Summary: 2 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—II—James 4:1-17
A man limps into a hospital to have his foot X-rayed, & is asked to wait for the results.
Some time later an orderly appears & hands the man a large pill. As he’s handed the pill, a mother with a small child in need of immediate attention enters & the orderly disappears with the new patient.
The man with the foot problem hobbles over to get a glass of water, swallows the pill, & sits down to wait. Some time later the orderly reappears bringing a bucket of water to the man with the limp.
"Okay," he said, "Let’s drop the pill in this bucket & soak your foot for a while."
*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.
Previously we discovered that....
The cure for church conflict is Challenged by....
3—The cure for church conflict is Challenged by....
:4—“Adulterers & 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.”
If the above description does not cause the readers any alarm, then perhaps calling their sin exactly what it is will do the trick!
The lusts of James’ audience are tantamount to nothing less than adultery! They have become adulterers by giving themselves to other gods while claiming to be Christians. The gods served & serviced are those of their own appetites.
James thereby points out that their intimacy is none other than blatant “friendship with the world.” Such intimate friendship is a personal & corporate choice made by individuals & groups. Ultimately, the choice these have made is to choose “the world” over “God.” Thereby such a person has made him/herself “an enemy” of the very God they claim to serve as Christians.
“Adulterers”—moicov—1) An adulterer; 2) metaph. one who is faithless toward God, ungodly. Strong—A (male) paramour; figuratively, Apostate:-- Adulterer.
“Adulteresses”—moicaliv—1) An adulteress; 2) As the intimate alliance of God with the people of Israel was likened to a marriage, those who relapse into idolatry are said to commit adultery or play the harlot—2a) fig. equiv. to faithless to God, unclean, apostate. Strong—An adulteress (literally or figuratively):-- Adulteress(-ous, -y).
“Know”—eidw—To see with the mind’s eye, signifies a clear & purely mental perception. Strong—properly, To see (literally or figuratively); by implication (in the perf. only) To know:-- Be aware, behold, X can (+ not tell), consider, (have) know(-ledge), look (on), perceive, see, be sure, tell, understand, wish, wot.
“Friendship”—filia—Friendship. Strong—Fondness, friendship.
“World”—kosmov—1) An apt & harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government; 2) Ornament, decoration, adornment, i.e. the arrangement of the stars, ’the heavenly hosts’, as the ornament of the heavens. 1Pe 3:3; 3) The world, the universe; 4) The circle of the earth, the earth; 5) The inhabitants of the earth, men, the human family; 6) The ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, & therefore hostile to the cause of Christ; 7) World affairs, the aggregate of things earthly—7a) The whole circle of earthly goods, endowments riches, advantages, pleasures, etc, which although hollow & frail & fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God & are obstacles to the cause of Christ; 8) Any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort. Strong—Orderly arrangement, i.e. Decoration; by implication, The world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively [morally]):-- Adorning, world.
“Enmity”—ecyra—1) Enmity; 2) Cause of enmity. Strong—Hostility; by implication, A reason for opposition:-- Enmity, hatred.
“Wants”—boulomai—1) To will deliberately, have a purpose, be minded; 2) Of willing as an affection, to desire. Boulomai seems to designate the will which follows deliberation. Grimm—Boulomai gives preference to the rational & volitive marking the choice as deliberate & intelligent. Cremer—Boulomai has the wider range of meaning & is rather to have in thought, to intend, to be determined. Boulomai sometimes means no more than to have an inclination. Strong—To "will," i.e. (reflexively) Be willing:-- Be disposed, minded, intend, list, (be, of own) will(-ing).
“Friend”—filov—Adj.—1) Friend, to be friendly to one, wish him well. Strong—properly, dear, i.e. a friend; actively, fond, i.e. friendly (still as a noun, an associate, neighbor, etc.):-- friend.
“Makes himself”—kayisthmi—1) To set, place, put. Strong—To place down (permanently), i.e. (figuratively) To designate, constitute, convoy:-- Appoint, be, conduct, make, ordain, set.