Beulah Baptist Church
Friday, September 22, 2017

James

JAMES
 
James 1:1-8
 
Two of the most tragic problems facing Christianity are these:
 
First, it appears that many in Christianity have lost their standards: they have lost or misplaced their real purpose as Christians; the reality of what a Christian really is…
Second, many Christians have simply ignored the truth, that are beliefs of Christianity and the teaching of Christianity are to be lived out practically in our day to day living… and by practically we mean that which is more than theory and speculation about what Christianity is…
Christianity must not only effect our belief, but also our behavior. The uniqueness of Christianity that stands infinitely above and beyond other systems of
 belief is that Christianity and Christianity alone has the power to transform the life of one who has yielded to the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Ephesians 1 – demonstrates the great power of Jesus Christ in the life of a believer. It seems today as if many professing Christians are more concerned about intellectualizing their faith instead of allowing the power of Christ to transform them. We seem more concerned with acquiring knowledge to win some sort of argument rather than allow the scriptures to direct our lives. Standards and practice are the key essentials in genuine Christianity – everything else is nothing but empty, idle talk.
 
James addressed this issue of a practical Christian walk. He clears the air and shows that if you really do believe in Christ and are genuinely saved, there will be godly standards and practice in your life, rather than confusion and instability. James clearly states that there are tests to validate the reality of anyone’s claim to having genuine faith.
 
The eight tests of genuine faith found in James are:
           a) genuine faith is tested by trials {1:20-21]
           b) genuine faith is tested by our obedience to God’s Word [1:22-27]
           c) genuine faith is tested by partiality and prejudice [2:1-13]
           d) genuine faith is tested by good works [2:14-26]
           e) genuine faith is tested by the tongue [3:1-12]
           f) genuine faith is tested by true wisdom [3:13-18]
           g) genuine faith is tested by worldliness [4:1-17]
           h) genuine faith is tested by right use of riches [5:1-20]
 
There are two key words in this epistle, faith and works, and the purpose of this letter is to show the relationship between faith and works. If we really have genuine faith, then works are the result of that faith. Fruit of a genuine saving faith, in other words, if belief does not affect behavior there has been no true salvation in the life of the individual with a simple claim.
 
James was known as “old camel knees” because of the calluses developed by his life of prayer. The epistle of James defines the acts of faith. The fact is this: faith produces something if it is real at all. Faith without works is dead; genuine faith is always tested to prove its validity. We need to have the right attitude towards our trials, both James and Peter said the attitude is to rejoice [1 Peter 4:12-13; James 1:2] The twofold translation of the word temptation [trials, as well as a solicitation to do evil] depending on the use in the text. In the Greek it all depends on the context in which it is used.Count it all – prepare your mind beforehand, so that your response will be yielded to God and this brings joy. So that when the tests come, joy will be the result because you have your eyes on the Savior you’ve yielded to Him, therefore you will be victorious over the temptation. We should rejoice, not in the trial itself, but in what the trial produces. Faith produces patience.  There is no faith unless it is tested in the furnace of fire. We should have joy because we know that the testing always produces something necessary for Christian growth and maturity. Faith must be tested or it is not faith at all. Faith is tested by life’s trials. Tested faith worketh patience. The word patience means long suffering and the ability to endure [Galatians 5:22]. The faith of Christians is tested through sufferings – Jesus called [Matthew 5:11-12] sufferings blessings. There is to be a rejoicing when one is suffering.
 
James 1:4 – let means to let go from trying to get out of the test or the trial and let patience have her perfect work in you.The problem is we fight and squirm around the trial before patience has the chance to complete its work in us. The work is that we would be mature and perfect (complete) entire (sound in every part) wanting           nothing (wanting nothing towards maturity). There is always a lesson to be learned in the testing of our faith for God does not waste testing’s of our faith. However we can waste time and miss growth by not learning a lesson from our trials; one of the greatest tragedies in the Christian life today is that God allows trials and testing to produce character traits we need for the Christian life and we circumvent them before the work is completed. This is one reason why we see so many weak and immature Christians. They will not allow God to test them. They fold at the first sign of trouble. They believe that Christianity excludes them from trials and testing.
 
