Sermon Passage: James 4:4–12
4 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. 5 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”?6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
The Problem: Your passions and friendship with the world cause fights and conflicts among you.
"Friendship with the world": Anytime the world's priorities become our priorities. For example, we can still adopt the world's priorities of self-fulfillment and private happiness, scoring the dream job, or recognition from others while acting religious and withdrawing from "worldly" activities.
God rescues us from our natural state of wickedness, turns us to Christ, and we still continue to sin . . . .
"But he gives more grace" (James 4:6).
When conflict arises, what should we do? We preach to ourselves . . .
The Wrong Sermon: We tell ourselves we have a right to our desires. We preach reinforcement of our passions, and the Devil say the same thing, only telling us what we want to hear as well.
The Right Sermon: Submit your desires to God. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you" (James 4:7–8).
You have 2 choices:
- Exalt yourself before God by affirming your desires above everyone else's and continuing to cause quarrels and fights.
- Humble yourself before God by turning his priorities into your priorities.