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December 3, 2020 7:00 am
Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet Ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce for more information please contact us by calling toll-free one 804 88 18 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our preparing you to think and act biblically.
I don't suppose my schedule will ever allow me to write a psychology book and I'm sure I wouldn't be qualified to do it anyway but I'd like to know if I did I'd like to include within it a section on the disposition we all have to blame other people for our troubles. Flip Wilson has dramatized that a number of his scats where one of his characters, Geraldine is always saying the devil made me do it make any difference what she does. Whether she buys a dress she shouldn't buyer go someplace she shouldn't always always the devil later doing some of us are perhaps more sophisticated than that we don't blame the devil certainly in this contemporary secular world where people don't even believe in him. It's a bit difficult to do that, the same tendency shows up in other ways and that we blame other people. I suppose it would be possible to argue that hardly anything is more basic to the way we think and are disposition to blame other people. What happens when somebody is caught doing something wrong. Well, they say, I wouldn't of done it if you hadn't done so and so they might admit they did it, but it's the other person's fault or they say well, but you did this and so they say I may have done it, but you're just as bad as so instinctive to us, but we can think. Undoubtedly, over the past week or month of many times we've done that ourselves and obviously we see it in other people, far more than we see it in ourselves. James, who writes about that in the fourth chapter to which we come now is a great psychologist a great analysis of human nature because he saw this tendency, but countered it and saying why do these problems call. Are they because of what other people do and then encounters it by saying know what we really have to do is recognize that the basic problem is not what the other person dollars but rather that which comes out sinful heart of man.
I think perhaps as he wrote these verses. He was thinking of those words of our Lord that we have recorded in Matthew 15 where our Lord is speaking of defilement and says in view of all of the ceremonial purification's of his day in the garden people had the kosher foods.
He said the thing that the files so man is not what goes in and what comes out, and what comes out of the heart of sinful man is staffs murders seeks adultery, sexual perversions, and other such things. These, from the heart of man and defile the man. James is thinking of that recognizing from our sinful natures, words, and desires to bring about all the trouble that we see among men and women. He talks about it as flights and quarrels. So they asked the question, don't they come from your desires that battle within you about our version speaks of wars that makes us think of all of the wars that have characterized the history of the human race and how pervasive they are one commentator is said that war is man's chief legacy that is it is that which one generation, most faithfully passes on to the next to be more pertinent than to think about these particular words of our Lord. Such as this, when we're considering the salt to agreements that are supposed to make things just a little bit less tense in the world and yet by the confession of all that are involved with them or not intended in any way whatsoever to annihilate conflict.
We hope that they might, we hope it might postpone war, but we don't confuse the issue or pretend this is actually going to be the case.
You know that when you go back in history to the earliest possible historical remains, some of which come from ancient Samaria about 3000 years ago. You know that in these remains one of the chief motifs is warfare. Perhaps the earliest piece of sculptor culture and existence as a bas-relief from this. In the pictures on it. Armies of one particular king going out to fight against the armies of another king warrior say from the very beginning of human history: a terrible legacy.
It's been we think of Greece and are great. Great golden age producing are works of art and or philosophers. We tend to pass over the Peloponnesian war that brought an end to the Golden age after 27 years of fighting brought Athens to her knees. Rome made war way of life. The Roman was to be a soldier virtually Rome conquered the world but then Roman turn was conquered by the Bavarians about the Barb sometimes have trouble with words.
I just skip it entirely.
The barbarians you come down to European history and until relatively modern times the most destructive of all wars was the 30 years war that raged over the German-speaking countries for just about that. Was terribly destructive in terms of life and property by estimates at the time three quarters of the German-speaking people lost their lives in the 30 years war, and even by more conservative modern estimates about one third of the population lost its life. About 7 million people seems terrible, but then we come to World War I 20 million people perished in that conflict, either directly through the fighting, or indirectly through malnutrition or disease, or such things. The cost was $340 billion, and if that wasn't bad enough we had a second world war and the loss of life. There was 60,000,003 times the earlier conflict and the cost by the estimates of the Encyclopaedia Britannica was $1.4 trillion figure is even beyond comprehension. We look at war and a vast scale.
We recognize that it's simply the projection and history of the kind of warfare goes on within the human heart, or is simply a projection in history of my desire to have what I want to have my desire to have my own way.
James is talking about that here in his analysis. He says all of these troubles, because there is that which is wrong with the human heart as we in our sin, desire our own good at the expense of other people. He gives us a solution.
The solution is in verses two and three says you kill and covet, because you cannot have what you want to quarrel and fight.
You do not have.