Three points that reveal how God’s wisdom helps us learn from our trials. First, God knows we need wisdom. There will come a time when we will come to the end of our   abilities and knowledge and we will go to God. Second, God is the source of wisdom. There is no wisdom for trials apart from God [Job 28:12-13]. Third, God is ready and willing to give us wisdom in abundance. God desires to give us wisdom; [Proverbs 1:20-23] is the proof of this fact.The condition for receiving God’s wisdom in trials is total faithfulness. The word wavering means to be divided in one’s own mind, it is to be confused, unstable. What can we conclude about a “double-minded” (person) man? A double-minded man received neither wisdom nor anything else from the Lord. Because a double-minded man produces a double-minded person who is unstable in all their ways. They cannot be counted on to be faithful – “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he”…
 
James1:9-27
 
v.12 – who does not escape, but survives and conquers temptation will be blessed…the enduring and steadfastness will reap eternal rewards; rather than short pleasure for a season…temptations to do evil do not come from God
 
Never, under any circumstances, can we blame God for leading us into sin, because first of all God is incapable of doing that which would go against His holy nature [1 John 1:5; 1 John3:5]; secondly, God will never use that which is against His holy nature to cause us to do sin. We are the ones who are responsible for our sin [James 1:14] When lustful desires are allowed to go unhindered and are yielded to by acts or desires of the mind and heart sin takes place and of course the results will always be death morally, spiritually, physically…James 1:15
James speaks of conception and birth – the word conceived here speaks of a birth – the result of a sperm and egg uniting that of course refers to the lust and the will and when the lust and the will conceives it gives birth – the resulting baby is sin. What do we name the “baby” sin? A killer, for sin always brings death.
 
James 1:16-17 – contrast, that everything good comes to us from God [2 Peter 1:1-12] heaven is 'helps' location. Jesus understands all that we go through down here [Hebrews 2:18; 4:14-16]
 
v. 18 – by the will of God we are saved; by the word of Truth we are born again. The purpose of salvation is that we should live to the praise of His glory…we should be living fruitful lives for God [John 15:8]
 
vv. 19-21 – What we need to do is to allow testing’s and trials to make us better Christians, not bitter Christians…what we need to do during the testing’s, trials, and temptations to sin, there is a tendency to blame God and others, rather than yield to God and His Word.
 
During the testing’s, trials, and temptations we experience, we need most of all to prepare our hearts to hear from God. How? This is seen clearly in v. 19. Therefore number one would be to be a ready hearer, we need to let God speak to us through His Word. Number 2, we need to be a slow speaker, in other words we need to do more praying and listening to God and less complaining about our condition. Number 3, we need to be a slow responder, we need to seek the righteousness of God, not our own anger [Hebrews 12:11] Far too often we react before the wisdom is given…we need to change those sinful habits that cause us not to submit ourselves to the authority of God’s Word, this is how we receive the Word with meekness. We must do these things if we are to be successful overcoming temptation.
 
v.22 – we need to act upon the Word of God if we have truly received it. What will be the proof of that? First, we will be doers of the Word that means we will be continually obedient to God’s Word. Second, not hearers only – in other words, hearing the Word of God without the corresponding action of obedience; all that is, is deception and rebellion against God. Three, if that's how we respond we'll be deceiving ourselves.
 
vv.23-24 – the person who looks into the Word of God as a hearer only is like a person who looks in a mirror and sees all of the blemishes of themselves and agrees that something needs to be done about it only to turn away and forgets to do anything about the situation. – See Saul [1Samuel 13:11-13] we always must do business with sin immediately [Matthew 13:19; Hebrews 4:7-8] –point is we always need to respond to God immediately
 
v.25 – we must continually look to the Word of God for obedience to the Word is to be continual, not sporadic, a continual doer will be blessed and his deeds will be a blessing to others.
 
