JAMES

CHAPTER FOUR

 

 

James 4:1 ¶ 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.

4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye 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.

5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

11 ¶ Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

A.  The Real War:  Verse 1-10

B.  Judging your brother:  Verse 11-12

C.  Boasting about tomorrow:  Verse 13-16

D.  Conclusion:  Verse 17


A. The Real War:  Verse 1-10

The world is always occupied with war.  End times is like that.   Matt 24:6

The battle all men avoid-- in US.  Saints can win it-- Unsaved never win it.

1.  The war described-  Verse 1-6

Vs. 1-  Source of war-  Lust

James 1:14-15-  Lust causes this war, and it ends in death of the flesh.

Bible Story:  Joshua Chapter 7-  Key verse-  21.  He SAW, and he lusted.  Discuss the garment and its possibilities.

Story:  Virginia started by alleged Christians from England.  Problem:  Lust.  What kind? Lust for wealth.  First settlements failed.  Then they started growing tobacco for export.  First export crop from the USA.  Next, slaves brought to work the tobacco.  Next, war of independence from England to be able to export to other countries.  Next, fought civil war so north could control commerce, especially cotton and tobacco.  Next, the USA is dying of lung cancer, and what does Clinton do?  Raise tax to get more profit from tobacco.  Who will lose this war?  Answer:  Those who lust for easy money at the expense of others.

Vs. 1-  Battle zone-  Our bodies, the "flesh"

1 John 2:16-17-  This is the war being lost.  The fruit of lust passes away.  No reward.

Eccl. 2:26-  The sinner works in lust, so God takes it away from him.  This is a war lost to lust.  The "heaps" of the wicked become blessings to the saint.

Romans 7:14-25-  Key verse is 18-  The flesh is the seat of this war.

2.  The solution and victory-  Verse 7-10

2 Peter 1:4-  Escape is assured spiritually.

Romans 12:2-  The mind is to be transformed-  Made over by Christ.

Galatians 5:16-17-  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

B.  Judging your brother:  Verse 11-12

Verse 11-  This is damning-  Judging our brother is speaking evil.

Why does James say judging a brother is "speaking evil of the law?"

Answer:  We are saying the law in not adequate to judge a man-- We are needed to apply the law or improve on it.

Verse 12-  We call God into question-- As if He is not able to get around to properly judging.

Can you see how ugly this is to God?

Other Bible teachings on judging a brother:

1.  Jesus teaches on judging our brother-  Luke 18:10-17

Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Verse 10-  These are NOT Philistines-- they are Jews.  Apply Church.

Cf-  Old Testament teaching of enemies outside of Israel-  Ps. 139:21-22

Verse 11-12-  Did the Pharisee compare the Publican with God?  With whom?

The Pharisee did not have the sins of the Publican, but he had worse.

Cf-  Proverbs 6:16-19-  Top of the list.

Verse 14-  Who is justified?  Answer:  The man who lets God justify.  Judgment is a form of self-justification.

Read again James 4:11-  The Pharisee used the law to justify himself and condemn the brother.  He was blaspheming the law in doing so!!

2.  Paul teaches on judging a brother-  Romans 14:3-8

Romans 14:3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

Romans 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

Verse 7-8  Who is our our brother supposed to live to?

Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Verse 9-10  Two things are clear:

a.  Your brother will answer to God for his life.  So why do you judge him before the time?

b.  YOU will answer to God also, so why judge your brother and have to answer for it later?

Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

Verse 13-  Why do judges wear black robes and wigs?

Judging a saint brings him to stumble.  Why?  Answer:  He may take the judgment seriously when God is very happy with his walk.  He stops to get right with YOU and your judgment.  Think about that.

3.  An attitude which prevents judging-  Luke 17:7-10

Luke 17:7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?

8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?

9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him?  I trow not.

10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.

If we really believed that, we would lose our standard for judging.

Why?  Answer:  We are servants, not judges.

4.  A discipline that prevents judging-  James 5:16

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Confessing our faults makes it very hard to judge since we are known for what we are.

1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

What if a magistrate visited you daily and told you all of your faults and sins?  Would you call him, "Brother?"

Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Can we thank God for the opportunity to judge our brother?



C.  Boasting about tomorrow:  Verse 13-16

13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

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Verse 13--  We learn many things.  This sounds like a merchant.  James warns those who speculate.

Business has always been around.  

Cf--   Amos 8:6 -  Crooks in Israel.

Luke 17:27-28-  Note the difference in the cities.  Sodomy can copexist with prospeerity.  What was the end of their plans for profit?

Verse 14--  Jesus had things to say about this.

Cf-   Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Here, business is not the urgent thing.  It is any bold plans without giving place to God's sovereignty.

Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Job 12:10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:   17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Isaiah 40:7  The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.

James 1:11  For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.

1 Peter 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

So, who are we to boast of our future and plans?

ILL.  People in Green Valley-  Couple who spend much of their time doing their books from investment.

Eccl. 2:18 Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me. 19 And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.

Eccl. 2:22 For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?

Verse 15 -  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

Proverbs 19:21 There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

God will have His way in the end.  Why not agree with Him beforehand?

Story of committment to God's plans of the future:   II  Samuel 15:24-29-  The ark was being offered as a fetish, and the priests were abandoning their service.  David says he needs only the mercy of God to see him through.

Another story of committment to the sovereignty of God:  I Samuel 14:1-12--  Note the resignation to Jehovah rather than self-assurance.  The saint always enters war knowing he would lose if God were not in it.

Verse 16-  Boasting.  How about predicting our team will win?  Big mouth.  This is part of our culture.  

It is also very common in the Anglo-Saxon culture, especially the German side.

Compare the Orientals and Middle Eastern.   Boasting is seen as gross and ugly.

Psalm 94:4 How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?

Psalm 34:2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

Psalm 44:8 In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.

Proverbs 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

2 Corinthians 10:13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:   9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Matthew 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

D.  Conclusion:  Verse 17

17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

This is more than all that is in this chapter or the above teaching.

Do I know a good thing to do?

James says I have no choice IF I know it IS good.

This is a rough teaching, for it calls me to faithfulness.  Caution and timidity are great sins.