Summary: A friend of the world may gain the whole world, but becomes an enemy of God and loses his own soul.
October 17 2001
Central Christian Church
October 17 2001
Central Christian Church
James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"?
James 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE."
James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
James 4:8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Physical adultery is one thing, it does irreparable damage to most marriages, I tried to teach the youth as I ministered to them, to keep themselves Holy and Pure because their bodies belonged to their future husbands or wives, even though they probably have not met them yet.
But James is talking here about even a worse adultery and that is Spiritual adultery.
You see Christians once we obey the Lord in full submission to His Baptism, we are added to His body the church. That is why James uses the feminine use adulteress her for the adulterer because we the church are the Bride of Christ.
He is coming one day to receive us and I believe "that day" is near. So we need to be ready and the BIG part of being ready is that when He finds us, He will find us spotless, pure, holy and without blemish.
If we are going to embrace the world with its sensuous pleasures and carnal appetites, than we put the satisfaction of our flesh ahead of our devotion and loyalty to Christ than we are Spiritual adulterers.
Now any adulterer physical or spiritual may repent and return to God and have a wholesome relationship with him once again. It is a continued practicing of sin any sin that makes a spiritual relationship with God impossible.
I have to tell you and I am not meddling, but this sin of loving the world more than loving Christ is so common with Christians that few seem to know the terrible adultery, in which they are involved.
Yet James is saying "you adulteresses don’t you know better than this."
Incidentally, this book written by James is to take the church to a higher level of maturity. He is giving them the requirements for a mature church-one that is preparing for perfection.
I don’t think we are violating the “one true meaning” principle of Bible study by saying that James intended this passage of Scripture to impact genuine believers and those who were simply playing church.
Theologians are virtually split down the middle on this issue. Through my own study, I think to take the higher ground is to say that James is writing to believers who run the risk of losing their faith, by neglecting it; who have deluded themselves about their spiritual condition.
Still we all know the very nature of sin is to deceive the sinner, so before too long he is unable to tell the difference between right and wrong. The church has become blinded by tolerance. Oh, we are told we must be tolerant. That is just the way the culture is, we lower our standards and we loose the opportunity to receive God’s best. Please understand that 21 0f the 27 NT books are written to Christians and they are filled with pleas by the authors to shun the embrace of the world and cling to Christ.
For us to become a friend of the world breaks the heart of our God, who sent His Son to die for the church. The ecclesia the ones called out of the world. In the world Yes! Of the world NO!
If we are in perpetual spiritual adultery we find ourselves tolerating more and more of the world. People eat, drink, get engaged, marry and die, like they have always done, not understanding that to be a friend to the world makes one an enemy of God.
That is why people in the world are an enemy to God, if they love God, truly love God they know they must end their friendship with the world, but they love the world more. Therefore their only option is to curse God and hate God.
Continued Spiritual adultery is not done accidentally, it is a life lived deliberately.
If we do this than all scripture is spoken in vain, because we cannot serve God and the Devil.
James asks his readers the question, “Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?” With his words, James expresses a sense of surprise. It’s as if he was shocked to learn that his readers were claiming not to know the truth he has already conveyed through three chapters, and the truth of which he is about to remind them. James asks the question in such a way as to remind his readers of truth they already knew. He’s not going to let them get away with playing dumb.