James 21


I really need to upload these as soon as I write them! What happens is, right now I’m extremely busy. I have a lot of responsibilities right now, and deadlines. What’s happening is I write my blog on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and… I try to upload them every two days. What I really need to do is write them – and put them online right away.

“Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” (James 4:11–12, KJV)

Again, this is not talking about heretics and apostates. we are commanded to mark those who cause division by teaching false doctrine. Mark and avoid. Paul named names.

What we’re talking about is the buzz-buzz that happens every sunday in every Baptist church, as people speak behind raised hands. You know, if you’ve noticed that so and so is struggling, and looks like they may be backsliding – why don’t you go up to them and see if you can help? Sometimes (MOST OF THE TIME) there are people in every church who are struggling with this or that – HELP them, don’t gossip about them!.

4:11. To slander and judge one another is totally incongruous to the humble spirit God desires. Furthermore, to judge another is actually a judgment of God’s Law itself. His Law is a mandate over all people. No one dares assume a haughty position over the Law. The slanderer is sentenced by the Law; the self-styled judge is jeopardized by the Law; only the humble person is honored. True justice is rendered when a believer subjects himself to God in humility and obedience.

J. Ronald Blue, “James,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 831.

James 20


Let’s do something really quick. I wanted to gloss over this verse, so we could return and examine it.

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4, KJV)

Friendship with the world… is enmity with God.

Spiritually, if you are conforming to the world, if you are a worldly Christian – God is calling you an adulterer.

Here’s one thing we really lose by taking the first step into Textual Criticism. “We need to find out what the author of the book REALLY INTENDED when he wrote the passage…”

No, we don’t! We READ it and HEED it! The author wrote what he REALLY INTENDED!

So, who’s the author? James?

Answer – God. James was the instrument. Calling James the author is like saying my blog was written by Dell.

Friendship with the world… is enmity with God.

Spiritually, if you are conforming to the world, if you are a worldly Christian – God is calling you an adulterer.

What changes are you going to make in your outlook, beliefs, and life to avoid this?

James 19


“Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:5–10, KJV)

According to John Walvoord (for some reason, Logos keeps attributing every quote I’m reading in the Bible Knowledge Commentary to Ronald Blue, but he was only one of the three who wrote in the BKC), much of the terminology in this section is actually military in nature, probably in keeping with the mention of “war” earlier.

To resist ἀντιτάσσω (antitasso) comes from anti (against) and tasso (determine, designate). Many of the uses of tasso are indeed military – to order, command, renounce, oppose, rebel, rebellious, subordinate. This is a classic example of how “Strong’s Theology” can really lead you astray. The use of the root word does not mean it contains all of the tenses of the various conjugations! “To eat” for example could be wrongly understood to mean “I’ve already eaten” using that logic. So, Strong’s Theologians need to be careful, in that you could say “I’m hungry” to another Strong’s Theologian, and they could interpret that to mean you’ve already eaten!

We get instead a sense of the passage from the various uses of the word. But we render literally what the word, in its present conjugation and tense means. Greek is VERY specific! English tends to be somewhat slippery to translate – Greek does not. I can always spot people who are lying about taking Greek in seminary when I see them make this classic error of trying to translate a Greek word in the same slippery sense we give English words.

God resisteth the proud… resist the devil.

Draw nigh unto God. He will draw nigh unto you.

Contrastive thought, comparitive thought. I’ve described it before as being the fingerprint of God throughout the Bible. For God to resist the proud seems to literally mean in this context, that God wars against them! Humble yourself. Rend your heart. Submit to God.

It’s really amazing that sometimes all God asks for is a minute by minute thing. “be humble. don’t be proud. I will lift up the fallen.”

Whatever questions remain unresolved about verse 5, there is no question about the clear truth of verse 6. God opposes the proud. The word “opposes,” or “resists,” is antitassetai, a military term meaning “to battle against.” To the humble, however, God gives grace. Whether a believer is called to resist his human spirit which tends toward envy or to rejoice in the Holy Spirit who jealously yearns for each believer’s edification, the call is to shun pride and to submit humbly to God’s authority. The cure for conflict is a humble spirit which is rewarded by God’s unmerited favor. James continued by showing in verses 7–12 how humility is related to peaceful justice

J. Ronald Blue, “James,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 830.

James 18


“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:1–4, KJV)

It is pointed out in the Bible Knowledge Commentary, that James begins this new section with a question. Indeed, this is common by James… each thematic section begins with a question.

From where comes the wars and fighting among you? Christians should not war one with another. Now I put (again!) a caveat… Paul never quarrelled with Christians who had right doctrine. John never quarrelled with Christians who had right doctrine. Peter never did either.

But if your doctrine was wrong, all three of you were willing to point it out, and if you “Withstood” (persisted in that wrong belief)… trust you me, they warred!

Why?

toleration of error leads to capitulation of error which leads to emulation of error. A quick look to see how fast and how far this has gone is that we’ve seen in this last days churches falling into questioning the Bible, the deity of Christ, the omnipotence of God, salvation, etc. Once you open the floodgates, and tolerate error, it’s only a matter of time before it changes and affects you.

The issue here is not about heretics or apostates (the proper words for people who teach error), but rather, within a church – assuming the local church is united in doctrine.

