Student at Bethlehem College and Seminary. DCP, Class of 2021.
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Quarrels: Their Cause, Root, and Cure
James 4:1-10
Worldly passions are the cause for divisive quarrels amongst Christians.
Published March 17th, 2021
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Quarrels: Their Cause, Root, and Cure
Quarrels: Their Cause, Root, and Cure
James 4:1-10
The Cause of Quarrels
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you ?
Rhetorical Question/Circumstance
Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you ?
Rhetorical Question #2/Answer to 1a
You desire and do not have,
Evidence of 1b Cause of 2b
so you murder.
Result of 2a
You covet and cannot obtain,
Restatement of 2a
so you fight and quarrel.
Restatement of 2b
You do not have,
because you do not ask.
Reason for 2e
You ask and do not receive,
because you ask wrongly,
Reason for 3a
to spend it on your passions.
Explanation of 3b
The Root of Quarrels
You adulterous people!
Exclamatory Assertion (Cause of 1b)
Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God ?
Rhetorical Question, Assertion #2
Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Logical Inference from 4b
Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us” ?
Logical Inference from 4b
The Cure for Quarrels
But he gives more grace.
Soft Contrast to 4a
Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Inference from 6a
Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Inference from 6b
Resist the devil,
Manner of 7a
and he will flee from you.
Promise to 7b
Draw near to God,
Manner of 7a
and he will draw near to you.
Promise to 8a
Cleanse your hands,
Manner of 7a
you sinners,
Direct address
and purify your hearts,
Manner of 7a
you double- minded.
Direct Address
Be wretched and mourn and weep.
Manner of 7a
Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Manner of 7a
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
Restatement/Expansion of 6b
2 Chron 21:11, 13; Jer 2:20; 3:1, 6, 8, 9; Ezek 16:26-29; Hos 1:2; 4:15; 9:1
"Friendship with the word" — 1 Jn 2:15–17
How could he be talking about believers? These sound like unbelievers. Do we know? Macarthur understands James to be talking about unbelievers and is a call to conversion (v 6–10). But I understand it as a call to deeper repentance. Why? 1. He's addressing all believers (James 1:1; 4:1) 2. He says that the the Scripture says that God "yearns jealously over the Spirit that he has made to dwell in us" I take it to mean the Holy Spirit that has sealed his people whom we can grieve (Eph 4:30)
Matthew 5:21–26; 1 John 3:15
Prov 3:34 (LXX)
James 4:4b
Ps 24:3–4
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.