Summary: James primary reason for writing his book was to bring Christians closer to God. He has illustrated the pitfalls and blessings for the Christian who desire to develop a closer relationship to getting closer to God by avoiding the pitfalls.
James primary reason for writing his book was to bring Christians closer to God. He has illustrated the pitfalls and blessings for the Christian who desire to develop a closer relationship to getting closer to God by avoiding the pitfalls and our Christian character.
Bookstore shelves are full of self-help books to encourage the quality of our lives however, it is the prudent and wise Christian who wants to get closer to God by striving to improve our relationship with God by recognizing the danger that exist this world and avoiding them. In our text today James gives us a (1) “Warning against pride” (vv.8-10) and (2nd) a “Warning about Criticism” (vv.11-12) and (3) Warning against arrogant self-confidence (vv. 13-17).
Text Illustration: The story is about a man by the name of Larry Walters, a 33-year-old man who decided he wanted to see his neighborhood from a new perspective. So, he went down to the local army surplus store and bought forty-five used weather balloons.
That afternoon he strapped himself into a lawn chair, to which several of his friends tied the now helium-filled used weather balloons. He took with him, something to drink, a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, and a BB gun, figuring he could shoot the balloons one at a time when he was ready to land.
Walters, who assumed the balloons would lift him about 100 feet in the air, was caught off guard when the chair soared more than 11,000 feet into the sky--smack into the middle of the air traffic pattern at Los Angeles International Airport. Because he was too frightened to shoot any of the balloons, he stayed airborne for more than two hours, and forced the airport to shut down its runways for much of the afternoon.
Soon after he was safely grounded and cited by the police, reporters asked him three questions:
"Were you scared? ”Yes."
"Would you do it again? "No.
"Why did you do it?" "Because you can’t just sit there."
The Christian who wants to get closer to God “can’t just sit in the pew we must listen to God through His word. We won’t need balloons filled helium, only need to draw near to God. James writes;
Read Sermon Text
James 4:8-17 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. 11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another? 13 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that." 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. NKJV
1. Warning against Pride (vs. 8-10)
James 4:8-10 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. NKJV
a. James states that if we draw near to God He will draw near to us. Drawing near to God doesn’t mean that we live in a particular way but that we seek a perfect relationship with God. This perfect relationship come out of a perfect heart and it is only the blood of Jesus that can change what is flaw in to that which is perfect. In Matthew 5:19 tells us that the unregenerate heart produces an undegenerated life. James points out it is the pride in our lives that cause us to fall. He points out a pitfall that is in our path of life.
Matt 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. NKJV
b. In the days prior to the coming of Jesus to the cross the High Priest would enter to the presence of God in the Holy of Holies and offer up an offering for the sins of the people. This offering would close the gap be God and man which was created by sin. Yet this offering was only temporary. When Jesus died on the cross He paid the price for sin and it was permanent.