v.26 – this is an important verse, for the first test is the test of the tongue, this the first of many tests of the tongue in James; James is saying that the tongue is the revelator of what is in our heart. The tongue gives us away, the tongue is our ID badge if you will, “seem to be religious” outwardly obeying all the rules, regulations, obeying all the laws and by-laws and what have you at the church…”bridleth not his tongue” – what is in the heart always comes out by way of the tongue, as is stated clearly [Psalm 39:1] He deceiveth himself – this man’s religion is vain – self-deception about one’s own relationship with God is the great pitfall of many, many people today. They think they are Christians because they made a profession of faith, the demons do that [Chapter 2] or some past experience with God…but the tongue always speaks what is in the heart, it always reveals whether one is truly a Christian or not…an uncontrolled tongue is proof positive of an uncontrolled life…one that is not yielded to God – God says this man’s religion is vain – absolutely worthless…vain religion is vain religion no matter how it looks to others…it is useless to the one who practices it
 
 
v.27 – pure religion – pure, which is holy religion; undefiled, which is genuine – our religious life is first and foremost lived out before God; genuine religion cares for the needs of others; it will cause us to visit the fatherless and widows/pure religion purposes to live a holy life. That’s the other aspect of a pure and undefiled religion – holiness means obeying God, keeping ourselves unspotted from the world…genuine salvation has nothing to do with some past experience that has no present regeneration, no present evidence. A religion that rests on a past experience or a profession of faith without any present supernatural change of lifeis like jumping off the World Trade Center hoping you will land on your feet. The point is it doesn’t matter how you look to others, it’s useless, totally useless. The Bible says the hope of the hypocrite will perish with him. What will mark the righteous regarding the tongue [Proverbs 10:19-21; 32; 15:1-2]
 
James 2:1-4
 
Chapter 2 teaches us about partiality or the problem with prejudice. It is a sin that is rampant in many churches of today. In v.1 – we see the principal of partiality; vv.2 -3 – we see the practice of partiality; vv.4-7 – we see the problem of partiality. First off, partiality is unholy because: (a)  partiality in Christianity is wrong (b) having a genuine faith in the Lord Jesus Christ eliminates partiality. Secondly, partiality is unjust because: (a) it discriminates on the basis of false motives (b) it assumes that earthly status determines and demands certain spiritual privileges (c) it despises the very people who by a wide margin made up the Christian body then and now.      Third, partiality is ungodly – why? (a) it is not at all like God to be evil (b) it allows some to judge on the basis of appearance not of the heart (c) it blinds us to the fact that all throughout Christian history, those who were poor in the things of this world were the majority of the church and not the minority (d) it causes some to cater to the enemies of God (d) it is not reflective, nor a demonstration of God’s impartial character. Fourth, partiality is unwise because: (a) it is a hindrance to family love (b) it is a sin against the Word of God (c) we will give an account of our actions to the impartial judge.
 
It is without question that partiality or prejudice and respect of persons abounds in many ways within the church. Four areas are: we can see in way of application:          (1) Racial partiality – prejudice because of the color of one’s skin (2) Financial partiality – prejudice based on one’s financial status (3) Social partiality – based on one’s class or company or influence (4) Religious partiality prejudice based on a wrong view of God.
 
Note, that God is completely impartial toward men; God cannot be bribed. [Deuteronomy 10:17; 2 Chronicles 19:5-7; Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:13-17; Deuteronomy 16:18-19]
(a)    God cannot be bribed;
(b)   In matters of judgment between individuals there was to be no partiality or respect of persons, why? Because judgments administered were to reflect God’s non-partiality [Proverbs 24:23; 28:21]
(c)    Even in the relationship between slave labor and slave masters that were Christians, there was to be no partiality [Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:22-25]
        Motivation behind this is that one day both slave and slave master will face God the impartial Judge – who will judge each man according the deeds done in the body…
1)      God is impartial (2) God’s Gospel is impartial [Acts 10:25-35; Romans 2:11; 3:29-30; 10:9-13] – all who believe in God’s Son are accepted in His church – so then, there is no such thing as a Black Gospel, a White, Jewish or any other Gospel, but one , the Gospel of God…see [Galatians 1:6-12] (3) all distinctions that would hinder or divide from their supernatural position wrought by Christ’s suffering on the cross on the basis of race, social, or economical status is nothing but sin. Partiality is sin…we must rid the church of any and all types of partiality…(4) God’s judgment is impartial. Areas where there is no partiality in the church… 
1)       Racial Prejudice – racism abounds in the Church in America…the message of the Gospel unified two of the most hated groups who ever lived – the Jew and the Gentile…the Gospel unites all people in Christ
2)      Financial Partiality – this is rampant in the church – often times people will sell out their convictions for God’s Word for the [James 2:1-13] rich. Men and women often times sell out simply for filthy lucre…[Acts 20:18-21] also v.26-28; 32-35]
 
