Summary: How we should handle disorder in the church.
TOPIC: DISORDER IN THE CHURCH
Text: James 4:1-10
(ILL. Wrong Attitude – Many of us Christians are like the little girl who started fighting with a friend. Her mother who heard about the quarrel talked with her little girl about it trying to show her she was wrong and her need of asking God’s forgiveness. Accordingly, when the little one kneeled down to pray, she humbly asked, "O God, please forgive me for getting angry and quarreling with Charlotte." So far so good. But the wrong disposition was still there, for the child went on, “And makes Charlotte come to me and ask my forgiveness. O Lord, give her no rest until she is sorry and comes and tells me so!")
What causes disorders in our lives, in our family, in the church, in our nations? Today we will continue discussing the book of James in our series – A Life That Makes a Difference! And from our text today in James 4:1-10, we will learn how to make a difference to have order not only in our lives, in our family but in the family of God – in the church!
1. THE RESOURCE OF DISORDER
a. Desires Within Us – v. 1, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” James is talking here to the church and he points out that the major source of quarrels and conflicts in the church centers in a desire for one self for recognition, honor, power, pleasure, money and superiority. (ILL. How Do Wars Begin? – A boy once asked, “Dad, how do wars begin?” “Well, take the First World War,” said his father. “That got started when Germany invaded Belgium.” Immediately his wife interrupted him. “Tell the boy the truth. It began because somebody was murdered.” The husband drew himself with an air of superiority and snapped back, “Are you answering the question or am I?” Turning her back upon him in a huff, the wife walked out of the room and slammed the door as hard as she could. When the dishes stopped rattling in the cupboard, an uneasy silence followed, broken at length by the son. “Daddy, you don’t have to tell me how wars begin; I know now!”) The desires that battle within us. This is true not only in the church but in the family, also in the nation. The satisfaction of selfish desires becomes more important than righteousness and God’s will (cf. Mk. 4:19, “…but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful or they do not mature.” Gal. 5:16-17, “…live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful natures desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”). When this happens, self-centered conflicts are created in the fellowship. Those responsible show themselves to be without the Spirit outside of God’s kingdom (Gal. 5:19-21; Jude 16-19, “These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires. These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.”).
b. Wrong Motives – v. 3, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives…” Wrong motives are also a source of disorder, wherein the motives of asking or doing things is for there own pleasure, instead for the good of others.
c. Friendship With The World – v. 4, “Friendship with the world is hatred toward God.” Friendship with the world is what we call “spiritual adultery” Isa. 54:5, “For your Maker is your husband…” Jer. 3:20, “But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you have been unfaithful to me, O house of Israel.” (e.g. Unfaithfulness to God and our pledge of commitment to Him.) Hosea 1:2, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife & children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the Lord.” I John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” It involves embracing the world’s sin, values and evil pleasures. God will not accept such friendship Mt. 6:24, “No one can serve two masters.” for He is a jealous God, Ex. 20:5, “…for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.” One example of such friendship is participation in secret orders (e.g. masonry) that demand unscriptural religious oaths and yoking together with unbelievers, both of which are forbidden in God’s Word (Mt. 5:33-37, “Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord. Let your Ye be Yes and your No, No; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”; 2 Cor. 6:14, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”). Believers cannot belong to such groups without compromising Christian doctrine (2 Pet 3:16), Godly standards, separation from the world (2 Cor. 6:17-18, “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God… therefore come out from them and be separate, touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”), and loyalty t Christ (Mt 6:24).