Parkland First Baptist Church
August 7, 2022
      • 1 Samuel 12–15ESV

      • 1 Samuel 16–20ESV

      • 1 Samuel 21–25ESV

      • 1 Samuel 26–31ESV

      • 2 Samuel 1–6ESV

      • 1 Peter 5:7ESV

  • Introduction

    We are still working our way through the book of James.
    The overall theme of the series to to see how we are to live out the Christian life.
    James has covered topics like going through trials, showing favoritism, showing your faith by your works, and controlling your tongue.
    And last week, we looked at worldly wisdom versus Godly wisdom
    We can clearly see that James is teaching us that being a Christian demands that our lives show the transformation that has taken place in our hearts.
    Last week, we looked at wisdom: worldly vs. Godly
    We saw that worldly wisdom is centered in a self-centered selfish ambition life.
    Godly wisdom is just the opposite with a lifestyle wisdom that produces God honoring fruit.
    You could say one wisdom was proud and the other humble.
    In today’s passage, James picks up where he left off showing how world wisdom leads to division, fights, and wars.
    Again it is all centered “us” and our desires, not God’s.
    However, to live out Godly wisdom we need to draw near to God.
    James 4:1–10 CSB
    1 What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from your passions that wage war within you? 2 You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and wage war. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people! Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the friend of the world becomes the enemy of God. 5 Or do you think it’s without reason that the Scripture says: The spirit he made to dwell in us envies intensely? 6 But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says: God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. 7 Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

    Friendship With The World Verses 1-5

    Having declared at the end of chapter 3 that true Godly wisdom is peace and worldly of false wisdom is strife.
    He again James begins this passage with two questions leading to see that origin of our conflict is our desires or lust.
    Verse 4 refers the relationship these Christians were having with the world a friendship.
    That may be a casual term of us, but for them it was a serious word describing close intimacy.
    Why do we have fights, divisions, and even wars? Because we have a friendship with the world.
    The world wants us to want more stuff.
    It wants to prioritize our comfort and put everybody else second to us.
    Doing that often brings about some kind of fight.
    We are divided so we fight battles among ourselves and have little energy to fight the real battle with out enemy.
    Verse 2 clearly tells us that a friendship with world comes from our sinful desires.
    When you put people together that are out for themselves, what do expect to happen?
    Fights and quarrels, right?
    Isn’t that the picture of a lot of marriages, job relationships, neighborhood issues?
    Two sinners together are not going to produce peace.
    You remember in chapter 1 when James showed that a desire leads to temptation, giving in to that leads to sin and sin leads to death.
    Certainly here James says you murder and covet is a hyperbole, but it does remind us of Jesus equating hatred with murder.
    Sinful desires are dangerous.
    Even our prayers are affected by the world.
    If a person is going to God in prayer, probably not, they are just praying for Him to give them stuff.
    Their prayers were self-centered and so can ours.
    Those kind of prayers are not going to be answered, however if we approach God in a way to honor Him, He will listen.
    Instead of Thy will be done, it’s My will be done.
    In verse 4, James calls them adulterous people.
    In the OT, the relationship between and God and Israel was described as a marriage.
    So when they went after idols, they were adulterers.
    The same is true today, when we claim to be a Christian, but are focused on ourselves and our satisfaction rather than God then we are adulterers.
    Being a friendship with the world is rejecting God and cheating on God.
    The need to repent helps us to understand verse 5, a verse that is hard to translate.
    Probably what James wants us to understand that God jealously longs for the spirit he made to live in us.
    He wants to be with us, to be on our thoughts, to be walking with us all the time.
    Yet, when we turn and go for the what the world offers, then He is jealous for our affections.
    This is not an insecure jealousy that is afraid you’re going to find someone or something better, for there isn’t anyone or anything better.
    This is a secure jealousy that seeks what is best for you by guarding your heart from adulterous pursuits.
    He tells us to run from the things of this world and cling to Him in order to find all that we need.

