Where do wars and fights comef rom among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. James 4.1, 2
1 Clement 4
Clement of Rome (fl. ca. 90-100 AD)
[He relates the account of Cain and Abel.] “Ye see, brethren, how envy and jealousy led to the murder of a brother. Through envy, also, our father Jacob fled from the face of Esau his brother. Envy made Joseph be persecuted unto death, and to come into bondage. Envy compelled Moses to flee from the face of Pharaoh king of Egypt…On account of envy, Aaron and Miriam had to make their abode without the camp. Envy brought down Dathan and Abiram alive to Hades, through the sedition which they excited against God’s servant Moses. Through envy, David underwent the hatred not only of foreigners, but was also persecuted by Saul king of Israel.”
Clement’s methodology is instructive. He cited numerous examples of the ways envy and jealousy – which are covetousness – have wrought havoc in the people of God in times past. He wanted to help the leaders of the Church in Corinth, and he recognized he would only be able to do so if his counsel and instruction were firmly and broadly anchored in the Word of God. It may be painful to take people to the Word of God, there to see their sins writ large. But the Word that cuts open their souls can cauterize the wound with mercy and grace to help. We must be bold to wield that Word.
Can we expect to be effective in serving others if we and our leaders are not well-grounded in the Scriptures? What might be some indicators that the sin of covetousness was beginning to assert itself in your congregation? In your own soul?
Introduction to Christian Worldview
We’re pleased to offer our course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, at The Ailbe Seminary. There’s no charge, and all the course materials are free. In 12 diagrams you will gain a perspective and overall grasp of the 1 worldview that can change the world. Click here to register.
Personal Discipleship Inventory
You can have a look at the state of your own Christian worldview by watching this brief video and working through the free download, Personal Discipleship Inventory (click here).
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.