Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: Nothing tests our understanding of, and commitment to the gospel more than living with broken and sinful people (like us) on a broken and sin-cursed world (like ours). It’s fair to say that it’s in our relationships, perhaps, more than any other area, that what we truly believe comes out. But how do we make sense of all the conflict we experience? And what, if anything, can we do about it?
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. What does James mean when he says that our passions are at war within us (verse 1)? Where do ungodly desires come from?
2. How desperate would you say you are in your prayers? What does it mean to ask God for something “wrongly” (verse 3)?
3. What does “friendship with the world” (verse 4) look like in everyday life? How does that put a person “at enmity with God”?
4. How is intentionally engaging unbelievers different than pursuing friendship with the world?
5. In what specific ways have you seen God’s grace at work in your life this week, particularly in your relationships?
1. 01. The problem is not out there; it’s in here.
2. “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” – Galatians 5:17
3. “In one sense life doesn’t begin to get complicated until one becomes a Christian. When we are born of the Spirit, we are born anew into a fierce struggle between the old man and the new man.” – RC Sproul
4. 02. The issue is not unmet needs but unsatisfied (and often sinful) desires.
5. “Some popular conceptions of grace cannot comprehend any role for conditionality other than legalism. But if God meant these teachings to help us live radical lives of Christian love, is it any wonder that we so often fall short?” – John Piper
6. 03. Help cannot come from within; it must come from outside of us.