Jesus Christ is our Providential Judge
The Apostle James starts out by writing not to speak evil of one another. I have had people speak evil behind my back and it hurts. This passage says if we do speak evil of our brother and judge him then we speak evil of the law and also judge it so the conclusion is we are not truly doers of the law which God desires for our life but judges which has never been the plan of God for our journey down here on earth.
There is only one Lawgiver who is able to save or destroy and according to the Bible God does both so the Apostle James poses a question --- who art thou that judgest another?
James also makes the point that we do not know what tomorrow will bring. We can say we are going to a place and stay there for a year to buy, sell and get gain but the truth of the matter is we do not really know what the future will bring for our lives. Our lives are a vapor that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away. We should say if the Lord will we shall live and do this or that. Let me quote the original text so you can read the passage and perhaps make reference to it in this particular study of the Bible.
(11) "Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. (12) There is One Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? (13) Go to now, ye that say, To day or morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: (14) Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (15) For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that." James 4: 11 - 15.
Right away James cautions us against the sin of speaking evil because this should not be done to one another. If the allegations are true we must still use our discretion but if they are false we are wrong for engaging in this gossip.
Our words should be guided with kindness, truth and justice. These are our brothers / sisters and tenderness is very becoming because if we do not take the opportunity to show kindness oftentimes we may fall into the temptation of speaking evil about them which leads into nothing but trouble. If anyone does this he or she is judging the law. If we have a conflict of interest with a person do not go as far as saying he might be under the condemnation of God for anything not already determined in the Bible.
We can judge the law in determining the perfect commands of the word of God for our lives because this knowledge is essential to how to live right before Jesus Christ. If God says to do something or not to do something this is to be taken very serious. One truth I found out about God is He says what He means and He means what He says. Technically speaking each Christian is to let the Bible have the last and final word in all our responses to our lives. The problem is some places of Christianity the standards are so low and liberal even in conservative churches that their consciences are seared to the point that they just keep sinning as a lifestyle.
If some Christians insist in setting themselves as judges which is the role of Jesus Christ they are usually the ones that fail in their obedience to the Bible. It seems like it would be the other way around but from my experience it is the real judgmental believers in Christ that do not have the kind of faith and obedience in Jesus Christ that God requires of them as Christians. Remember it is God the lawgiver who has reserved the power of passing the final judgment on people wholly to Himself. If what God says is final then He can put His law in our conscience because He desires us to obey Him first and then proceed with our lives.
God has the right to enact laws and this should not be contested but we should never forget that He will enforce them. When Christians say I am saved by grace but bluntly do something that is contrary to the Bible especially as a lifestyle then God will judge that person. It is only respect to God to do whatever we can to get right with Jesus Christ which includes repentance. I never said this is easy to do I said God requires it from His children. Jesus Christ is the one that has the power to reward and punish so this fact alone should put the proper fear of God in our hearts. The reason why the Apostle James writes that there should not be a bunch of little judges running around is because there is one judge and His name is Jesus Christ. Trust me when I say this there are many laws in the Bible so we should not be setting up new rules on top of all the commands in the word of God.
It is obvious that James according to verse thirteen and fourteen does not want us to be presumptuous about our lives. In observing my past most of the time this got me in some kind of trouble. If we say we are going to a place to do this or that how would we even know that knowledge? We are just like the world if we do that because leaving Jesus Christ out is what unbelievers do because they have no real faith in Him. If our minds are full of visions as to what we are going to do in the future it is vain because this leaves out the Providence of God in our lives. We may never reach our end in our plans because something could shorten our stay but even if we continue we may not receive any kind of gain because the uncertainty of this world is a sure thing. It is the wisdom of God to leave us in the dark of future events.
Set your goals and live by faith but leave room for the Sovereign God who is Jesus Christ to make any changes He desires because He is above time because He created this exact measure. We just happen to be living in this so if we understand this aspect of our Creator we will know that Jesus Christ is the beginning and ending of all things in our lives if we let Him have first place in our path down here on earth. We could never be sure of life itself because it is as a vapor. It appears for a little time but then it vanishes away.
In verse fifteen James encourages us to have a consistent sense of the will of God in our lives. The Apostle shows us the wiser way to live. We want the blessing of God before we do anything so we do not have to presume in our travels. Whatever happens is in the Providence of God and it is in His hands not our visions. Life is not in our hands so we should be dependent on Him. We should want our responses and designs to be under the control of the Holy Spirit. God gives us counsel for life in how we are to conduct ourselves so in context set Godly goals and live by faith in Jesus Christ but leave room for the Providence of God because we do not see our lives.
If you are an unbeliever in Jesus Christ you are more than likely one of those people that make all kinds of plans without God. I have seen people die in the dream state and they did not go to heaven because not knowing the Lord in a personal way is the exact same thing as not having a relationship with Him. Now may be a good time to accept Jesus Christ in your heart as your very own Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of the Living God into your life. I hope and pray that you just made that all important choice for your life and eternity.
God Bless you,