 
James 2:5-14(a)
 
Paul in [1 Timothy 6:3-12] gave some of the strongest warnings in Scripture about compromising the Gospel for money!!
3)      Social Partiality – men and women who are handicapped because they are poor – there are those who are always there for a handout; that’s not what we’re speaking about here – we’re talking about making a distinction between those who are truly poor and needy with those who are rich [Matthew 20:25-28]
 
v.5 – two important truths here – first of all, James is making an obvious contrast between how man chooses and how God chooses [1 Samuel 16:7]- man looks on the outward appearance; God looks at the heart – this is exactly what is happening, the sin taking place [James 2:1-4]; God said in [Isaiah 55:9] – unfortunately the church today resembles the description given in [Revelation 3:14-17] – we need to be careful not to deceive ourselves in this area [1 Corinthians 1:26-29]
 
 
Second truth is that this verse deals a death blow to the so-called health and wealth gospels, which is nothing but a cult that is being promoted in this country and around the world.It is by far one of the most Hell-sent, Bible twisting false doctrines that have come down the pike. To say that a man or a woman’s spiritual standing and blessings are measured in material gain is not only unbiblical, it is anti-biblical. Some obvious examples from scripture – [Luke 12:13-15; Matthew 6:19-24].This type of teaching is taught according to [1 Timothy 6] by those who are puffed up and know nothing about God’s Word – these individuals are destitute of mind.Here’s the point – far too often the rich are in love with their wealth, they’re puffed up, full of themselves – but the poor have Jesus and they love Him. That’s how God chooses – He still is looking for men and women, as God said to David – after His own heart who will do according to His Word.Listen, the person who has true riches is the one who is rich toward God and that is being rich in faith.
 
v.6 – they were guilty of rejecting those whom God had chosen as His precious possession
 
v.7 – James ask this question to try to wake up the “spiritual sleepy-head” of his day – you see, in that day the rich blasphemed the very name of Christ. James makes it
         crystal clear that partiality is sin – those who practice this sin are more concerned with the outward appearance rather than the inner condition of the heart of
          the sinful person…
 
v.8 – law of love is impartial – both to God and to one’s neighbor, this is found in both Old and New Testaments. This is a principal that clearly demonstrates one’s
        salvation to God [Leviticus 19:18; 33-34; Mark 12:28-34; Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14] – believers who practice the sin of partiality are guilty of violating the
       greatest law of all; that is the law of love among believers…
 
v.9 – if we do not demonstrate the law of love either through respect of person’s or pet prejudices we violate the law of love and have sinned period. The law of love, no
         matter what our profession may be, if we don’t practice love for all, we are disobedient to our God. The word transgression here implies a deliberate going beyond
        the line and that line is God’s Word concerning His ­­­royal love without partiality...
 
vv.10-11 – in other words, breaking one point of the law means you’ve broken all points of the law…
 
v.12 – Practice it, don’t just speak about it – do it!!! [Matthew 23:1-3] – it is sin not to practice love [1John 3:18] we as believers will be judged by our actions concerning
          this law…
 
v.13 – God will show no mercy to those who have shown no mercy for God is impartial – He will judge according to each man’s deeds
 
-          If we have demonstrated mercy, when we stand before the LORD mercy will triumph over judgment 
 
What is the conclusion of [vv.1-13] of James 2?
Partiality is unholy because partiality in Christianity is wrong. Having genuine faith in the LORD eliminates partiality. Partiality is unthinkable because it discriminates on the basis of false motives and it assumes that earthly status demands and receives special privileges. Partiality is ungodly because it judges on the basis of appearance and not of heart. Partiality is unwise because it is a hindrance to family love, it is a sin against the Word of God and we will all give an account of our actions to the impartial Judge.
 
James 2:14-3:13 is one of the most important passages in the Bible.
 
