a Test Series - James 4:1-6
Intro: “What the Christian should Do!” Is the test question for this week. You might not believe this but I often wonder what the Christian would do if: After he or she is done with the Grocery shopping and pushes the cart to the car, and after loading everything into the car, what do What would you do with the cart? Do you leave it next to the car? Or do you find a cart stall somewhere and put it away? What would you do if you were in a Walmart or Kmart or some other retail store and you had an item in your hand and decided after a few minutes you didn’t want it, for whatever the reason, would you take it back to where ever you found it? What would you do? What would you do if you were trying on some shoes, and after you tried them on would you put them in the box the way you found them? What would you do? I must admit I have a little bit of a disorder, not only do I pick things up and put them back on the shelf and put the shoes back in the box the way I found them. I am the person who often if I am waiting in line or standing still somewhere in the store I would start neating things up. I am the one who will often put my shopping cart away and put a few more away also. So what would you do? Now remember most of these. What would you do? Opportunities occur when the only witnesses are your family. So it is possible your guard is down and you might just be experiencing a little bit of laziness… Are you content to be lazy and just not care? Or do you really want to know what the Christian should do? In Chapter 4, James is going to explain things that the Christian should not do, so not to become entrapped in the world and its ways and really experience God’s grace. ARE YOU INTERESTED?
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 17 Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you." 2 Corinthians 6:14, 17 (NKJV)
Text: James 4:1-6
“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously"? 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."
Application: “Friendship with the world is hostility toward God”
This chapter creates a new division from the Book of James: the all-important discussion on temptations and trials and how to conquer them. But before we can conquer temptations and trials, we must understand what causes them. Just what is it that causes temptation and wrongdoing? and “What the Christian Should Do!” This passage says that the cause is four things.
The first thing that the Christian should do “is not to Lust!”
1. Lust: the passion for pleasure and gratification that rages within the body and its members: vs.1
“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?”
The word "lust" means to crave pleasure; to crave gratification. This Scripture says that lust for pleasure and gratification wars within our bodies. The picture is that of constant warfare. We want and want, desire and desire, and the battle of wanting and desiring rages on and on within our bodies. Our bodies are a battlefield of wants and desires. Man is a walking civil war; lust after lust wages war within him, seeking pleasure. The greatest need man has is for peace. THAT’S WHAT THE CHRISTIAN SHOULD DO, LIVE IN PEACE! “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:17-18
- So what this scripture is telling us “What the Christian should do” is opposite of what the world does.
The thought (Test ?) is “what the Christian should do!” in this case it is important not to do as the world does, we must protect ourselves and separate from the sinful desires of mankind.
The second thing that the Christian should do “is not to Distrust!”
2. Distrust: seeking something and never trusting God or asking God for it: vs.2
“You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.”
You just don’t know God in a personal way; you don’t know or ask to the point of trusting Him. The world just does not have this kind of meaningful trust in God. Is this what you want to follow? Man basically distrusts God. There is nothing wrong with our basic desires; they are to be met. But they are to be met by our trusting and depending upon God, acknowledging Him as the Source and Provider of every good and perfect gift. It is when we ignore, neglect, and deny God that our desires run loose and wild. It is when God is shoved aside that we begin to desire and desire to the point that we lie, steal, cheat, fight, kill, and war to gratify our desires and pleasures. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15
Desire is never satisfied apart from God. A person must trust and call upon God in order to have his desires fulfilled. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
The thought (Test ?) is “what the Christian should do!” in this case you must trust God with your desires, and you do not fight with each other!
The third thing that the Christian should do “pray correctly!”
3. Praying amiss: praying with the wrong motive: vs.3
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
Praying amiss, Amiss simply means to pray wrongly, not to pray right. Even when a person trusts God knows and fellowships with Him on a personal basis and wants God to help meet his needs he can ask God for help in the wrong way. He can pray amiss, and when he prays amiss, God is unable to help him. What does it mean to pray amiss? What is a wrong prayer? A prayer focused on gratifying our lust and pleasure. What is the right motive for prayer? “By asking for the glory of God.” If we want anything from God, we must want it so that we can glorify Him, so that we can draw closer to Him and make Him better known to others. If a person wants health, life, strength, or a strong testimony, it must be so that he can glorify God. “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.’ 1 Corinthians 6:20
If a person wants to bear fruit in his life and work, or in his church and upon his land, it must be so that he can glorify God. If a person wants the basic necessities of life—food, clothing, and shelter, or purpose, meaning, and significance, or assurance, confidence, and security—or if he wants more position, authority, or money, it must be so that he can glorify God and the Lord Jesus Christ in his life and testimony. “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15
The thought (Test ?) is “what the Christian should do!” in this case you must pray giving the glory to God!
The Final thing that the Christian should do “is have a close relationship with Christ!”
4. Worldliness: friendship with the world: vs.4
“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
James uses strong language. He calls the people adulteresses and adulterers. Being an adulteress and adulterer means that a person is guilty of spiritual adultery. Jesus Christ holds His relationship with us in the highest regards. Our relationship with Him is to be so close that it can be described only by the closeness and intimacy of marriage. We are to know, believe, and understand Christ just as we are to know, believe, and understand our husbands and wives. But with Christ there is far more of a bond and relationship than what we can have with each other as men and women of earth. Jesus Christ actually lives within our bodies in the person of the Holy Spirit. Our bond with Christ is so close that when we turn away from Him to the world; it is like committing spiritual adultery. We must never forget that our Lord gave His life and died for us. We must not hurt Him anymore. We must not crucify Christ anymore. We must not forsake Him for the world. We must not commit spiritual adultery against Him by turning to the world. “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26
The thought (Test ?) is “what the Christian should do!” in this case is treat Christ like His spirit is in you, because it is.
Conclusion: the cure: vs.5-6
“Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously"? 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."
This passage has told us there are four causes: Lust: the passion for pleasure and gratification. Distrust: desiring something and never trusting God or asking Him for it. Praying amiss: praying with the wrong motive. Worldliness: friendship with the world. So what should the Christian do? What is the cure? God has placed His Spirit into the hearts of believers to lead them through all the temptations and trials of life and to convict and lead them to repentance when they sin. The Holy Spirit yearns and covets souls; He wants no believer to turn away from Christ. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26
God gives grace and more grace to the humble. The person who turns to God away from the world and his wrongdoing will receive all the grace from God he will ever need and then some. God will look after and care for him just like a child in a loving, nourishing way. “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:1-5
The thought (Test ?) is “what the Christian should do!” in conclusion allow the Holy Spirit to control everything…
Casting Crowns: Thrive, Record – “Just Be Held.”
Are you tired of fighting? Your world is not fallen apart it is falling into place! When you’re on your knees and an answer seems so far away. You’re not alone stop holding on and just be held. Jesus is on the throne. Stop holding on, just be held. In the storms is where you will find Christ.
“So What the Christian Should Do!”
In : Sermon
Tags: "life is a test series" "book of james"
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