This Week: James 4:7-12 Date: April 10, 2016 Series: Shoe Leather Theology: Study of James
This Week’s Resources:
- The Compass Bible Study (pdf)
- Study Notes (pdf)
- Lighthouse Discussion Guide (pdf)
- Lighthouse Leader Study Guide (pdf)
- Word Search Answer Key (pdf)
- FFC Faithlife Community
Overview of this Lesson
Last week we focused on the source of quarrels and fights among believers. We identified the source as sinful desires motivated by pride. Each of us has an internal compass that continually guides our thoughts and actions towards self–self promotion, self gratification, self advancement. This desire to promote self is at war within the believer, because as a Christian, our spirit years to please God and to give ourselves completely to His will and His desires for us. This war is often identified as the war between the flesh (self) and the Spirit (the Holy Spirit).
This week we will begin to look at the solution to this problem. Victory does not come from trying harder to control our selfish desires, it comes from surrendering the fight to the Lord and allowing Him to take control of our thoughts, desires, and actions. James’ prescription to defeat pride includes four steps:
- Submit to God
- Resist the Devil
- Draw Near to God and Repent
- Humble Yourself in the presence of the Lord
Memory Verse for This Week
James 4:7 (ESV) “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Core Virtue: Humility
Humility (Philippians 2:3-4): I choose to esteem others above myself.
- Looking back at your notes from this week’s sermon, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
- Describe a time when you felt very close to the Lord? What was the situation that drew you into His presence?
- What is the difference between pride and a sense of accomplishment?
This Week’s Take Home Truth
“In order to fight the war with pride, we must humbly submit to God and show compassion to others.”
Read the Text (James 4:7-12)
The believer in Christ is capable of the greatest sin. Jealousy and pride bring on sins that are destructive to the Christian walk. James again urges the child of God to be humble and to draw near to God with clean hands. He further commands believers to refrain from speaking against the brethren since God is the One and only Lawgiver and Judge. [Baker] Read James 4:7-12.
James 4:7–12 (ESV) 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?
In this section, feel free to develop your own questions to help guide your group’s discussion. Below are some suggestions.
- How does James instruct us to win the battles between pride and humility?
- What does the word “Submit” mean in verse 7 and how does it relate to the word “resist”?
- How can submitting to God help us fight temptation?
- In verse 8, James encourages us to draw near to God and to repent. How can a Christian draw near to God?
- How should a Christian respond to the presence of sin in his/her life?
- How can a Christian who is grieving over his/her sin feel good about himself/herself?
These questions are given to prompt both reflection and learning on a personal level, and should likely be completed individually and apart from your regular group time.
- What can you do this week to draw near to God?
- In what situations do you need to resist the devil this week?
- What can you do this week to help you bring more humility into your life?