James Chapter 4


James 4 Commentary

Welcome to World Events And The Bible. I'm Brandon T. Ward. We're going to pick back up in the book of James here today. Chapter four, we're going to begin, but let's recap, chapter three, just a little bit.

One of the main points there, was judgment begins at the house of God.

Remember for pastors, teachers, this sort of thing. Hey, God's going to start with you first, because we're supposed to be paying attention to what we're teaching other people. All right. So, you know, think about that. Take God's word seriously.

If you're teaching it to other people, it's not a game, it's not about what you believe in and proving that what you believe is right. It's about proving what the Bible says is right. All right. So make sure you take it very, very seriously.

The second one was the tongue is full of deadly poison. Right? We let that mouth open up and it just starts spewing out rotten awful things. And once you do that, you can't get those things back. You can be sorry for them. You can you know, the other party can forgive you for them, but they're not going to go away. Everybody's going to remember what was still said. Okay.

And the last one was, it's going to tie into the same thing. That you can't curse men and then bless God, you know. With the same mouth, you know, just with your, even your spirit down to that level, you know, because it does, it comes from within, right.

If you're over there after you're done with church, Or maybe you don't go to church, but your Bible study, whatever you're supposed to conduct yourself as a Christian. And you know, as soon as you walk away, you forget about that. And then there you go, treating people, you know, the way the world treats people.

So remember we're Christians, we're supposed to act like Christians conduct ourselves as Christians, so people can see what Christians are like. What they're really like, not two faced, not double-minded, and this sort of thing. Okay. All right.

So with that, let's just say a prayer and we'll begin chapter four, heavenly father. We ask you for wisdom and understanding of your word in Jesus name. Amen. All right.

War Against Worldly Lusts


James chapter four, verse one. From whence come wars and fighting's among you? Come they not hence? Come they not from within yourself. And this wars, it's the lusts that are within you. It's like you're fighting amongst yourself with yourself. Even of your lust, that war in your members.

You know, you war inside. Your body basically, your flesh, I'm trying to say, wants what the world has to offer. And so your spirit and your flesh kind of war with each other at times. Over this lust, you're lust desires that you have. Remember we learned about that.

Verse two. Ye lust and have not. Ye kill. This is not good, and desire to have and cannot obtain. Of course not. You fight and war. Yet, you have not because you ask not. You don't ask God. Remember what we learned in James chapter one, verse five?

Ask God.

That's where wisdom comes from, if you want to increase your faith, you want something to better you and your family, you know, and that is going to promote a positive reflection of Christianity. God's going to help you out with that sort of thing. All right.

But you certainly, if you're over here lusting, after things that maybe, lusting after someone or someone else's lifestyle. Envy, envy and strife, right? You don't want to do that. It's not going to help you in the long run. It's only going to make your life more miserable, because you're looking at what you cannot have. And that's all you can think about.

Those are, that's wisdom of the world. It's not God's wisdom. Again, if somebody has some nice thing or career or whatever, apply it to your life and that you kind of like that. I mean, that's, it's okay to like other people's things and what they're doing, and you can do those things too, but it's all up to you.

They don't just hate somebody because they are doing something that you're not willing to do yourself. Far too often we don't take a look in the mirror. We always want to just kind of bad mouth somebody, or, you know, we don't want to put the effort into things, that's not the Christian way. All right.

Verse three. You ask and receive not because you ask amiss that you may consume it upon your lusts. You're asking out of lusts. You know, if you go asking God for something, Hey, I want a new car. I want the shiny new car, sports car, its the latest and greatest, you know. Forget about it.

God's not going to bless that. Why would he? Why is he going to give you a car? Well, I mean, what is it going to do for him? What's it going to do for his kingdom? So, you know, when you're thinking about things and you're asking God for things, make sure you kind of think how it's going to also benefit him.

Remember, that was what Solomon did. Solomon, he inherits his kingdom and he's a young, young guy yet. And he asks God, he prays to God and says, I don't know how to rule all these people. He's like, give me wisdom. That's what I want. So I can rule all these people and you know what God said? God said, because you didn't ask for riches and all this sort of thing, I'm going to give you riches. And I'm going to give you that wisdom that you were after. So you can rule my people.

Put other people first. That's how you can help God and his kingdom. All right.

Verse five. Do you think that the scriptures sayeth in vain, the spirit dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? You think the scriptures say that? Do you think the scriptures say that our spirit makes us less to envy?

Heck no. The flesh does. Flesh, envy, strife, it brings all these bad things. It wars amongst us within ourself and you know how you make it stop warring. You can make the flesh stop warring really easy?

