November 17th James 4
Holiness in the world
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.
Holiness in kind words
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?
Holiness in describing our future plans
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 the brethren. 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. Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you. He 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 judge 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 l will do this and that… James says, our lives are like a cloud of steam from our breath on a cold morning, which appears for a little while and then vanishes away. James brings thought after thought, often without an obvious connexion. Finally he states the principle that iIf you know what is good then you must do it and if you don’t do good then you are sinning.
- Why is it that brothers argue?
- What is the secret to victory over Satan?
- Why should men say If the Lord will, etc etc?