The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Friendship With The World

"You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Any one who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says; "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." (Jas.4:4-6).

Again, James uses strong words to make his point. This time he is talking about the members of the Lord's church and their relationship with the world. In doing a bit of research, I found a difference in the way various versions of the Bible translate adulterous people. The above verses are from the NIV and has a generic adulterous people, while the ASV and NASV use the Greek word moichalides... It is the feminine form of the word and is translated literally as adulteresses... Whether it should be or not, in the ancient world, more reproach was attached to a woman who was unfaithful to her husband than the other way around. Perhaps James followed social convention when he used the feminine, but no one in his or her right mind thinks that only women were the object of James' scorn. No matter which biblical translation we use, this much is certain; James chose to use a very harsh word! He did this because of how strongly he felt about believers trying to keep one foot in the Lord's kingdom while keeping the other in the world.... He emphasized that for folks to seek material things from God or other people in order to spend them on their own pleasures, is to act the way the fleshly people of the world act. One cannot be a friend of God, like Abraham was, (2:23) and a friend of the world at the same time. He also affirms the fate of those who bear characteristics of people living in the world by saying; "Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?" Again, James confirms that people who are friends with the world live in sin. I also find it interesting that the word Scripture is in caps. I think that James does this in quoting Prov.3:34 in verse six (6) for a reason. He is saying that the Old Testament was in complete agreement when it came to speaking of folks who maintained a friendship with the world, and hence, toward envy and sin. There's little doubt about what God thinks about a believer's friendship with the world, is there?

Have a great day.... Do good and give God the credit....

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