1: From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2: Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3: Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. 4: Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 5: Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 6: But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7: Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8: Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9: Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10: Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. 11: Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. 12: There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? 13: Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 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. 15: For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. 16: But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. 17: Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
James discusses the arguments that occur between his brethren the Jews. He says were go these wars and fights come from? Well they come from lust and unholy desires. He accuses the brethren with adultery. He tells them to submit themselves to God and Satan will flee from them. This is a very remarkable statement. He is saying that those who live in a state of submission to God and his direction will find that Satan will be unable to tempt them and will leave them alone. Then he says, draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you. (Under law man must make the first move) James pleads for personal holiness. James is speaking to his brethren who live under the Mosaic Law. He says, that he who speaks evil of his brother is clearly breaking the Law of God. He says, who are you to condemn a brother? James then comments on those who are presumptuous regarding the future. They say, tomorrow I’m going to do this and that. However, they do not know what tomorrow will bring. They should say, If God will - I will do this and that. James says our lives are like the steam which comes out of the kettle; it appears for a little while and then vanishes away. James says do not rejoice in your proud ambitions, because all such boastings is evil in Gods sight. Finally he states the principle, If you know what is good, then you must do it and if you don’t do good, then you are sinning.