Friends and Enemies
Series: Authentic Faith
July 03, 2022
Someone once said that friendship can be categorized into four types: acquaintance, friend, close friend and best friend. Obviously, the stronger and closer the bond, the higher the level of friendship that exists. We have many friendships that exists along those different levels and, outside of potentially "petty human emotions" those friendships co-exist without complication. ---------- In looking at James 4, we can see that our spiritual relationship with God takes on a whole different meaning. Our conviction to submit to God's authority and commitment to serve Him does not allow for a casual relationship with God. In the spiritual realm, our relationship to our Creator can't simply be one of our many passions and pursuits--it must be the filter through which every other passion and pursuit is weighed. We must always consider: how does this interest, hobby, activity, job, relationship, aspiration, etc. affect my commitment to God and my conviction to place Him first in my life?
Big Idea: Friendship with the world results in conflict with all that matters most...
1. Conflict with others.
(Journal) James 4:1a
2nd Corinthians 6:14-18, Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make My dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.”
John 13:34-35, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
2. Conflict with self.
(Journal) James 4:1b-3
Genesis 19:11, And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.
1st John 2:15-16, Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.
3. Conflict with God.
(Journal) James 4:4-6
Hosea 1:2, When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD.”
John 15:13-14, Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.
Next Step: I will strive to be transformed not just in my behavior…
But also in my heart.
Romans 12:2, Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 5:10, For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.
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