This week we will be walking through James 4. We will look at the causes for strife in the Christian community, Biblical solutions, and why we need a humble dependence on God. Our key verse is James 4:7-8.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:7-8)
Reasons for strife in the Christian community. v 1-3
“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
- Wars and fightings v 1
- Lusts v 1
- Desire to have v 2
- Ye ask not v 2
- Ask amiss v 3
James accurately describes strife among Christians with the terms wars and fightings. Often, the battles that happen among Christians are bitter and severe. The source of wars and fightings among Christians is always the same. There is some root of carnality, an internal war within the believer regarding the lust of the flesh.
The types of desires that lead to conflict are described. Covetousness leads to conflict (you lust and do not have). Anger and animosity lead to conflict (murder).
The reason these destructive desires exist among Christians is because they are not seeking God for their needs (you do not ask). Or, when they do ask, they ask God with purely selfish motivation (ye ask amiss).
This is not how God wants us to live our lives. We will find God’s answers as we continue our study of James 4.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001