Faithlife Sermons

Peace, Love, and Wisdom

2018 Sunday Sermons  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Demonic ambitions 14-16

James 3:13–18 ESV
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Pure

Wisdom from above

James 3:13 ESV
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.
Peaceable
Gentle
Open To Reason
Full of Mercy
Impartial
Sincere - lacking pretense

Demonic ambitions 14-16

James 3:14–16 ESV
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

selfish ambitions = demonic ambitions

Matthew 16:21–23 ESV
From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
To allow jealousy and selfish ambition to rule our thoughts is to allow a devilish agenda to dominate our lives
To allow jealousy and selfish ambition to rule our thoughts is to give in to cleverly disguised demonic influences
1942 - Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
“It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out. If this fails, you must fall back on a subtler misdirection of his intention. Whenever they are attending to the Enemy Himself we are defeated, but there are ways of preventing them from doing so. The simplest is to turn their gaze away from Him towards themselves”
This is why, as in life, we cannot allow individual selfish whims to reign in the Sunday meeting of God’s Church. We are here to corporately worship, that is to join with others in pleasing God, not self.

Disorder & every vile practice

In the worship service:
1 Corinthians 14:40 ESV
But all things should be done decently and in order.
1 cor 14:
1 Corinthians 14:32–33 ESV
and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,
1 cor 14:
In life:
Judges 21:25 ESV
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
This is the pitiful description of Israel at the end of the book of Judges, a record of consistent failure and warfare. This is NOT a prescription for right Kingdom living. Let us pray God aides us in fighting against a jealous and self-important spirit in our own hearts and church. There is a wisdom from above that is not selfish.

Wisdom from above - 17-18

James 3:13–18 ESV
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
James 3:13 ESV
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.
James 3:17–18 ESV
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Pure

We are so broken in our mind and emotions, that wisdom that is pure must necessarily be given directly from God
Solomon, Peter’s revelation from the Father rather than from flesh and blood

Peaceable

Matthew 5:9 ESV
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Sometimes conflict is necessary in our lives, in our churches, that error and offense be confronted. There is grace and scripture to guide us through those times.
One who is known to seek conflict is one NOT seeking or displaying godly, pure wisdom. Those, however who are consistently seeking in as much as they can with regards to righteousness to be peaceful with all, they are showing a clear picture of Christ
The sense of peace and unity we have experienced these past 5 years, not without disagreement & not without opportunity to clash, should be viewed as both extraordinary gift of God and as evidence of a general orientation toward the wisdom from above, and it is my sincere hope, prayer, and intent that we press further into this aim and continue in this way.

Gentle

Those who truly have felt the gentle touch of Jesus, have lovingly been held in the Father’s arms in our moments of deepest distress and fear and failure ought to seek to emulate that

Open To Reason

April 18, 1521 - Martin Luther
"Unless I am convicted by scripture and plain reason - I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other - my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen."
We ought to be the most open people, if we are living by the Word of God, why would we ever be defensive? Do we not think that God is able to defend Himself?
Romans 3:4 ESV
By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”

Full of Mercy - he with no sin may cast the first stone

Impartial - I pray we always are given the eyes of Christ

Sincere - lacking pretense

They don’t look like church people
in that they didn’t look like they were trying to impress anybody; they just loved each other and wanted to be at church
She said she wished we were going to our church with you in the morning. The church here doesn’t have the love of MJ

a harvest of righteousness

Isaiah 32:17 ESV
And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.
God grant that we may continue to seek after and display that wisdom from above, and so visibly show Christ to our loved ones and the world around us.

You don’t ask - 4:1-2

James 4:1–2 ESV
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.

Jesus on murder and quarreling:

Matthew 5:21–22 ESV
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
Note that James here pictures people focusing on substance, and on those with that substance; on gaining by means of violence. Prayer is the opposite of this.
No one says a prayer, sings a hymn, then robs a bank
No one says a prayer, sings a hymn, then robs a bank
Chris Rice - Prone To Wander Lyrics
On the surface not a ripple Undercurrent wages war Quiet in the sanctuary Sin is crouching at my door
(CHORUS) How can I be so prone to wander So prone to leave You So prone to die And how can You be so full of mercy You race to meet me and bring be back to life
I wake to find my soul in fragments Given to a thousand loves But only One will have no rival Hangs to heal me, spills His blood Curse-reversing Day of Jesus When You finally seize my soul Freedom from myself will be The sweetest rest I've ever known
Read more: Chris Rice - Prone To Wander Lyrics | MetroLyrics
Romans 7:19 ESV
For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.
Faithful prayer is going to HIm who knows our needs and believing that He provides apart or in spite of our efforts

You ask wrong - 4:3-7

James 4:3 ESV
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
James 4:3–7 ESV
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:3
1 John 2:15–17 ESV
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
James 4
1 john

God is jealous over you

Exodus 34:14 ESV
(for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God),
Clear the Stage by Jimmy Needham
Anything I put before my God is an idol Anything I want with all my heart is an idol Anything I can't stop thinking of, is an idol Anything that I give all my love, is an idol
The Beautiful Letdown by Switchfoot
We are a beautiful let down Painfully uncool The church of the dropouts The losers, the sinners, the failures and the fools Oh, what a beautiful let down Are we salt in the wound? Hey, let us sing one true tune
God help us to be unified like never before. Crush and remove our idols, tame our passions, quell the inward struggling, that we may run hard for You;

Humble Yourself

James 4:8–10 ESV
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
There is wisdom from above, that is from God. May God grant us as individuals, families, and as a church repentance of all else, and to live lives seeking this wisdom; displaying it, and enjoying the righteousness of Christ and ongoing peace in Him.
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