SERMON TITLE: THE DECEIT OF THE DEVIL
SERMON TEXT: JAMES 4:6-10
A. For centuries, internal conflict has been all too common among God's people
1. Many denominations and Christian groups that exist today bear witness to the continuing conflict.
2. Some of these division came about because of a proper concern for doctrinal purity, such as Luther's reformation.
3. Other grew out of the personal convictions and conscience of a leader who became a rallying point for those with similar view
4. Still others have resulted from personality differences or power struggles.
B. From James 4 we have learned that there are three key causes of interpersonal conflict among believers.
1. The Desires of the Flesh Causes Conflict Among Believers
2. The Demands of the World Causes Conflict Among Believers
3. The Deceit of the Devil Causes Conflict Among Believers
C. In this 3rd sermon, we will focus on the deceit of the devil
A. Proposition: In order to have peace among believers, there must be victory over the deceit of the devil: selfish pride.
B. Interrogative: How can we overcome the deceit of the devil?
C. Transition: From James 4:6-10 we can gleem four godly COMMITMENTS that will allow us to have victory over the deceit of the devil.
I. COMMITMENT #1: A COMMITMENT OF GODLY DEVOTION TO GOD WILL GIVE US VICTORY OVER THE DECEIT OF THE DEVIL. JAMBS 4:7-8A
A. Commandment #1: Submit to God.
1. Fact #1: This means yielding to God in voluntary, loving, and unquestionable obedience.
2. Fact #2: This involves yielding our personal desires, hopes and dreams to obedience to God's will as revealed in His Word.
3. Fact #3: This involves separating from the way the world thinks, talks, feels, and acts.
4. Example: Jesus submitted His desires to the Father's will
a. In the wilderness: He did not yield to Satan's tempation
b. In His earthly ministry: He always did the Father's will
c. On the Cross: He did not come down off the cross.
B. Commandment #2: Resist the devil
1. Fact #1: The objective of the devil is to trick us into willfully, deliberate resistance and rebellion to God.
a. He tempts us into fulfilling our desires apart from God
b. He allures us with the influences of the sinful world in rebellion against God.
c. He pulls us into conflicts with one another over the gratification of our personal desires and agendas.
2. Fact #2: The command to resist the devil implies that we can resist him!!
a. The devil cannot make anybody sin, we sin because we want to!!!
b. Example: The devil enter Judas so that he would betray Jesus (cf. Lk.22:3; In.13:2), however Jesus held Judas responsible for that action!!
3. Question: How do we resist the devil?
a. Suggestion #1: Allow the Lord to be the center from which all of life's activities come (relationships, job, profession, entertainments, family life, love life, ect) .
b. Suggestion #2: Make sure that all that you want, feel, think and do are in harmony with God's Word and does not offend others unnecessarily.
c. Suggestion #3: Fellowship with God's people
d. Suggestion #4: Stay away from people, places, and things that lead to submission to sinful practices.
e. Suggestion #5: Allow godly attitudes like forgiveness, mercy, and compassion to grow in you.
3. Promise: If we resist the devil, he will flee from us (cf.1. Cor.1.0:1.3) .
C. Commandment #3: Draw near to God
1. Fact #1: The verb "draw near" is used often of the Levitical priest approaching God with the various sacrifices.
2. Fact #2: We draw near to God in worship and prayer
a. When we draw near to God, we will resist the devil.
b. When we draw near to God, we will resist the sinful gratification of our flesh through greed and pleasure.
c. When we draw near to God, we will resist the demands of the world, we will resist friendship with the world.
3. Promise: If we draw near to God, He will draw near to us in communion and fellowship! !
a. Note: Many of us are missing out on meaningful communion with the Lord on a personal level.
b. Note: Many of us are missing out on knowing and enjoying the Lord on a personal level.
II. COMMITMENT #2: A COMMITMENT TO ABONDONING PERSONAL SIN WILL GIVE US VICTORY OVER THE DECEIT OF THE DEVIL. JAMES 4: 8B
A. Commandment #4: Cleanse your hands, you sinners.
1. Remember: James is not addressing unsaved people but saved!
2. Fact #1: This involes more than just confessing sin!!!
3. Fact #2: This involes getting rid of personal sin in our daily walk as Christians.
a. As Christians, we need to stop excusing our sin and get rid of sin in our lives.
b. This is more that feeling sorry about sin in our lives, this is taking active action to get rid of specific sin.
4. Note: Some sins are "one night stands," and others become habitual.
5. Note: Some suggestions on getting rid of personal sins
a. Have a consistent Bible study and prayer life whereby you are in the habit of confessing sin.
b. Stay away from people, places, and things that lead down the sinful road (cf. Ps.1)
c. Be in fellowship with mature Christian whereby you are accountable for your Christian walk.
d. Get help from strong mature believers to help you fight a habitual sin.
B. Commandment #5: Purify your hearts, you doubleminded,
1. Fact #1: This involves confessing inner attitudes and thoughts that are in rebellion against God.
2. Fact #2: This also involves having a right attitude about what God is doing in your life
a. Note: Clean hands and a pure heart cannot be separated
b. Note: The appearance of seemingly clean hands without a pure heart is hypocrisy.
3. Suggestions: How can we purify our hearts
a. Learn to trust God's wisdom in everything that happens in your life, the good and the bad.
b. Learn to stop complaining and murmuring about everything
c. Learn to give God thanks and praise for everything.
III. COMMITMENT #3: A COMMITMENT OF GODLY SORROW FOR THE SAD CONDITION OF SIN WILL GIVE US VICTORY OVER THE DECEIT OF THE DEVIL. 4:9
A. The Outward Expression: Inner Sorrow Over the Wretchedness of Sin
1. Commandment #6: Lament, i.e., take sin seriously
2. Commandment #7: Mourn, i.e., grieve about sin in your life
3. Commandment #8: Weep, i.e., cry about sin in your life
4. Commandment #9: Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
B. The Application: The proper response to the outward danger of sin.
1. Many of us have become apathic, indifferent, and even desensitized to the wretchedness of sin.
2. All of the hurt, harm, and danger in the lives of individuals, in the lives of families, in communities, in the world, and even in the church is the result of sin.
3. Sin is serious business and it is not something to be taken casual, light-hearted, or frivolous.
IV. COMMITMENT #4: A COMMITMENT TO SELFLESS HUMILITY WILL GIVE US VICTORY OVER THE DECEIT OF THE DEVIL. JAMES 4: 10
A. Commandment #10: Humble yourselves in the sight of God
1. Fact #1: To be humble means not to be haughty, arrogant, or assertive.
2. Fact #2: To be humble means to be submissive, a servant
3. Fact #3: To be humble in the sight of God simply means that we willingly submit our lives to God's rule
4. Application: To be humble means that we don't have to prove anything to anybody because we are here to serve not complete with anybody.
B. Promise: If we willfully, lovingly, humble ourselves to God, God will exalt us