We have been learning that “good works” will follow a “saving faith”.
Saving faith is a complete belief in the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The “Gospel” is saving ministry of Jesus Christ, His life, His ministry, His death, His burial, and His resurrection all done for “whosoever” will believe on all these things.
The “Gospel” does not come in parts, the “Gospel” begins and ends with the Lord Jesus Christ!
1Jn 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
When we are “Born Again” of God and filled with His Spirit, it will produce “good works” as we have seen but just as important it will show up in our speech.
SO, What is submitting?
Submitting is yielding to another source, surrendering your view to another view, referring to someone else before making a decision.
What is being compliant?
Bending your own will in favor of someone else’s, yielding to the request of another.
When we can yield ourselves to the will of God, we can live a righteous life which means we do the “right things” and that will bring peace not only to ourselves but also to those around us.
Jas 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
The results of peace is then a lack of wars.
What is the cause of wars?
Wars usually begin because of changing relationships and opposing interest of people.
Many wars have begun because of power grabbing, someone seeking to be in power.
Many wars have begun because of the conflict between the social classes.
History has proven all these things to be true.
But James tells us why there wars within the Church.
*****Jas 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
Remember James is still speaking to Christians.
That word “whence” means, “though the search will always begin with outside circumstances”, the problems are most always internal, within the “Body of Christ”.
In other words, the Church is destroying itself from the inside!
These wars go against the peace that comes from being obedient to the Word of God.
These “fightings” are the carrying out of the wars within the Church.
James says these wars always begin within our own selves because of wars within our own members.
When we are living by the Word of God, we will be at peace within our own selves and we will not be a part of any war.
We will never have true revival in the Church until we have peace within the Church.
Revival has nothing to do with adding members, it is a setting of existing members on fire for God
How do these things begin (“come they not”), James says we already know the answer.
The beginning of all wars begin with our own “lusts”!
Desires that you have, that war against your brothers and sisters in Christ and against your fellow man!
Desires that go against the Word of God, cause a war within our own bodies against the will of the Holy Spirit!
The Apostle Peter wrote of these same things:
1Pe 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, “which war against the soul”;
The Apostle Paul also knew these things very well:
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, “warring against the law of my mind”, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin “which is in my members”.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
How are we to be delivered from this war within ourselves?
*****Jas 4:2 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.
Jas 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
We must first realize the source of this turmoil is within ourselves.
Jesus Christ explained it this way:
Mar 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
When we allow the things of this world and the cares of this world to to replace the “good news” of the Word of God, then we will war with our own selves and we must be honest, our lusts are hard to control.
When we set our minds on certain things and our will is weak through the cares of this world, we will most often yield to that desire.
To make matters worse, we often desire things we know that we can never obtain which in turn will make us do almost anything to obtain them to fulfill that desire.
When we simply cannot obtain that thing we desire the most, then that lust will change to envy of those that have what we most desire!
This will often turn into an all out war within our own selves and affect everyone and everything around us in a sinful way.
We should be very clear, God promises to provide everything we need to fulfill “HIS WILL” for us and He will do this when we pray properly.
We should also be very clear, that God makes that promise to those that pray, not to those that are fighting within themselves!
We have already learned that a double minded man can receive nothing from God!
This is also the answer to the whole problem.
We need to know how to pray and then pray often!
It is not enough just to ask for good things but we must ask for the right things to be used for the right reasons along with having the right intentions!
God deals in needs and not wants!
In most cases, it is our lack of faith that will even keep us from receiving something we may actually need, for the ministry God has for each of us.
And it is for sure that if we receive anything for the work of the Lord and then use that thing to satisfy our own lust then there would little need to pray for God to replace it!
God is not fooled by our sinful ways!
*****Jas 4:4 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.
We know that an adulterer has allowed his affections for another woman to interfere with his affections for his wife and the same for the adulteress has done for her husband.
But James is speaking of “spiritual adultery” in this verse.
James is speaking to those “Born Again” men and women of the Churchm, who have put the cares of this world before their relationship with the Lord, Our God!
We are not to be concerned with the motives and the ways of this world we live in, as we go about serving God.
We are only to be aware that we are in a war with the evils of this world as a soldier in the army of God!
That word enmity means how it sounds, those that are friends with the world are the “enemies” of God.
The Apostle John wrote:
1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father “is not” in him.
