James 4:4-5… 4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Friendship with the world is compared to adultery. The believer is “married to Jesus” A and ought to be faithful to Him.
The “world,” means the whole system of things in this society of ours that is anti-Christ and anti-God. There is “the friendship with the world” v.4. This results in being “stained” by the world B so our lives meet the approval of the world. Friendship leads to loving the world C, and this makes it easy to conform to the world D. The sad result is our souls saved “yet so as through fire” E.
The world is the enemy of God, and whoever wills to be a friend of the world cannot be the friend of God.
5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”?
“The flesh” is the old nature that we inherited from Adam that is prone to sin. The flesh is not the body for the body is not sinful; it is neutral. The Spirit may use the body to glorify God, or the flesh may use the body to serve sin.
When a sinner yields to Jesus, they receive a new nature within, but the old nature is neither removed nor reformed. There is a battle within: “ For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. “ F.
There is a holy, loving jealousy that a husband and wife have over each other, and rightly so. Living for the flesh means grieving the Holy Spirit of God who lives in us.
The Spirit within jealously guards our relationship to God, and the Spirit is grieved when we sin against God’s love.
Notes: A- Isaiah 54:5, 2 Corinthians 11:2, Revelation 19:7-9; B- James 1:27c; C- 1 John 2:15-17; D- Romans 12:2; E- 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; F- Galatians 5:17
Memory verse – James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.