Summary: The right thing to do is to be obedient and faithful to God.

It’s The Right Thing To Do

James 4:11-17

How many kinds of people are there in the world? To us, there are many—we try to classify them according to nationality, race, religion, gender, and even economics. However, to God there are only two: the lost sinner and the saved sinner. The lost sinner has never been clothed with the grace of God through faith in His Son. The saved sinners have been clothed in the righteousness of Jesus, and when God looks upon them, He sees them eternally washed in the blood of Jesus. Yet, these saved sinners still struggle with a life of sin because they still live in a fleshly body that has yet to be glorified. Let’s see how James portrays these struggling, saved sinners and if we are numbered in this group.

First, we find Mr. or Mrs. I’m Better Than You Christian. vv. 11-12

A. This person speaks against a brother or sister in Christ—what’s wrong with this? Aren’t we supposed to judge the fruit that we see?

B. Some Christians have developed such a sense of conceit, that the moment they consider others, they automatically begin to judge them because they don’t meet their standards.

C. James says that there is only one true Standard—the Law—which “Law” is James speaking of—the Law which Jesus summarized—Love the Lord God-

D. God is the only Lawgiver and Judge and when we judge others, we are considering ourselves to be God—the only one worthy of judging in the first place.

E. Mr. I’m Better Than You Christian has a big problem with pride—which is what James is dealing with throughout this chapter. What is pride? Pride is simply, “I’m Better Than.”

Second, we find Mr. or Mrs. I Know It All Christian. vv. 13-16

A. This person thinks he or she knows everything, therefore, they have a total disregard for everything.

B. They disregard God

a. They disregard God over the things of this world—vv. 1-10

b. They disregard God’s commands by judging one another.

c. They disregard God’s providence acting as if they were in control of their own future.

C. Can anyone actually know it all? Do you know what tomorrow holds for your life?

D. Sometimes we can get lulled into thinking that we are in control—that’s exactly what the devil wants us to think. We don’t control anything.

E. James said our life is like a vapor that quickly vanishes—therefore we should make the most of the opportunities we have today.

F. James isn’t telling us to not make plans just because we don’t know what tomorrow holds. What he means is that we cannot leave God out. He is in control and if we acknowledge this fact, then our plans for the future may succeed.

Third, we find Mr. or Mrs. I Should Have Done That Christian.

A. James said that the one who knows the right thing to do and does it not sins.

B. What is the right thing to do, in James’ opinion?

a. To not quarrel among yourselves—v. 1

b. To be friends with the world—v. 4

c. Submit to God—v. 7

d. Resist the devil—v. 7

e. Draw near to God—v. 8

f. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord—v. 10

g. Don’t judge others—v. 11

h. Don’t disregard God—v. 14

i. Don’t boast in your arrogance—v. 16

j. Do the Right thing—v. 17—Keep God’s true law.

When the Eastern Empire Emperors were crowned in Constantinople in the ancient past, the custom was for the royal mason to set before his majesty a certain number of marble slabs. The new emperor was to choose one of these for his tombstone. This made the new emperor realize that he would do well at his coronation to remember his funeral. Remember, as struggling sinners saved by God’s grace, we too would do well to remember our funerals. It will help us make the most of our time today.

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