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6 Humble Faith

Put On Your Grown-Up Faith  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Big Idea: Humble yourself before God, draw near to Him, and do what you know is right.

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Introduction

James keeps digging deeper to show growing maturity in the faith. From persevering through struggles and dealing with temptations in chapter 1, to mercy over judgment and living out faith in chapter 2, and then deepening wisdom, self-control, and peace making in chapter 3.
Blessed are the peacemakers
Now, in chapter 4 James shows how judging others is really an attempt to stand as judge over God and His law. He goes right from talking about making peace to “why do you battle each other?”
Read
James 4 NIV
1 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. 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. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. 11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? 13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

At Odds With God

At Odds With God
Truth question with truth question answer.
James 4:1 NIV
1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?
v.1 Cause of fights = ongoing serious conflicts and fights, quarrels = bitter struggles
v.1 Cause of fights = ongoing serious conflicts and fights, quarrels = bitter struggles
source of outward battles is the inward battles we fight against conflicting desires/lusts
Romans 7:23 NIV
23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.
James 4:2 NIV
2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.
v.2 unmet desires. Various words used for desires. Deep lust (of any kind), jealousy.
v.2 unmet desires. Various words used for desires. Deep lust (of any kind), jealousy.
unmet desires. Various words used for desires. Deep lust (of any kind), jealousy.
When you don’t get what you want then you struggle against each other, but really against not getting, not having, doing without the things desired.
Matthew 5:21–22 NIV
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister, will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
Jesus taught - law says do not murder, but if you hate your brother you murder in your heart
1 John 3:15 NIV
15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.
1 anger and hate = murder
anger and hate = murder
anger and hate = murder
anger and hate = murder
Why do you not have? Don’t ask God for what is really needed or wanted.
James 4:3 NIV
3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
v.3 OR – you ask but for the wrong reason – again the evil selfish desire to waste it on self. (Actually lifting self up and wanting God to serve you.
OR – you ask but for the wrong reason – again the evil selfish desire to waste it on self. (Actually lifting self up and wanting God to serve you.
James 4:4 NIV
4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
v.4 Adulterous people = unfaithful spouse. Not faithful to the one who loves you, satisfying pleasure outside of marriage.
Adulterous people = unfaithful spouse. Not faithful to the one who loves you, satisfying pleasure outside of marriage.
Don’t you know? = another truth question. You should already know, be aware of…
Friendship = buddy kind of relationship
Different from the idea of being in the world but not of it. Jesus example of mixing with people to know them and serve them.
Hostility, enmity = moving toward kingdom of the world and away from Kingdom of God.
Enmity = Same root as enemy.
Wants = You choose the world over God making the world your circle of friends and God your enemy. At odds with God. Idolatry
James 4:5 NIV
5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?
v.5 refers to Scripture – most likely as in , do not worship other gods, God is jealous. His purpose for creating and giving life is communion/fellowship/relationship.
v.5 refers to Scripture – most likely as in , do not worship other gods, God is jealous.
His purpose for creating and giving life is communion/fellowship/relationship.
Romans 6:19 NIV
19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.
gives more grace – quotes welcomes humility, allows repentance of the most wicked
James 4:6 NIV
6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
v.6 gives more grace – quotes welcomes humility, allows repentance of the most wicked
gives more grace – quotes welcomes humility, allows repentance of the most wicked

