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Friendship With The World
12/21/2010

Friendship With The World
Being an Enemy of God

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4 (NKJV)

When asked which of the commandments was the greatest Jesus responded,  "You shall love the LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND."  He then quickly followed this with the second greatest commandment, which was, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Matt.22:37-39).   

Earlier in the Book of Matthew we see Him telling us to "Love our enemies."  It seems pretty clear that we are to love everyone, and yet we seem to be thrown a curve in James 4:4, where we are told, "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?  Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."

There are times where Scripture seemingly contradicts other Scripture, but this is not the case.  This verse here in James is not forbidding us from being a loving light unto those in this world; it is telling us not to love this world.  So, this leads us to a simple question.

Q:    What, or who is the world?

The word world used here is translated from the Greek word, kosmos, kos´-mos; It isn't referring to the physical earth or universe, but rather to the reality of the Man-centered and the Satan-directed system of this present age.  It's that worldly system that is all about Self.

  •   It is about glorifying ones' self
  •   It is about fulfilling ones' self
  •   It is about indulging ones' self
  •   It is about satisfying ones' self
  •   It is about serving ones' self

James is strongly stating the truth that our friendship with the world actually causes us to be adulterous.  This adultery is not a physical type, but it is a "spiritual infidelity" in our relationship with God.  We can see this same spiritual infidelity being spoken of about Israel by the Prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament.

Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also. Jeremiah 3:8 (NKJV)

This "spiritual adultery" occurs when we begin to turn to the things of this world in an attempt to meet the needs that can only be met by God.  It's when we choose to feed the desires of our flesh rather than our spirit.  It's when we give our heart to the world.  We are not to be a part of this world anymore, because we have been saved in Christ.  We have been delivered from the bondage of sin, and as such, we have no business chasing the foolish pleasures of this world, or being yoked together with those who do (2 Cor. 6:14).  

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - is not of the Father but is of the world. 1 John 2:15-16 (NKJV)

We should understand something here, James is not referring to a true believer who is wholly submitted to Jesus, but who stumbles occasionally -  he's speaking of those who are unbelievers; those people who are continually seeking the gratification, pleasure, and contentment of this world; those who have a persistent association to sinful practices and the things of this world.  These people would rather seek these things instead of seeking the Lord and His will for their life.   We cannot flirt with the things of this world, because we will either be submitting to the enemy and belong to him, or we will submit the Lord and belong to God there is no middle ground.

For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. Romans 8:6-9 (NKJV)

Hey Christian, genuine saving faith will produce Christian living that separates us from the ways of the world and all it's sinful practices (James 3:17-18; 4:1-4).   If we continue to make it a practice to befriend the ways of the world, then we must realize our chosen lifestyle is derived from our limited human wisdom and is an evidence of our unbelief and our unwillingness to submit to Jesus as our Lord.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about choosing our ways instead of being wholly submitted to God's ways from the Scriptures in this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you attempting to be friends with the world, or are you wholly submitted to God and His will for your life?

APPLICATION: Make it a practice to think about what is going on in the world and then seek the Lord for His will in these areas.  Choose to submit to God in every area of your life and lay down anything that is not His will.

Heavenly Father, I praise You for giving me the heart to change, and for transforming my mind to think upon Your Word.  Father, help me see things differently today than I did yesterday.  Help me to see the evil for what it is and give me the strength to eliminate anything in my life that is not of You.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000