The salutation of James reads: "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting." This is a disputed text, of course, with almost as many renditions of it as there are translators and commentators, the first sentence usually being presented as a formula for introducing a Scriptural quotation. 1952. James 4 - NIV: What causes fights and quarrels among you? Salvation "by grace" does not abolish law as a principle, though it did abolish salvation by "Moses' law." All rights reserved. Therefore whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Paul spoke of "fightings within and fears without." James 4:4 4 a You adulterous people! In the temporal world a person who commits unlawful intimacy is guilty of immorality. F40 It is this perfect consonance of James with everything else in the New Testament that goes far to establish the interpretation of this chapter as given here, especially with reference to James 4:7-10. "Spiritual adultery" is the unfaithfulness of the church, which is the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Romans 7:1-6; Revelation 21:2; 22:17). "an enemy of God"-one who is hateful towards God, one of God"s adversaries. There cannot be a passive condition to the faith of Christ: “he that is not with Me is against Me” (Matthew 12:30). "friendship with the world is hostility toward God? "E.W. F18 It should be added that punctuation is all of men and not of God. James 2:20-26 We are justified, as Abraham and Rahab were, by. 102-117. F9 The Bible reveals exactly whose prayers are answered. The mourning mentioned both by Jesus and James is that godly sorrow which produces repentance, and without which salvation is not promised (Luke 13:3,5). This Seems Impossible. 229-232. ... James 4:4 … (Deo volente); but this extensive usage has been discouraged and diminished to the point of its being seldom heard or seen any more. The frustration and misery of the selfish, pleasure-craving soul are eloquently portrayed in this verse. F14 The proof that this does not introduce a quotation from the Bible is that no quotation is given, a problem which has perplexed the commentators extensively. James 4:4. I start envying people in the world, I start thinking that true happiness is found in the world, I start convincing myself that people in the world are much happier than Christians, and so on. Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4) So begins a new paragraph which extends through 4:10. It refers to that strong desire which often exists, even among professing Christians, to secure the friendship of the world; to copy its fashions and vanities; to enjoy its pleasures; and to share its pastimes and its friendships. (4) Ye adulterers and adulteresses.—The phrase may seem to flow naturally after the former ones, but the Received text, from which our version was made, is wrong. Friendship with the world ... refers to a Christian's loving the pleasures, enticements and lusts of society in general, a friendship that tends inevitably to forsaking the Lord. Be subject therefore unto God ... That primary Christian obedience is inherent in this admonition is apparent from McNab's comment: Of course, if men submit to God, they must resist Satan in order to do so initially, and recurrently ever afterward. Once again we see that sin begins with a selfish and unhealthy desire (1:14). . F19. It is rather startling that James would refer to the disputes and wranglings of church members in such terms as "wars and fightings"; but is this not actually the nature of them? This is God's work and I don't want anyone to profit from it in a material way. 3:34. "Not under law but under grace" is not a denial that men must obey the law of Christ, but rather emphasizes the grace and liberty of Christ's law contrasted with Judaism. James 1. g. Using worldly thinking (humanism, isms, etc.) Tests And Triumphs Of Faith: James. The same antithesis as that mentioned in James 4:4 is carried through the paragraph. As Tasker pointed out, the Christian failure to honor James' commandment is not due "to a horror of hypocrisy," but to an unwillingness to honor the "supremacy of God." The inherent selfishness of human nature in the pathetic struggle to satisfy the desire for pleasure must inevitably be thrust into conflict both inwardly within the personality itself and outwardly in all human relationships. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". "You are like an unfaithful wife who loves her husband"s enemies….we are not just sinning against law, but against love. The parable Jesus spoke regarding the publican and the Pharisee at prayer (Luke 18:9-14) is a good example. Also included links to commentaries, concordances, dictionaries, encyclopedia and lexicons. James, following in the example of Jesus in drawing illustrations from nature, illuminated his teaching with the metaphor of vapor, a fog or mist. The only true safety is in nearness to God. Also included links to commentaries, concordances, dictionaries, encyclopedia and lexicons. It drives men to wickedness, envy, hatred, even murder. Therefore, James' words in this verse refer to the law of Christ in its entirety, and to the specific instance of certain Christians having broken it by their speaking against and judging one another, the specific part of that great law of Christ which they had violated being Matthew 7:1ff. The type of glorying James had just outlined, in which men flaunted all kinds of ambitions and godless plans without any reference whatever to Almighty God, was reprehensible and sinful. "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". in a Christian context to reach improper conclusions and actions. James 2:6. ὑμεῖς δέ] contrast to θεός. There is no hint here that if they had prayed for the ability to gratify their lustful pleasures God would have given it; rather, that their willful selfishness had dried up the springs of prayer within them. History & Culture - James wrote to exiled and “scattered” Jewish believers (v.1) under persecution and social/religious oppression since Stephen’s martyrdom a short time earlier. It provides strength against temptation. