Summary: 1 of 3. James revealed the solution to conflict within the local church body. Church conflict can be cured. But how? The cure for church conflict is challenged/hindered by....
CURING CHURCH CONFLICT-I—James 4:1-17
A Cure & its Challenge...
A new miracle doctor had just arrived in town. He could cure anything & anybody, & everyone was amazed with what he could do. Everyone except for Mr. Thompson, the town skeptic, who didn't believe a thing.
Grumpy old Mr. Thompson went to this 'miracle doctor' to prove he wasn't anybody special. "Hey, doc, I have lost my sense of taste. I can't taste nothin.' So what are ya goin' to do?"
The doctor scratched his head & mumbled to himself a little. Then he told Mr. Thompson, "What you need is jar number 47."
So the doctor retrieved the jar & told Mr. Thompson to taste it.
He tasted it & immediately spit it out, "This is gross!" he yelled.
"I just restored your sense of taste Mr. Thompson," said the doctor.
So Mr. Thompson went home very mad.
One month later, Mr. Thompson went back to the doctor with a new problem. "Doc," he started, "I can't remember anything!"
Thinking he had the doctor stumped now, he waited as the doctor scratched his head, mumbled to himself a little, & told Mr. Thompson, "What you need is jar number 47..."
Immediately Mr. Thompson was cured & fled the room!
Church Conflict can also be cured!
*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 I know we used to, like I know we’re supposed to, & like I know we can?”
James revealed the solution for conflict within the local church body.
There is a known cure for conflict within the local church.
How can church conflict to be cured?
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/Quarrels”(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). RWP—War (polemov, old word, Mat. 24:6) pictures the chronic state or campaign, while mach (also old word, 2Cor. 7:5) presents the separate conflicts or battles in the war.
“Fights/Conflicts/Quarrels”—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. Used 4X.
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/Cravings/Desires”(See :3)—hdonh(Eng.—‘Hedonism’)—1) Pleasure; 2) Desires for pleasure. Strong—from andanw (to please); Sensual delight; by implication--Desire.
“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. Used 7X.
“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.