Why So Much Conflict Exists, Part 1
Why So Much Conflict Exists, Part 1
The Epistle of James is a series of tests—tests that reveal whether our salvation is genuine or merely an unwarranted claim. James 4:1-6 is a test of authentic salvation, evidenced by our friendship with the world or Jesus.
There is no greater friendship than having a genuine relationship with God.
1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:1-6 ESV)
A friend of the world is an enemy of God.
Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (James 4:4b-5).
James uses the word “philia” to speak of friendship. Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? The word is defined as a deep friend relationship that is emotionally engaged and marked with genuine affection with fond sentiment and feelings.
Other usages of the root word: John 3:29, John 11:11, James 2:23, and John 15:12-15.
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (a union that is self-sacrificing)
14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. (a connection of loyalty and obedience)
15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (a relationship that is intimate) (John 15:12-15 ESV)
Christians are privileged to be in a loving, affectionate relationship with Jesus in which he is a friend to us, and we are a friend to him. However, friendship with Jesus and friendship with the world is mutually exclusive.
The world hates the demands of God to be holy, and it despises that creation is for his glory. The world wants self-determination, self-glory, and self-indulgence. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. (1 John 2:16 NLT)
In Christ, God has rescued and removed us from being captive to the world, the domain of darkness. [God] has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son. (Colossians 1:13 ESV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself…in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them…. (2 Corinthians 5:17-19 ESV)
We must not be affectionate to the world; we should loathe it (Romans 7:21-24). We find our hope in Christ (Romans 8:1-2).
James challenges unsaved people who have attached themselves to the fellowship of believers. They are like people who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful (Matthew 13:7; 22 ESV).
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8 ESV)
18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. (Philippians 3:18-19 ESV)
21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard…. (Colossians 1:21-23 ESV)
A friend of the world is an enemy God. Jesus is offering eternal friendship.
6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. (James 4:6-7a ESV)
An in-depth study of the book of James.