James 4:11-12 
 One Lawgiver and Judge

James 4:11-12 says "Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. [When you judge others you're not keeping the law, but sitting in judgement on it] There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, [God] the one who is able to save and destroy. But you -- who are you to judge your neighbor?"

James says that the way we play God is by judging other people. Anytime I judge you, anytime you judge me, we're playing God. It's only God's responsibility to judge other people.



1. It's unchristian

James 4:11 "Brothers, do not slander one another... anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law."

"Brother" is used three times in this passage. Why? In the first place we shouldn't judge one another because we're all part of the same family. We're brothers. I see another Christian stumble or fall or have a tough time, I shouldn't rejoice in that because they're family. We are most like the devil when we slander.

2. It's unloving

James 4:11 "...who judges speaks against the Law [of love]..."

When I judge you, I'm breaking the Royal Law -- the law of love -- "Love your neighbor as yourself."

3. It's unjustified

"There's only one lawgiver and one judge."

Only God has the right to judge. It's in God's job description. It's not in your job description to judge people. He has not commissioned you to talk to everybody about everybody else.



1) It’s wrong to judge other people when I'm practicing the same sin.

Remember the woman caught in adultery? What did Jesus say to the Pharisees? "He who is without sin cast the first stone." They all walked away.

2) It's wrong to judge when it blinds me to my own faults.

Matthew 7:3-5 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?’ If judging you causes me to not look at myself realistically, then it's wrong. We are great speck analyzers, nitpicking specks when we have a logjam in our own eye.

3) It's wrong to judge others when you draw conclusions based on outward appearance.

John 7:24 "Jesus says, `Stop judging by mere appearance and make a right judgement.'"

We tend to make our impression of people in about the first 15 seconds. If you judge just on the basis of appearance, that's unwise.

4) It's wrong to judge when you condemn somebody before you hear the facts.

John 7:51 "Nicodemus who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number asked (talking to the Sanhedrin) `Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?'"

5) It is wrong to judge people, their spirituality, on the basis of externals, religious observances.

Colossians 2:16 "Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat, drink...

6) It's wrong to judge when it causes you to speak evil about another Christian.

James 4:11 "Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it."

Christians ought to be known for their encouragement not their criticism.

7) We have no right to judge other people's motives and question why they do what they do.

I Corinthians 4:5 "Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time.

We have a hard enough time just trying to figure out our own motives about a lot of things .What makes us think we can figure out what makes other people do what they do?



1. Remember that I'll be judged by the same standards that I use to judge other people.

Matthew 7:1-2 "Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you'

2) Remember that each of us is accountable to God.

Romans 14:12-13 "Every one of us, then, will have to give an account of himself to God. So then, let us stop judging one another."

3. Remember how much God has been merciful to me.

James 2:13 "Mercy triumphs over judgement."

None of us get what we deserve. If we did we wouldn't be here. It's all by God's grace.