(James 014) The Root of Animosity (Part 2)


1. The source of animosity. (vs. 1-3)

James 4:1 ESV
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?

A. The origin of animosity.

B. The anatomy of animosity.

James 4:2 ESV
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.

C. The prayerlessness of animosity.

James 4:3 ESV
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

i. Animosity causes us to quit praying.

ii. Animosity causes us to ask for the wrong things.

2. God gives more grace. (vs. 4-6)

James 4:4 ESV
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.
Before grace we see something else first.

A. The abhorrence of God.

i. God sees pleasure-dominated believers as adulterers.

He is not calling out adulterers.
He is calling christians who chase the passions of the world adulterers.
Even in the world adultery is abhorred.
We need to settle in here and wrap our minds around this...
First - James actually used the feminine from of meaning adulteress.
Ephesians 5:25–27 ESV
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
The church is the bride of Christ.
But we need get some context.
New Testament Jewish weddings..
After coming to an arrangement for a dowry, the groom would pay the father of the bride.
The agreement would be drawn up and sealed.
This sealed the betrothal of the man and woman.
Ephesians 1:13 ESV
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
The bride and groom did not live together yet during this betrothal time.
This lasted for an amount of time determined only by the father of the groom.
Matthew 24:36 ESV
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.
The groom would go back to his father’s house and begin building a place for he and his bride to live.
John 14:1–3 ESV
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
When the new home was approved by the father, permission would be given to retrieve the bride.
Imagine the eagerness of the groom to return for his bride!
The bride would not know the exact time of the return so the groomsmen would shout as the approached to let the bride and her family know they had come.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 ESV
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
The bride would then be presented to the groom.
Revelation 19:7–9 ESV
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
The expectation is that the bride is presented to the groom pure!
The only way a betrothal could be broken is if there is infidelity.
When we chase the pleasures of the world, we committing infidelity.
We could call it an affair against God.
We are breaking the marriage covenant in such a way that the groom has every right to end the agreement.
Thankfully we know He will never go back on His promise, but why would we ever consider living that way?
This is the picture of Hosea and Gomer.
Hosea was told to marry a wife of questionable past.
Known for stepping out of the bounds of marriage.
When she did this to him, the law allowed severe punishment.
God told Hosea to bring her back and forgive her.
This was a picture of Israel but is also a picture of us.

ii. God sees pleasure-dominated believers as adversarial.

Friendship with the world.
A strong emotional attachment.
This is not a one time thing.
James is not talking about those things we do that we don’t want to.
It is a deep affection and focus on chasing the things of the world.
An enemy of God.
Romans 8:7 ESV
For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
1 John 2:15 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.
We need to be careful to understand what James is saying.
He is NOT saying friendship with people of the world is abhorred by God.
Rather… that is commanded by scripture.
However, buying into the world’s ideology and pursuing the pleasures of the world is an abhorrence of God.
We also need to think about what James IS saying.
Following the ideologies, wisdom, and system of the world is being a friend of the world.
Living any way that goes against scripture is being a friend of the world.
Chasing the world’s passions.
A born again Christian can become an enemy of God.
Our position in the God’s family is always a child.
Ephesians teaches us that.
Ephesians 1:13–14 ESV
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
But our fellowship can be adversarial.
We might think it is ok to fool around with things in this world.
It might not seem like a big deal, but it causes us to be adversarial of God.
But there is no neutral ground.
An enemy of God is one who is fighting against God and his plan.
We either live for God or against God.
Why would we want to embrace what we were saved out of.

B. The jealousy of God.

James 4:5 ESV
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”?
It seems James is referring to Scripture as a whole.
Not one particular passage.
Though this is a difficult verse to translate, context tells us that the Holy Spirit that dwells within us is jealous when we pursue pleasure.
He longs and yearns for us with an intense jealousy as he watches his bride chase another.
This a proper jealousy.
Not born out of envy but love.
Born our of a desire to see us pursue what is good not what is destructive.
Now think about the struggle… the Spirit begins to convict us of this sin, and the flesh fight back just as hard causing a war within us.
To think that the self sufficient creator of the universe is passionately and lovingly jealous of us.
Chasing after us as we chase after the passions of this world.
That thought alone should stop us in any pursuit of anything but God.
Remember He has always been the one to chase us!
Romans 3:11–12 ESV
no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
Colossians 2:13 (ESV)
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh...
John 6:44 ESV
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
1 John 4:19 ESV
We love because he first loved us.

C. The grace of God.

James 4:6 ESV
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
The only ray of hope in our lives is grace.
Here is the beauty of all of this.
God sees those who pursue pleasure as his enemy.
James was graphically clear.
That should jolt us out of our sin.
He is incredibly jealous of us when we are pursing the world.
Yet… He still gives grace.
James is not talking about saving grace.
This is more grace on top of that.
James is reminding us that there will always be enough grace for us.
Hebrews 4:16 ESV
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
John tells us we are given grace upon grace.
Grace stacked on top of grace.
Paul asks the question in Romans...
Romans 6:1–2 ESV
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
James carries the same theme.
Next week we will talk more about the grace of God.
Questions for the Week:
How does God see it when I am chasing the things the world offers instead of Him?
What is the thing that constantly pulls back me into the pleasures of the world.
What are the specific steps I need to take to quite chasing that passion?
Have I thanked God for His grace?
1 Corinthians 11:23–27 ESV
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.
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