Why because you do not ask God's solution is obviously for us to give up struggling for our own ends and asked God what his desires would be James goes on, analyze this very practical problem. It's not merely the problems that we have with other people that he has in view screws we have those problems and we can see that easiest but we also have problems with God when he finishes analyzing the problems we have with one another. He goes on to speak of these problems on the deeper level because his adulterous people because were the case of spiritual adultery were gone. Is concerned, he speaks of us as being enemies of God. Post: what he has in mind is our relationship to God where where we have violated his rightful rule over as we nevertheless boast about that. We've done can't come to a word like that word adulterous without thinking about way in which the relationship of people to God is portrayed in the Old Testament by that image. Josť is the greatest example of that image where Hosea was to represent God's adulterous wife was to represent the people of Israel because God says that's the way my people of been to me. I have taken them to myself. I made them. They are mine. The relationship is that of a husband to a bride and a bride to a husband that they run away with other gods they been unfaithful. They been adulterous. Moreover, says God in this passage instead of being ashamed of what they've done or actually proud about it. They boast of their achievement. That's the way God looks at the human heart. James, who presents this analysis speaks of a cure on this level as well, saying in verse seven we have a parallel here to the cure that he talks about in the opening verses, he says, submit yourselves to God.
Resist the devil and draw near to God and he will draw near to you asked the question in this way, how is it that we draw near to God. Is James saying in this phrase is that he's an Arminian that we draw near to God. God will draw near to us that first move is up DOS.
We have to seek him and then he will seek us not at all. Where do we draw near to God, we draw near to God across how do we draw near to God, we draw near to God as his spirit draws us to him that would be correct to say that God is drawn near to us.
God draws us to himself what James now is saying is similar to what he says in verse seven, when he says submit to God. That is, submit to the drawing power of God allow God to draw you to himself, and there you will find God be the one that you need the one who will restore the relationship and subdue the pride. One of our hymns says makes the point when I survey the wondrous cross on which my Princeton Savior died there. I learned to pour contempt on all my pride doesn't happen in any other way, or in any other place, but only as we see what God is. Had to for our salvation to see as long as you and I think that even in spiritual things we more or less contribute to what God is doing well. We are proud of what we've done. It might be. As I said in the Scripture lesson that he does a great deal of it. Nevertheless, we do apart and while it may be a small part. We take pride in what we've done when we see the matter is God portrays it in the Scripture, and nowhere more clearly than the scriptural portrait of the cross we recognize how desperate our state is there's nothing in us to commend us to God that we're the kind of men and women who crucified the son of God. When he came in yet God still did it, but still sent his son to pay the price of our sin and then by the power of his spirit opens our eyes to see what we have gone draws our wills in order that we might come receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior.
When we recognize the scope of salvation, the power of God in salvation in the absolute nature of what God is done for our salvation that we really are humble. We ask God to do within is what needs to be done.
As I come to this verse seven that speaks of submitting to God, resisting the devil and he will flee from you.
I think it's time to put these matters of temptation and therefore perspective James in chapter 1 is already spoken of two different kinds of temptation, one of which is more properly interpreted his testing as a certain kind of testing but God himself sometimes brings into the lives of his people for good.
It's not a temptation to sin but a testing by which we are made strong kind of testing God brought into the life of Abraham and asking him to sacrifice his son was an example is not an attempt to get Abraham to sin, the devil would bring that kind of a temptation, but rather it was to test Abraham so that he might grow in faith and, indeed, his faith did grow it is praised for it. The pages of the word of God. That is one kind of testing or temptation, but then on the other side and even in that first chapter. There's a kind of temptation which is not at all testing good, but rather temptation to evil. This is not of God but is someone of resources is either that which comes forth out of our own hearts. That is, it's a temptation of the flesh or secondly it's a temptation that comes to us from the world and its values. Or, thirdly, it's a temptation that comes to us from the devil. I bring that matter in here because it seems to me that in this fourth chapter. James is talking about all three at the beginning in the first three verses when he speaks of fights and quarrels and all that comes forth out of the heart of Mattie speaking of fleshly temptations that which we have within ourselves when he begins in verse four to shift slightly and speak of a friendship with the world and the hatred toward God speaking here of the kind of temptation that comes from the world and its values. Then finally he gets to verse seven and he speaking of temptation that comes on site.
The question is if temptation is all around us both without and within power. We who are Christian people span and grow and overcome temptation. Let me suggest something here. We have three sources of temptation, let me suggest that the biblical way of resisting temptation is different in each case, let's take them one at a time. Fleshly temptations. First of all let me give you some text that refer to it. First Corinthians 6 verse 18 it says flee fornication.