James turns the subject to “Ye ask, and ask amiss.” motivation is a strong component for a Christian’s answered prayers. Have your prayers been hindered? THe first thing to check is your motives. If that’s good, then are you living for the lord right now? How’s your walk? We all backslide slightly, often many times during the day. Getting angry while driving (my biggie), coveting, etc. And sometimes people find themselves sliding into sin without realizing it. Next to check is – have you been loving to your spouse? If not, then bingo. Most Christians somehow gloss over that part. You have to love your spouse (for men) and honor your spouse (for women). If your prayers are hindered, use this paragraph as a checklist!

The correct way for Christians to have their legitimate needs met is by asking God. One reason a believer does not receive what he asks for is that he asks with wrong motives (lit., “evilly” or “amiss,” kakōs). The verb ask is in the middle voice, meaning, “ask for yourself.” The purpose clause that follows further clarifies, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. “Spend” could be translated “squander.” “Pleasures” is again the Greek word hēdonais (cf. v. 1). God will never provide for “hedonistic squandering”!

J. Ronald Blue, “James,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 829.

Fundamentalism


I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – I cannot find anything in the Bible to lead me to believe Christians should be anything but Fundamentalists.

And even back in the years I had comments open…. nobody ever argued that point with me.

If you’re not a Fundamentalist… why not?

Don’t you think that should change?

Preaching


I’m very depressed. I went searching for websites of preaching. The first one I found was a preaching website with a bunch of old men on it, wearing the traditional mixing of plaids and yellow shirts. I’d specified “Baptist” and “Fundamentalist”, so I assumed they were. I added them to my start.me page.

I found another one, and added that.

Later on, I checked them out. One was a Steven Anderson page, so that one went into the trash can. THe other turned out to be a Church of Christ website.

Here’s how bad things are. In a good, Christian nation, there should be at least 100 good websites for preaching. I’ve seen one man who’s organized about 20 websites himself from preachers who (to be honest) couldn’t preach their way out of a wet paper bag – but they went to Hyles-Anderson, and that’s all that man really cares about.

There’s Sermonaudio. The only problem with them is they’re overrun with Calvinists. It’d too time consuming to hunt through and try to find the good ones. And the functions to save someone as a favorite requires a VERY expensive membership.

Soundfaith. I think Logos’s sermon site is too new. I put up lists of sermon sites a year ago or so, when I did the church series. But the essential problem is – there is a woeful shortage of good preachers in Fundamentalist circles. I truly hate to say it, but it’s true. I’ve even listened to some of the greats, and concluded it must be sentimentality that makes so many extol these men. Because I can’t listen to Frank Norris. He may have been an energetic preacher, but I’m not being fed.

Christian congregations are crying out to their pastors, TEACH ME! and the pastors are breaking open a reader’s digest in search of sermon illustrations.

Forget sermon illustrations! Everyone’s going to be mad, but let me bring up ONE NAME. John Macarthur. He doesn’t really use sermon illustrations.

Marc Monte. No sermon illustrations. An amusing story from time to time. No sermon illustrations.

Dan Butterbrodt. No real sermon illustrations. He teaches and preaches.

Danny Castle, sometimes sermon illustrations.

We just covered the gamut from teaching emphasis to less teaching emphasis. THe whole spectrum there. The point is not the sermon illustrations, but the ability to open your Bible on the pulpit to Matthew 7 and to be able to PREACH that.

If you’re a pastor, and read this blog – it’s time to challenge yourself. how’s your preaching? Is the Lord going to commend you, or condemn you?

What kind of church should yours be?


There’s no doubts in my mind that we’re in the midst of the falling away. So I thought I’d put this article up to let you know when the Glory is Gone.

The pastor should wear suit and tie, Sunday mornings, nights and weekday nights. Probably a good idea for him to wear one to the office all week.

The church should have a firm commitment to Evangelism. Most people nowadays do NOT know the Gospel. It used to be easy in America or the UK to stand in a park on a box, and preach the Gospel, and get at least ONE convert. Now, it’s a lot more work, because both countries are gospel illiterate.

The church should be committed to the Bible as the word of God. The most DANGEROUS side effect of having thousands of available Bible versions is that Christians have lost the reverence for it. And many have so swallowed the claims of unbelieving Liberal “Christians” about “textual Criticism” that most Chrisitans really don’t take the Bible seriously.

Your church should take it seriously. If the Bible told you to stand on your head for an hour, you should do it. So all that stuff about love one another – thats kind of not optional.

The church should be about preaching. Preaching doctrine and rebuking sin and worldliness, not about happy stories about a Buddha made of mud that turned out to be solid gold underneath. What’s that got to do with the Bible? Answer – nothing. What does playing Purple Haze and wearing hawaiian shirts while preaching have to do wtih the Bible? Answer: nothing.

The Pastor should be preaching. THere should be reading of the Bible, and application of what you’re hearing. Reprove, rebuke exhort! Whatever happened to that? When that starts going away, time to consider your options.

music should be Christ honering, and not man honoring. It should uplift and exalt Christ, and not get your feet tapping. If I want to clap my hands, I’ll see if I can find my old Sesame Street records

You should walk out the door feeling like you went to church, not to a concert! If your ears are ringing, and it’s not from the pastor, then there had better be high pollen that day, or it’s time to look elsewhere.