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James 4:1-10, A Proactive Christian Life

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James 4:1-10

April 1 2007

Intro: James has been encouraging us to LIVE A PROACTIVE


Paul exemplified this when he said: Philippians 3:14, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  ARE YOU???

Jesus told Peter: Matthew 16:18, And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.  DO YOU KNOW???

Then the Psalmist: Psalm 27:4, One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.  “HAVE YOU Entering in???”

A-   SO when it comes to the basics of our proactive Christian life James tells us to be a:

1-    Straight Talker

James 3:10, Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.

2-    AND a Straight Walker

James 2:26, For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

a-    BUT there is another bodily member that we ought not to neglect.

-         Matter of fact it’s the one that governs our speech and our walk = THE HEART.

Matthew 12:34, Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Read Proverbs 4:23-27

b-    So you can: discipline your actions and control your tongue, BUT for only so long if your heart is not right.

-         Here in chapter 4 James gets to the heart of the matter.

James 4:1, Where do wars and fights come from among you?...

A-   “…from among you…” = James is talking about the wars and battles that rage within the church.

1-    The perfect picture of Spiritual unity = THE HOLY TRINITY of God, Father, Son, & Holy Spirit.

2-    The perfect picture of Spiritual disunity = THE UNHOLY TRINITY of man, The flesh, The world, The devil.

-         Now the church is to be a sanctuary, our live out there not a playground BUT a battleground.

a-    It’s when one of these three rears it’s ugly head that the church, instead of a sanctuary, becomes a battle ground.

#1- SO James 1st addresses THE FLESH

Read Verses 1-3

A-   The 1st issue of the flesh is our “desire for pleasure”.

1-    This is; Selfish desires that are contrary to God and the Word of God.

a-    Instead of edification that glorifies God.

b-    This is destruction that feeds the flesh.

-         The thing about our flesh, both physically and Spiritually, as long as it’s fed it continues to grow (the blob)

Paul gave Timothy a list on the matter: 2 Timothy 3:2-4, For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, (bottom line) lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

                             2- What are some of the most destructive things a

                                 human being can do??? (classifed under


a-    Smoke, consume alcohol, pre/extra marital

     sex, recreationally use drugs.

- These things have destroyed lives,

   torn apart families, and ruined


                                                          * And still the flesh cries out for


> Another thing that feeds the flesh OR ballotes the blob is


A-   “Lust” is a heart felt passion for something (in this context) something = ungodly.

1-    It’s when you just got to have something to the point that it supercedes what you know to be right.

Romans 8:13, For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

a-    This is, by Spiritual discipline, forgoing the flesh and doing the godly.

1 Timothy 6:11-12, But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

                             b- But Pastor I was born with certain tendencies.

                                IT’S THE WAY I AM!!!

                                      - I was born with tendencies toward:

                                                * Hagen Dais butter Pecan,   Thriftys

                                                 Mint chlorate chip, 31 flavors French


·        I sometimes stumble but for the most part exorcise self control, and if not then flee.

James 4:2-3, …Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

A-   The problem wells up when were more in tune with fleshly pleasures than Spiritual satisfaction.

1-    They are either not seeking Spiritual help in the matter OR seeking Spiritual misguidance.

Matthew 6:33, But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

a-    Prayer = Not directing God BUT reporting for duty.

#2- Next James address the WORLDLYNESS IN THE CHURCH.

Read Verses 4-6

A-   When he says “Adulterers and adulteresses” James is not speaking in the context of physically fornicating.

1-    BUT in the way we can make a relationship with the world a higher priority than our relationship with God.

a-    We (the church) are betrothed to the Son waiting for the Father to tell His son to go and get His bride.

-         BUT we tire of waiting and commit adultery with the world while we wait.

Same thing seen in O.T., Jeremiah 3:9-10, So it came to pass, through her casual harlotry, that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense,” says the Lord.

3-    The idea here is that those James is writing to have made their relationship with the world a higher priority than their relationship with God.

a-    In all the relationships I have with females The one of the highest priority IS MY WIFE.

-         Higher than my mother, daughters, …

* If I have a relationship of higher priority

   with another woman I make myself an

   enemy of my wife.

          It’s unacceptable for her to be #2.

Read 2 Corinthians 6:14-17

B-  So just as prayer was “the OUT” from the FLESH, humility is the solution to worldly attractions.

1-    The accumulation of worldly things is pride.

1 John 2:16-17, For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

                             a- The will of God in the world (specifically in the


Mark 9:35, And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”

#3- Then James addresses the influence of the devil in

       the church.

Read Verse 7

A-   The best example of the devil’s influence is how he,

     through lies, caused envy to well up in the Jewish

     religious community to such a degree that they killed


1-    “Submit to God” = Fall back into ranks.

a-    The best way to fall into ranks is to NOT forsake the gathering together of the brethren under the guidance of God’s word.

2-    “Resist the Devil” = Oppose

a-    HOW? By recognizing the tools that he uses.

-         The flesh, the world, or isolation form God.

* We flee the devil by: Prayer, humility,


Read Verses 8-10

A-   Just as we were just commanded to submit we are now commanded to commit.

1-    Disconnect yourselves from self exaltation and seek Spiritual exaltation.

a-    Look at it this way: Who has a higher reach YOU or GOD???

Read 1 Peter 5:5-9

James 4:10, Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

b-    Ever hear someone or you yourself pray “God humble me”.

-         It’s better to take the opportunity to humble yourself 1st.

Job 22:23-29





James 4:1-10

April 1 2007

Philippians 3:14

Matthew 16:18

Psalm 27:4

James 3:10

James 2:26

Matthew 12:34

Proverbs 4:23-27

2 Timothy 3:2-4

Romans 8:13

1 Timothy 6:11-12

Matthew 6:33

Jeremiah 3:9-10

2 Corinthians 6:14-17

1 John 2:16-17

 Mark 9:35

1 Peter 5:5-9

Job 22:23-29


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