Three misunderstandings between faith and works:
#1 – faith and works are a separate issue with James
-          James is not saying that faith and works are a separate issue…
-          He is not saying that a man is saved by faith or by works – what he is saying is that a man’s works demonstrate his faith is genuine…
#2 – this teaching is exclusively James along; that this is a teaching is only in the epistle of James and
         that in the Bible no one else actually says something relative to faith and works…which leads to
#3 – no one else taught this kind of truth about faith and works in the Bible…
-          That is absolutely false – Paul, Peter, James, Jude, and others taught very plainly that a man who has faith demonstrates the genuineness of that faith by his works
-          It is ridiculous to think that a person can have a saving faith, can have a relationship with God where the Holy Spirit is indwelling them and his or her life isn’t
           changed…
-          It is ridiculous to think that a person can have a salvation experience and not have a changed life…
Fact of the matter is, works demonstrates the validity of one’s faith, and it demonstrates whether a person is just talking or whether they really have a relationship with God – works are the proof of faith...
 
[v.14] – you can see that right in the verse – how can anyone miss it?
 
Paul spoke about works of righteousness; James is talking about a righteousness that works; both Paul and James are in perfect agreement, profession of faith in God, without proof of faith is of no value to you or anyone else [Proof vv.15-16] – without these, without the evidence of works, James says you don’t have saving faith…use an example [vv.15-16] – one thing to make the claim of faith, but without the demonstration – there is no genuine faith – [v.14, 16, 18] all make the claims of faith without any real evidence – that faith is useless. The body of Christ is responsible to care for the body. 
 
[v.17] – note: James is not saying they don’t have faith – it is just the faith they claim to have is “dead faith” (useless) (of no effect) it is not a saving faith [v.14] – it is not a sharing faith [vv.15-16] it is not a serious faith [v.17] – but a dead faith.
 
[vv.18-19] – [v.19] points out demon faith – what is demon faith? Or the characteristics of those who have demon faith? #1) it possesses no fruit [v.14]  #2) it does not minister to the needs of others [vv.15-16]  #3) it does not possess any life [v.17]  #4) it does not have any proof of genuineness {v.18] #5) people who have demon faith are deceived by religious creed or activity [v.19] #6) demon faith leaves the life vain and void [v.20] Unfortunately, many have the idea today that all one has to do is make a profession of faith and that profession itself is sufficient.  Nothing could be further from the truth, without the demonstration of works, which is the evidence of genuine faith, there is no saving faith. [Paul, Romans 10] said, with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Friends, that is not an either/or proposition. If a person’s heart doesn’t believe, and that belief doesn’t produce righteousness both positional and practical, it doesn’t matter what a person is saying. Note – Paul said the heart has to be taken care of first before the mouth matters.
 
[vv.21-22] – deals with the justification of Abraham’s faith by his works – Abraham was shown to have been justified by faith by his act of offering his son Isaac on the altar as God had told him to do. This is what James is saying in [v.22].   Isn’t it obvious that Abraham’s faith worked with his works, that his faith and actions were working together and his faith was made perfect by his works.
 
[vv.23-24] – Abraham’s belief was revealed by his obedience…a man who claims to have saving faith demonstrates by what he does instead of by what he says alone.
 
[v.25] – just another illustration of the picture (faith and works)
 
[v.26] – faith without works is dead…what is James’ conclusion. As the human body without the spirit is lifeless, so a profession of faith without a demonstration of what faith does in righteousness and in righteous actions is lifeless also. To claim to be a born again Christian without a faith that works is just as foolish as saying a              person is alive in the grave when in fact it is obvious they are stone cold dead. A profession of faith without any works that faith produces is not saving faith at all but a dead, worthless, workless faith that does not save and never will save.
 
CHAPTER 3 – THE TROUBLE WITH THE TONGUE
 
[v.1] – “be not many masters” – this is referring to the role of the teacher in the church – James warns that although it is good to aspire to teach the teacher’s responsibility is greater because their words affect others’ spiritual lives – teachers must not only be able to say things with the mouth, they must also be able to live as an example before others…
 
[v.2] – control of the tongue is the barometer of Christian maturity; the speech of any believer will soon reveal whether or not he is spiritual or not; the speech also reveals the true condition of the heart [Matthew 12:33-37]
 
[v.3] – if a young horse is not broken to bit as a young colt it will run wild with its misdirected strength; command the mount of the horse and you command the horse…well, the tongue if let to go unbridled results in an uncontrollable man or woman; the life of that individual will be wild and uncontrollable; a tongue controlled by Jesus will be a great blessing to all; but an uncontrollable tongue will result in great damage…
 
