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Warning Against Worldliness

John Collins09/30/2012

James 4 gives a warning against worldliness, and what James considers worldliness is not what we might think.

"Why are you all fighting among yourselves?" James asked.  James said that we argued and fought with one anther because of our own passions.  Our minds were dwelling on things of this earth rather than things of God, and they were very passionate to us.  This, James said, was friendship with the world: worldliness.

James said that we covet, and therefore we quarrel and fight.  We long for what someone else has!  If we truly had Christ in our lives, we would have no need for bickering!  James said the reason that we do not have is because we do not ask.  Because we do not ask, we do not receive.  What we ask for, we ask incorrectly and then spend it on our passions.

James said that anyone consumed by passions and placing themselves in a state of arguing and fighting had made themselves an enemy of God.  James called those who did this an "adulterous people!"

He asked, "Do you think that the scripture says to yearn jealously over the Spirit?"  Absolutely not.  James said instead, God gives us more Grace.  That is the reason, according to James, that the scriptures say God opposes the proud but gives Grace to the humble.

James told the people who to avoid falling into this trap:  submit yourselves to God.  Resist satan, and he will flee from you.  Draw closer to God!  He will draw closer to you!  Wash your hands of this evil and purify your hearts to God!  Do not be double-minded!  

Those that are proud, according to James, should make themselves wretched and mourning.  Turn their laughter into sorrow and humble themselves.  After this, God will exalt them!

Finally, James said not to speak evil against another.  The one who speaks evil against a brother or judges him is doing so by the Law.  He is judging another by the Law.  If someone judges by the Law, they are not a doer of the Law!  

There is only One Lawgiver and one Judge.  He is able to both save and destroy.  "Who are you?" James asked, "to judge your neighbor?"

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Are we an enemy of God?  Have we became so full of pride that we turn towards argument?  Do we argue because we are jealous of the Holy Spirit in others that we do not have?  Are we an adulterous people?