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. As it relates to conversion, when one in penitence submits to the initiatory rite of Christian baptism, he is immediately "raised to walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4). In a sense philia pictures one falling in love with the world and that if you do this you will begin to hate God! It is the immediate present, the seen and temporal, of which our senses bear witness, in contrast to the unseen and eternal ...", ". Bible > Interlinear > James 1:4 James 1:4 James 1 - Click for Chapter. Tasker expressed it thus, "This maxim has wider reference than that which is drawn from it in this particular context." no man who makes worldly success his aim can be also a friend of God", Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament. James 4:4, KJV: "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Our Lord taught that the "riches and pleasures of this life choke out the word of God" (Luke 8:14); and James dealt with both, pleasures here, and riches at the beginning of the next chapter. You do not have because you do not ask. We have repeatedly noted his amazing familiarity with the whole spectrum of Christian doctrine. "The priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law" (Hebrews 7:12). Obtain ... Roberts said that "obtain" means "to attain one's goal or purpose (cf Romans 11:7). e Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Thus many understand these expressions, because God himself represented his relation to the Jews as his people under the idea of a marriage, and because the prophets, in conformity to that idea, represented the idolatry of the Jews as adultery. The temptation to pursue riches was indirectly discussed in chapter 1. Compare John 15:18-20. 54:5; and the new Israel of God, the church, naturally took it over. Only God has the right to prescribe the terms upon which men may approach him, and these are outlined in Heb. James 4:4 Adulterers and adulteresses! No emergency will arise, no sickness lay us low, no sudden death overtake us. 6:3. The “double-minded” is at fault in heart; the sinner in his hands likewise. Having here concluded his abrupt, powerful exhortations to the unsaved, James returned to his admonishing the "brethren. First, Christ forbade it; also, it inevitably bears fruit in the proliferation of harsh judgments; it is negative, unhelpful and destructive; it contravenes the love principle that binds Christians together "in Christ"; it usually is a mark of blindness, the participant in harsh judging usually being as deficient, or more, than the one judged. Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? In the Arab world, "There is constantly heard the expression, `Imsh' Allah, meaning `If Allah wills.'" Ezekiel 16:15-59 gives a graphic description of Israel's spiritual adultery, and Hosea 1:1-2 shows the same symbolism in Hosea's marriage. Spiritual infidelity is in view here. Some think James speaks of the whole people of Israel whereas others think of the whole Christianity as spiritual Israel. There is a type of glorying "in Christ" that is helpful and necessary in the Christian pilgrimage. The expression "ye sinners" coming right in the middle of this (James 4:8) forbids referring this particular paragraph to Christians, the unmodified designation "sinners" not being an appropriate address for members of the body of Christ to whom the whole letter is written. 16:7, and in Heb. Christ himself made his teachings to be the "rock" upon which alone the builder could safely build (Matthew 7:24-27). They restrict "the law of Christ" to the "moral" pronouncements of the Old Testament as expanded by Jesus, or to "none other than" the law of love! In addition you can use the Interlinear Bible and much more to enhance your understanding of God's word. Compare Matthew 12:39. As Barclay noted: In addition, it may be pointed out regarding the pursuit of pleasure that: James' reference, "ye kill," is not to be taken as an indictment of the Christian communities addressed by him as murderers. Likewise in the realm of the family of God, those who are intimate with the sinful pleasures of the world are guilty of spiritual adultery because they are untrue to Christ, who is their lawful partner. In view of its connection in this passage, James may have been using this well-known teaching of the Master as a synecdoche for obeying the gospel of Christ. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. Welcome to the 'King James Dictionary', one of the dictionary resources FREELY available on StudyLight.org! Warning Against Worldliness. The expression "ye sinners" coming right in the middle of this ( James 4:8 ) forbids referring this particular paragraph to Christians, the unmodified designation "sinners" not being an appropriate address for members of the body of Christ to whom the whole letter is written. know ye not that the friendship of the world. Tons more resources, better tools, NIV84 and easier navigation. Friendship with the world also involves simply becoming so comfortable with the world that we are no longer offended by worldly attitudes, speech, dress or actions. BibliographyIce, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on James 4:4". James 4:4. James 4:4. We agree with Lenski who said, "We are not convinced that the question is a formula of quotation; if it were, we should certainly expect the addition of saying that." F7. Thus many understand these expressions, because God himself represented his relation to the Jews as his people under the idea of a marriage, and because the prophets, in conformity to that idea, represented the idolatry of the Jews as adultery. How perfectly James follows the teachings of the Master, who said, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Matthew 5:4). Oesterley thought that "For the most part this epistle is a collection of independent sayings"; F1 but the viewpoint advocated here is that every portion of it fit beautifully and appropriately into the one theme of "Perfection" which ties every word of it into a cohesive whole. His word will judge men "at the last day" (John 12:48); God has commissioned Jesus Christ to "execute judgment" (John 5:37). Indefinite relative clause with οστις — hostis and aorist active subjunctive of τηρεω — tēreō old verb, to guard (from τηρος — tēros guarding), as in Matthew 27:36, without αν — an (though often used, but only one example of modal εαναν — ean= αν — an in James, viz., James 4:4). James applies this and states clearly that if you are a friend of the world you are the enemy of God. When references are found in other StudyLight.org reference tools, a hyperlink will appear in the right-hand column, allowing you to move to that resource and expand your Bible study. 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