Causes of Churches Feuding, Fighting and Fussing.
James 4:1-5
(1} What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? {2} You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. {3} You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. {4} You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. {5} Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"?
 

INTRODUCTION:
Stephen Brown explains that when a group of thoroughbred horses face attack, they stand in a circle facing each other and, with their back legs, kick out at the enemy. Donkeys do just the opposite; they face the enemy and kick each other!

How often the church does just that -- ignoring the real enemy while we attack fellow believers. What are the causes of Churches Feuding, Fighting and Fussing. The text list three such causes.

1. The First Cause Centers in . . Pleasure.

2. The Second Cause Centers in . . Prayer.

3. The Third Cause Centers in . . Partnership.
 
 
 

1.    The First Cause Centers in . . Pleasure. v 1 - 2 a 
(1} What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? (2} You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. And you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel."

EXPLANATION

A.    The First Cause; Pleasure Is . . Communicated. v 1
        1. The word translated Pleasure. lust in KJV

Strong's # 2237 hedone (hay-don-ay'); from handano (to please); sensual delight; by implication, desire: Used 5 times in KJV 3 times pleasure Lk 8:14, Titus 3:3, James 4:1,3; 2 Pet 2:13`
 

B.    The First Cause; Pleasure Is . . Clarified. v 1
        1. Lust

Strong's # 1937 epithumeo (ep-ee-thoo-meh'-o); from 1909 and 2372; to set the heart upon, i.e. long for (rightfully or otherwise): KJV-- covet, desire, would fain, lust (after). (DIC)

Strong's # 1909 epi (ep-ee'); a primary preposition; over, upon, etc.; :

Strong's # 2372 thumos (thoo-mos'); from 2380; passion (as if breathing hard): KJV-- fierceness, indignation, wrath. Compare 5590. (DIC)

word used 14 times in KJV 4 times lust 6 times desire

        2. Murder.
        3. Envious.
 

ILLUSTRATION
In West Virginia I became good friend with a pastor of a church affiliated with the American Baptist Convention. He believed the Bible taught the same doctrines as I did and if anything was more conservative in theology than myself.

One day he called me and ask "can we get together for a cup of coffee?" I agreed and met him at a restaurant. He told me of a problem in his church and asked what I would do? The problem centered in a youth minister having the youth over to his home and listening to "R" rated movies. The movies were noted to have explicit sexual content as well as much vulgar language.

He had called a meeting of their personnel committee and some of them did not oppose this paid staff person showing such movies. The statement was well we watch them what's wrong with him showing them in his house?
 

APPLICATION

A war started in the church. Pleasure was placed before the morals of the word of God.
 
 
 

2.    The Second Cause Centers in . . Prayer. v 2 b-3 
v 2 b ". . . You do not have because you do not ask. v 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

EXPLANATION

A. The Second Cause Is an . . Absence of Prayer.

B. The Second Cause Is an . . Abuse of Prayer. v 3 amiss

Strong's # 2560 kakos (kak-oce'); from 2556; badly (phys. or morally):

Strong's # 2556 kakos (kak-os'); apparently a primary word; worthless (intrinsically, such; whereas 4190 properly refers to effects), i.e. (subjectively) depraved, or (objectively) injurious:

15 times in KJV 8 times translated sick this is only time translated amiss only time this word is used outside of the gospels
 

ILLUSTRATION
About 3 years ago someone suggested I had my son in law and daughter join this church so he could be the new minister of youth and music. I said that is ridiculous. I also said I don't know who originated that idea and didn't want to know but I was willing to bet ( a Baptist bet without money) it was not a person who regularly visited the prayer room.

Today I know who originated those remarks, and sure enough they are known more for gossip than prayer. The fact is this person probably could not tell you where the prayer room is located.

APPLICATION

The absence of prayer and the abuse of prayer many times causes conflict.
 
 
 

3.    The Third Cause Centers in . . Partnership.

EXPLANATION

A.    The Third Cause Is a . . Slaughtering Partnership. v 4
{4} You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?   Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
        1. Hostility or enmity

Strong's # 2189 echthra (ekh'-thrah); feminine of 2190; hostility; by implication, a reason for opposition:

Strong's # 2190 echthros (ech-thros'); from a primary echtho (to hate); hateful (passively, odious, or actively, hostile); usually as a noun, an adversary (especially Satan):
            a. The coach at Grambling said " I want my players Mobile, Agile, and
                Hostile.
            b. Mansion slaughtered his victims.

        2. Friendship with the world.

Strong's # 5373 philia (fil-ee'-ah); from 5384; fondness:

Strong's # 5384 philos (fee'-los); properly, dear, i.e. a friend; actively, fond, i.e. friendly (still as a noun, an associate, neighbor, etc.): KJV-- friend. (DIC)
                a. Three uses of the word "World"
                        1) The Physical World.
                        2) The People of the world
                        3) The program of the World.

3. Adultery most likely refers to spiritual adultery.
 
 

B.    The Third Cause Is a . . Slighted Partnership. v 5
{5} Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"?
        1. Scripture: no verse exactly like this. v 5 a
        2. Jealousy. v 5 b
                a. Bad born out of insecurity.
                b. Good concern for the best for your loved ones.
                        1) God will not let the world seduce His children without expressing
                            His Jealousy.
Galatians 5:17 (NASB) For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

        3. To dwell in you. The Holy Spirit is to the Child of God. John 16:7
 

ILLUSTRATION
A man who allowed himself to have to much of a partnership with the world received a special granting of a wish. He could have one wish related to anything.

He chose to see a newspaper two years in advance. He immediately received a paper dated two years in the future. He eagerly looked over the multitude of interesting events. Then he turned to the news related to the stock exchange. He rapidly wrote down the stocks he knew would have the largest increase.

He went and purchased as much stock as he could and then sat down to glance through the rest of the paper. He was shocked to see on the obituary page his picture, and the details concerning his funeral. He would not be richer in 2 years he would be dead.
 

APPLICATION

What are the causes of Churches Feuding, Fighting and Fussing?.
 

1. The First Cause Centers in . . Pleasure.

2. The Second Cause Centers in . . Prayer.

3. The Third Cause Centers in . . Partnership.
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Email Preach Him with Dr Jim
 
 
 
Return to Sermon Index Page