Intro: 1. Read in the paper about the rise of anti-war demonstrations
2. It seems that there is always some sort of war going on
3. Text: James 4:1-12
4. Different kinds of war that are all connected:
I. External War (v. 1, 11-12)
A. Ps 133:1
1. This "ideal" is often not the way things really are
2. Disciples of Jesus argued over who was the greatest
3. Paul and Barnabas argued and split over John Mark
4. In Corinth, they were suing each other
B. (v. 11) - "Do not speak against or judge your brother"
1. Could involve: Slander/ Gossip/ Speaking hurtfully
2. Could involve judging them
3. Problem: When speak against or judge a brother - you judge
the law. HOW?
a. Contrast "judging the law" v.s. "doing the law"
b. It also shows arrogance against God (v.12)
c. Only God can judge, or pardon.
-Paul's attitude toward the Galatians - "I fear for you
that perhaps I have labored over you in vain" (Gal
4:11) He was not quick to give verdict
4. Clarification: This does not mean we accept sin, or allow a
brother to live in sin (I Cor 5; I Tim 5:20; Tit 1:13)
a. Need to do it with the right motive - LOVE
b. 2 Tim 4:2 - Reprove, rebuke, exhort with great patience
c. Gal 6:1 - restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness
C. What would happen if I had a bad attitude toward a policeman?
1. Could get arrested for disrespect to a polic officer.
a. He is a representative of the law
b. To dis-respect him is to dis-respect the law
2. A Christian is a representative of Christ, made in His image
a. To disrespect him is to disrespect God
b. (v. 12) "Who are you to judge your brother?"
D. So what should you do?
1. Assess your feeling about your brother and pray about it
2. Approach your brother and be gentle
3. (Prov. 15:1-2)
II. Internal War
A. (v.1) - Comes from the pleasures which wage war in our members
1. This is a covert action: Pleasures hardly seem like war. And
yet, they can silently destroy you from the inside out
2. Nice clothes, nice house, position at work - work ambitiously,
ANYTHING THAT CROWDS GOD OUT OF YOUR LIFE.
B. Look at what this "desire" does
1. Jas 1:14-15
2. (v.2)Lust -(or "greedy desire", not necessarily sexual) =murder
3. Envious = Fight and Quarrel
4. Prayers go unanswered
5. Ever wondered why God does not seem to be listening?
C. ILL: Look at some bits of wisdom concerning "desire"
1. Popularity--(Prv 18:24)
2. Material Things--(Prv 23:4-5) ; (Eccl. 5:10-12)
3. Envy and Want--(Prv 17-20)
D. When you are carried away by your evil desire - IT WILL LEAD
1. Think of the riches and the position you have in Christ
2. Think of how they were obtained
What if I am able to obtain all these worldly things and still be kind and benevolent. Is that so bad? Is it so bad to do what you can to be accepted by all. to work hard and become prosperous. THAT IS A LOADED QUESTION. Not answered easily.
Ask yourself the question, does it make war with God. (Read v. 4-5)
III. Eternal War (this is war that takes place beyond earthly realm)
A. Does war with God lead to war within ourselves, or vice-versa?
-One thing is for sure, the two go hand in hand
B. How do we declare war against God?(I have nothing against God)
1. Answer: Being friends with the enemy: the world (v.4)
a. How bad can that be --- Makes you an "adulterer"
b. What if wife spent a lot of time dating an old girlfriend?
c. Friend with world, hostility toward God
(just like in a marriage)
2.. "He with jealousy desires the spirit which he placed in us"
a. Spirit: The breath of life. Desires our loyalty
b. God did say that "I am a jealous God"
C. Relationship to God is like a marriage: Don't cheat on Him
IV. Correct Kind of War (the war to end all wars)
A. Cleanse your hands -- Cease this wrong doing (no more gossip,
slander, speaking against one another, hurting one another)
B. Purify your hearts --
1. Have to clean the inside, or it will come out again and again
2. Don't be what Jesus called a "whitewashed tomb" Clean only
3. Not to clean inside would be "double-minded" (hypocritical)
C. Be Miserable, Mourn and Weep (v.9)
1. What? Christians are supposed to rejoice in the Lord always
2. This is talking about a good sorrow
3. Acts 2:38 - They were pierced in their hearts
4. 2 Corinthians 2:2-4 - Sorrow leads to repentance
5. Be Humble before God and He will LIFT YOU UP (sorrow
does not remain)
D. This repentance makes war ----- AGAINST SATAN, THE
1. If there is any war to be fought, and there is, it is
2. The war to end all wars is the battle against Satan
3. Heaven is a place described as a city with the gates always
open -- THERE IS NO ENEMY TO WORRY ABOUT
1. Are you in the midst of a conflict, a war. (Within yourself (sin)) (With a brother) (With God)
2. Are you tired of it?
a. "Resist the Devil and he will flee from you"
- Make war against Satan, not your brother, yourself, or God
b. Submit to God