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Summary: 2 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—II—James 4:1-17

Attention:

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.

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.

How can church conflict to be cured?

8 challenges to the cure for church conflict.

Previously we discovered that....

The cure for church conflict is Challenged by....

1. DESIRE(:1-2a)

2. PRAYER(:2b-3)

3. FRIENDSHIP(:4)

4—The cure for church conflict is challenged by....

PRIDE(:5-6)

Explanation: (:5-6)

:5—“Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

In calling his audience to the mat, James asks them if they really believe that the Scripture states God’s truth for no good reason. Or that Scripture is vain in its commitments.

There is no direct correspondence to any single Scripture declaring this truth regarding the S(s)pirit’s jealous desire for each Christian.

There are 2 viable understandings of this verse & it is “notoriously difficult to translate.”—Richardson

James summarizes from Scripture a truth regarding....

1)the Holy Spirit(NKJV/NASB) who now dwells in all Christians,....

2Cor. 1:21-22—“Now He who establishes us with you in Christ & has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us & given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”

Eph. 1:11-14—“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

OR....

2) He speaks of the human spirit devoid of God’s control.

1)The Spirit Himself in a sense “yearns jealously” for the Christian in the same manner as the spiritual adulterers(:2-4) do for their own fleshly desires. In fact, God is indeed a jealous God. He is jealous for our commitment to Him as are spouses for each other, & rightly so, not willing to share that special love with another. *However, the term translated here as “jealously” belies its description as entirely malicious as compared to zhlow(anq) which is used of God’s jealously in Ex. 20:5(LXX). See “Jealously”—fyonov below.

Ex. 20:1 -6—“And God spoke all these words, saying: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third & fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me & keep My commandments.”

OR more probably,....

2)The natural man as receiver & thereby possessor(?) of the spirit of life, is prone to its purely natural envious yearnings apart from its surrender to the God who gave him that life. Richardson(NAC), MacArthur(MNTC), Adamson(NICNT) & Burdick(EBC) accept this translation.

“Scripture”—grafh—1) A writing, thing written; 2) The Scripture, used to denote either the book itself, or its contents; 3) A certain portion or section of the Holy Scripture. Strong—A document, i.e. Holy Writ (or its contents or a statement in it):-- Scripture.

“In Vain”—kenwv—1) Vainly, in vain. Strong—Vainly, i.e. To no purpose:-- In vain. Used 1X.

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