Is by tuning out the world. Turn off that garbage, don't tune into whatever it has to offer. Television shows that tell you what's cool. And what people are doing. What's socially acceptable. You know, they call television and everything, they call it, programming. It's programming you what to think and believe. I mean, It's so true. It's so true.

I'll talk to Christians and we'll be having conversations and they'll tell me what their kids are into. Or I'll see that they have, you know, the kids are wearing t-shirts of some cartoon at birthday parties and I see this stuff. And then they start explaining to me these characters and everything, and it's just unbelievable.

And they, I can recognize it because I'm not in that realm. And, you know, I have little children too, but I monitor what they watch and what they don't. And they know about everything that goes on in the world. I mean, I tell them everything, but that doesn't mean that we need to absorb ourselves into it because then you become a part of the world.

So some of these other people, they don't even realize how sucked into the world that they are. They're actually letting, allowing their children to watch these television shows. They're actually conditioning their children to bad behaviors. And really anti-Christian behaviors and then that, and that's why the world is so messed up because so many of us never want to put our foot down because we're not willing to take a look in the mirror.

No, it's somebody else's problem. Oh, no, it's a different show that's bad. Not this one. We always want to pass the buck. And then we wonder why Christianity is failing in our time. Why so many fewer people are going to church? Why so many few people believe in the Bible? Because the fables have been repeated as truth and for the examples that I've already given you. All right.

Let's move on to verse six. But he giveth more grace. God does, that's rewards and gifts from heaven. Wherefore he sayeth God resisteth the proud. He opposes the proud that's the boasters we have been talking about. But he giveth grace unto the humble. That's the modest. God gives rewards to the honest, the modest people rather.

And he doesn't hear the wicked. The people that are boasting about this, that, and other thing, they're not really in God's house. And I mean by that, is they're not doing stuff for him. You know, they're just back in the day, it seemed like people would go to church it was a status symbol. Boy, those days are long gone, but God needs people who are real and true to their heart.

You know, so many over the years, I've run into people, run into Christians. And they put on these acts, like these religious acts you know. Oh, Hey brother, forth thou, you know, and they start talking like the old King James or something. Hey man, it's totally cool to read the King James and you got to read the thee's and thou's and all that fun stuff, but no one talks like that.

No one talks like that. So don't be a holy Joe, you know, don't be one of those types. Jesus talked about those types. They are the ones remember that walked down in the marketplace, they have on all these nice clothing, they're all decked out and looking like a religious person and saying, oh, look at me, I be somebody, you know. As they walk down there, don't be one of those kinds of people.

That's nah, don't be one of those kinds of people that puts people off. I know it certainly puts me off and it certainly is going to put off a non-believer when they see you walking down the street like that. Like you're too good for them or something. Remember Jesus came to serve people. All right.

Verse seven. Submit yourselves therefore to God. That's what you want to do. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. And this submit, it's like commit, like what we've been talking about. Like the word believe in John three 16, it means commit right here we're supposed to submit or commit ourself to God. That's what we're supposed to do.

And look at this, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Think about that. If you get away from the world, like what I explained a minute ago. Then the world it's not going to be able to get you. It's not gonna affect you. You know? And when it talks about fleeing the devil or staying away from the devil, it doesn't mean the devil is right outside your door.

When you open it, he's gonna jump on you. You know, it's not how it works. Yeah the devil's spirit, satan spirit is in the world. There are evil spirits in the world, but that doesn't mean they're everywhere, every little place and every little bad thing that goes on in the world is the devil doing it. Okay.

You got to take accountability. That's what we, as people, we always want to brush it off. We always want it to be someone else's problem. Bad things happen. Oh, it was the devil that did it. Come on, man. You know, come on. I want to read first Peter chapter five. All right. First Peter chapter five. First Peter five.

Where are you hiding at Peter 5:8. It says, be sober, be vigilant because your adversary, the devil as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour. Hey, he does. If you're a Christian and you're doing things right, he totally wants to smoke you. He totally wants to get you on his ship instead of God's ship.

So you don't want him to do that. Right? So you're going to do the right thing. He's the accuser that's spoken of in Revelation. He's always standing before God saying, Hey, look at Joe, he's messing up again over there. Look at Joe. He's doing it again, Lord. Don't ever give the enemy any ammunition to use against you.

Certainly not our king enemy Satan who stands before God don't give him any firepower before God. And at the same time, like I said, don't blame Satan for every little hiccup that comes along in your life either. All right, look at self. Look at self in the mirror because most problems in our life are actually because of us, the decisions we make or the decisions we don't make.

