Who Are You To Judge? James 4:11-12


Yesterday, our focus was on v11, speaking against one another.

Today, we want to consider, ‘who are you to judge, when there is only One Judge?’

Open the App to the Book of James.

TIP: Work in Split View or Toggle (go back and forth) between the App and the Blog.


Let’s Pray

Oh Lord, open our hearts to be moved by You and Your Spirit this day. Give us ears to hear what you are saying to each one of us personally. Please give us the understanding we need to be transformed to be more like Christ. Thank you!




LOOK at What God Says

What will you do first?

READ God’s Word

Read James 4:11-12 again.  





Unlock the Meaning 

What words are key that we should check out?



Judgekrínō; To separate, distinguish, discriminate between good and evil, select, choose out the good. In the NT, it means to judge, to form or give an opinion after separating and considering the particulars of a case.(II) To form and express a judgement or opinion as to any person or thing, more commonly unfavourable (… Jas 4:11, 12)



LOOK at Other Truths about:

Who Are You to Judge Your Neighbor? (4:12)

1. Do you remember what James said in Chapter 2 about judging your neighbor? (Jam 2:4, 12-13)

a. Favoritism/partiality toward the rich is making distinctions. It is wrong. (Ch 2:1-13)


b. To make such distinctions, we become judges with evil motives.  (Jam 2:4)


c. We are to speak and act as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.

 Judgment will be merciless to the one who shows no mercy (Jam 2:12-13)

Hear God Speak


Am I guilty of making distinctions, judging with evil motives?

Respond to God…LIVE it out!


2. What does James say in (Jam 5:9)?

Do not complain against one another, so you won’t be judgedThe Judge is standing at the door.

Hear God Speak


Who am I grumbling and complaining about?

Respond to God…LIVE it out!



1st Let’s LOOK at Other Truths about:

What James is NOT saying.

1. Jesus said, judge not lest you be judged.

1st, get the log out of your own eye,

then, you will see clearly to get the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Mat 7:1-5)

What is our tendency?  

We see: There is a righteous judging, but we are to judge  ourselves 1st.


2. We have the responsibility to help restore brothers and sisters who are in sin. (Gal 6:1)

Hear God Speak


Am I guilty of pointing the finger? Pointing out someone else’s sin, rather than looking at myself?

What are my motives when I pull the speck out of my brother’s eye?

Respond to God…LIVE it out


3. Jesus calls the church to judge sin within. If your brother is in sin you go to him and you talk about it, and if he doesn’t repent, you get two or three witnesses, and if he still doesn’t repent, you tell the whole church. (Mat 18:15-17)

Hear God Speak


Does my church practice church discipline, judging sin within?

Respond to God…LIVE it out


4. We are not to judge those on the outside of the church, only those on the inside of the church. (1Co 5:12-13)



5. Must beware of false prophets within the church, whose end is judgment (thrown into the fire). (Mat 7:15-20)

We see: We must  judge false teachers.

Where would the line be drawn in being discerning versus being critical and judgmental?


Understand: In this letter, James is NOT talking about confronting those in sin or false teaching.

Understand: James  is talking about slanderous accusations against others. Defamation of someone’s character.


Now let’s understand what James is saying.

READ God’s Word

Read James 4:11-12 again.  

If one speaks against another what are they doing? 

What should they be doing?




LOOK at Other Truths about:

Who Are You to Judge Your Neighbor? (4:12)

1. Why is speaking against another, judging a brother, considered speaking against the law and judging the Law?


To judge another is not being humble, which is who God gives grace to.

To judge another is not loving, the summation of the Law.

To judge another is to act as if we are God.


2What else does God say about judging others?

a. There were those who were being self-righteous judging of others (they were practicing the very things they were judging others for). In doing this they were condemning themselves and would not escape the judgment of God.  (Rom 2:1-2)

We see:  Self-righteous judging is forbidden.

Hear God Speak


Am I guilty of being self-righteous? 

Do I set myself up as judge that leads to conflicts?

Respond to God…LIVE it out


b. Let no one act as your judge regarding legalistic matters (What we eat, drink, the Sabbath, etc.). (Col  2:16)


c. How Christ  judges each believer is what matters. (Rom 14:4) 


We see: We must be careful how we treat other believers.

Understand: When we speak against another, we become the judge – making ourselves God.

Who do we think we are?

Why do we set ourselves up in God’s role?


James tells us there is only one Lawgiver and Judge who is able to save and destroy.

Let’s LOOK at What God Says 

1. Why is God the One and only Judge?

God is the LORD our judge; He is the one who gave us the Law; He is our king; He will save us.  (Isa 33:22)

Understand: Because God is the King and gave us the Law, He is the only One who can Judge.


2. Who does God judge?

a. Right now, the Lord judges believers to discipline them so they will not be condemned (judged) with the world. (1Co 11:32) 


b. One day God will judge the world, everyone. Vengeance is His. (Act 17:31); (Heb 10:30)


3. How will God judge?

a. God will judge according to His Word. (Joh 12:48)



Unlock the Meaning 

James tells us God is the One, the only One, who is able to save and destroy.



Savesoâzō; To deliver, make whole, preserve safe from danger, loss, destruction.

Destroyapóllum; be destroyed, perish. Rain, destruction. In a judicial sense to sentence to death (Matt. 27:20; James 4:12).



LOOK at Other Truths about:

God is Able to Save and Destroy (4:12)


What does God tell us?

a. God is the One who kills and makes alive. (Deu 32:39)


b. God saves those who act in accordance with His Word, believing in Christ. (Mat 1:21); (Mar 16:16)


c. Fear God who can destroy  both soul and body in hell. (Mat 10:28)


d. God will destroy those who do not receive the Word of Truth.  (2Th 2:10-12)

Hear God Speak


Am I saved? 

If not, don’t I want to be saved, and not destroyed?

Will I humble myself and submit to God by doing His Word?

Respond to God…LIVE it out



What Did We LEARN

Sum Up It Up!



Do Not Speak Against/Judge Your Brothers

To do so, is to judge the Law.

Rather, do the Law, Love your neighbor

God Is the Judge

He will judge ALL.

He will either save or destroy.

Believers 1st Judge Yourself

  1. Be discerning to judge sin in the church.
  2. Let no one judge you about legalistic matters.


We see: We might have thought speaking against our brother/neighbor was not very serious. But God is telling us that it is one of the most damaging of all because it breaks the Royal Law.

Understand: If the habit of our lives is to speak against others, then it reveals an old self, not a new creature in Christ.

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” Dale Carnegie


Let’s Call It A Day?

Reflect and meditate on what God taught us about not speaking against another brother or sister. 

Talk to God. He loves you and desires you and I to be obedient to this command.


Journal Your Discovery

Copy and paste what we LEARNED in your notes. Journal your conversations with God.





Turn What We LEARNED into a Prayer 

OH FATHER, THE ONLY LAWGIVER AND JUDGE, THE ONE WHO IS ABLE TO SAVE AND DESTROY. We praise You for Your Word that is razor sharp, showing us the intents of our hearts. Father, we come again seeing our need to confess



Next: We will begin to dive into the the next paragraph, James 4:13-17.

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Satan sought to come out from under the submission that was his under God and to be above God and be in charge, and that’s been the essence of every sin ever since.




About the Author:

Janette has started Bible studies everywhere God has moved her—most filling up to over a 100 men, women, young adults and kids. She continues to make disciples and raise up leaders, training and teaching the Word of God.

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