It has been some time since we last visited the Village Church for a sermon given by Matt Chandler. They are still in their series on the book of James. Today, we’ll be watching part 8 in the series entitled Worldliness / Godliness.
If we can have real talk with one another today, we are really perverted, dark people. We really are! Look at me. If we thought we could get away with it, we would do the most horrific of things. If we thought we could get away with it, that there would be no cost here and now and there was no judgment to come, we would give ourselves over to the most deplorable, dark things imaginable. That’s exactly what happens when you walk in false wisdom, because there’s no truth except what you decide is true. There’s no end except your personal happiness. Regardless of who gets destroyed, who gets heartbroken, who gets left behind, you’re going to be happy, and that’s false wisdom. The Bible says it ends not just with a life of conflict but also with eternal damnation. Maybe you’re a guest, and you’re like, “Oh surely you don’t believe in that archaic eternal damnation nonsense.” No, I believe the holiness of God is so serious that rebellion against it would require such, and that the punishment fits the crime. Then James also contrasts false wisdom with true wisdom. True wisdom categorically embraces God is for God, and the commands of God in Scripture are about leading me into life for his glory. What God wants for me in his commands is for me to surrender to his kingship, to his lordship, to lead me into the fullest possible life for the praise of his glorious grace. How is God most primarily about God? By growing joy in my soul toward him, like a happy marriage would encourage a confidence in the institution of marriage in those around it. This is what James says, that we have eternity in view. Those who walk in true wisdom have eternity in view. We do understand there is more coming. As the apostle Paul would argue in the midst of his suffering, his current suffering isn’t worthy to be compared to the future glory. I heard a man one time say the first second of glory will make years of suffering vanish. The first second would make years of suffering vanish. (ref: The Village Church Sermon Transcript)
James 4:1-12 (ESV) | Warning Against Worldliness
1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet 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 wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
Have a blessed weekend, and I pray you are encouraged by this sermon.
In Christ Jesus,