Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. James 4:4
What does this mean?
Does this mean that we should not enjoy a sunset? Does it mean that we should isolate ourselves from those who do not share our views? Does it mean that we should isolate ourselves to serve God? Does it mean that we should not participate in the political process? Does it mean that we should shun color and modern conveniences?
Review James chapter 4 and check out what the context has to say.
What are you finding?
Lust, which is strong desire, and pride.
Is there anything in James 4 that is associated with the world elsewhere in Scripture?
For all that is in the world, the lust (strong desire) of the flesh, and the lust (strong desire) of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. I John 2:16
Each one of these characteristics of the world actually represents an area of legitimate human need. In the case of the world, these legitimate needs are fulfilled outside the boundaries set by God.
The legitimate needs of man are biological needs, the need for possessions, and the need for experience.
Hunger is a legitimate biological need. If one steals to fulfill this need the result is sin.
The need for possession is represented by clothing, food, shelter, tools, family, etc. If this need focuses on having what one’s neighbor possesses, it becomes covetousness.
The need for experience is necessary for learning, personal improvement, value to business, skills and so on. However, there are experiences that transgress God’s laws and the result is sin. Experience may also puff us up into pride, self-importance and ungratefulness to Him from whom all things good emanate.
When Eve saw that the tree was good for food (biological need), it was pleasant to the eyes (need for possession), and that it was desired to make one wise (need for experience), she partook of the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:6). With his eyes wide open, Adam followed her into disobedience.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15
Matthew 4:1 – 11
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred (biological need).
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down (the need for experience): for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee (need for possession), if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
The Lord responded to each temptation with; It is written…
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. I John 4:4
Note: Friendship with the world is the practice of fulfilling legitimate human needs outside the clear commands and boundaries of Scripture.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…….