Worldly Friendship Enmity to God
James 4:4
You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?…

I. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN BEING A FRIEND OF THE WORLD. To be a friend of the world, we should be inclined to think, at first view, would be rather estimable than otherwise. Ought not every Christian to be a friend to his fellow-man? Should we not cultivate dispositions of love, benevolence, and kindness towards all? Yes. But to be a friend of the world, in the sense of the text, is totally different from this. It implies —

1. Love. If you love the world, you are, in the sight of God, the friends of the world. Sinners love those who, like themselves, are destitute of the grace of God in the heart.

2. Association. Friends consort together; they are frequently found in each other's company; not merely because duty leads them these, or business calls them, but because inclination draws them towards one another.

3. Conformity. Friends conform to each other. There is a mutual forbearance with each other's inclinations, rules, and customs.

4. Assimilation. Friends resemble each other in the selection of those things most likely to contribute to their comfort and happiness.


1. This is an awful fact; and in illustration of it, we remark, that such a man is —

(1) An enemy to the law of God. Nothing can more fully prove an individual to be an enemy, than his systematic attempts to set at nought those precepts and injunctions which he is aware that it is his duty as well as his privilege to obey (Romans 12:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Exodus 23:2).

(2) An enemy to the grace of God. He refuses to yield to the striving of the Holy Spirit, and strengthens the principles of depravity in his nature, and plunges still deeper into the abyss of sin and guilt.

(3) An enemy to the will of God. He is continually endeavouring to accomplish his own gratification in those things which the Judge of all the earth has prohibited.

(4) An enemy to the cause of God. By this is meant the work which Jehovah is carrying on throughout the world for the salvation of all mankind; the means which He has adopted, and the plans which He has set forth, for the rescue of immortal souls; thus bringing them from the galling yoke of Satan into the liberty and privileges of the gospel.

(5) An enemy to the people of God. It is gratifying to the wicked to throw obstacles in their path to the kingdom of heaven; and, if possible, to turn them altogether out of the way of salvation.

2. What is implied in being an enemy of God.

(1) The character is at once dishonourable and disgraceful. Such a person is at variance with all goodness, excellence, and truth; all that angels admire, extol, and love; all that excites joy, triumph, and endless gratitude in the breast of redeemed spirits, who "circle His throne rejoicing."(2) The enemy of God is guilty of the foulest ingratitude. Is not the Lord Jehovah our best friend, constantly loading us with benefits?

(3) The enemy of God is miserable. The deepest despair of the lost soul arises from being for ever excluded from God; and though the wicked experience not the anguish of the damned, it is because their probationary state is not yet terminated, and they are still in a world where mercy triumphs, and where vengeance is not speedily executed.

(R. Treffry.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: You adulterers and adulteresses, don't you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Worldliness Enmity with God
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