We must believe the Word of God are the Words from God!
One of the first things the Athiest will say is, “is not the Bible written by men”?
We know that these men were inspired by God and that these are the actual Words of God!
No one can serve two Masters. We can have only one Master in our life!
Jesus said these words:
Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: “for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other”. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
The Words of God are life and God’s Word will bring eternal life!
*****Jas 4:5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
The Apostle Paul wrote that the Old Testament is to be our schoolmaster.
Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
A schoolmaster in the time of Paul was intrusted with the care of children until they reached the age when they could have their own children.
The lessons that we can learn from the Old Testament are timeless!
These “scriptures” teach us how to cope in our sin filled world by showing us what happened in the past to God’s people.
We can see how God has dealt with sin, from the time of Adam.
God will never change in the way He deals with sin!
We must study the Word of God to learn the lessons of the past.
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
There are no vain scriptures in any part of the Word of God!
We must rightly divide the Word of God!
If we think that God has placed His Holy Spirit within us to sow discontent, or uneasiness, along with hatred, then we have misjudged the will of God!
Envy springs from our own pride, our own ambitions, and our own sinful desires.
In fact the Apostle John wrote;
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, “but is of the world”.
All these things are from the world and it is these things that are the cause of wars in the world and the wars within our own selves!
God gave us His Holy Spirit for other reasons than to war with each other!
We saw last week the fruit of the Spirit.
To be sealed with the Holy Spirit of God is to be confirmed as the “Blood Bought” children of God!
The Holy Spirit of God is our down payment on our still to come inheritance!
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
We already know that Our God is a jealous God!
The Scriptures of God teach us the truth.
The Spirit of God encourages a lust within us but that lust is for us to learn the truth of the Gospel and then be a doer of the Word of God!
God’s answer to all our mistakes in the Church Age, is to give more “Grace”!
*****Jas 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
God gives us many things that we do not deserve.
We do not deserve to be saved.
We do not deserve to be filled with the Spirit of God.
We do not deserve the “Grace” of God!
God even gives us more “Grace” than we deserve.
God gives us more “Grace” than we desire. If we do not desire spiritual things, then we do not desire spiritual life!
God gives us more “Grace” than we know. When we reach the “Judgment seat of Christ” we will see that God has given us more “Grace” than we know.
God will also give us more “Grace” than we can use!
Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, “grace did much more abound”:
God’s “Grace will flow from the mind of God into the heart of each of us that know the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.
But God’s “Grace” is reserved for those that humble themselves before Him!
1Pe 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: “for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble”.
AND, to be humble is to be submissive!
*****Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
The title of this lesson is “submitting compliantly”.
We submit to God when we receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our “personal Savior”!
We must surrender ourselves to Jesus!
Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
When we surrender ourselves to Jesus the power to resist the Devil is revealed in us.
The Devil is far more intelligent and powerful than we are, so we cannot resist him through the strength of our own flesh.
The Lord Jesus defeated the Devil with the Word of God.
We can do this same thing and the Devil knows this.
Satan will be stubborn until we mash his head with the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.
1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
SO, to claim victory in this life we must draw nigh to God.
*****Jas 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
When we take a step toward God, He will also take a step toward us. Our steps are then doubled.
It does not take long to get close to God after that first step!
How do we draw nigh to God?
1) We must sanctify ourselves.
Exo 19:22 And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.
How do we sanctify ourselves?
A.) We must cleanse ourselves of the filth of this world.
Isa 1:16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
B.) We must admit that we are still sinners.
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
C.) We must purify our hearts.
We must obey the truth of God!
We must love our neighbors as our own selves.
1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
D.) We must stop being “double-minded”.
Jas 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
We must take a stand on the Word of God and then Stand on it!
*****Jas 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
We must be aware that sin in our life will bring with it sadness and regret. This is Holy Ghost conviction who makes us aware that we have done wrong.
We must mourn at every failure we have in being obedient to God!
Mat 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
We cannot celebrate in our sin, our laughter must turn to mourning.
Heb 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Any joy that comes from sin will not last very long and that joy will turn to heaviness.
Heaviness is sadness and sorrow.
Pro 12:25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
When we can reach this point quickly we will then humble ourselves before God.
*****Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Pride is the same sin of the devil!
1Ti 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
Pride is also the most difficult of our sins to overcome and will always lead us to other sin.
