faith in action

James 4:16,17

But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.


We have been discussing James’ writings concerning the men making plans to conduct some business in a far city and make great profits. We have discussed the fact that while God certainly does not oppose prior planning, or even the accumulation of wealth, He certainly opposes those who would make plans with no regard to what the will and desire of God might be.

It seems here that James has taken sort of a change of direction in his tone towards these men. Certainly before these fellows had left God out of their planning. They had even been rather presumptuous in their planning, by making assumptions that things would go exactly the way they planned.

What we see here seems far worse in terms of actions and attitudes. Previously we might have been able to make the case that the actions of these men was more or less a casual disregard for God’s will(If that can, in fact, be casual.) Here, the text seems to indicate quite clearly that these men clearly understood the will and direction of God, but were more or less thumbing their noses in God’s face.

One writer stated that those guilty of this type of action affirm God’s existence and even the supremacy of His will, then proceed to disobey it. We can see this by the phrase “Him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not.” James here is addressing willful disobedience and rebellion towards God.

To him it is sin.” There we have it, the basic condition of mankind. Here we see pride, arrogance, and boastfulness. Here we see a group of men who are determined to be the masters of their own destiny, regardless and perhaps in open defiance of the will of God.

Does this sound familiar? Pride and arrogance, of course led to the fall of Lucifer and his demon angels. Satan then used pride and desire for autonomy to induce Adam and Eve to rebel and disobey.

What keeps us from God now? Pride, arrogance, desire for control and desire for self determination. These are the things which still keep saved believers from the full relationship they could have with God through His Son Jesus Christ. These are also the things which keep the lost ones from repenting and accepting the rightful place of Jesus as Lord of their lives.

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