There's a fleshly temptation and there's an advice from Paul on how to beat it flee. Get away give you another verse makes the same point.
Second Timothy 222.
Here Paul is writing to Timothy and he says in somewhat broader terms flee youthful lusts, let me suggest that the way to overcome fleshly temptations is to run away. This is the sort of thing that we naturally think is ignoble. Somehow we think we should stand up and fight. But in the nature of the case.
This is the one thing we shouldn't do with fleshly temptations.
What are they everybody thinks of sexual temptation.
Certainly that's one over eating would be another drunkenness would be 1/3 of those things that are not what we normally call worldliness in tens. The terms of the worlds values of the world's desires. Those things really are linked to the flesh now in the nature of the case.
The only way to overcome them is to run away. Suppose you give an example that you have a young man in a young woman were getting very sexually involved, or their in the apartments. How are they going to overcome going too far. Well, they don't overcome it by sitting down to reason it out rationally what they have to do is get out of the apartment.
Go someplace else. I sometimes say even though their PCB students in the movie would be in the aggregation it would be far better to go to a movie than to stay in the apartment is the what you have to do is run away. If you have a problem with over eating what you have to do is get up from the table, pushed her chair back go someplace else you have a problem with drinking don't go to bars you have a problem sexual perversions and other problems in the sexual area don't go to X-rated movies and such things.
You simply have to stay away from these things. What you have to do is feed yourself without which is wholesome and builds up not with that stairs down.
That's why Paul writes, as he does. A second later's the temptations that come to us from the world and the solution in this area is what Paul is speaking about the 12th chapter of Romans versus one and two, where he says be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God is he mean he simply means that the difficulty in the area of the world's temptations of the world's values. This is the kind of thing that presses in upon us in all sides through all the media so that we find ourselves almost without thinking being pushed into this particular value structure of the world values. Well, that's what we begin to value the world values prestige.
That's what we begin to value whatever it is when we read the magazines when we watch the television when we hear people talk when things are done in the movies and such things. These become our values. Now Paul says this is a great danger. This is real worldliness. It's not drinking and playing cards, and those things. So some of those things may be bad in themselves, but it's his desire to be like the world. Paul says the only way you're going to overcome that is by an inward transformation as in practice feet up on the word fellowship with Christian people stay in communion with God.
And so in a very practical specific way work out in your own life, what that good and acceptable and perfect will of God is world always tells us that it's way is the good and the acceptable and the perfect anybody who doesn't go in the world's way to fool so says the world.
God says what we have to do is learn that that's all a mirage that's leading you down a dark tunnel what you have to do is discover that the will of God, which is quite different. Certainly, in terms of values and priorities is what really is good in the acceptable and the perfect good because God is good, acceptable acceptable us not only to God and perfect meaning that we can possibly improve upon and then finally become that temptation which comes directly from the devil.
I don't know of any of us have ever been tempted directly by the devil. Most of us don't require that because we do so well. Just by following the dictates of our hearts, but nevertheless if the devil does, here's the way to resist the devil, is my first of all submitting to God, and secondly, by resisting him directly as a mean to submit what is it mean to resist.
We have no better example than that of the Lord Jesus Christ who when he was tempted in the wilderness and first of all, spent 40 days fasting and prayer that is submitting themselves self to God seeking God's way and then who, when the devil did come replied to him, not in the words of the world or even humanly speaking of his own wisdom but rather in the words of Scripture, quoting three times from the book of Deuteronomy. That's what it means submits to resist means to prostrate oneself before God in prayer, desiring his will asking to go in his way, feeding upon his word and then having that word so much a part of our own make up our own thinking our own understanding that when the temptation comes, we reply by saying, well, let's see now how does that fit opposite something I want to do a resident but rather by bringing it before the judgment bar of the word of God replying on in our wisdom, but in the words of Scripture we do that will stop blaming other people for our troubles will see where the faults lie, there will be a correction which will cause us to grow was a little girl. Her name was Susie and she beat up her brother and her mother punished her and made her stand in the corner and as she put her in the corner. She asked her this questions she said Susie why did you allow the devil to put it into your head, pull your brothers Karen kicking should she thought it over and said, well maybe the devil did put it in the my had to pull his hair, but kicking his shins was my own idea.
Susie was a great theologian and we would be wise if we follow her example. Let us pray. Our father give us the grace to see where our problems lie. The stop blaming other people to search the cause in our own hearts, and more importantly to turn to you is the one who is a solution to those problems to give us grace to conquer temptation to grow through Christ whose name we pray. You are listening to the Bible study hour with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview.
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