[v.4] – no matter how large a vessel, it is always controlled by that little rudder, the tongue, though a small member of the body reflects the destiny of a man or woman…
 
[v.5] – the damage of the tongue is likened unto a forest fire – that sets ablaze a forest – we should never underestimate the tongue…
 
[v.6] – how it effects us – the tongue has burned many a relationship – it has ruined more lives and killed more people than all the bombs dropped on the face of the earth; it is as though all of the wickedness of the world were wrapped in that little piece of flesh…[see Proverb 16:27]
 
[v.7-8] – no matter how large or ferocious an animal has been, the fact is, many have been tamed by man; but no man has the ability to tame the tongue. See [Romans 3:10-14] – look at the characteristics described here
 
[v.9] – describes hypocrisy of some
 
[v.10] – why should they not be? because it is inconsistent with the Christian faith/we are not to be double-tongued…
 
[v.11-12] – as it is impossible for a fountain to give sweet water and salt water at the same time; and for various trees to produce fruit other than what is natural for them, so it is impossible for a double tongue to be attached to a Christian…this is inconsistent with the new life in Christ…we are all subject to this Truth…
 
[v.13] – what is false and true wisdom? True wisdom affects the entire lifestyle of [Romans 2] – the one who possesses true wisdom will be a living example of the truth of God’s Word – true wisdom – how do we tell who has true wisdom from God? Look at the life of the individual; is that person under the control of God? Rudder-forget the outward appearance – is that person submitted to God? Are they obeying God?
 
[v.14] – there are those who covet teaching positions for reasons other than being called into it – so they obtain the position of teacher out of selfish ambition, either to make a name for themselves or to gather a following or to cause division or a click within the church – their claim is they are doing this for the truth when in reality they are simply lying against the truth; for a person to cause division in the church because of envy or for any other reason and then to claim or cloak it has doing for the truth is to deny the very truth they claim to defend…
 
[v.15] – earthly wisdom does not come from God – these are the facts: God’s wisdom unifies/man’s wisdom nullifies; God’s wisdom strengthens/man’s wisdom weakens;  God’s wisdom brings His children together/man’s wisdom tears God’s people apart; God’s wisdom in the mouth and heart of the worshipper lifts up the Godhead and denies self/ man’s wisdom in the heart and the mouth of the speaker lifts up self and denies the authority of the Godhead and His Word; God’s wisdom causes the members at the church to submit in unity and love for the cause of and the glory of Christ/man’s wisdom will cause demonic activity that will cause church splits,             fights and division. Man’s wisdom does not come from heaven, but from earth, its origin is earthly, it has nothing to do with God
 
[v.16] – the word sensual means animalistic the opposite of that which is spiritual, it is unspiritual and has nothing to do with God at all – earthly wisdom is demonic. Satan and those, who have been allowed to enter the church not seeking Godly wisdom, but relying on earthly wisdom, cause division, envying, strife and confusion…
 
[v.17] – God’s wisdom (true wisdom) is first of all, pure [undefiled and holy], the one in whom God’s nature of wills will seek to do and reflect only that which is reflective of the will of God…a church that is working in God’s wisdom will manifest itself through God’s wisdom in its purity – [vv.14-16] show how those who operate in earthly wisdom live; in stark contrast [v.17] we see how those who operate under God’s wisdom live…
 
[v.18] – to raise a crop of righteousness demands a certain kind of climate, a crop of righteousness cannot be produced in a climate of bitterness and self-seeking. Righteousness only grows in a climate of peace.
 
CHAPTER 4 – CHURCH WARS
 
 [v.1] – James deals with the fact behind “church wars”; they come from within a person or persons; they come from within your own selfish evil desires. All church wars come from within from evil desires… What is the source behind our modern day church wars? Members battling the pastor/staff fighting for some power or position in the church/church members fighting and not speaking to each other – church wars are an indicator that the church is operating by earthly wisdom, led by Satan himself, rather than Godly wisdom.
 
 [v.2] – is the tragic story of a selfish person – self is the problem and it needs to be denied…the lie in today’s church is that self needs to be pampered, it needs to be appreciated and elevated; friends, when you start down the self path it will destroy you; its desires can never be satisfied
 
[v.3] – covet and envy but you do not possess – this kind of behavior produces the most frustrated  person on the face of the earth who will do anything to try to satisfy an unsatisfyable lust. God will not respond to one who prays with the sole desire to have these selfish lusts fulfilled. God does not answer prayers like these. Instead God says he will make your life more frustrating spiritually. God does not honor the attitude of self-righteousness and selfishness.
 
