The desire to control is what we would call freedom—liberty. In the Spirit's application of the passage to all ages, literal killing is included, flowing from the desire to possess so David and Ahab. wars, &c.--contrasted with the "peace" of heavenly wisdom. "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." When we add to this our desire to be free, it makes an interesting mess! Their major responsibility before God at this time appears to be to provide tests for us to meet and overcome, in the same way God used Satan to test Job and to tempt Christ (Matthew 4; Luke 4). Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world." We are far more likely to be confronted by one of his demon assistants than the Adversary himself, which is bad enough. . 2. The chances of his confronting us individually are small in comparison to the influences of our ever-present hearts and the world in which we conduct our lives. They believed God, but they refused to trust Him to provide good for them and to accept that … The tree, to grow upwards, must strike its roots deep downwards; so man, to be exalted, must have his mind deep-rooted in humility. In essence, His advice is, "Be self-controlled, be alert, and resist him!" heaviness--literally, "falling of the countenance," casting down of the eyes. hands--the outward instruments of action. . The best authorities have a second "whence" before "fightings." We have the God-backed promise that Satan will flee! Received text has no old authority. 11. God repays sinners in their own coin. The friendship of the world tends to breed envy; the Spirit produces very different fruit. . the world . Go to now--"Come now"; said to excite attention. giveth more grace--ever increasing grace; the farther ye depart from "envy" [BENGEL]. And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh [notice what drives human beings: This wicked spirit is motivating the lusts of our flesh], fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. Be afflicted--literally, "Endure misery," that is, mourn over your wretchedness through sin. Don't make it your business to judge other people as if you are either the judge or lawgiver. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." BENGEL, with other old authorities, reads, "For it shall be," the future referring to the "morrow" ( James 4:13-15 ). The adversary is still working and bringing about conflict. James replies, It is not enough to ask for good things, but we must ask with a good spirit and intention. James 4:7. by Grant Richison | Nov 26, 2000 | James | 7 comments. Peter said that we have been redeemed from tradition. It is detrimental to one's spiritual health and one's relationship with God! Proud member Others read, "To-day and to-morrow." In Hebrew it is "scorneth the scorners," namely, those who think "Scripture speaketh in vain." The quotation here, as in Ephesians 5:14 , seems to be not so much from a particular passage as one gathered by James under inspiration from the general tenor of such passages in both the Old and New Testaments, as Numbers 14:29 , Proverbs 21:20 , Galatians 5:17 . It shows that for there to be unity, both Israelite and Gentile have to submit to Christ because both of their cultures and traditions are wrong! There is one lawgiver--The best authorities read in addition, "and judge." Do not give up any ground! ALFORD attributes the epithet "with envy," in the unwarrantable sense of jealously, to the Holy Spirit: "The Spirit jealously desires us for His own." "Pride" is the mother of "envy" ( James 4:5 ); it is peculiarly satanic, for by it Satan fell. The language is taken from warfare. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Their language implies that when this one year is out, they purpose similarly settling plans for to come [BENGEL]. lift you up--in part in this world, fully in the world to come. We have to get God into the picture. It makes submitting so difficult. Who can resist God's will? Resist . 7. When any one is … double-minded--divided between God and the world. The petition of the lustful, murderous, and contentious is not recognized by God as prayer. 9. However, he and his demons have constructed attitudes, institutions, systems, and entertainments into the course of this world, which they effectively use against us, even when they are absent from the scene. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. The third term, "resist him," is a command not to turn and run but to stand firm. James 4:1-17 . They had to submit to the customs and traditions of their new homeland. Because of this mis-education, each of us puts a different spin on what it means to be free. But we have brought traditions with us out of the world. Human nature is a package of attitudes dominated by the desire to gratify the self. Ver. James 4:7. ye that say--boasting of the morrow. 1. whence--The cause of quarrels is often sought in external circumstances, whereas internal lusts are the true origin. Submission occurs in almost every area of life, even in submitting to things we would call common sense or the laws of nature. Contrast James 4:4 . . Submission, whether accepted willingly or grudgingly, is a necessity. It is that simple. lusts--literally, "pleasures," that is, the lusts which prompt you to "desire" whence you seek self at the cost of your neighbor, and hence flow "fightings." that war--"campaign, as an army of soldiers encamped within" [ALFORD] the soul; tumultuously war against the interests of your fellow men, while lusting to advance self. . Amplified® Not every one of them is wrong, but they do set us up for conflict with God and with each other. Why? This is the last mention of the law in the New Testament. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”. Submission does not involve only relationships with God or relationships with other people. What does James 4:7 mean? . God gives us advice regarding them in I Peter 5:8-9: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. spirit that dwelleth in us--Other manuscripts read, "that God hath made to dwell in us" (namely, at Pentecost). Cleanse . We have to recognize that we are still influenced and that we pick up on his broadcasts. Having mentioned sins of the tongue ( James 3:5-12 ), he shows here that evil-speaking flows from the same spirit of exalting self at the expense of one's neighbor as caused the "fightings" reprobated in this chapter ( James 4:1 ). If ye prayed, there would be no "wars and fightings." Compare all. See what over 145,000 subscribers are already receiving each day. . We have to overcome this mis-education and this attitude to gratify the self. If literal murder [ALFORD] were meant, I do not think it would occur so early in the series; nor had Christians then as yet reached so open criminality. At first, the neighborhood does not have a great deal of influence, but once we begin to expand our lives outside of the home, mother's and dad's influence slowly begin to wane. Then there is a slightly larger segment—the neighborhood. James 4:8. What layers of culture and therefore, traditions, heaped on us? Beginning with verse seven, James reels off 10 commands in a machinegun like fashion. θι ἡ ψυχή μοÏ, Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers. Temptation is the root of sin: if you want to fight against sin you must look to the root of it, and you must resist temptation. such a city--literally, "this the city" (namely, the one present to the mind of the speaker). We have an environment ready-made for conflict—unless someone submits. None but the clean-handed can ascend into the hill of the Lord (justified through Christ, who alone was perfectly so, and as such "ascended" thither). . the world--in so far as the men of it and their motives and acts are aliens to God, for example, its selfish "lusts" ( James 4:3 ), and covetous and ambitious "wars and fightings" ( James 4:1 ). In the United States, this thing about tradition has become crazy. . God is the rightful husband; the men of the world are regarded collectively as one adulteress, and individually as adulteresses. If we submit to God, Satan will flee. and then vanisheth away--"afterwards vanishing as it came"; literally, "afterwards (as it appeared), so vanishing" [ALFORD]. Hence "ye kill" (not as Margin, without any old authority, "envy") to ensure possession. Being free does not mean the same thing to every person because the same things are not equally important to everybody. Contrast Isaiah 22:12 Isaiah 22:13 , Luke 6:25 .