James 4
Subject Yourselves to God
1 From where are conflicts and from where are quarrels among you? Is it not from this, from your pleasures that wage war among your members? 2You desire and do not have; you murder and are filled with envy, and are not able to obtain; you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, in order that you may spend it on your pleasures.
4Adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5Or do you think that in vain the scripture says, “The spirit which he caused to dwell in us desires jealously”?#This translation takes “spirit” to be the capacity within people that produces a divided mind and conflicts regarding God; other translations take this to refer to the Holy Spirit: “He (God) jealously desires the Spirit which he caused to dwell in us” 6But he gives greater grace. Therefore it says,
“God opposes the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.”#A quotation from Prov 3:34
7Therefore subject yourselves to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded! 9Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your#*Literally “the”; the Greek article is used here as a possessive pronoun joy to gloominess. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
11Do not speak evil of one another, brothers. The one who speaks evil of a brother or judges his brother speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of the law.#The words “of the law” are not in the Greek text, but are an understood repetition from the previous clause 12There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your#*Literally “the”; the Greek article is used here as a possessive pronoun neighbor?
Arrogant Boasting About the Future
13Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there, and carry on business and make a profit,” 14you who do not know what will happen tomorrow#Literally “the circumstance of tomorrow”, what your life will be like#Literally “of what sort your life”. For you are a smoky vapor that appears for a short time and then disappears. 15Instead you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17Therefore, to the one who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
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