Copyright © T. E. Killian -- Christian Author

FOLLOW US:

Greek Paraphrase 

 

What causes the wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from your lusts for pleasure that are at war within you? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and are not able to obtain. You fight and war, yet you do not have because you do not ask.

                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                                                      James 4:1-3

James The Easy Study Bible Commentary

Diagramed


1 Where do wars and fighting come from among you?
       Do they come from your pleasures
            that war in your members?
2 You desire
       and do not have.
You kill and covet,
       and are not able to obtain.
You fight and war
       yet you have not
            because you do not ask.
3 You ask and do not receive,
       because you ask improperly,
            that you may spend it on your pleasures.
                         

                                                                                                                                  James 4:1-3

The Easy Study Bible Diagramed

​​James


                                                     Chapter Four


In this chapter we are told to think about four things:

1. James lists some different causes of disagreement among God’s people. He stresses to us that we should be on the watch for these.

2. James strongly stresses that we have to keep from being friends with the world. Then he says that instead, we should submit and subject ourselves totally to God.

3. He says that it is a sin to talk bad about others and to judge them. We are to strictly avoid doing that.

4. We must be very careful to include God in all plans that we make whether they are big or small.

Words to study


wars – a war, dispute, strife, quarrel

fighting –
to fight, combat, quarrel, battle

come from –
a place of origin, a cause

pleasures –pleasure, desires for pleasure, delight, strong desire, lust​

members –
a part of the human body​

**********


desire –
to desire, lust after, covet, crave

have –
to have, to hold


covet –
to burn with zeal, hatred, anger, to desire, pursue, fervently desire​

fight –
to fight

war –
to war, fight


ask –
to ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require​

*********

receive – to take, claim


because –
on this account that, because, for

ask –
to ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require

improperly –
improperly, wrongly​

spend –
to incur expense, spend, waste, squander, consume


​​
Notes:


Verse 1

​ In this passage, James is simply attacking our desires to have what we should not have. He says that God only gives grace to those who don’t do this. 


James loves to ask questions then turn right around to give long answers, sometimes with illustrations. This time he gives a partial answer in the form of another question. He wants us to think about it.

This is an age old question though. Where do “wars and fighting come from?” We are always wanting our pleasures to be met and we don’t consider the other person’s needs. When those needs ultimately clash, then fighting results.


This concept holds true on an international level as well, resulting in real wars.


Verse 2

The first "have" in this verse is referring to having more of something and keeping it. The second "have" is referring to totally possessing something. To desire or lust after something is not as strong as to covet it. That implies that you’d do almost anything to get it.

One of the keys to understanding James is right here. We whine and cry about not having what we need but it’s only because we simply did not ask God for it the right way.

James is calling to mind a whiney complaining child who wants to get his way. When all he had to do in the first place was to simply ask for it instead of demanding it.

Matthew 7:7-8, Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep seeking, and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.


Verse 3
But, just asking for it isn’t enough. We have to ask the right way.

When we finally get around to asking, most of the time, we don’t ask properly because it turns out to be something we really didn’t need after all.

James is talking about prayer here. Therefore, all the things we know about prayer apply here. We need to ask in the spirit for God’s will, and in Jesus’ name.

James calls for repentance and humility before God. We are to submit to God. We must submit as a small child submits to his parents. We must be like little children, which we are!

​​

                                                  

​​                                                                                        James The Easy Study Bible Commentary

Verse for October 28

 
1 Where do wars and fighting come from among you? Do they come from your pleasures that war in your members? 2 You desire and do not have. You kill and covet, and are not able to obtain. You fight and war yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask improperly, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

                                                                                                                                        
James 4:1-3

The Easy Study Bible