Vance Pitman

Acceptable Sins (Part 1)

The Book of James
May 16, 2021
James 4:11-12

In this message, Pastor Vance continues our journey through the New Testament book of James and teaches us what it means when James says to “not speak evil against one another.”

Sermon Notes


“Do not speak evil against one another”

JAMES 4:11-12

Acceptable: Considered by most people to be reasonable or to be something that can be allowed (Macmillan Dictionary)

“Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” – James 4:11-12


“Any speech that is harmful to someone else, whether true or false.” – Thomas Manton (Crossway Classic Commentary: James, Logos)

“Harsh words about the absent.” – A.T. Robertson (Word Pictures in the NT, Logos)

There is never an acceptable time for you to speak about a brother or sister in Christ, publicly or privately, in a way that is harmful to them.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29


“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart…” – Matthew 15:18a

“Judge not, that you be not judged.” – Matthew 7:1

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” – Matthew 18:15-17

“And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ 37 And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’” – Matthew 22:35-40

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35


“There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy…” (v. 12a)

“Everything that comes as a barrier between us and another, be it ever so small, comes as a barrier between us and God… our relationship with our fellows and our relationship with God are so linked that we cannot disturb one without disturbing the other.” – Roy Hession, (The Calvary Road)

“So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” – Matthew 5:23-24

“Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” – 1 Peter 4:19

“Again and again we see the thing in us that reacts so sharply to another’s selfishness and pride, is simply our own selfishness and pride, which we are unwilling to sacrifice. We shall have to accept another’s ways and doings as God’s will for us and meekly bend the neck to all of God’s providences. That does not mean that we must accept another’s selfishness as God’s will for them – far from it – but only as God’s will for us.” – Roy Hession, (The Calvary Road)

Sermon Notes
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