Outline and Audio Sermons:
Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

How To Use This Outline


Practical Christianity

The Terrible Sin Of Humanism

James 4.13-17

More Resources On Contemporary Issues


[In this text James gives a warning to avoid the error of humanism. The whole philosophy of humanism is the boast that man is the ultimate being in control of his life and fate.] 

[Psalms 14:1 1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. ]

[Yet, there may be a bigger fool than this, which is the man who says there is a God but then doesn't live like he believes what he has said.] 

[James is telling us about a first century Christian who is a wheeler and dealer.  This business man closely resembles many Christians found in our day.  They acknowledge God, they say there is a God, but in their business and life there is no evidence of any consideration of God or of the authoritative truth’s presented within God’s unchanging Word.] 

Notice Three Things In This Scripture About Humanism: 

A.     The Audacity Of Humanism (vs 13) [- Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:  - There is an attitude we should never take - An attitude of self-sufficiency.  The definition of humanism is found in verse 13; in verse 13 we discover,] The Plans He Made: 

1.      He Constructed his plan (vs 13) [- Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow . . .  - He assumed he had the time he wanted to do what he wanted.]

2.      He Chose his place (vs 13) [- Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, . . . - He decided where he wanted to go.] 

3.      He Charted his progress (vs 13) [- Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, . . . - He decided how long it would last.] 

4.      He Calculated his profits (vs 13) [- Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:  - He would get gain. ]  

[Notice that this man is not interested in heavenly treasure, he is seeking earthly profits."] 

[There is nothing wrong with good business, planning, and making a profit.  The problem is with the spirit behind his plans.] 

[It is important to notice that this man never bothered to ask God about anything."] 

B.     The Authority In Humanism (vs 13,15) [– 13 Go to now, ye that say, . . . ; 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, . . .” -  Throughout history Satan has used the pride and presumption of humanity to lead them into rebellion against Almighty God.  Humanism pivots upon misplaced authority.  Authority deals with control or who is in control.  Our individualism and our wicked hearts want to believe that we are in control of our live.]  Humanisms Authority is, 

1.      Personal (Gen 3.1-6; James 4.7; Romans 6.16-18) [– In humanism each person desires to be their own authority.   Humanism contains the idea that no one will tell you what you should do.  The declaration of the humanist is,  “I make my own choices” or “No one is going to tell me what to do.”  Never mistake your free will or freedom of choice with individual authority.] 

[Satan deceived Eve with misplaced authority.  The Bible reveals,] 

[Genesis 3:1-6 1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. ]

[In humanism the authority of God is replaced by the authority of the individual.  You become the only real authority for your life.  The failure to submit to God and the authorities that He has placed in your life is a mark of humanism and is prevalent in our society today.  For this reason the Bible teaches,] 

[James 4:7 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. ]

[Romans 6:16-18 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.]

[Christian, ask yourself, are you willingly submitting and yielding to the authority of God and the authorities He has placed in your life.  Or are you Humanistically choosing to be your own authority and your own God.]

2.      Presumptuous (vs 14-15; 1 Sam 20.3; 1 Chronicles 29.15; Job 7.6; Psalm 39.5; 102.3,11) [– A humanist may not call himself an atheist, but he is a practical atheist.  The humanist never really asks God about his plans in life.  He just purposes and plans what he wants to do and that is what he does.  A humanist just leaves God out of all of his plans.] 

[Notice what James writes,] 

[James 4:15 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. ]

[When you planned your life’s occupation, did you seek God’s direction in your plans?] 

[Many go to Church, they claim to know and love God, but when they are making important decisions about their life and future, they make all the plans themselves and they do not include God in their plans.] 

[Notice the Presumptions made by this humanist,] 

a.       [He presumed to know the Uncertainty of life (vs 14) - Whereas ye know not what . . . – This humanist presumes to know about the events of tomorrow.  This humanist speaks as though he knows what will happen tomorrow.  He speaks of the city he will go to and the profits he will make.] 

b.      [He presumed to know the Complexity of life (vs 14) - Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow . . . – How can this person make such definite plans as if nothing unexpected could happen.  The complexities of life are many and manifold.  Sickness may enter in the picture.  Disasters might strike.  Disputes may arise.  There are multitudes of complexities in life that are out of any individual’s control.  So why do people consistently imagine that somehow they are in control of their life and plans.] 

c.       [He presumed about the Brevity of life (vs 14) -  Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  - Your life is like a vapor.  It hangs by a fragile thread. It is but a puff of smoke. It is like a breath on a frosty day.  There is but a heartbeat between you and eternity.] 

[Every year over 2,420,000 Americans will die.[1]  That’s 4.6 people every minute.] 

[Some might say, “when I was in that accident I was closer to death than I have ever been before.”  No, you were closer to recovery.  You are closer to death right now, than you have ever been before."] 

[It was David, in the Bible, who said,] 

[1 Samuel 20:3 3 . . .  but truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death. ]

[Worldwide 154,889 souls a day step into eternity.[2]  That’s 107.6 every minute (1 Chron 29.15; Job 7.6; Psalm 39.5; 102.3,11).] 

[We ought to say with the Bible,] 

[1 Chronicles 29:15 15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding. ]

[Job 7:6 6 My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope. ]

[Psalms 39:5 5 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. ]

[Psalms 102:3 3 For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth.]

[Psalms 102:11 11 My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass. ]

[Is there something you need to do before you die?  Do it now!]

d.      [He presumed about the Authority of life (vs 5) - For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. -  Don’t be an humanist, get the right authority in your life.  Submit and yield to God daily in everyway.] 

"Live as though this is the last day you may have." 

C.     The Autograph Of Humanism (vs 17; Matt 12.30) [- Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. - There is an activity you should never forsake in your life as a Christian.  You should always do what you know is right, rather than what you think is profitable.  A humanist does what he wants rather than what he ought, and then he justifies it in his mind.] 

[Your actions and activities in life revolve around the true authority of your life.  If God is your true authority then you will always do what is right in the sight of God. However, if you are the authority in your life, then your have become an humanist, and you will do what you feel is right even if you know that it is wrong in the sight of God.] 

There are three types of sin in our lives: 

1.      The sins of Commission [- These are the sins we do.] 

2.      The sins of Omission  [- You can also sin by knowing what you ought to do, and not doing it.] 

3.      The sin of Humanism [- This is when you follow the example of Eve and make yourself into a God.  In humanism you leave God out of your life.] 

[John 3:18 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. ]

[You can be down and out, but you can also be up and out.]

["What must you do to be lost? Nothing."] 

[Jesus said,] 

[Matthew 12:30 30 He that is not with me is against me; . . . ]

[Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?] 

[Have you surrendered to Jesus Christ in every respect?]



[2]July 2006



 Home Page  -  Accept Jesus Now! -  Email