Posted by: missionventureministries | May 18, 2015


James 4 vs 4

“Don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

The importance of the choice is clarified by the simplicity of the alternatives, and it becomes a matter of whether we want friendship with the world or friendship with God.

The expression “a man is known by the company he keeps” has been used in one form or another throughout the world. It is not only biblically based, but it is easily observable in everyday life. 

Proverbs tell us: “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” (13:20) and that friends shape friends like “iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17) 

James notes that the world’s friendship clashes with the truth and with the heart and mind of God, and that such a friendship is in rebellion against God’s plan for us to walk in unbroken fellowship with Him. Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:17) 

The apostle John gives the clear reason: “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1 John 2:16)

James writes with a strong conviction of the seriousness of sin than most of people are not willing to accept. Many people live lives of compromise, since they want to be Christians, they want to go to heaven, to have eternal life, but they also want to squeeze every drop of pleasure out of this life as well; even if God forbids it. James is as direct as you can be, saying, “…friendship with the world is hostility toward God…”

In fact he writes with a sense of moral outrage. The beginning of this verse starts out with “you adulterous people”. Therefore, we should accept James’s terms, learn from his acute sense of moral right and wrong, and apply it to ourselves in fear of the judgment that comes to anyone who is not a true Christian. Harboring bitter envy and selfish ambition, with actions of fighting and quarreling, makes us unfaithful people who are treating God with hatred and enmity. (James 4:1-4)

The point of James’s references to Scripture in 4:5 and 4:6 is to persuade his readers to choose God unreservedly instead of the world because God himself is jealous but He is also gracious toward those who humbly surrender their lives fully to Him. “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (James 4:6)

Are you a Christian? Does the Spirit dwell in you? If so, then you must submit yourself to the Lord’s will, and stop pursuing your own will. He knows what’s best for us, and if we are patient, then He will accomplish His perfect plan for our life. “Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.” (Psalm 37:3-5)

In summary, the person who chooses to live in sin and enters into a relationship with the world makes himself an enemy of God. The context makes clear what is involved in being a friend of the world. The basic issue is a life that centers on self. A selfish determination to satisfy our desires and cravings, to have things our way, identifies us as friends of the world.

We should note that it involves a deliberate choice on our part to become involved with the world. A person who decides to be friends with the world, rather than submit himself to God and His Word, is going to do what he wants; and is going to have it his way. That person does not know and does not want to know God, they only hunger for the praise of men and prefer the pleasures and lust of this world to the righteousness of Christ.

Remember, godly people will have godly friends and stay focused on the Lord. They will not be misled because they know that: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33) 

We will all stand before Christ whose eyes can search deep down into our souls – because “His eyes are like blazing fire…” (Revelation 19:12) 

Therefore, “the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: