What Does James 4:1 Mean?

What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?

James 4:1(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Having just delivered an important paragraph about the qualities of being of a peacemaker.. where sowing in peace is the key to raising a harvest of righteousness, James dives headlong, into a stinging treaties on the detrimental effects of fights, quarrels, lust, hate, envy and pride, within the body of Christ.

The wise man is the one that pursues peace, and speaks the truth in love, while the tragedy of those who wallow in interpersonal war and chase after conflict, have their roots in sin and self.

Then, as now, the general defence of an argumentative person, is to point to other people, as being the cause of any inter-Christian fighting, quarrels, criticism, anger, jealousies and pride.. instead of recognising that one's own, egocentric self, is too often the main culprit, for such controversies and division.

James is not shy in identifying the real root of such problems and strife.. and asks the rhetorical question: What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? He then pointedly delivers the correct answer, in a follow-up question: Is it not the source your pleasures, that wages war in your members?

The sad truth is.. that within the body of Christ, now as then, the source of such sinful pursuits is self. Too often it is one's own inner lusting.. after personal pleasures; possessions; power and a pharisaical hypocrisy, which is the underlying root of such conflicts.

This is a tough truth to assimilate.. and this passage is sometimes assigned to the unsaved.. rather than to believers. But the bitter truth.. is that Christians can often be worse offenders, than the ungodly, pagan' majorities.. when it comes to fights, accusation, criticisms, envy and pride.

In Roman 7, Paul also identifies the real source for the quarrels and conflicts among the people of God. It is the old, sinful self, that lusts against the new-man-in-Christ.. and it is the new, born-again sprit that lusts against the sinful flesh, which wages war in the members of our body.

The carnal cravings of the flesh always conflict with the spiritual desires of the new-man-in-Christ. And the fleshly drive for prestige.. and a carnal desire for pleasure, is an ongoing battle between the flesh and the spirit - between the old-sin-nature and the new-life-in-Christ - between our former 'Old Man,' and our new position, as a member of the Body of Christ

But praise be to God, that when we recognise that the good we want to do in the spirit, is opposed by the evil that we want to carry out in the lusts of the flesh, we have an answer!! - Jesus Christ is the one who can separate us from this body of sin and death.. and its suffocating power over us. He not only paid-the-penalty for our sin but broke-the-power of sin in our lives - and has promised that His grace is sufficient, for all the battles that we may have to face, in this body of flesh.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You that 'in-Christ' I have the sufficient grace and power, through Him.. to overcome the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Thank You that Your grace is sufficient for all my needs - for my sufficiency is in Christ alone, Thank You in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

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