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James 4:1-10: Counter Cultural

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Misdirected desires leads to:

Desire!
Covet!

Ask God Instead

You don’t get what you want because
Your motives are wrong: You don’t really want what you think you want.
You invest in your pleasures

Worldy Friendship

Friends with world=enemy of God.
We are looking to fill, but God JEALOUSLY longs to fill us with his Spirit.

Resist the devil and he will flee
Come near to God and he will come near to you.
Wash your hands
Purify your hearts
Grieve, mourn, wail.
Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom
Humble yourselves and He will lift you up.

Not funny!
War
Peacemakers so in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
Peace begets Righteousness
But the church can be all out warfare!
Misdirected desires leads to:
Misdirected desires leads to:
War with another: 1-3
Kills and Quarrels: “James chooses the vocabulary of war to express controversies and quarrels, animosities and bad feeling among Christians” Motyer
Literal Kills: Spanish Inquisition
Reformed against Mennonites: Dutch
War with another
War with God: 4-7
Prayers aren’t answered: Indulgence of ‘pleasures’
War with God
Adulterous Spirituality (Gomer)
Chaos!
Directed Desire Leads to: 7-10
Surrender to God
Submit is too passive, resist too active: “Manning the defense” Motyer
Submit yourself! “The verb (hypotassō) speaks of a subordinate’s readiness to await commands and to do the will of the superior. Francis Schaeffer aptly uses the phrase ‘active passivity’ to cover this important idea.”
the verb (hypotassō) speaks of a subordinate’s readiness to await commands and to do the will of the superior. Francis Schaeffer aptly uses the phrase ‘active passivity’ to cover this important idea.
Resist the devil and he will flee
Come near to God and he will come near to you.
Wash your hands
Purify your hearts
Be wretched and mourn and weep.
Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom
Humble yourselves and He will lift you up.
Conclusion: God the Hunter
Verse 4-6: “Out of jealousy he longs for the spirit that he made to live in us.”
Conclusion: God the Hunter
“In any case, the point is, plainly, that God desires with all of his heart for us to come home and to live with and in him, for us to ask for his wisdom. Instead, we follow the wisdom of the world, whether knowingly or unwittingly, and by following that errant path we can never achieve what we truly seek.”
In any case, the point is, plainly, that God desires with all of his heart for us to come home and to live with and in him, for us to ask for his wisdom. Instead, we follow the wisdom of the world, whether knowingly or unwittingly, and by following that errant path we can never achieve what we truly seek.
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill.”
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill.”
All out warfare:
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill.
controversies and quarrels, animosities and bad feeling among Christians
All out warfare: Early church and Sapphira
Not funny!
“The human price is the destruction of relationships; the spiritual price is a breach with God.” Motyer
Not funny!
“The human price is the destruction of relationships; the spiritual price is a breach with God.” Motyer
War.
“The human price is the destruction of relationships; the spiritual price is a breach with God.” Motyer
The human price is the destruction of relationships; the spiritual price is a breach with God.
War with God
You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
Hedonism vs. hedone

Outline:

Funny things kids cry about meme
Not funny!
War
Peacemakers so in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
Peace begets Righteousness
But the church can be all out warfare!
But the church can be all out warfare!
Misdirected desires leads to:
War with another: 1-3
Kills and Quarrels: “James chooses the vocabulary of war to express controversies and quarrels, animosities and bad feeling among Christians” Motyer
Early church and Sapphira
“The human price is the destruction of relationships; the spiritual price is a breach with God.” Motyer
“The human price is the destruction of relationships; the spiritual price is a breach with God.” Motyer
Literal Kills: Spanish Inquisition
Reformed against Mennonites: Dutch
War with God: 4-7
Prayers aren’t answered: Indulgence of ‘pleasures’
“You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
Hedonism vs. hedone
Hedonism vs. hedone
Adulterous Spirituality (Gomer)
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letter of James V. A Summons to Spiritual Wholeness (4:4–10)

To allow “the world” to entice us away from total, single-minded allegiance to God is to become people who are divided in loyalties, “double-minded” and spiritually unstable.

The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letter of James V. A Summons to Spiritual Wholeness (4:4–10)

Isa. 54:5–6: “ ‘For your Maker is your husband—the LORD Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—a wife who married young, only to be rejected,’ says your God.”

The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letter of James V. A Summons to Spiritual Wholeness (4:4–10)

see Jer. 3:20: “ ‘But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you have been unfaithful to me, O house of Israel,’ declares the LORD” (see also Isa. 57:3; Ezek. 16:38; 23:45). But it is in Hosea that this imagery reaches its pinnacle. The Lord commands Hosea to marry a prostitute so that her unfaithfulness might poignantly and painfully reveal the tragic alliance of Israel with foreign gods. Israel, God claims, has “been unfaithful,” going after other lovers, Baal and other false gods (Hos. 2:5–7). This marital imagery for the covenant relationship between God and Israel is picked up by Jesus, who called those who rejected him “a wicked and adulterous generation” (Matt. 12:39; 16:4).

