Summary: An expositional Series in the Book of James
Resistance is not Futile!
Pastor James continues to address the issues he is seeing in his church.
Chapter 1 - James addresses the congregation’s failure to examine see their own wavering faith, lack of patience & understanding
• They show partiality toward the rich,
• They are tempted to seek riches rather than God’s will.
• He sums up chapter 1 by saying there is a failure to examine one’s own life
Chapter 2 & 3 – James stresses that their failure to examine their own life results in their:
• judging others, yet they don’t examine their own motives
• misguided belief that if they show up at church and yet are not involved in ministry, they still have the faith it takes to enter Heaven.
• the congregation’s misuse of the tongue, destroying each other with it
• James concludes the congregation has a lack of wisdom
So in chapter 4 Pastor James attempts to point out to the congregation their reason for failure.
Read James 4:1-17
Acceptance of the world’s ways creates a disconnect between you and God.
1-4 From where come wars and fighting among you? Do they not come, even of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts.
You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Verses 1-4 identifies the symptom only:
1. Divisiveness between you and your brothers and sisters in Christ
2. Lust for everything, but God
3. Lack of Real prayer
4. Selfish prayer
And then after James identifies the symptoms, he follows up by identifying the secondary cause:
• Friendship with the world – He calls their friendship with the world adultery.
• Explain primary & secondary cause:
• The secondary cause for the world’s destruction during the time of Noah was water; The primary cause was God
• The secondary cause for the US entry into WWII was the Attack on Pearl Harbor; The primary cause was the evil in men’s hearts
• The secondary cause for most disease in America is our eating and drinking habits; The primary cause is our lack of self control
So in chapter 4 James explains that all these symptoms have a primary cause and that is “the disconnect between the people of the church and God”
James tells them how to get back to the center of relationship between them and God (7-10):
1. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
2. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
3. Cleanse your hands, you sinners;
4. Purify your hearts, you double minded.
5. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
6. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.