, we are not
			b.  One judge
				- In Revelation, God will sit on the great white throne
				- He is the judge, we are not
				- We are not the one who decides who is in or out
			c.  One able to save
				- The universal problem is sin that separates
				- Can you take care of sin and death?  No
				- Only God can save you, through Christ
			d.  One able to destroy
				- Only God saves and destroys, he is God
				- We are not God
		2.  Question:  WHO are YOU to judge your brother?
			a.  You the lawgiver?  Judge?  Savior?  Destroyer? 
			b.  No, you are God's servant
			c.  God is God, you are not
		3.  (Rom 14:1) - Speaks of same subject (application of law of love)
			a.  (v.4) - Who are you to judge another's servant?
				- Your brother is not your servant, not belong to you
				- v.3 - Do not judge brother or regard with contempt
				   ie: Don't speak against your brother
				- He will stand, because Lord able to make him stand
					= Even if you regard him with contempt, he 
					= Even if you judge him, he stands
					= Even if you speak against him, he stands
				- If speak against God's servant, at odds with God
			b.  (v.10-12) - Will give account of yourself, not your brother
				- Need to watch self if keeping law of love
				- If not, will give an account for it
			c.  (15:2-3) - We are to please our neighbor to build him up
		4.  God is God, we are not, so we avoid speaking against/judging 
	C.  ILL:  Was substituting in an elementary classroom
		1.  Asked a girl to pass out the lunch cards
		2.  Another girls started to treat her badly.  I asked why?
			a.  She said teacher always passes out the lunch cards
			b.  Mad at the student for getting to pass out lunch cards
			c.  Even uninvited her to her birthday party
		3.  I explained to her that I am the teacher today
			a.  Since I am the teacher, they to follow my instructions
			b.  Told her not to get upset at a student for doing what I 
			     asked her to do
			c.  Told her that her problem is not with the girl, but with me
		4.  It is the same way with God
			a.  Text in Romans says that God accepts even those with 
			     an imperfect understanding
			b.  Our job is not to judge, but to fulfill law of love
	D.  God is God, we are not
		1.  Who are you?  Not the lawgiver, not the judge, not the savior
		2.  God is all of those things
		3.  Who are we?  We are God's servants
		4.  We don't speak against his other servants

1.  Don't speak against a brother
	a.  If you do, you become a judge and not a doer
	b.  You are not the judge, lawgiver, savior, etc.
	c.  If you do judge or speak against you brother
		- You wind up indirectly judging the lawgiver
		- You will find yourself at odds with God
2.  What does this mean if I have a problem with a brother, elder, leader, preacher, teacher, etc.?
	a.  I will not:  Gossip, slander, make a scene, drop innuendos, backbite, 
	     campaign against, go online and defame him, etc.
	b.  If it is a personal problem - Pray about it, for God to change my attitude
	c.  If a brother sinned, will do as instructed in Mt 18 in a spirit of love
		- Will go and talk to him, not to everyone else
		- Will keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, Eph 4.1
3.  (Jn 13:34-35) New command, to love one another as he loved us
	a. By this will all know you are my disciples - Why?
		- Love reflects the character of God, God is love, 1 Jn 4:8
		- God loves so much, he sent his son (inv)
		- He wants you to respond to the Gospel
		- If you already have, remember...
	b. Love is a mark of discipleship, all men will know we are his disciples
		- 1 Jn 4:7-8 - It is also an indication that you know God
		- 1 Jn 4:20 - Can't love God whom you have not seen and not love 
		   brother whom you have seen - Love indicates that you love God
	c.  Rom 13:8-10 - Love does no wrong to a neighbor
	d.  1 Cor 8:1 - Says that love builds up
		- So, love goes beyond merely refraining from speaking against and 
		   judging your brother
		- Question:  What can I do to build my brother up?  Write it down


Small Group Notes:  Doers vs. Judges

Summary:  We are to be doers of the law, which says we are to love our neighbors as 
ourselves.  If we speak against our brother instead, we put ourselves in the position 
of judge, which we are not.  Only God is the lawgiver, judge, savior, and destroyer.  
We, on the other hand, are to be faithful servants and nothing more.

Open:  (pick one)
- What is the most uplifting complement or words you have received?
- What was the most discouraging or demoralizing words you have received?

Explore:  James 4:11-12

1.  Discuss how speaking against or judging a brother is a problem according to this text.  

2.  Describe how this makes you a judge of the law and not a doer of the law?  What 
foundational law is this referring to?

3.  How does Rom 13:8-10; 14:1-4; and 15:1-3 contribute to this discussion?  What are the 
problems with judging or holding a brother with contempt in these passages?

4.  Instead of judging or speaking against a brother, what is it that Christians should do.  
Give the reasons why.


5.  What are some ways you have been hurt by words from someone else, whether it was a 
disrespectful judgment, gossip, or some other kind of speech?  What does this teach you 
about how words affect other people?

6.  Identify barriers and challenges you have in loving others.  Be specific

7.  What are some ways that you already demonstrate love to others?

8.  What are some ways you can develop a deeper more godly love for others, even in difficult