James 4:13-5, 20

by | Aug 30, 2023 | James, New Testament

I. Presumption & Materialism

A. What Presumption Looks Like 4:13

1. The implication is that no prayer or seeking of God takes place in this person’s life.
2. The lives of some Christians are all about presumptive desire and carnal planning.
3. Their self-assurance is boasting arrogance & presumptive. Life has lots of moving parts
4. Their plans are all about what they will accomplish for their own benefit.

B. The Cure For Presumption 4:14-17

1. They forget about the brevity of life. Fragile & temporary, like a vapor. Luke 12:16-21
2. They forget about the Lordship and will of Jesus over their lives. Heb. 12:5-11
3. V. 17 This points back to being hearers but not doers of God’s word.

a. This exhortation refers to the entire book of James, and to all of God’s word.
b. To know to do good & not do it, is sin. Sins of omission are still sins. 1 Cor. 9:24-27.

C. Materialism 5:1-6

1. James’ rebuke of these wealthy Christians isn’t because of their wealth, but because of how they allowed wealth to corrupt their hearts.
2. Vs. 1-3 These carnal Christians are told to weep and howl because of a coming sadness

a. I don’t believe that these are Christians who lose or reject their salvation.
b. I do believe that their coming sorrow will be the sad realization of how they allowed materialism to corrupt their hearts.
c. All the material gains they valued upon the Earth will become nothing in Heaven.
d. When these Christians die, they will look back on their lives and grieve over their misuse of money and possessions, and over their love of materialism.
e. Matthew 6:19-21 19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
f. 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

3. The future weeping of these Believers will also be due to their mistreatment of laborers.

a. V. 4 They defrauded workers of their wages.
b. V. 5 They lived luxuriously and fattened themselves for sorrow as an animal is fatted for the slaughter. The more they abused their workers, the more future regret.
c. V. 6 Condemned/murdered (literally or metaphorically) those who could not resist.
d. V. 4 Lord of Sabaoth- The Lord of Hosts, the Lord of the Armies.
The term was used to bring a holy fear into the hearts of the readers.

II. True Christian Living

A. Patience

1. Vs. 7, 8 Those being treated wrongly needed to be patient.

a. A physical harvest comes after much effort and after a long period of time.
b. The farmer sees nothing happening for a long time, but believes the harvest will come
c. The same is true for the spiritual harvest.

2. David Guzik-When we think about it, the waiting and need for endurance we have in the Christian life is very much like the waiting of the farmer.
· He waits with a reasonable hope and expectation of reward.
· He waits a long time.
· He waits, working all the while.
· He waits depending on things out of his own power; with his eye on the heavens.
· He waits despite changing circumstances and many uncertainties.
· He waits encouraged by the value of the harvest.
· He waits encouraged by the work and harvest of others.
· He waits because he really has no other option.
· He waits because it does no good to give up.
· He waits, aware of how the seasons work.
· He waits because as time goes on, it becomes more important and not less, to do so.
3. V. 9 Being mistreated provokes us to grumbling. It will be noted at the Bema Seat.
4. V. 10 The prophets in the Old Testament were often mistreated as they served God.
5. V. 11 Job is another example of a godly man suffering. He was more godly at the end.
6. V. 12 In all of the hardships that we go through, let us speak simply & keep our word

B. Prayer/Body Ministry Vs. 13-20

1. V. 13 We should be people who both pray and praise.
2. V. 14 Church members are to inform the church leaders about their need for prayer.

a. The use of oil was/is medicinal and representative of the Holy Spirit.
b. Anointing of Holy Spirit seen in 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22.

3.   V. 15 James speaks of both physical and spiritual healing that can take place thru prayer
4.` V. 16 Confession of sins to one another can be very healing, both physically & spiritually.

a. Public sins can be confessed more openly, as they are already publicly known.
b. Private sins ought to be confessed privately and with more discretion.
c. Public knowledge of some people’s sins would not bring healing, but more damage.

5. V. 16b Fervent prayer is how we ought always to pray. Energeo- active, put forth effort
6. Vs. 17, 18 Elijah’s prayers change the weather patterns in Israel. He was a righteous man
7. Vs.19, 20 Sometimes Christians wander from the truth.

a. Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.
b. It isn’t exciting, but vitally important for a ship captain to regularly check direction.
c. So much of what James has written was designed to turn Christians back to truth.

8. These are topics that James addressed, to turn us back to truth.

a. 1:2-8 To not be double minded in going through trials, but to consider trials with joy.
b. 1:21 To lay aside filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive the word
c. 1:22 Be doers of the Word, and not just hearers.
d. 2:1-9 To not show partiality among Believers.
e. 2:14-26 To not believe that it’s acceptable to have faith without works.
f. 3:1-12 The importance of controlling the tongue.
g. 3:13-16 To not have earthly, sensual, demonic wisdom.
h. 3:17, 17 To have wisdom that is peaceable, pure, and willing to yield.
i. 4:6 To remember that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
j. 4:7, 8 To resist the devil, but to draw near to God.
k. 4:13-17 To not be presumptuous about the future.
l. 5:1-3 To not be materialistic.
m. 5:4-6 To not mistreat other believers because of greed.
n. 5:7-18 To be patient, to pray, and to praise.