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The Church Of Worldly Wisdom
June 6, 2010
INTRODUCTION: James, the half-brother of our Lord Jesus, Pastor of the Church in Jerusalem, has shared the features of God's wisdom as noted in 3:17 followed by its fruit in v.18. It is peace and righteousness and other godly virtues. But, the wisdom of the world also has a by-product. When it is free in the church of Jesus Christ, it will bring about all the evil results we are about to see. Some had rather fight than surrender.
I. THE SOURCE OF PRESSURE. 1
James uses two questions to probe his readers, and the second question answers the first.
1. Conflict with Others.
"wars and fights"
wars - quarrels; relates to general, prolonged, and serious disputing or combat, war
fights - disputes, refers to a particular skirmish or an individual battle
The two words are used of literal wars and figuratively of conflicts and quarrels between people. The reference here probably is a factional bickering within the churches. Also speaks of violent personal relationships, in the extreme, that can result even in murder (2)
2. Conflict With Oneself.
"from among you" - some translate as "in you."
They insist that this is not a struggle between people but a struggle within people. Remember, external struggles are often the symptoms of internal struggles.
A person not at peace with himself can surely not be at peace with others.
Let's trace James' teaching from Chapters 1-4:
They were experiencing class conflicts between the rich and the poor (2:1-11). Rival would-be teachers desiring to be the "great ones" (rabbis) 3:1. They boiled with "bitter envy" and "selfish ambition" and fell to "confusion and every evil thing" (practice) 3:14, 16. They praised God in church at every mention of His name, saying, "Blessed be He!," then verbally cursed their fellow church members (3:9-10)
Some of the new believers in those congregations were forme ...
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