¶ From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence,
even of your lusts that war in your members?
1 What causes wars and contentions among you? Is it not the cravings which are ever at war within you for various pleasures? (Weymouth NT)
.2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
.3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
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From polemoi meaning "quarrels" or "feuds" Probably disputes between
1 - Fightings From machai likely individual arguments.
1 - Lusts From hedonai generally meaning evil pleasures. See lu0814, tt0303.
2 - Ye lust ... kill Hatred is a violation of the commandment not to kill 1jo0315. We expect that no one had actually committed homicide.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the
world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world
is the enemy of God.
.5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
5 Or do you suppose that it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, "The Spirit which He has caused to dwell in our hearts yearns jealously over us"? (WNT)
.6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
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of the world Or "friendship with the world." Too often people
love the world while going through the forms of religion thinking that
they are saved.
5 - Envy From phthonos meaning "jealousy." The Greek isn't totally clear for this verse. God's jealousy is His deep care and concern for His people. nu2510,11. zp0118, zc0114, ex2005, jl0218, ps07858.
6 - Grace What a blessing!
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee
.8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
.9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
.10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
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the devil We do this by calling on the power of Christ
in prayer, not in talking to Satan.
8 - Draw nigh Or "get close." This includes personal devotion and fellowship with believers. We need to seek Him 2ch1501,2, ps14518, is5506, he0725, mal0307.
8 - Cleanse your hands We find a list of what we need to do. Christianity is not a passive religion.
10 - Lift you up See jn0544, 2ch1706, pr1533. Humble people in this life are not often exalted. Their reward is in heaven.
¶ Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of
his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth
the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but
.12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
- Speak not evil "Having mentioned sins of the tongue (Jas
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 (Jas 4:1)." (JFB)
11 - Judge the law We can't judge the law (argue against its plain statements) and still be faithful in obedience. Does this apply to the Sabbath commandment? Compare Is3322.
Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city,
and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
.14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
.15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
.16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
.17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
- Go to now A phrase calling for attention. Compare "He that
hath an ear, let him hear ..." (Rev. 2:7).
13 - We will go As we see in the next verses, this is not counsel against making plans. It is against being proud and considering that religion is not a part of business.
17 - Knoweth to do good Ignoring requirements of the law or of helping others in need is in. See ja0123-6, ja0217, mt2527, ja0108, ja0126, ja0315.