Summary: Message 20 in our study of James. This message continues our discussion of the inside war that triggers outside conflict.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“Restoring A Broken Heart”
The book of James is all about living by genuine faith. James describes the kind of life the one who claims to live by faith lives.
I. Faith’s response to trials 1:2-27
II. Faith’s response to partiality and prejudice 2:1-13
III. Faith’s True Nature 2:14-26
IV. Faith’s response to conversation 3:1-12
V. Faith’s way of life 3:13-18
A. Instruction – If you claim to be wise, live wisely 3:13
1. Claiming wisdom without living wisely makes you a liar. 3:14
2. Human wisdom arises from three sources. 3:15
“earthly” “Soulish” “Demonic”
3. Jealousy and strife breed a multitude of other evils 3:16
4. Wise living promotes righteous living 3:17-18
God’s wisdom revealed in God’s implanted truth produces specific results. I suggested using this list as an effective template to examine our hearts. Pay attention to what comes out of our mouth. Pay attention to how we relate to others. James continued further insights regarding the differences between human wisdom and divine wisdom; between life according to the ways of God and life promoted by earthly, soulish and demonic sources. After the eight insights, James issues seven curative commands. He lists seven actions we should take to restore our heart to function according to God’s ways; the way of wisdom.
5. The war within triggers wars without 4:1-3
James already exposed the chaos created by a heart driven by bitter jealousy and selfish ambition. He provided additional insight into the cause of human conflict. He traces human conflict to an internal war of unbridled passions.
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
You cannot resolve issues with people until you resolve your inner battle. Every Christian must manage two sets of passions. Paul wrote imbedded passions / desires.
Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. Ephesians 2:3
James referenced these unbridled passions earlier.
But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. James 1:14
At salvation, Jesus embeds a new set of passions through the Holy Spirit. This sets up a continual conflict of emotions.
For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. Galatians 5:17
Paul informed the Galatian how to live above these passions.
If you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Galatians 5:15-16
The war of passions within ourselves triggers wars with others. We must address the inner passions that wage war against the soul. We must also address our relationship with the world in which we live.
6. Friendship with the world is enmity with God 4:4
James bluntly calls them out not only for a self-centered focus but a failure to be fully devoted to God.
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4
God continually rebuked Israel for committing spiritual adultery by embracing the gods of other nations. It becomes increasingly more difficult to differentiate between those who embrace Christianity and those who don’t by lifestyle. Behind most everything being disseminated through media and higher education to day is some anti-God element. Trying to maintain friendship with the world system of thought and deeds and God is as incompatible as pursuing two partners at the same time.
Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica... 2 Timothy 4:10
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Isaiah 55:2
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matt 6:33
God really does desire relationship with us.
7. God jealously desires intimate relationship 4:5
Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? James 4:5
“The Spirit which He sent to live in us wants us for himself alone"