Don’t Bear Grudges Against One Another (revised)
James 5:9 (KJV)
Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
One of the most compelling statements written in scripture is found in the third chapter of John’s gospel. It follows a passage that is widely quoted by Christians around the world, and one that is used as a foundation for our faith. Although most of us could probably recite John 3:16... how many of us are familiar with John 3:17-18. And if we are, are we really reading it with clarity of understanding.
John 3:17-18 (KJV)
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Having fallen into the condition of sin, all mankind is under a sentence of death. Our acts of sin present a problem. God does not condemn us… we do a bang up job of that all on our own. What God will and must do is carry out the sentence of death that is attached to our sins... at the appointed time - “The Day of Judgment.” This is the whole point of God’s love for us and the reason Christ was sent… that through Him the world might be saved. Jesus said, it is not the will of your Father… that one of these little ones should perish (Matt. 18:14). At the same time it’s clear that not all will be saved; the key to salvation is in believing “On the Son”, and believing “In the Name” associated with Jesus.
Isaiah 9:6-7 (KJV)
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Christ... The Messiah... The Anointed One
There is a lot attached to the name of Jesus that we are called to accept on faith, and to believe to be true in order that we enter into the salvation Christ provides. Satan and all of his demonic forces know full well who Jesus was and is. There is no question as to their belief that He is Christ the messiah. Yet we know that their understanding of those facts do not save them. Understanding of those facts ALONE will not save anyone. It is necessary to accept all that those facts implicate, with full trust and belief, that make the difference. Remember the man possessed of demons at the tombs and the profession made by the demons concerning who Jesus was.
Matthew 8:29 (KJV)
And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
The demons, although knowing Jesus to be the Son of God, refuse to have anything to do with Him… that’s rebellion. They insist on trying to remain outside the authority Christ has been given. They hold a grudge against Him, and that grudge condemns them.
Christ, is the Greek term used as an equivalent to the Hebrew word Messiah, which is meant to mean “The anointed One.” The passage of scripture from Isaiah gives a detailed description of what must be understood as well as accepted concerning God’s promised Messiah. You could say that it is an expanded, in depth focus of what belief in, and on Jesus really means.
God promised to establish by His own hand, on the throne of David an anointed King who would have all power and authority. That King would rule, establishing justice and peace, and His kingdom would be everlasting. Belief in Jesus is belief in Him to be that anointed one; Christ the messiah. It also must carry a belief on Jesus to be the King of Kings with full power and authority to rule. Accepting Christ places you under that rule, and requires full obedience and submission with no ands, ifs, or buts. Satan and his demons refuse to accept this authority even though they know Christ has it. Their effort is to do any and everything to undermine and bypass acknowledging the rights of Christ. You surely can’t serve two masters, and you can’t serve one only part of the time. By now there should be a clear connection between authority and the bearing of grudges. Just to be clear of confusion let’s look at this passage from Matthew.
Matthew 6:14-15 (KJV)
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
When you hold a grudge you build a wall between you and the person with whom you form the grudge. At its stem is the bitter root of un-forgiveness which blocks the flow of love and violates the second commandment of Christ. More important and often overlooked is the fact that you also place yourself at odds with God’s Will and the authority He has given Jesus as Christ the Anointed One. Your refusal to submit to the commands of Christ puts you in a willful position of continuing in sin. At the very least it makes you a worker of iniquity. Remember what was said by Jesus concerning the sheep and the goats.
Matthew 25:41 (KJV)
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
In your instance on holding a grudge against another, you are asserting your will and following in the work of Satan just as the rebellious angles did. Your own action condemns you as James points out in our lesson verse. Besides, the action you take towards others bears directly on your treatment of Christ Himself. If it falls outside of God’s Will it is always an offence, and an action against Christ.
Matthew 25:45 (KJV)
Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
Being Forgiving and Obedient
If you think you've got reasons to hold a grudge... follow the link on this photo.
When we forgive others and love them, we not only are obedient to Christ’s second command, but also demonstrate our adherence to the first… to love God. True friends of God and Christ are those who return the love that was first given by God to us as sinners. We are not nor will we ever be deserving of the “Love of God.” But if we are genuinely grateful of that love we can enter into it by our actions toward others… especially our brothers and sisters in the Body of Believers. No, these actions won’t save us… the work of Christ has done that. However, in believing that the work is already done we must in the same breath also believe that we are free from the bondage of sin. We should no longer look for reasons to continue in, or to claim that Satan and sin hold a stronger power than Christ who has been given all power. When this is done, whoever does it must ask of them self “WHY.”
Just who and what do you believe in if you act and believe as if sin still has you bound?
Why is it necessary to bear a grudge if you really trust in Jesus and the promises of God?
Whose authority gives you the right to place your will before the “Will of God”, and just what instance creates a condition where Christ's commands can be ignored.
John 8:42 (KJV)
Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
John 14:15 (KJV)
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
As Jesus loved God, we must love Him. It’s a necessary fellowship to claim Christ as a brother and God as our Father. We show our love for Christ by keeping His commandments; it’s the proper response.
John 14:23 (KJV)
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
This is the vehicle by which our family relationship with Christ and God is confirmed. As John’s words indicate in his epistle, anything else amounts to a lie… don’t be deceived.
1 John 2:3-6 (KJV)
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
Lets remember whose we are and just what acts of condemnation we bring if we continue to hold grudges. Let God be true and every man be a lier, especially those who come with the temptations of the enemy.
Don't be rebellious... Don't condemn yourself... and Don't bear grudges !!!