Deep Creek Baptist Church
Sunday July 10
- Crown Him With Many Crowns
- Beneath the Cross of Jesus
- All I Have Is Christ
- James 4:4–6 (ESV)4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”To Battle Spiritual Infidelity we must...Stay Faithful to God.Throughout this letter John refers to his readers as brothers - a Christian term of endearment - a family term - a term of affection.James 1:2 (ESV)2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,James 1:19 (ESV)19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;James 2:1 (ESV)1 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.James 2:14 (ESV)14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?BUT, as he considers their lives - their affections - their relationship to God another term comes to mind -not a term of endearment -not a term of affection but a term of betrayal -infidelity and unfaithfulness.He calls them adulteresses. That is a heavy term.James 4 (ESV)4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.- Throughout scripture God's people are depicted as his bride.In the OT Israel, God's chosen people, is often pictured in a marriage relationship with God.In the NT, the church is referred to as God's bride - the bride of Christ.- Your life-style shows you are having an affair with the world.Your relationship with the world has captured your heartand you have broken the vows and covenant of love you made to God.- One of the most painful and egregious acts in a marriage relationship is one of unfaithfulness -you give the love - attention - affection - that rightly belongs to your spouseand should only belong to your spouseand you give it to another.- On the spiritual level - we have takenthe love - attention - affection -loyalty and passion that is meant for Godand God alone and given it to another.We have betrayed our God by having an adulterous affair with this world.When we speak of this world (Kosmos) -we are not talking about God's world of nature/created order -we are called to care for and have dominion over nature and enjoy its beauty and delight in its bounty -not talking about the people who comprise the world's population -we are called to love the people in this world and to reach them with the Gospel because it is for them that Christ died.- The world refers to the forces, elements, thoughts, actions, institutions, values and traditions that knowingly or unwittingly are arrayed against God.James 4 (ESV)4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.You have chosen to be friends with those thingsthat oppose God -dishonor God -serve as a barrier in your relationship to God.In doing this you have made yourself an enemy of God.If you choose to be friends with the world - you are no longer friends but enemies of God.- This is something you should know.It should not surprise you.Don't deceive yourself you cannot be close to God and have your heart set on the world.- When you choose the world over Godyou are a person God will come againstand you find yourself working against the design and purposes of God.Friendship often starts withnot condemning the views and practices of the world,then simply accepting them as alternative paths,and then adopting, enjoying, and defending them (cf. Ps 1:1).Therefore, it must be known thata persistent and continuing friendship with the worldleads to loving it and ultimately rejecting God and his Word.This is what happened with Demas, who was an apostolic associate of Paul on various missionary journeys.2 Timothy 4:9–10 (ESV)9 Do your best to come to me soon. 10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.No doubt, Demas began with little compromises—maybe enjoying the entertainment of the world,becoming consumed with money and pursuing it,then rejecting biblical views like sexual immorality being sin and Christ being the only way to heaven,leading him to reject God and the Bible altogether—ultimately proving that he was not a true believer.This pathway to apostasy (deconstruction) must be a sober warning to us,- We do not find that these believers in James wereovertly turning their back on God.They were not recanting their faith.They were not turning against Christianity.They had not openly declared opposition to the Gospel and would not have done so.- They would have been a peoplewho openly and publically professed their love and allegiance to God -like most of us here and would have been shocked and dismayed to hear the indictment leveled against them.Some people choose the world knowing it places them at odds with God.Others choose the world without realizing it places them in a position against God.That is what we must be careful of. With each little step toward the world we leave the presence of God. from Friend to enemy.An ever present draw that we must be aware of and be prepared to battle.When we become friendly with the world -those things that are not like God -it should not surprise us when we feel as if God is far -as if our prayers are not heard.- We have become more like the world and less like God and that is something that God has not, does not and will ever blessHow can we combat worldliness—the selfish desires and views of the world system which blind unbelievers and compromise believers?To Battle Spiritual Infidelity we must....See God’s Unwavering Love for us.James 4:5- (ESV)5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?This is the most difficult verse in James. Some scholars call it one of the most difficult verses in the entire New Testament. It is difficultt for 2 reasons1. its statement that the “Scripture says” leads us to look for an Old Testament source, but none can be found in canonical (or even non-canonical) writings. So we conclude that James probably is referring to the general theme of God’s jealousy as it is expressed in various places in the Old Testament (cf. Exodus 20:5; 34:14; Zechariah 8:2).2. There is a dispute over how this verse ought to be translatedThere are two basic options, with several variations within each option.Some (KJV, NIV) translate the verse,James 4:5 (NIV84)5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?James 4:5 (AV)5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?In this sense, the verse is warning against the propensity of the fallen human spirit towards the sin of envy.In favor of this view is that the word translated “envy” is never used elsewhere of God.Others (NASB, ESV) translate,James 4:5 (NASB95)5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”?A variation of this translation takes “spirit” to refer to the human spirit, not to the Holy Spirit (James has no other references to the Holy Spirit).In this