Summary: 3 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—III—James 4:1-17
Attention: This sermon hit home for many!!
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.
How can church conflict to be cured?
8 challenges/hindrances to the cure for church conflict.
Previously we discovered that....
The cure for church conflict is challenged/hindered by....
7—The cure for church conflict is challenged by....
:11—“Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother & judges his brother, speaks evil of the law & judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.”
“Do not speak evil of one another, brethren.
James’ audience is cautioned not to badmouth/slander their fellow Christian brothers/sisters. Particularly one’s own family members(brethren) should not be slandered.
“Evil speaking” here is not referring to ‘exposing sin with godly intent’, but is referring to the malicious sin of intentional slander. “It refers to mindless, thoughtless, careless, critical, derogatory, untrue speech...”—John MacArthur
“He who speaks evil of a brother & judges his brother, speaks evil of the law & judges the law.”
“Evil speaking” is an affront to God because anyone who speaks evil of his own “brother” in Christ, judging him wrongly, is saying that “the law”, declaring we should ‘never slander our brother’ is thereby wrong. In doing so, we slander both our “brother” as well as “the law” which emanates from God.
What is “the law”? God’s perfect “law of liberty”(1:25; 2:12) that states... people are saved by grace thru faith alone. A law that is made practical in love for one another!
Rom. 13:8, 10—“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”.....“Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Gal. 5:13-14—“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.””
Col. 3:12-14—“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy & beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, & forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”
Js. 2:8-9—“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, & are convicted by the law as transgressors.”
If the OT Jewish law then it is plain that no one can measure up to it & all are condemned(Rom. ).
Lev. 19:16-18—“‘You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD. ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. bYou shall surely rebuke your neighbor, & not bear sin because of him. ‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.”
Mat. 22:36-40—““Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him,” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, & with all your mind.’ “This is the first & great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “On these two commandments hang all the Law & the Prophets.””
Such a vilifier “judges” the law, determining it as unworthy for its purpose. Furthermore he brings his judgment to bear thru imperfect means, as a sinner.