When we are humble, we recognize that we are continuously in the presence of the Lord and He is watching our every move, because He loves us.
In order to grow in the Lord we must be aware of the presence of the Lord in our lives!
1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
The Lord would not watch over us, if He did not care for us!
The Lord will not only lift us up fully into the world to come but He will even lift us up in this world we live in now!
But we must keep the “Royal Law”! “Love thy neighbor as thy self”
*****Jas 4:11 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.
Jas 4:12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
Why do we find it so easy to condemn the faults of another brother or sister in Christ?
When we get involved in gossiping and slandering we are actually ruining our own testimony!
We will be found out and people will avoid us.
We should look at these verses as the commandments of God!
Not one of us are qualified to sit in judgment of another!
There is and can be, only one Lawgiver!
It is only Our Lord who is able to save and who is also able to destroy at His will.
God has given us several commands in our lesson today.
We are commanded to submit ourselves before God.
We are commanded to resist the Devil.
We are commanded to draw nigh to God.
We are commanded to cleanse our hands of evil.
We are commanded to be afflicted and mourn because of our sin.
We are commanded to “humble” ourselves in the sight of God.
We are commanded to speak no evil of another.
When we obey these things we will find that God has more “Grace” than we have faults!
*****Jas 4:13 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:
Jas 4:14 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.
James gives us another absolute fact of life and he says “listen to these words”.
Not one of us knows for sure what we will be doing on tomorrow!
Life is made up of many activities and many decisions will have to be made but we very seldom get to make those decisions until that thing is before us.
We do not know what is going to happen in the next moment and even much less about tomorrow!
Apart from the will of God, life is truly a mystery!
In our best interest we need to seek the will of God that He has for each of us.
Life begins to make sense when we follow the Lord Jesus Christ!
A wise man once wrote:
Pro 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
We may not know what tomorrow may bring but we do know what our future has for us when we follow Christ Jesus.
To us, life may seem long because we measure it in years but we live life in this flesh one moment at a time.
BUT, in comparison to the eternal life that is promised by the Lord, truly the duration of this life is no more than a vapor.
Even Job who gave us the earliest Book of the Bible knew this truth:
Job 7:7 “O remember that my life is wind”: mine eye shall no more see good.
And Job lived more than 200 years.
Job 42:16 After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, even four generations.
Even Moses who lived 120 years said:
Psa 90:9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: “we spend our years as a tale” that is told.
We may count our days by our birthdays but God says we should number our days:
Psa 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
God says we should spend this short life that we exist in this flesh, seeking His wisdom!
We have only one chance of succeeding in this life!
Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Psa 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Psa 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
We should not forget who sits on that Heavenly Throne!
*****Jas 4:15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
When we leave God out of our plans, we find that we have no plan at all!
God is behind the scenes of everything in our lives and His knowledge extends even into the little things we do everyday.
There is nothing in our lives that does not fall under the control of God!
Pro 19:20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
Pro 19:21 There are many devices in a man’s heart; “nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand”.
*****Jas 4:16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
When we rejoice thinking we have accomplished anything on our own, then our thinking is wrong!
We cannot even live without breathing God’s air!
Remember James is writing to Christians who are supposed to know these things.
The same God that saves, is the same God that provides all our needs!
The more we think we accomplish in our lives, the more we think we can do all things on our own.
This is wrong thinking!
We have no potential without God!
Being in God’s will is not a formula for living in misery, it is living outside the will of God that will bring with it misery.
Going against the will of God is always sin!
*****Jas 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
There is the sin of “commission”, doing things that God has told us not to do. We oursleves and those that we love will suffer from the commission of these sins.
Then there is the sin of “omission”. This sin comes from failing to do the things that God wants us to do.
Many times it is only that certain person God has asked something special or has a special calling from the Lord, who knows of this sin he or she is committing by not answering the call of God.
When we know that we are to depend on the Lord for all things and we fail to recognize the work of God in our lives we are committing the greatest sin.
We are commanded to witness for Jesus. It is sin not to do so.
We are commanded to tithe, it is sin not to do so.
We are commanded to evangelize, it is sin sin to do so.
And keeping with the theme of the Book of James.
We are commanded to separate our selves from the things of this world, and it is sin not to do so!
We are commanded to honor our God and keep Him first in our lives, to go against any part of the Word of God is sin!