[v.4] – friendship means love for and loved by/enmity means hatred – God hates the world’s system…the world is God’s enemy – to become a friend of the world and accept its standards is to declare yourself as God’s enemy…James is writing to the church here…we cannot adopt a style of earthly wisdom to operate the church for that is to be a spiritual adulterer or adulteress in the eyes of God.   James appears to be addressing two types of people here also; those who are regenerated and those who are lost – it is a bold assumption to believe that everyone who professes to be a Christian is a Christian, the only verification to justify one’s profession of faith as genuine is the lifestyle [Chapter 2].
 
[v.5] – God yearns for the undivided affection of His people
 
[v.6] – God’s grace will sustain the believer who humbles themselves before God. God stands against the proud who are addressed in the first four verses.If one seriously wants to end church wars, if one wants to seriously get on track with God; seriously see people get saved and, if we apply these, a lot of people will leave the church who do not want to be regenerated according to God’s Word…
 
[v.7] – the solution for selfish, hateful, worldly wisdom is to #1 submit yourself to God – it means that you say to God, I surrender to God, giving your will and
           your way to God; #2 resist the devil – stand against Satan – there is no resistance against Satan until one submits to God – believer you must surrender to God if the
           devil is to flee from you; [v.8] - #3 draw near to God and He will come to you, that’s His promise to you – [Isaiah 55:6-9]#4 cleanse your hand you sinners this is a
           direct command to the lost; this is clear in scripture! Now, the word sinner is never used of the Christian in the NT – what does it mean, it speaks to a
           person devoted to sin, not free from sin, specifically of men stained with certain vices that is not a believer. To cleanse the hands means the sinner must come to
           repentance in God. This is God’s command. There are many who are religious and lost and need to come to God in salvation; #5 purify your hearts, ye
           double-minded – both the heart and mind are to be directed in allegiance to God; both the inside and the outside of a man are to be clean.
 
[v.9] - #6 Be afflicted – feel your wretchedness, be sorry on account of your sins; see them as God sees them;#7 Weep over your wickedness and stop being a hypocrite
           #8 Let your laughter be turned to mourning #9 and your joy to heaviness ; we need to see sinful acts as that which is shameful, not as something to take joy
               in; these are the true fruits of repentance
 
[v.10] - #10 Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He shall lift you up. In God’s sight lower yourself [Psalm 147:6][1 Peter 5:5-6] – Faith must be matched by worthy works – when a person has truly been born again and has the Holy Spirit as his Indwelling Ally he has positively no excuse to dwell at the low level of failure and sin.
 
James 4:10b-17
 
-           external evidences – look at how they treated one another: wars, strife, envy, doing things out of self-ambition
-          Speech – backbiting, malicious gossip
-          Internal evidences  - lust, coveting, pride, divided heart…refused to consider another’s good; damnable elevation of self; spiritual frustration with people; failed to
           pray or had wrong motives in prayer
-          They had a failure to appreciate God; those who compromise with the world are spiritual adulterers.
-          A false spiritual focus – they were self-seeking; self-assertive; this was the essence of their double-mindedness
-          Submitting to God requires losing your will for His…
[v.11] – stop speaking evil of another that is a direct command of God… [Proverbs 6:16-19; Colossians 3:1-12] – it is inconsistent to live our new life in Christ as if we are
            lost…[Proverbs 25:23] – reject the backbiter [Psalm 15:1-5] reject being a backbiter; be men and women of our word…                                
The law spoken of here is the law of love – when we speak evil of the love we are saying that the law of love is of no value to us at all. [1 Corinthians 4:3-5] – only Christ and His Word are the proper source and standard of judgment.
 
[v.12] – only Christ has been given the authority for judging – [1 Corinthians 11:31] – we need to judge ourselves not others…{4:13-17} – James deals with the sin of the tongue when it comes to confident boasting, living  your life as if God did not exist.
 