translation, James is referring to God’s holy jealousy for His people.The Greek grammar and the context argue in favor of this view (Douglas Moo, The Letter of James, Pillar New Testament Commentary [Eerdmans/Apollos], pp. 188–190).In verse 4, James has warned against spiritual adultery.Verse 5 would naturally, then, refer to God’s holy jealousy as our Husband, which yearns for our faithfulness in our spirits to Him.Our God is a Jealous GodOften, we think of jealousy as an evil emotion and struggle with attributing it to God;however, in the right context, jealousy can be righteous as it is a companion of love.For example, if a husband isn’t jealous of his wife being unfaithful to him, he probably doesn’t love her at all, which would be sinful.With that said, there is certainly an evil jealousy based on selfishness and insecurity.When a husband checks the calls received on his wife’s phone, text messages, or email account incessantly, asks her to give an account for every minute of her time, and doesn’t believe anything she says, then jealousy has become selfish, obsessive, and evil.Ultimately, it will push the wife away instead of drawing her closer through a righteous love.Understanding that the God’s jealousy for us is what is meant here opens a heart-changing truth to us:even when we sin by seeking our pleasures in friendship with the world, we are greatly loved, for jealousy is an essential element of true love.We are brides of Christ, and God does not want us to go somewhere else to “have our needs met.”God’s true love for us evokes a proper intolerance of straying affection.The personalness of this ought to steel us against wandering.When we sin, he is pained!Furthermore, his jealousy is passionate,for the idea in the Greek is that he longs or yearns for us with an intense jealousy.To realize that the awesomely holy God who transcends the universe and is wholly other and self-contained is at the same time personally and passionately and lovingly jealous for our affection—this realization ought to stop any of our “affairs” with the world and cause us to prostrate our souls adoringly before him.How we are loved! And how we ought to love! For as John informs us, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).We also see...Our God is a Forgiving GodHowever, since God loves us perfectly, he also is righteously jealous of our time, affection, and devotion.This is a good thing.This means that when we sin against God, he doesn’t say,“Oh well, just go after your new lover, I didn’t love you anyway!”He doesn’t say, “Well, I did my part. I never failed her, but she failed me, so just keep on moving!”No! God is jealous! He will fight for us.He’s not going anywhere.He will do whatever it takes to get us back, including destroying our other loves.He already spent the greatest cost to get us—sending his Son to die on the cross for our sins. He certainly will spare no cost to keep us.This is important to understand so that we can combat worldliness.We must understand how good our God is.He is a faithful,always forgiving,always fighting for us,husband who loves us.When we repent and come back to him,he won’t keep throwing our sins in our face.To him, when we repent, it’s like we never sinned.Psalm 103:12 (ESV)12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.Lastly To Battle Spiritual Infidelity we must....Seek God’s Greater GraceJames 4:6 (ESV)6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”We are saved by grace but this is not referring to saving grace.This is literally 'greater grace.'This is God's provision of gracethat enables us to live as we ought in a fallen world - to stay close to God -to stay faithful to Him.- Augustine - God gives what he demandsIf God demands spiritually fidelity, know that with the demand He will give the means or grace needed to obey it.God allows gives the ability to follow Him, we only have to accept and follow it.- There is always for the believer greater grace.This verse means there will always be enough grace regardless of our situation or need.We will never have a need that outstrips grace.- John Newton - For daily need there is daily grace; for sudden need there is sudden grace; for overwhelming need there is overwhelming grace.Our God is tirelessly on our side. He never falters. He always has more grace at hand. His resources never end.Whatever our condition or situation, he always “gives us more grace.”God gives grace to overcome personal weaknesses.If to your alarm you find that you are repeatedly succumbing to a burning pursuit of hedonism, God will give you more grace if you ask.If you are a victim of an imploding self-centeredness which repeatedly sucks you into its nothingness, and you want deliverance, there is grace for the asking.God gives grace to overcome overwhelming obstaclesPerhaps your life has insurmountable obstacles. Perhaps a terminal disease.There is more grace.Or a loved one’s death. There is more grace.Or a shattering divorce. There is more grace.Or the bitter ashes of failure. There is more grace.Is there any condition to receiving this river of grace? Yes—a very slight one for some people,James 4:6 (ESV)6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”God gives grace only to the humble.This Quotation is fromProverbs 3:34 (ESV)34 Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.God does not give grace to the proud, self-reliant, self-righteous person.He opposes the proud.Rather, He gives grace to the humble,who admit that they are empty and ask God to fill them.CONCLUSION:It is true that “he gives us more grace,”that there is always greater grace,grace upon grace,grace heaped on grace.But it is also true that “‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’” (v. 6).Have we provoked our Maker’s jealousy?If so, he will give us more grace.Lord, we come humbly to you asking for more grace!Lets pray and sing to God and askHe giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater;He sendeth more grace when the labours increase;To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,To multiplied trails His multiplied peace.When we have exhausted our store of endurance,When our strength has failed ere the day is half done:When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,Our Father's full giving has only begun.His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,His power has no boundary known to men;For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,He giveth, and giveth and giveth again.(Annie Johnson Flint)
- I Need Thee Every Hour (I Need Thee)
- I Need Thee Every Hour (I Need Thee)
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