Christian Conduct
James 4:11-17
(11} Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother, or judges his brother, speaks against the law, and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge of it. {12} There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor? {13} Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." {14} Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
{15} Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that."     {16} But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. {17} Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.
 

INTRODUCTION     (Harbour p 94 )
Christian conduct is prompted by the spirit of God and obedience to the word of God. Many times we know what we would like to do but at that moment do not know how to respond.

I heard about a handsome young man years ago who wanted to go to the County Fair. He put a chicken under his left arm and a little pig under his right arm and a basket on his head. He took off toward town but seemed to get lost. Then he noticed a cross road and saw a beautiful young lady walking toward him.

He asked the beautiful young lady, "Can you tell me how to get to the County Fair?" The beautiful young lady could tell he was a handsome young man even with the basket on his head and a chicken under one arm and a pig under the other.

The beautiful young lady replied " I can not only tell you I can show you. I'm on my way to the fair. We go down this road to the next cross road and turn right and at the next cross road we turn right again." The fair grounds is way over there on the other side of the woods.

The handsome young man said " If the Fair Grounds are on the other side of the woods why don't we cut through the woods?" The beautiful young lady replied " because in the woods you might try to kiss me." The handsome young man said "how could I kiss you I have a chicken under my left arm and a little pig under my right arm and a basket on my head.

The young lady indignantly said "You could put the chicken down and place the basket over it." And then with a twinkle in her eye she said "I could hold the little pig." Do you know how to conduct yourself as a Christian? Our text give guidance in three areas
 

1. Christian Conduct Toward . . Brothers.
2. Christian Conduct Toward . . Business.
3. Christian Conduct Toward . . Boasting.
 
 
 

1. Christian Conduct Toward . . Brothers. v 11-12

EXPLANATION

A.    Conduct Toward Brothers in matters of . . Speech. v 11 a
    " Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother,
    or judges his brother, speaks against the law, and judges the law; . . . " v 11 a

            1. We receive a command not to speak against a brother.
                    a. Boy hitched dog to lawn mower, dog would stop and bark. Rather
                        bark than pull.

B.    Conduct Toward Brothers in matters of. . Superiority. v 11 b - 12 a
        " . . . but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge of
        it.    There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, . . . " v 11 b - 12 a

            1. We receive a command not judge with a superior attitude.
                    a. We play God. Read poem "The Critic"

C.    Conduct Toward Brothers in matters of. . Salvation. v 12 b
        ". . . There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and
        to destroy;   but who are you who judge your neighbor? " v 12 b

            1. We receive a reminder about salvation.
 

ILLUSTRATION

1. Do you know the president of a Michigan bank advised Henry Ford's lawyer not to invest in the new motor company, assuring him,

"The horse is here to stay, but the automobile is only a novelty."

2. Or there was Gary Cooper's comment about Clark Gable accepting the role of Rhett Butler which he had turned down: "`Gone With the Wind' is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history.

I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling flat on his face and not Gary Cooper."

3. Or the Boston sportswriter who summed up young Ted Williams by saying,

"I don't believe this kid will ever hit half a singing midget's weight in a bathing suit."
 

APPLICATION

Christian conduct speaks of our conduct toward our brothers.
 
 
 

2.    Christian Conduct Toward . . Business. v 13-15  

EXPLANATION

A.    Conduct Toward An . . Arrogant Attitude in Business. v 13
    {13} Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and
    such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit."

            1. Arrogant related to . .Time. v 13 a
            2. Arrogant related to . .Travels. v 13 b
            3. Arrogant related to . .Treasures. v 13 c
 

B.    Conduct Toward An . . Ambiguous Attitude in Business. v 14
   {14} Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a
    vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

            1. Ambiguous related to Life. v 14 a
            2. Ambiguous related to Death. v 14 b

C.    Conduct Toward An . . Accurate Attitude in Business. v 15
{15} Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that."
            1. Accurate to the Will of God related to our . . Existence. v 15 a
            2. Accurate to the Will of God related to our . . Endeavors. v 15 b
 

ILLUSTRATION
When the city fathers of New York contemplated the future growth of the city. They laid out the streets and numbered them from the center outward. When they began, there were only six or seven streets. In their planning maps, they projected how large they thought the city might grow.

Reaching beyond their wildest imagination, they drew streets on the map all the way out to 19th Street. They called it "Boundary Street" because they were sure that's all the larger New York City would become. But history has proven them to be shortsighted. At last count, the city had reached 284th Street -- far exceeding their expectations! We, like those city fathers, sometimes set the boundaries too close in our spiritual expectations.
 

APPLICATION

Christian conduct speaks of our conduct toward business.
 
 
 
3.    Christian Conduct Toward . . Boasting. v 16-17  

EXPLANATION

A.    Conduct Toward an . . Arrogant Boasting. v 16
{16} But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

            1. Arrogant . . Practice of Boasting. v 16 a
            2. Arrogant in the . . Pronouncement of Boasting. v 16 b
 

B.    Conduct Toward an . . Amoral Boasting. v 16
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.

            1. Amoral because of what one . . Discerns.
            2. Amoral because of what one . . Does.
                    a. What is procrastination? Ask me tomorrow.
 

ILLUSTRATION     (HARBOUR p96 )
A Sunday school teacher told the children there were sins of commission and sins of omission. She said " sins of commission are sins where we break a command of God.

Then she asked "does anyone no what sins of omission are?"

A boy spoke up and said "those are the sins we want to do but have not got around to yet."

James gives the correct definition.

"Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin. "

An employer fired a man because he did nothing he was supposed to do. Hearing the conversation a man came and said I would like to apply for the vacancy that made left. The boss said he didn't leave a vacancy.

Many Christians know what to do but they do not do it. If they were fired they would really leave no vacancy.
 
 

APPLICATION     Do we become too familiar?

1. Christian Conduct Toward . . Brothers.

2. Christian Conduct Toward . . Business.

3. Christian Conduct Toward . . Boasting.
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
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