The Three Promise Solution

James 4:7 NIV
7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
v.7 Submit. No way to move forward. Pride prevents spiritual growth and gives the devil a continued stronghold.
Submit. No way to move forward. Pride prevents spiritual growth and gives the devil a continued stronghold.
Solution – then or therefore = based on God’s grace to the humble – response is to submit = humble yourself
Not only submitting to God, but repent – turn from, resist the devil (another statement of source)
Promise 1) Submit to God, resist the devil = the devil flees. Stronghold broken.
v.8 move closer to God, (promise 2) He moves closer to you.
James 4:8 NIV
8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
(cut out part b right here)
v.8 move closer to God,
Promise 2) Draw near to God = He moves closer to you.
Rest of v.8, 9. Like clean hands and hearts to approach God.
James 4:9 NIV
9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
James 4:8–9 NIV
8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Rest of v.8, 9. Like clean hands and hearts to approach God.
Rest of v.8, 9. Like clean hands and hearts to approach God.
Why does James tell us to be sorrowful when he just told us to rejoice? 1:1, 1:9-10
Grieve (deep sorrow remember godly sorrow), mourn (grieve for loss), wail or weep (lament brokenness)?
Here he is talking about the depths of our sin, not just the external suffering we go through.
All about true repentance = humility, brokenness over sin. true confession and turning.
High Definition Commentary quote here – mourning and lament.
Metaphors of mourning and lament move far beyond saying “I’m sorry”—they are external manifestations of an inner attitude. “I’m sorry” can mean simply I’m sorry I got caught, not necessarily that I feel any genuine remorse for the hurt I have caused. Lament requires accepting responsibility for the fallout of my behavior and commitment to change to prevent future harm.
James 4:10 NIV
10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
v.10 humble before God,
humble before God,
Promise 3) humble before God = God lifts you up – out of the pit and onto the rock.
Psalm 40:2 NIV
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
God restores you, God hears you, God answers prayers that now come from a transformed heart.
God restores you, God hears you, God answers prayers that now come from a transformed heart.
Are you broken over your sin? Any sin? not just the big ones, but any little sin. Like the Pharisee and tax collector.
2 examples of lack of humility to prevent

Here Comes The Judge – Whose Law?

James 4:11 NIV
11 Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
v.11 not humble means critical. Do not speak evil against another. This is an outworking of judgment in the heart. Visits this yet again.
not humble means critical. Do not speak evil against another. This is an outworking of judgment in the heart. Visits this yet again.
To criticize is to judge putting yourself above the other, which puts you as critic and judge of the law.
You sit above as judge meaning you are not following/obeying the law.
We see this all the time, especially on social media – people trying to be the speech police, thought police, idea police – telling others what they should and shouldn’t believe, do, say. even though they don’t know the whole story, haven’t taken the time to listen.
James 4:12 NIV
12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
v.12 only one law giver and judge. He is the one with the ability to destroy or to save. Who are you, really? Can you do that? Just as bad and wrong as the next guy. You can’t keep the law any better than he does, and in comparison to the perfect One we all fail.
v.12 only one law giver and judge.
He is the one with the ability to destroy or to save.
Who are you, really? Can you do that? Just as bad and wrong as the next guy. You can’t keep the law any better than he does, and in comparison to Jesus the perfect One we all fail.
Don’t criticize, don’t judge, don’t place yourself above others, and in essence above the law and above God = idolatry.

Like A Boss – Whose Will?

Starts with “come on here” grabs attention for serious statement.
James 4:13 NIV
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”
v.13 Making your own plans your own way for your own good.
v.13 Making your own plans your own way for your own good. no concern for what God may have for you.
James 4:14 NIV
14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
v.14 truth question – how do you know what tomorrow brings = you do not know…
truth question – how do you know what tomorrow brings = you do not know…
your life is like mist or steam or smoke that rises and is gone quickly
James 4:15 NIV
15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
v.15 better to align with God’s will and plan for your life.
better to align with God’s will and plan for your life.
You don’t know the future, tomorrow even, but you’ll set yourself up like the boss and go your own way.
Again - when we humble ourselves, repent, draw near to God - He hears and answers prayer
v.16 Boasting, pride in self = evil. Again, setting yourself above God.
James 4:16 NIV
16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.
Boasting, pride in self = evil. Again, setting yourself above God.
James 4:17 NIV
17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
v.17 not only doing what is wrong – coming from an evil heart, but knowing to do right and not doing it. Both set us up over God.
Then = based on the pride and self centeredness,
not only doing what is wrong – coming from an evil heart, but knowing to do right and not doing it. Both set us up over God.
This verse is a transition into the next section in Chapter 5.

Conclusion

James talks about the attitudes that cause our conflicts – pride, selfishness, jealousy, worldliness.
James gives the antidotes or cures – humility, mercy, generosity, godliness

Big Idea: Humble yourself before God, draw near to Him and do what you know is right.

When we humble ourselves (think outside, consider others, turn all over to God, “take up our cross”) the fleshly side starts to drop away.
Draw near to God. In humility, repent/turn from our way and turn to God.
We draw near to God through Daily time with Him = intake of Word, and prayer.
Begin living out the faith we say we have by doing good works from a transformed heart. Seeing the needs and meeting them, by God’s grace.

What About You?

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