Summary: James teaches on things that are responsible for wars and fightings, however the wars and fightings in this passage primarily refer to brethren not getting along with one another, due to worldly and devilish wisdom instead of the wisdom from above being p
1. Open your bible to James 4:1&2.
2. This passage reminds us that many people in the church don’t know how to get along with each other and that many don’t know how to get along with their self.
3. Let’s begin our discussion of the things that James sets forth in the first part of the fourth chapter.
I. FIRST, JAMES 4:1a RAISES A QUESTION ABOUT THE PROBLEM OF THE BRETHREN THAT HE WAS WRITING TO NOT GETTING ALONG.
1. Let’s read James 4:1a, “Where do “wars and fights” come from among you?”
(1) The words “wars and fights” probably cause our minds to think that James is talking about wars and fighting’s between nations, such as World War II, the war of Vietnam, the war with Iraq, the war of Afghanistan and etc.
(2) However, this is not the kind of wars that James is raising a question about.
(3) James says that the “wars and fights” were “from among you”. James is referring to quarrels and problems that take place among those who are members of local congregations.
2. This question causes us to think about some of the statements that James has already made about how that the brethren that he was writing to were not getting along.
(1) In James 2:1-13 he brings up the problem of showing more friendliness to the rich people than to the poor people, who would attend the services of the church.
(2) In James 2:14-26 he brings up the problem of neglecting to feed and cloth the needy and the problem of some trying to prove their faith with “words only” instead of “words and works”.
(3) In all of James 3 he brings up many problems due to them not controlling their tongues and to the extent of, while blessing God, cursing men, who have been made after the likeness of God. James categorized such uncontrolled use of the tongue as having not part in the demonstration of wisdom from above. James emphasizes the importance of being a peacemaker.
3. James’ question also causes us to think of different problems that existed in different congregations referred to in other N. T. letters.
(1) In 1 Cor. 6:1-8 Paul refers to members of the church going to the courts of the land against one another.
(2) In 1 Cor. 14 Paul refers to quarrels the members of the church in Corinth were having in connection with spiritual gifts that had been given to them.
(3) In Galatians 5:15 the Galatians were spiritually and emotionally “biting and devouring one another”.
(4) In Philippians 4:2&3 two women are referred to as not getting along.
4. James and Paul refer to problems of brethren not getting along that, sadly, is not limited to just the first century. Brethren in the 21st century still have this terrible problem.
(1) James raises the question pertaining to what is the origin for problems among members of the church.
(2) Thankfully, James gives an answer to his own question.
II. SECOND, JAMES 4:1b, TEACHES THAT PART OF THE REASON FOR “WARS AND FIGHTS AMONG MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH” IS DUE TO SELFISHNESS.
1. Let’s read James 4:1b, “Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?”
(1) Like a skilled surgeon, James, inspired of the Holy Spirit, spiritually opens Christians up to reveal the cancer that is destroying individuals and the church that Jesus purchased with his blood.
(2) The reason Christians in the days of James (and in the twenty-first century) could not and can not get along is that they were and are being ruled and controlled by their own passions and desires – selfishness.
(3) The words “wars and fights” refer to controversies and quarrels, animosities and bad feelings among Christians. These problems develop and erupt when individuals want to have their own way, and when that way is contrary to God’s will.
2. Do we have this problem today? Yes! Most church problems come from the question, “Who is going to be in charge or in control?”
(1) These kinds of problems are fed by our own selfish desires that James described in the previous chapter as “bitter envy and self-seeking” (James 3:14).
(2) We become convinced that we have all the answers and cannot understand why people do not look to us for leadership.
(3) When they do not look to us, we manipulate people and situations to get them to look our way.
3. Look again at James’ statement in James 4:1. Notice that his statement, along with revealing why members of the church can’t get along, it also is telling Christians why that the members of their own physical body keep a war going with our soul.
(1) James 4:1 says that “wars and fights come from your desires for pleasure (KJV LUST) that war in your members?