    Friendship with God Verses 6-10

    Rather than having a friendship with the world, we should seek a friendship with God above all else.
    He gives us grace to humble ourselves and seek Him.
    It’s not easy to resist the world and there are some many places where we have bought into the world ways.
    We struggle with this daily.
    By God’s grace though, we can produce the fruit of faith in us.
    We just need to go to Him and trust Him.
    The words of Augustine are appropriate here: “Give me the grace to do as you command, and command me to do what you will”
    We should praise God because He gives more grace and never stops.
    As we grow closer as friends do with Him we become motivated by a longing for eternal satisfaction.
    Not the here and now, but have an eternal perspective.
    In verse 7, James says we are to submit to God.
    It is a submission to the authority of God.
    James then gives us 9 imperative verbs or commands that tells us what submission looks like.
    The first is Resist the Devil forcefully.
    This is evident in 4:7b. James wants us to stop resisting God and start resisting the Devil.
    It is baffling that it is so easy to believe the lies of the Devil.
    This is the essence of sin—trusting the Devil while distrusting God.
    We will trust the devil while God is saying “You need Me.”
    Resist the Devil, and he will flee.
    Whatever power or influence the Devil may have, your life in Christ is far greater.
    When you are tempted to anger, discouragement, doubt, pride, or worry, resist him. Resist him, and he will flee.
    Seek God repentantly.
    In verse 8 James tells us to draw near to God, which implies that we have turned away from Him.
    This is a call to repent of sin and return to our gracious Lord.
    Pursue purity holistically.
    Purity is both internal and external.
    James says, “Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts” (v. 8).
    James wants us to purify our hearts, our minds, our desires, our motives, and the core of our being.
    By God’s grace we are to be clean inside and out.
    Treat sin seriously.
    Verse 9 can almost sound depressing: “Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your laughter must change to mourning and your joy to sorrow.”
    Those who live in friendship with this world do not see sin as a big deal.
    We should grieve over our sin, mourning and wailing in tears over it.
    We need to see sin as it is and that it is destructive.
    We have lost our awareness of sin.
    Christians hated sin, feared it, fled from it, grieved over it.
    People would worry about the consequences of sin in their lives.
    Nowadays, the accusation you have sinned is often said with a grin, and with a tone that signals an inside joke.
    When was the last time you grieved over your sin before God?
    In verse 10, when James says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.”
    When we humble ourselves before God, we don’t have to lift ourselves up; He does the lifting for us.
    Trust God completely.
    God will give you grace in your humility, and He will be the one to raise you up.
    You need not do that on your own.

    Now What?

    What friendship are you chasing?
    A friendship that is with the world.
    One where you are more interested in yourself than anyone else.
    Or are you seeking a relationship with God?
    You understand the dangers of sin and intentionally seek to follow God everyday.
    When we think of our sin, we need to repent of it and realize how serious sin really is.
    It sent Jesus to the cross.
    He went to the cross so we could receive that grace to cover all our sins.
    That way we can truly be friends with God.

    Let’s Pray!

    Lord’s Supper

    As the elements are being passed out I’d like to read what Paul said
    Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, “On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
    Prayer: Father God, we thank you for your love and the plan you have for all of mankind. From the beginning, you loved each of us so much that you sent your son to us. We thank you for the life he led, and we are deeply grateful for his sacrifice on the cross.
    Help us remember with wonder and awe how he suffered for us; how he paid the price, and it was at such a great cost. Through the crowns of thorns and scourging, and through the cross, you carried our sins.
    May we never forget what Christ did for us. Like a lamb to the slaughter, clothed in humility and grace, he willingly offered himself to death so that we might live forever. We are truly thankful for his love, stretched out on a cruel wooden cross. We come to you in repentance and reconciliation and forgiveness. Through the power of the cross, you have redeemed us.
    Heavenly Father, how great and how gracious your great redemption plan for mankind. We thank You greatly as we commemorate the great love and sacrifice of Your beloved Son Jesus at this time of communion, following His command to remember. In Christ’s name, we pray, amen.
    Take and eat in remembrance of His sacrifice.
    Take and drink in the remembrance of the new covenant He brought us in His death.


      • James 4:1–10CSB