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The War Within

The War Within

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The War Within

James 4:1-10 (NRSV)

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the worldmeans enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

  1. The causes of war. (vv. 1-5)
    • War in the heart causes wars among believers. (v. 1)
    • What is war?
    • Selfish hearts.
    • Selfishness vs. Selfish Hearts.
    • Selfish Actions.
    • Selfish Prayers.
    • War in the heart comes from friendship with the enemy. (vv. 4-5)
    • By being friends with the world we declare war against God.
    • By being friends with the world we are unfaithful to God.
  1. What brings peace? (Seven Imperatives for Peace) (vv. 6-10)
    • Submit to God. (v. 7); Luke 1:26-38
    • Resist the devil. (v. 7)
    • Draw near to God. (v. 8); Hebrews 10:22
    • Wash your hands. (v. 8); Isaiah 1:16
    • Purify your hearts. (v. 8); Matthew 5:8
    • Grieve, mourn and wail. (v. 9); Matthew 5:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10
    • Humble yourselves. (v.10); 1 Peter 5:6-7