SERMON TITLE: A PRESUMPTUOUS ATTITUDE
SERMON TEXT: JAMES 4:11-17
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
B. Most of the time, internal conflict within a local church assembly comes as the result of personality differences
1. These personality differences are the result of a presumptuous attitude of one believer upon another believer.
2. To be presumptuous means that one is confidently assuming something to be true without proof or clear justification.
3. Many times conflict arise within the local church because believes assume without proof that something is true or false
a. This Presumption leads to a spirit of destructive criticism.
b. The spirit of destructive criticism leads to a spirit of overconfidence in one's security and invulnerability of the future.
c. This spirit of overconfidence leads to a spirit of haughtiness toward others
d. This spirit of haughtiness is the cause of conflict among brethren.
A. PROPOSITION: The Spirit Of Presumption Is A Major Cause Of Conflict Among Believers.
B. INTERROGATIVE: What are the causes of presumption?
C. TRANSITION: From James 4:11-17 we can see three major CAUSES.
I. PRESUMPTUOUS CRITICISM JAMES 4:13-12
A. Two Kinds of Criticism: Constructive and Destructive Criticism
1. Constructive criticism or "righteous judgment" is the loving confrontation of sin and error among the saints.
a. Matt.18:15-17: (n. the goal is restoration and reconciliation, not destructive criticism) .
b. Titus 1:13: (n. those who spoke to the church and yet fell short of true and pure doctrine were to be rebuked.)
c. Titus 3:10-11: (n. anyone in the church who is unsubmissive, self-willed and divisive should be expelled.)
2. Destructive criticism or "self-righteous judgment" is an attitude that sets oneself up as morally superior to others
a. Speaking evil of another involves slander, backbiting, gossip, and abusive speech that maliciously discredits another based on unfair judgment.
B. Exhortation: The Believers Should Avoid Destructive Criticism
1. Reason #1: Because we are brethren in Christ, i.e. this would be unfamily-like behaviour
2. Reason #2: Because when we speak evil of our brethren we are judging the law itself.
a. The "law" here is not the Mosaic law with all its ordinances, but the moral law of God which commands love for God and for one's neighbor (James identifys it as the "perfect law, the law of liberty" [1:25] and the "royal law" [2:8]).
b. To speak evil of our brethren and to unjustly judge them is to violate the divine law of love (Lev.19:18; Deut. 6:5; Mark 12:30-31; Gal.5:14)
c. To speak evil of our brethren to set ourselves above the law of love, i.e., making ourselves superior to the law of love.
d. If we set ourselves above God's divine law of love, we are critics, not doers of the law of love.
1.) Note: The context of the command to love one's neighbor in Lev.19:18 has several related commands:
a.) You are to judge your neighbor fairly (v.15)
b.) You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people (v.16)
c.) You shall not hat your fellow-countrYman in your heart (v.17)
d.) You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people (v.18)
2.) Note: Grudging, slander, backbiting, and unfairness all violate the law of love!!
3. Reason #3: Because God Himself is the Lawgiver and Judge, i.e., one is attempting to take the place of God.
4. Reason #4: Because we are in no position to judge our brethren, i.e., we are in no better position than the one we are judging.
C. Application: Do we build one another up, or tear them down?
II. PRESUMPTUOUS OVERCONFIDENCE JAMES 4: 13-15
A. The False Assumption: Man Is In Control Of His Own Life.
1. False assumption #1: Setting an agenda without God--"Today or tomorrow"
a. Note: The Scriptures do not condemn wise business planning, but rather planning that leaves out God.
b. Note: It is good to have goals and objectives, but goals will disappoint us if we leave God out of them.
2. False assumption #2: Choosing a place without God--"we will go to such and such a city."
a. Note: There is noting wrong with having an itinerary which includes arrangements and appointments, even Paul had an itinerary.
b. Note: The problem is that many of us do not consider the fact that circumstances can change our itineraries
3. False assumption #3: Setting a time limit without God--we will "spend a year there."
4. False assumption #4: Planing goals without God--we will "buy and sell."
5. False assumption #5: Expecting success without God--we will "make a profit."
a. Some modern philosophies hold that profits are sinful and that capitalists are the worst kind of sinners.
b. However, the Bible does not condemn one for making a profit from his business, in fact, the parable of the talents in Matt.25:14-30 is a case in point.
c. What the Scripture condemn is an attitude of human self-sufficiency and indestructibility.
B. The Major Flaws To Self-sufficiency: No One Knows The Future
1. Flaw #1: No one knows what will happen tomorrow
2. Flaw #2: No one knows whether they will be alive tomorrow
C. The Proper Respect: Take God into account in future planning
1. Acknowledgement #1: If the Lord wills we will live tomorrow
2. Acknowledgement #2: If the Lord wills we will do this or that, i.e., carry out our plans.
D. Application: Overconfidence In Our Self-Sufficiency and Security causes conflict among brethren in Christ.
III. PRESUMPTUOUS BOASTING JAMES 4:16-17
A. Problem #1: Boasting in our self-sufficiency is evil
B. Problem #2: Arrogance prevents us from doing what we know is good.
1. Many attempt to avoid doing bad things, i.e., sins of conunission
2. However, man of us fail to do the right thing, i.e., sins of omission.
C. Application: A self-righteous, self-sufficiency, overconfident attitude not only causes conflict, but it hinders us from doing what we know is the right and good thing.