Study # 58
Thesis: Improper motivation at the teaching level destroys the impact of the material taught.
Introduction: Last week we looked into James' declaration that improperly motivated teaching was actually demonic in origin--regardless of the specific content of the thing taught. This is a hard truth to actually commit to because most of us want to analyze things at the "words" level--not the motivation level (especially since we cannot evaluate the motivation level very well, and are, in fact, forbidden to try to determine motives unless there are certain overt, clear factors in evidence). However, hard or not, James yet teaches that improperly motivated teaching is demonic.
This evening we are going to pursue this truth a bit further.
October 28, 1998
- I. Illustrations of James' Words.
- A. Mark 1:24-25 and 3:11-12.
- 1. The words of the demons were true in CONtent.
- 2. The intentions of the demons were deceptive in INtent.
- 3. Jesus was adamant that the demons be silent.
- 4. Yet, MARK used the demons' words for good.
- B. The modern fact: an author writing a book on how to get your spiritual life back on track WHILE involved in an adulterous affair.
- 1. The adultery is an overt factor that declares the lack of the fellowship of the Spirit; thus the absence of proper motivation.
- 2. The question of motive arises: there are only four reasons for any of our actions and the adultery rules out one of them.
- 3. CAN God use the book? Sure He can, but it is STILL of demonic origin.
- C. The safety is in the objective Truth and the distance and ignorance of the reader from the writer. The danger is in the personal influence (1 Corinthians 15:33--the word "communications=close fellowship).
- II. The Specifics of James' Claim.
- A. The presence of motives...
- 1. Jealousy.
- 2. Personal ambition.
- B. The inevitable impact...
- 1. Confusion and disorder...
- 2. Worthless results...