“Real Authentic Faith"

[Week 7]

James 4:1-12

Verse of the Week

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” 

[James 4:7 NIV]

The Big Idea

In chapter 3, James introduced the idea of how our inner lives effect the words we speak. In Chapter 4, this idea is further explored, by addressing how our inner lives effect our relationships with God and others.

The Problem of Pride (vs. 1-3)

A prideful heart cannot submit to God. This is the principle that James is exploring in verses one through three. When the evil desires that live inside of us come out, we experience fights and quarrels among each other. Our desire to have what is not rightfully ours leads us to covet, quarrel, fight and kill. It is our sin nature that drives these actions. 

 

God will have none of it. We may ask god to supply us with our wants, but answering ‘YES!’ to these prayers would only lead us further away from Him. And as we will see, God‘s greatest desire for us is to draw near to him

Discussion Questions:

  1. You may not be guilty of physically murdering anyone, but how do Jesus words in Matthew 5:21-22 relate to verse 2?
     

  2. How can we have right motives before God, and therefore pray prayers that God answers ‘YES!’ to?

 

Ordering the Inner Life (vs. 4-6)

Few of us would be guilty of actively sinning for the purpose of hurting God. Yet we hurt him and our relationship with him when we become friends with the world. Simply because, if we are trying to be friendly with the world, we will have to do and embody things that are against his nature and what He’s called us to become.

 

Jesus longs to be in a relationship with us, because he loves us. He hates our pride because our pride is the primary barrier to this relationship with him. This is why God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Discussion Questions:

  1. In what areas of your life do you see pride at work? How do we move from a place of pride to a place of humility?

Embodying Humility (vs. 7-12)

Embodying humility begins with Submission to God. It begins with a deep understanding that He is God, and we are not. When we begin recognizing and living this principle out, we will have the desire to resist the devil, who seeks to move us into disorder and chaos. From there, after taking an honest inventory of our lives, we will find ourselves in a place of repentance.

Discussion Questions:

  1. After reading vs 7-12, how would you describe a proper response to sin?
     

  2. Vs 11-12 emphasize not judging. How does this principle relate to humility?

Question Bank
 

  1. How has your week been spiritually?
     

  2. What is God teaching you through this passage?
     

  3. What’s your next step in your relationship with God? How will you turn this next step into action this week?

Call to Action

  • Share your next step with 1 person inside or outside of group and invite them to hold you accountable.
     

  • Talk about Group with at least 1 person.