“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. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?”
---End of Scripture verses---
Christians have no business running other people down, especially fellow soldiers of Christ (verse 11). The King James Version says to “speak not evil of one another.” When we habitually speak critically of other people to third parties (otherwise known as gossip, back-biting, slander) it belies a serious ailment of the heart. If we love our brethren (and fellow humans in general) we should express legitimate disapproval to them personally (in a constructive way), and praise them in the presence of others. It is sinful to turn people against one another with bitter words that spring forth from an unloving heart (Proverbs 16:28).
To speak evil against a brother or sister in Christ is to disparage (judge) the perfect law of liberty. Jesus tells us that one of the two greatest commandments of all is to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39), therefore we should do goodness to them and speak kindness of them. “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” (1 John 4:20-21)
“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge” (verse 12). Our brethren will never be required to stand before us in judgment so let’s determine to not hold them accountable to laws of our own making. “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand” (Romans 14:4). Instead, let us resolve to be the best law-keepers we can possibly be because we will all stand before the Great Lawmaker to answer for our own thoughts, words and deeds.
By the way, God has enacted, revealed and codified His laws once and forever. There is only one Lawgiver and that is the Lord. It is blasphemous for denominations to assemble councils, conventions and synods to ratify “church law” that specifies what is right and wrong for their various members and congregations to do. That is “whittling on God’s end of the stick.” He alone makes laws that we will be judged by and adding to or taking away from His word brings swift condemnation.
Please read James 4:13-17 for tomorrow.
Have a great day!
- Louie Taylor