by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Study # 61 November 25, 1998 Harlingen, Texas
Thesis:The roots of intense conflict are to be found in the inner turmoil of the hedonistically committed.
Introduction:We have been studying in James for sixty studies. In those studies we have seen that James had a powerful burden to make it possible for believers to effectively combat temptation on every level so that they might be able to inherit well in the coming Kingdom. For all those who correctly see that eternity looms over time and has as much more significance than time as the universe has than this speck of dust upon which we live, this burden exists.
We have completed our consideration of two of the crucial areas where temptation exercises a significant pull: the appeal that wealth seems to have with its promise of security; and the appeal that position seems to have with its promise of significance.
This evening we are beginning our consideration of the third critical area: the appeal that pleasure seems to have with its promise of pain free ecstasy.
I. An Overview of Basic Personality Tendencies.
A. General tendencies in humanity.
1. Those whose major focus of sensitivity is in the area of insecurity have a profound fear of being inadequate to their situation.
2. Those whose major focus of sensitivity is in the area of insignificance have a profound fear of being rejected by those in their situation.
3. Those whose major focus of sensitivity is in the area of dissatisfaction have a profound fear of being subjected to physical pain by their circumstances.
B. Specific tendency of believers: to be pleasing the God.
II. The Interactive Conflicts That Arise When Believers Do Not Settle The Issue of Their Pursuit.
III. James' Focus Within the Context of His Principles for Dealing with Hedonism.
A. James SEEMS to put the greatest emphasis on SOURCE when dealing with hedonism.
1. He asks for the source of major and intense conflict.
2. He asks for the source of less significant and intense conflict.
B. James' basically argues that external conflict is the fruit of the root of internal conflict at the physical level.
1. James says the problem is in the body and its appetites for the experience of pleasure and the escape from pain.
a. This is, technically, in harmony with the virgin birth theology and its corollary in redemption only being final at the rapture.
b. There is something resident in the body that must be handled properly--not by asceticism or epicureanism, but by the Spirit of God.
2. He also claims that the problem is multifaceted in that there are multiple competitors.