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Friend of The World

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)

In the Book of James we see the early church being exhorted to be sanctified, or set apart from the world—James goes as far as to say, “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”   And James actually refers to those who choose to live this way as, “Adulterers and adulteresses.” 

Q:         So how is our being friends with the world adultery, and what exactly does it mean to be a friend of the world?

Well, first of all, we should remember we, as Christian men and women, actually are called the bride of Christ (2 Cor. 11:2; Rev. 19, 21), just as Israel was God’s bride (Is. 1:21; Je. 3; Ho. 1-3).   So if we go after another lover, then we are being unfaithful to God.  Some would argue, “But I haven’t gone after another lover…I haven’t committed adultery.”

The “lover” James is speaking about here, is when we love this world and the things in this world—it’s when we have a deep desire within our hearts to both serve God, and “desire” or the "world.”  It’s when we give the things of this world the rightful place that only God deserves.  The fact of the matter is we cannot serve both, and to attempt to try to do this is impossible.  So James is actually telling these orthodox-believing, and church-going people, “If you want to be a friend to the world, then you are actually God’s enemy” (cf. Matt 6:24). 

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Matt. 6:24 (NKJV)

Q:         So how do we guard ourselves practically against being seduced by the things of this world?

I believe it starts with our looking at what Christ did upon the cross—it starts with crucifixion.  I am not suggesting for us to be crucified upon a cross, but that we crucify the desires within our flesh—those things competing for, or drawing us away from our first love (Jesus).  God isn’t opposed to our having pleasure, but our pleasure for the things of this world should never usurp or be in competition with the pleasure we have in God.  

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Gal. 5:24 (NKJV)

I want to encourage you to meditate upon these truths today.

STUDY QUESTION: According to James 4:4, what can we learn about our being friends of the world?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Can you see any area within your life where you are being tempted to become friends with the world?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Let’s seek the Lord, and ask Him to show us any area where we may be compromising, or are being seduced by the things of this world.

LET’S PRAY:  Dear Heavenly Father, show us any area where we are compromising, and flirting with giving our heart to this world.  Help us to see these things in the way You do.  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