19 Aug 1999

James 4: Godless Hostility

Submitted by theshovel
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But those of you whose life-source is motivated by partiality, tell me where you think the arguments and conflicts among you come from? Which source do you suppose they originate from? Don't they come from your desires that are at war within you? You have unfulfilled cravings which drive you to murder. You don't have the ability to get what you want so you fight and nitpick each other. Your desire is not met because you don't ask. And then you ask and don't receive because your asking is not for the miraculous working of God, but is just your attempt to get what you think will fulfill those unquenchable desires.

You unbelieving, godless people, don't you know that your alliance with the world keeps you in hostility to God? The one whose desire is the friendship of the world proves to be the enemy of God. Or don't you think there is any meaning to this verse: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? And His greatest gift is found in this, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Hang all your pretension and submit to God. Resist the evil one and he will flee from you. You've heard the words, now, listen again. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” “You sinners, cleanse your hands”; and “you double-minded, purify your hearts!” I have no comforting words for the enemies of God. Instead, be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to gloom. I am tired of your games and your pretenses. Open your eyes to the insufficiency of the life you boast in, and He will become your sufficiency!

How do you rationalize speaking against your brother? The one who speaks against a brother, or judges him, speaks against the LAW and judges the LAW. If you judge the law, then you are not one in whom the law is fulfilled, but instead a judge of it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, and He is the One who is able to deliver or to destroy. So, what place do you think you have to judge your neighbor?

I challenge the arrogant boasting of you who say things like, “Today or tomorrow, we are going to build a business and make 'X' amount of dollars in the first year!” But the simple fact is that you don't even know what might happen to your life tomorrow. You are just dust in the wind that goes as quickly as it comes. A wise man would say, “These are my plans, but as always, they are subject to the greater plans of the Master.” But, no, your life is a pretense of arrogant claims, for all such boasting is evil. But you are digging your own grave. For in your arrogance, as you claim to know the right thing to do, but don't do it, that thing, to you, becomes sin!

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Comments

That was quite nice, thanks a bunch! I'll have to read up on some of the other posts too....

Yes indeed, I had never quite looked at that section of James without reading my own denominations interpretations into it.

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Random Shovelquote: What kind of gospel... (view all shovelquotes)

Let me get very blunt. What kind of gospel leaves you in the unknown regarding the very premise of the actual good news of Christ, which is full confidence in one’s relationship to God through Christ? What kind of gospel causes you to think it’s all about what you do or don’t do, when the good news declares that it’s not about you at all but all about Christ and what he has done and is now doing? source