God is the ultimate authority. The Bible provides us with a clear understanding of God’s standards but in the final analysis, each individual stands before God uniquely. Only God knows the details of what is going on inside the heart of anyone. What may be wrong for one may be right for another – depending on the complex details of one’s life. God stands alone as the sole arbitrator of good and evil. We have no place in passing judgment on others.
“Who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12 (NIV)
When we read the Bible, it is a personal connection to God. What we understand to be right and wrong as we read is intended to be a specific message for our eyes only. God has not assigned us with the task of interpreting the law for others – we are to interpret the law for ourselves. Certainly we can question someone’s actions, and direct them to the appropriate Bible passage that speaks to a specific issue, but in the end God will be their judge.
“Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.” James 4:11 (NIV)
When you add nuance to God’s law or extend God’s law beyond what is written, you are stepping well outside the boundaries. Many churches have expanded the law of God by concocting stipulations that God did not ordain. The Bible makes it clear that only God makes the rules and anything outside of God’s law is counterfeit. The church does not provide salvation – salvation is provided through Jesus Christ and no other.
“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy.” James 4:12 (NIV)
Our mission as true followers of Jesus Christ is to completely accept God’s judgment. We stand before Him with open arms, ready to comply completely with His will. Your total trust in God and His righteousness is that which will provide you with the strength to overcome this world.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:10 (NIV)
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