Okay. I think we got verse seven about verse eight. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. That means draw near to him. Push the world out then Satan will flee and God will come in. You want to make your spiritual home hospitable to God. Cleanse your hands ye sinners. Fix yourself up, repent of your sins. And purify your heart. Ye double minded.

Remember the double minded they're going this way. That way, can't make up their mind. Maybe I'll follow Jesus for a time. Maybe not. Maybe I'll do something else.

God can't use people like that. And you know what, if you have a family, they can't count on you, if you're like that.

You know, a man leads his household. It's like, you know, Hey, we're going to go this way and you do it, you know, from looking at Christ, you know, we're going to follow Christ and we're going this way. Boom. And that's what we're going to do. Don't fall off the wagon. Your family is depending on you, family is depending on you.

Verse nine. Be afflicted and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness. Why? He's talking about these sinners, he's talking about the double-minded. You shouldn't be boasting or rejoicing in your boastings, rejoicing in your evilness. This afflicted means to realize your misery, because if you're rolling with the world and you're running with the world and everything, you really are going to be, you're going to be a miserable soul, whether it's now or later, or when you're standing before God.

And usually it's all three. All right. All right. I think we want to go to

Verse 10 here. It says, humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. That's what you do. You want to be modest before God, and you want to be humble before God, and he's going to lift you up. Don't be a boaster. Because this brings forward strife and evilness and all these things.

And you know what, when you have nice things or when you have a talent for something and people, they see that, and then they'll tell other people about it. You don't need to go brag and tell everybody under the sun about it. Cause people just don't like that. You know, people don't like that. I know I don't, I don't like people who sit there and brag about themselves. Tell me what they have and this, that, and the other thing.

You know, I really don't care. I mean, if we were talking about, you know, think of something like a car or something, that's cool. If we're looking at your car, checking it out and everything. But if every other word is that, oh man, my new shiny pair of wheels, this, that, oh man, I got this. And Joe blow doesn't have that. That's silly stuff. That's not Christian speak. That's not Christian talk. All right.

Verse 11. Speak, not evil of one another. It means don't slander one another. Brethren, he that speaketh evil of his brother and judgeth his brother speaketh evil of the law and judgeth the law. But if thou judge the law thou are not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Don't slander your brother and sister in Christ and don't slander anybody really for that example, don't slander anybody. You shouldn't do it. That's not how Christians should conduct theirselves.

And when you do that, when you already are in the wrong, you are living a wrong lifestyle. Like, repent ye sinners. He said a minute ago, but then you're over there slandering people you're over there trying to judge somebody. Come on, you can't judge somebody when your house isn't even in order, you know. It doesn't work that way. It doesn't work that way.

Verse 12. There is one law-giver God in heaven. Who is able to save and destroy. He created you. He could wipe you out. Who art thou that judgest another, you know. And here you got to take the circumstances. You got to take the circumstances.

You got some brother who's envious has strife in his heart. It's been the subject for the whole book, right? The double-minded and then he's over here judging other people. Come on, that's not going to work. Judging is fine. People judge, Christians judge all the time. In our country, all the countries around the world, we have judges, right. And turn your Bible, or just make a note to John seven 24.

It says judge righteous judgment. So we're told to judge, the difference is you have to do righteous judgment. What these guys doing over here is unrighteous judgment and that won't fly. God had judges, there's judges in the Old Testament. He had kings over the Israelites and they had to execute judgment.

So there's nothing wrong with judgment. You can make judgments. If you're walking on one side of the road and a bunch of hooligans are coming your way, maybe you go to the other side. All it had to do with is you making a street smart decision to protect yourself and your family.

Maybe there are a bunch of good guys, but from what you could tell, they're a bunch of hooligans. That's not a respecter of persons or this, that, or another thing. You gotta know when to apply street smarts and when not, or bad things can end up happening to you. Don't be one of those people who say, well, I'm a Christian and God looks after my every step because it's just not true.

You know, Christians get hurt and harmed all the time. Look what happened to the disciples and everything. They all died, you know, got beat up and look what they did to Jesus. And if you follow Jesus, expect the same thing to happen to you. So don't put on these fake facades and everything, because when something bad happens your way, then you know what it's going to do.

It's going to wreck your faith and it's because you started building on something that was untrue to begin with. So you never want to do that. You never want to do that.

Boasting About Tomorrow


Verse 13, we're going to jump down to jump over to. Go to now, that's come over here. Ye that say today or tomorrow, we will go into such a city and continue there a year and buy and sell and get gain.