The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letter of James V. A Summons to Spiritual Wholeness (4:4–10)

see Jer. 3:20: “ ‘But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you have been unfaithful to me, O house of Israel,’ declares the LORD” (see also Isa. 57:3; Ezek. 16:38; 23:45). But it is in Hosea that this imagery reaches its pinnacle. The Lord commands Hosea to marry a prostitute so that her unfaithfulness might poignantly and painfully reveal the tragic alliance of Israel with foreign gods. Israel, God claims, has “been unfaithful,” going after other lovers, Baal and other false gods (Hos. 2:5–7). This

The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letter of James V. A Summons to Spiritual Wholeness (4:4–10)

Jer. 3:20: “ ‘But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you have been unfaithful to me, O house of Israel,’ declares the LORD” (see also Isa. 57:3; Ezek. 16:38; 23:45). But it is in Hosea that this imagery reaches its pinnacle. The Lord commands Hosea to marry a prostitute so that her unfaithfulness might poignantly and painfully reveal the tragic alliance of Israel with foreign gods. Israel, God claims, has “been unfaithful,” going after other lovers, Baal and other false gods (Hos. 2:5–7). This

Chaos!
Chaos!
Directed Desire Leads to: 7-10
Surrender to God
Submit is too passive, resist too active: “Manning the defense” Motyer
Submit yourself! “The verb (hypotassō) speaks of a subordinate’s readiness to await commands and to do the will of the superior. Francis Schaeffer aptly uses the phrase ‘active passivity’ to cover this important idea.”
Resist the devil and he will flee
Come near to God and he will come near to you.
Wash your hands
Purify your hearts
Be wretched and mourn and weep.
Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom, Paul, and Peter (Peter’s betrayal)
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letter of James V. A Summons to Spiritual Wholeness (4:4–10)

Joel, warning of the nearness of the day of the Lord, pictures the Lord as inviting his people to “ ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning’ ” (2:12)

The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letter of James V. A Summons to Spiritual Wholeness (4:4–10)

James’s insistence that we turn our “joy into gloom” might sound strange in light of Paul’s injunction to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 4:4). But the joy Paul speaks about is the joy that comes when we realize that our sins are forgiven in Christ; the joy James warns about is the fleeting and superficial joy that comes when we indulge in sin. True Christian joy can never be ours if we ignore or tolerate sin; it comes only when we have squarely faced the reality of our sin, brought it before the Lord in repentance and humility, and experienced the cleansing work of the Spirit.

Humble yourselves and He will lift you up.
Humble yourselves and He will lift you up.
Conclusion: God the Hunter
Verse 4-6: “Out of jealousy he longs for the spirit that he made to live in us.”
“In any case, the point is, plainly, that God desires with all of his heart for us to come home and to live with and in him, for us to ask for his wisdom. Instead, we follow the wisdom of the world, whether knowingly or unwittingly, and by following that errant path we can never achieve what we truly seek.”
The Church in Distress
The Church in Distress
The World as Mistress
The World as Mistress
= One of the toughest verses to tranlate.
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letter of James V. A Summons to Spiritual Wholeness (4:4–10)

As we mentioned above, it is not clear whether James thinks of “the spirit that he has made to dwell in us” as the Holy Spirit given to believers, or as God’s creative spirit by which he has invigorated humankind (Gen. 2:7). Perhaps the latter is slightly more likely, however, since James never elsewhere refers to the Holy Spirit. In either case, the phrase reminds us that God has a claim on us by virtue of his work in our lives.

God and God Alone:
God and God Alone:
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letter of James V. A Summons to Spiritual Wholeness (4:4–10)

And v. 4 focuses on the spiritual adultery that James’s readers are committing by following the world in distinction from their only true “spouse,” the Lord. A reminder of God’s desire that his people be wholly and unreservedly his provides a beautifully appropriate substantiation of the warning against any flirtation with the attitudes and the values of the world in v. 4.

The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letter of James V. A Summons to Spiritual Wholeness (4:4–10)

If, however, as we have argued, v. 5 depicts God’s jealousy for his people, then James here is reminding us that God’s grace is completely adequate to meet the requirements imposed on us by that jealousy. Our God is “a consuming fire,” and his demand for our exclusive allegiance may seem terrifying. But our God is also merciful, gracious, all loving, and willingly supplies all that we need to meet his all-encompassing demands. As Augustine has said, “God gives what he demands.”

Series of commands are tied to the promise of Grace.
‘Surrender’ in verse 7= ‘humility’ in verse 6
Stand firm against the devil and he will flee.
Double-minded: Di-psychos
Desire: “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“The Boyhood of Raleigh”
For Lord’s Supper:
We are invited to sit down for supper with the CReator of the universe, to dine with the King. But we are all invited to do so, which means we need to be recongiciled to one another as well. Our communion with Christ spills over into communion as his body. There is a social, even political, reality enacted here: there are no box seats at this table, no reservations for VIPs, no filet mignon for those who can affored it while the rest eat crumbs from their table. The Lord’s Table is a leveling relaity in w world of inceeasing inequalities, an enacted vision of ‘a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine” ().
Why is going to church important?
Directed Desires
Desire Misfire
Root cause of fights, quarrels, battles and murder is misfired desire.
Wars and battles
‘Soldering’ ESV ‘at war’ against your members
Murder
2b. You battle and you war
All out warfare
All out warfare
Impacts prayer life
Countercultural Commitment
Desiring Discipleship
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