[v.13] – trademarks of those who are living as if God did not exist
              #1 – they keep speaking about a day they think they’re guaranteed of
              #2 – they keep speaking about plans they think they’re guaranteed of
              #3 – they keep speaking about destinations they think they’re going to arrive at
              #4 – they keep speaking about outcomes that they think they’re going to succeed at [see Luke 12:13-21] – only fools boast like this
 
[v.14] – making plans without God is foolish because:
              #1 – we have no control over any day [Proverbs 27:1]
              #2 – we have no control over our life – the length of it
              #3 – we are being deceived by denying these fact
 
[v.15] – puts in perspective the very reason why our words should say, If the Lord will…
              If the Lord will – God’s control over our time
              We shall live – God’s control over our lives
              Do this or that – God’s control over our destiny or lot…
              A true Christian has no choice but to seek God’s will
 
[v.16] – they were bragging about it
 
[v.17] – to know of these facts and not to do them is sin – it is not only the wrong things; but also
              knowing God’s commands and not doing them is sin…
 
 
 
CHAPTER 5 – CONTEXT OF THE CHAPTER IS PATIENCE UNDER AFFLICTION
 
James 5:1-18 
 
 
Examples of the rich Jew spoke of who had no concern for the poor…
             Mark 10:17-22 – rich young man; Luke 12:15-21 – the rich fool; Luke 16:19-25 – rich man and Lazarus
-          Those who suffer from the love of riches, wield a two-edged sword…
-          1st – they haves no concern for the poor and needy
-          2nd – they usually abuse those who are…
 
[v.4] – they refused to pay their laborers through fraud
 
[v.5] – you lived the good life, you gave yourself over to live for the pleasures of self-indulgence and self-gratification
 
[v.6] – the indulgence and the influence of the rich have caused many an innocent Christian to die [Hebrews 11:32-38] emphasis on 32 and 35-38
 
[v.7] – instructions to believers
            - points out one of the biblical solutions in times of great suffering that is to be patient
            - sufferings that come to Christians by the godless rich will be vindicated at the Lord’s coming…
            - patience is needed because Jesus said in this world we will have tribulation
            - submit to God because this develops patience…
            James and Peter both stated that when going through suffering look at the 3 facts:
                    #1 – rejoice because of our future inheritance
                    #2 – sufferings are temporary
                    #3 – we will see Jesus face to face
 
Note: James was the illustration of a farmer in [v.7] – waiting for the farmer is never without trial; due to weather, weeds, insects, etc. – we are to be patient like the farmer.
 
[v.8] – establish your heart for the coming of the Lord [Thessalonians 4:16-18]
 
[v.9] – when we take our eyes off of the coming of the Lord and the comfort that it brings, we start fighting with each other…stop the petty bickering that destroys many a church – look to the Lord, patient, prayer and praise…
 
[v.10] – James wanted his readers to look at that which was familiar to them; if you live for the Lord you will suffer. He says look at the example of the prophets
-          Patience - all the prophets are to be examples to us – the example of the prophets is to be imitated [5:11-12]; [Romans 8:18]; [1 Peter 4:12-13]; [2 Timothy 2:12a]
 
[v.11] – example of Job – all these examples of what these people went through are to be lessons of encouragement to us for endurance in suffering is always rewarded by God…
 
[v.12] – Q.28 – swearing usually means that person’s word cannot be trusted at all…James points out here the sin of false oaths, not living up to their word…
 
[v.13] – Q.29 – two of the greatest weaknesses in the average church today are in the area of prayer and praise – this is usually attributed to insensitivity…
 
[v.14] – the word oil here is medicinal, it is the same as that found in [Luke 10:34] – medicinal not ceremonial
 
[v.15] – prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well and God will respond by raising him up…
 
[v.16] – real prayer begins with a real relationship, first with God, then with others in the faith, which brings faith real results from real Christians as they do things God’s way
 
 [vv.17-18] – what were the requirements for Elijah’s answered prayers?
1st – he was righteous; 2nd – he prayed fervently and he prayed earnestly.  We need to emulate this in our lives. Elijah prayed and kept on praying until God answered his prayers.  Answers to prayers are in reach of any of His children who will get as serious with God as Elijah was…
 
James 5:19-20: See also: Romans 9:1-5; Romans 10:1-3; 2 Timothy 4:10; 2 Peter 2:20-22