The Book of James Bible Study Chapter 4 Part 2

James 4:9-17

Are you spiritually presumptuous? Do you make decisions based on assumption, failing to realise that you don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring? If we are led by our own desires

we are going to be totally unprepared for the future. We need to be submissive to G-d, so that we can hear from Him and as we do what He instructs us to do, as we carry out His will, we will find that He will prepare us for the future that is known to Him but unknown to us.

v9: As believers, living in this fallen and end time world, we need to be ready to experience sorrow. Many people are waiting for an end time revival, complete with joy and gladness – but this is a false teaching. The Bible speaks of an end time apostasy, a great falling away from the faith (1 Tim 4:1, 2 Thess 2:3) Many people, expecting revival, are going to be unprepared for (and offended by) what is actually going to happen. If we are unprepared we are not going to have a testimony through this time that is pleasing to G-d.

· Gloom speaks of a spiritual heaviness – that which comes from the enemy, from opposition.

v10: The L-rd – The use of this term reminds us that He is our authority. We need to submit to Him.

· “Will lift” – written in the future tense, has future implications (Ps 30:11-12. The time of joy will come with the establishment of the Kingdom of G-d. The beatitudes also speak of difficulty while we live on earth, but joy to come at a later date – Matt 5:3-12).

v11: We are not to speak out against a fellow believer in order to condemn them. This does NOT mean that we cannot call out those who are false believers or those who are leading true believers in the wrong way.

· The law says: “Love your neighbour as you love yourselves”. Be a positive influence in the lives of others and not a condemning influence. As believers we can discipline, reprove, bring conviction for the purpose of repentance etc to fellow believers, but it needs to be done out of love.

v12: One Lawgiver – Jesus Christ. He is the only One able to make that determination to save or to destroy another…. not us.

· By using the word “destroy” in this context reveals to us that to destroy is related to condemnation.

v13: These next few verses are so applicable today as we see prophetic indicators announcing a major change coming.

· Their assumption was that they were going to have time to do what they wanted to do, what they had chosen to do. Live out their own desires.

v14: Relative to eternity, life on earth is really short – like a vapour. One minute here, the next minute gone. If we’re going to wisely utilize the limited time that we have, then we need to be

people that submit, humble ourselves. We must not think that because we’ve accepted Yeshua into our lives that we’re going to be the ones who are greatly blessed, greatly rewarded (financially etc) for things in this life. Our hope and joy and security is found in the Kingdom to come.

v15: Everything we do, or want to do, must be brought under the authority of G-d and His will.

v16: The word ‘arrogance’ is related to pride. In this context it alludes to someone who doesn’t want to take advice, as they think that they know what is best for themselves. This is someone who is unteachable. They have their minds made up about what they are going to do and nothing or no one else is going to change that.

· Evil – act in a way that is against the will of G-d.

v17: The problem with this person is that he is not behaving based on what he knows. He knows what G-d’s will is (that ‘good’) but he chooses to ignore it, as it doesn’t fit in with his own narrative.

· When we choose to live in a way that is agreeable to ourselves, promoting our own wants and desires, we put ourselves into spiritual darkness. This means that we won’t be prepared for the future, or ready for what’s going to be tomorrow or the next day. We won’t have any sensitivity about the shortness of our lives, nor how to utilize them for the purposes of G-d. This mindset leads us down a path which is against G-d’s will and ultimately leads to sin and, therefore, death.

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