Things to Avoid
1What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is the source not your pleasures that wage war in your body’s parts?
1From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
Does Christianity work? Many claim that Christianity is outdated and has no message for the modern world. They argue that if people would simply use their reason, then all the wars and conflicts would end, and there would be true peace. What is wrong with this solution to suffering? In this sermon on James 4:1 titled “From Whence Come Wars,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims that only the message of Christianity can bring peace, because only the message of Christianity deals with humanity’s most fundamental problem: sin. No one can save themselves through reason because they place reason as king, and yet it is often irrational. The best secular thinkers are unable to use their reason to live rightly; how then can all of humankind use reason to fix the world? The message of Christianity is hopeful because it calls for trust in Christ and not reason. Jesus died, not because all are irrational, but because all are sinners. They are irrational because all humans are born in sin, and it is this sin that blinds them all. This sermon offers the only message of hope, that Jesus has died for all who believe. God is gracious and forgiving to all who seek Him and repent of their sins.
The sermon begins by introducing the verse from James 4:1 which asks the question "From whence come wars and fightings among you?". This verse frames the topic of discussion for the sermon which is why there are troubles and conflicts in the world.
The preacher then outlines that there are two views on this question - the non-biblical view and the biblical view. He spends the majority of the sermon contrasting these two views.
The non-biblical view believes that man is essentially good and the problems of the world can be solved by appealing to man's reason. However, the preacher argues this view is too superficial, ignores history, and contains contradictions. Man cannot solve the problems of the world through reason alone.
The biblical view recognizes that the problems of the world stem from man's sin and rebellion against God. Man is not essentially good but is selfish, lustful, and desires to be his own God. The world is under the influence of evil powers like Satan that manipulate man.
The only solution is for man to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Only through Christ can man be delivered from the wrath of God, the power of sin, and the devil. Christ defeated these enemies at the cross and will defeat them once and for all when He returns.
The preacher concludes by pleading with the listener to believe this message and submit to God so they can have peace in their life. This is the only way to overcome the troubles of the world both internally and externally.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.