v. 17-18 of Ch 3. James shows here that the man ended with heavenly wisdom is a peace loving man.
In Ch 4 he mentions that strife often exists among God’s people.
Why so many unhappy homes! – Assemblies torn by division – better finds among home workers and missionaries abroad.
Reasons v. 1 – lust = strong desires to accumulate material possessions – prestige – pleasure. The gratification of fleshly appetites.
These powerful forces are continually at work. 1 John 3:15.
Sometimes these four break loose and James says “you kill” – figuratively
“Desire” here means to covet – we covet things and in our desire to obtain hem we fight and quarrel with each other.
v. 3 To obtain what God wants you to have you must pray.
James says, “You have not because you ask not.”
If you ask for it and the prayer is unanswered, it means that God has judged that your motives were not pure.
“You have asked amiss”
Our prayer standard should always be, Is my prayer for selfish pleasure or for God’s glory?
v. 4 James condemns the love of the world on “spiritual adultery”. Demas adulteresses, the unfaithful wife.
“The world” this is the system which man has built up around him to satisfy the lust of the eyes-flesh-pride of life.
In this system there is no room for Christ or God.
To be a friend of this system is to be an enemy of God. “He who loves the world the love of the Father is not in him.”
This is the world that crucified Christ.
v. 5 Difficult to translate. “Do you think the Scripture speaks in vain? The Spirit who dwells in us yearns enviously.
v. 6 Thank God for the super abundance of God’s grace for each occasion. Heb 4 – Come boldly, etc. Prayer – prayerlessness of behavior today.
To rectify this unspiritual condition, James now presents the remedy.
It is in six steps. (1) Submit to God (surrender); (2) Resist the devil; (3) draw near to God (prayer); (4) Cleanse your hands (actions); (5) purify your hearts nature – desires. Confession. This should be accompanied by deep sorrow. V. 9; (6) Humble yourselves in the sight of God.
If we do these things “God will exalt us in due time.”
v. 11-17 The sin of evil speaking.
The royal law of love says that we should “love our neighbors as ourselves.”
To speak evil against a brother is to judge his nature – it is also speaking evil and condemning the royal law as worthless.
v. 13-17 The sin of self-confidence. Boasting-planning without God. The sin is that he never took God into his plans. I will—we will. (Lucifer) The rich farmer, Luke, “I will”. “Boast not thyself of tomorrow”
It is a sin to plan for the future without God. What wilt Thou have me to do.
v. 16 “We don’t know what tomorrow holds.” Dea Volente Our life is steam, appeareth – gone. V. 15 D.V. Lord willing.
v. 16 The Christians were priding themselves in their boastful plans for the future. This is evil says James because it leaves God out.
v. 17 Quote
Him that knows to do good = to take God into our lives in every aspect – a moment by moment dependence upon Him.
If we know this is right and don’t do it – it is sin.
In Ch. 4 James puts us on trial with regard to covetousness – conflict – evil speaking – planning without God.