These are the plan for tomorrows. You can plan for tomorrow, but you gotta remember to live for today. Otherwise, you live your world in tomorrow, and you know what? You may never be there to see it. You may die. You may get hit by a bus. I mean, I'm just being honest with you, right? No one knows the future.

Everybody plans to be here until way out. You know, I recall this story I'm going to share with you real quick here. I was looking out my window one day where we were at, and there was this couple, older couple, that went for a walk, you know, had smiles on their face, everything, and just kind of observed them while I was posting the news in the morning.

And it was the very next day. And I hear like this loud crying sound. And so it got my attention. I looked out the window again, and this family's in tears. And then this older guy, he's the husband. You could just make it out by observing and law enforcement shows up and the lady passed away that night.

She passed away and went to be with the Father. So you never want to, you want to plan for tomorrow, but you want to live for today too, because that's where we are this moment. Just like right now, we're talking about the word of God in this moment, because tomorrow's not promised to you. So don't look so far down the road that you can't even enjoy the now because it's a dreadful mistake.

Verse 14. Whereas, you know, not what shall be on the morrow. See, you don't know what's coming tomorrow, boy. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time and then vanish away. Remember the flower and the rich man. That was back in chapter one. It's here for awhile looks great and everything, but then it's gone and then no one even remembers it anyway.

So you always want to remember that. And again, tomorrow's promised to know when it comes from Proverbs chapter 27, verse one. So I can give you some documentation on that. All right.

Let's go to verse 15. For that ye ought to say, and this is what you should say. If the Lord will, if it's God's will, we shall live and do this or that. If it's God's will, then we'll do this, then we'll do that.

Plan for the future, plan for your retirement. Plan like you're going to live on this earth until you're 120, you know. And then you can go see the Father, whatever it is, but don't just live for now. Don't just live for this moment. It's a big mistake. You always want to plan and keep bettering yourself with time. And you chip away at that with a long-term plan. Right.

But you got to execute every day and you got to enjoy each day. Some people they will work. Then you have some people that won't work and they expect everything handed to them. This entitlement society, right. But then you have some people who work so much that they never enjoy the now.

And you don't want to do that either. So there has to be this happy medium there, and it's not just good for your health and mental stability, but also for your families too, because they want you around, believe it or not. They may not tell you that, but they actually do want to see you around and interact with them and teach them things, okay. All right.

Verse 16. But now you rejoice in your boasting. Here we go again. All such rejoicing is evil. It's evil because you're boasting about this, what you got, that another thing. And it just doesn't build. It doesn't build anything. It doesn't build you. It doesn't build those around you. And it certainly does not build your church.

Or if you're a boss at work, it doesn't build cohesion amongst your team. You want to think about all these things. You want to build cohesion, whatever group and environment you're in. You want everybody, you want everybody to get built up with you. If you're building yourself up in God's word, you want to build them up.

If you're building yourself up in some educational matter and someone's interested, Hey, help build them up to bring them on in. Then we can all be better together.

Verse 17. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth not, to him it is sin. Boy, he really kind of closes the chapter right there. Right.

If you know what a sin is and you do it anyway, that's bad news bear for you. It's really bad. In John chapter 15:22 we're told that, you know, when Jesus came, that that took away the cloak, it took away the covering for sin for so many people, because if you accept Jesus in your heart, And then you turn away from him. Boy, you're in big trouble.

I kind of want to tie in some more of this. We're going to turn our Bible to second Peter chapter two. Let's go ahead and do that. Second Peter chapter two, verse 20. Second Peter, two 20. Here we are. Yeah, here it is.

For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world, the sin, the lust, the envy, the strife of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They are again, entangled therein. So if they get escaped the pollutions of the world, they accept Jesus Christ into their heart. And they're entangled therein to the pollutions of the world and overcome by it. The latter end is worse with them than the beginning. It's even worse for him.

It would have been better if you never knew, if you never heard of the word of God.

Verse 21. For had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than after they have known it to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

So it is. So think about this book of James. Again, it's not words on a page. It says, knowledge from above that we're supposed to apply into our heart and apply to our daily life. Don't get tangled up in the world. If you're tangled up in the world, ditch the world, kick it to the curb. It's not going to do you any good.

It may have some temporary feel-good moments, this, that, and other thing, but it's not going to be lasting. The things that are knowledgeable and good in the world, they're foolishness to God. And you always want to be with God. All right.

So, Hey, that's going to conclude that chapter.

I'd like to thank you so much for joining us.

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