Summary: 3 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 our....
CURING CHURCH CONFLICT—III—James 4:1-17
A zookeeper wanted to get some extra animals for his zoo, so he decided to compose a letter. The only problem was that he didn’t know the plural of "mongoose."
He started the letter: "To whom it may concern, I need two mongeese."
No, that wouldn’t work, so he tried again: "To whom it may concern, I need two mongooses." Is that right?
Finally, he got an idea: "To whom it may concern, I need a mongoose, & while you’re at it, send me another one."
He never learned the correct term.
*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/hindrances to the cure for church conflict.
Previously we discovered that....
The cure for church conflict is challenged/hindered by our....
6—The cure for church conflict is challenged by our....
:8—“.....Cleanse your hands, you sinners; & purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
We must effectively “cleanse” our sinner’s “hands.” The ones who desire to draw near to God & would thus expect God’s active presence in their lives, must have “hearts” which are singularly dedicated to God. Hearts not so devoted characterize the “double-minded.” They waver in their allegiance to God, being torn between fleshly desire & the known desire of God. Such people will simultaneously be impure in their thoughts. They must take it upon themselves to lay aside the un-godly desires of their heart, in order to establish a right relationship with God.
Ps. 18:20-26—“The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the LORD, And have not wickedly departed from my God. For all His judgments were before me, And I did not put away His statutes from me. I was also blameless before Him, And I kept myself from my iniquity. Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight. With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.”
Ps. 24:3-5—“Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands & a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
Isa. 1:16-18—““Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow. Come now, & let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”
Hypocritical behaviors are a tell-tale sign of a secondary God.
Eze 36:26-27—““I will give you a new heart & put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh & give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you & cause you to walk in My statutes, & you will keep My judgments & do them.”
2Cor. 7:1—“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh & spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
1Jn. 3:1-3—“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; & it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
“Cleanse”—kayarizw—1) To make clean, cleanse—1a) From physical stains & dirt—1a1) Utensils, food, 1a2) A leper, to cleanse by curing, 1a3) To remove by cleansing, 1b) In a moral sense—1b1) to free from defilement of sin & from faults, 1b2) To purify from wickedness, 1b3) To free from guilt of sin, to purify, 1b4) To consecrate by cleansing or purifying, 1b5) To consecrate, dedicate; 2) To pronounce clean in a levitical sense. Strong—To cleanse (literally or figuratively):-- (make) Clean(-se), purge, purify.