Strife Among Christians
A. THE CHURCH IS THE PEACEABLE KINGOM!
1. Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).
2. We have instruction in peace from God (Rom. 12:18; 14:19).
3. Our expectation in Christ is to live in peace (Isa. 2:4: Phil. 4:6-7).
B. IMAGINE THE DISMAY OF FINDING THE CHURCH EMBATTLED WITH ITSELF.
A. THE CHURCH DESIGNED BY GOD (Eph. 3:10-11) BUILT BY JESUS (Matt. 16:18).
IT IS A PERFECT INSTITUTION!
B. BUT THE CHURCH IS MADE UP OF PEOPLE.
1. Those who are baptized are added to the church (Acts 2:47).
2. Christians still occasionally succumb to the tempter (Rom. 3:23; 1 John 1:8).
3. We are not perfect, but in a state of continual growth (Phil. 3:12-14).
D. OUR HUMANITY SOMETIMES EFFECTS OUR BEHAVIOR IN THE CHURCH.
1. Seen in James and in 1 Corinthians (James 4:1; 1 Cor. 1:10-11).
2. Must we be tainted by it, too? (James 3:10).
A. JAMES AND PAUL CORRECTLY PLACE THE BLAME (vs. 1; 3:14-16; 1 Cor. 3:3).
B. WHAT LIES AT THE ROOT OF WORLDLY STRIFE IS PERSPECTIVE.
1. What does the Christian seek? (Col. 3:1-2; 2 Cor. 4:16-18).
2. How does the worldly man view these things? (1 Cor. 2:14-15).
3. The perception; there’s not enough to go around (Jas. 4:2).
A. PRAYER IS TORPEDOED (vs. 3).
1. An example (1 Pet. 3:7)
2. Imagine the contradiction (James 3:9-10).
B. A GREATER ENEMY – GOD! (vs. 4-5).
1. Spiritual adultery – Friendship of the world (vs. 4).
2. Where is our loyaly? What comes first? (Matt. 6:24; 1 John 2:15).
C. STRIFE IS OPPOSITE WHAT GOD PLANNED FOR THE CHURCH (James 4:5).
A. GOD GIVES US STRENGTH BY GRACE TO OVERCOME (vs. 6; 2 Cor. 12:9).
B. GRACE IS FOR THE HUMBLE (vs. 6-10).
1. Who did Jesus come to save? (Luke 5:31-32). Who does He invite? (Matt. 11:28-30).
2. A recognition of the need for help (1 Cor. 10:12; Prov. 16:18).
C. THE HUMBLE WILL SUBJECT HIMSELF TO GOD’S WILL (vs. 7; Luke 22:42).
1. By resisting the devil anthistemi, to stand against, oppose: (Strong). (Eph. 6:10-13).
2. By drawing near to God (vs. 8). How?
a. By cleansing our hands (1 John 1:6-7: Acts 8:22). Repent!
b. By purifying our hearts (2 Cor. 7:1).
c. By mourning our sin (vs. 9; Matt. 26:75). Really being Sorry!
D. THE RESULT? GRACE OR STRENGTH (vs. 6). WE WILL BE EXALTED (vs. 10).
A. NOT AN INJUNCTION AGAINST JUDGING IN THE ABSOLUTE (John 7:24; Gal. 6:1).
B. REFERENCE TO THE HARSH INVECTIVES AND FALSE TESTIMONIES.
1. Watch what you say (Eph. 4:29; Eph. 4:31-32; Col. 3:8-9).
2. Be kind and forgiving (Eph. 4:32), Put on the New Man (Col. 3:9).
A. PEACE IS TO BE FOUND IN OUR SUBMISSION TO GOD.
B. WILL YOU HUMBLE YOURSELF TO OBEY HIM?
C. IF YOU WILL, HE WILL LIFT YOU UP.