Summary: 1 of 3. James revealed the solution for conflict within the local church body. There is a known cure for conflict within the local church. But how is it challenged ? The cure for church conflict is challenged by....
CURING CHURCH CONFLICT—I—James 4:1-17
*Our own behaviors can circumvent the very cure we need.
The tensions in my church are are obvious. As soon as you step on the property you know it. Visitors sense it. The community talks about it. Everybody hates it. We’re losing members right & left. Can our church ever be free to serve God like we used to & like we’re supposed to?
James revealed the solution for conflict within the local church body.
There is a known cure for conflict within the local church.
What is the cure for church conflict?
8 challenges to the cure for church conflict.
1—The cure for church conflict is challenged by....
Explanation: (:1-2a) Lust
:1—“Where do wars & fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?”
Christians & thus the church in general can be the locus of whole “Wars” & its resulting skirmishes which take place among their own number. These confrontations are, in fact, a contest of wills which arise from the collision of selfish pleasures(lusts). These pleasures actually arise & begin their damage plan within our own bodies. An absolutely flesh-derived want-to.
“Wars”(See :2—V.)—polemov—N. m.—1) A war; 2) A fight, a battle; 3) A dispute, strife, quarrel. Polemov ordinarily means war, i.e., the whole course of hostilities; mach, battle, a single engagement. It is also true that mach has often the weaker force of strife or contention, which is very seldom found in polemov. Strong—from pelomai(to bustle); Warfare (literally or figuratively; a single encounter or a series):-- Battle, fight, war. RWP—War (polemov, old word, Mt 24:6) pictures the chronic state or campaign, while mach (also old word, 2Co 7:5) presents the separate conflicts or battles in the war.
“Fights”—mach—N. f.—1) A fight or combat—1a) Of those in arms, a battle, 1b) Of persons at variance, disputants etc., strife, contention, 1c) A quarrel. Strong—A battle, i.e. (figuratively) Controversy:-- Fighting, strive, striving.
Macaira(a large knife, used for killing animals & cutting up flesh or a small sword) is from a presumed derivative of mach.
“Desires for Pleasure/Lusts”(See :3)—hdonh(Eng.—‘Hedonism’)—1) Pleasure; 2) Desires for pleasure. Strong—from andanw (to please); Sensual delight; by implication, Desire:-- Lust, pleasure.
“War/Battle/Wage war”—strateuomai—V.—1) To make a military expedition, to lead soldiers to war or to battle, (spoken of a commander); 2) To do military duty, be on active service, be a soldier; 3) To fight. Strong—To serve in a military campaign; figuratively, To execute the apostolate (with its arduous duties & functions), To contend with carnal inclinations:-- Soldier, (go to) war(-fare).
“Members”—melov—A member, limb: a member of the human body.
:2—“You lust & do not have. You murder & covet & cannot obtain. You fight & war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.”
The wars & fights occur from personal “lusts” for particular things which are unmet. These lusts are encompassed by many in the Church, thereby making the entire church worthy of reproach & reprimand.
Just because we would like something does not necessarily mean that it is something we should scrap for. Personal lust should never drive the Christian to “obtain” by any means other than by God’s provision.
However the desired thing(s) can lead to “lustful”/covetous behaviors. These “lusts” lead to other more aberrant behaviors which still do not provide relief for that which is lusted after. Interestingly, a lusting attitude is never sated.
“Murder” & “covetousness” are results of lustful desires gone awry. These behaviors of course can be indirect as well as direct. We may display murderous & openly covetous attitudes toward even our Christian family.
“Fighting,” which is a characteristic of maintaining a “warfare” among Christian brothers & sisters, begins personally.
“Lust”—epiyumew—1) To turn upon a thing; 2)To have a desire for, long for, to desire; 3) To lust after, covet—3a) Of those who seek things forbidden. Strong—To set the heart upon, i.e. Long for (rightfully or otherwise):-- Covet, desire, would fain, lust (after).
“Have”—ecw—1) To have, i.e. to hold; 2) To have i.e. Own, possess; 3) To hold one’s self or find one’s self so & so, to be in such or such a condition; 4) To hold one’s self to a thing, to lay hold of a thing, to adhere or cling to. Strong—A primary verb; to hold used in very various applications, literally or figuratively, direct or remote.
“Murder”—foneuw—1) To kill, slay, murder; 2) To commit murder. Strong—To be a murderer (of):-- Kill, do murder, slay.
“Covet”—zhlow—1) To burn with zeal—1a) To be heated or to boil with envy, hatred, anger—1a1) in a good sense, To be zealous in the pursuit of good, 1b) To desire earnestly, pursue. Strong—To have warmth of feeling for or against:-- Affect, covet (earnestly), (have) desire, (move with) envy, be jealous over, (be) zealous(-ly affect).