You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?…
I. THE WORLD, THE FRIENDSHIP OF WHICH IS COURTED BY TREACHEROUS AND LUKEWARM CHRISTIANS.
II. THE MANNER IN WHICH THAT UNSANCTIFIED FRIENDSHIP WITH THE WORLD WHICH IS CONDEMNED IN THE TEXT MANIFESTS ITSELF. And here we must guard, both on the right hand and on the left. To keep ourselves "unspotted from the world" we are not to go out of the world. Let it be also understood that this friendship with the world is not to be avoided by surliness of manners; not by indifference to the good opinion of the world itself. We are to "please all men"; only we are to remember to do it "for their good to edification." The culpable courting of the world's friendship here condemned manifests itself —
1. In being unwilling to encounter reproach and difficulty for Christ's sake.
2. In hiding our opinions, and suffering men to go on in error and spiritual danger, that we may keep up their society.
3. In preferring some interest, some honour, to adherence to conscience.
4. In such obsequiousness to the world's maxims and principles as to lead to at least doubtful compliances,
III. THE AGGRAVATION OF THE CRIME CHARGED. Here these friendships with the world which betray Christ are marked by two opprobrious characters.
1. Spiritual adultery. This implies abnegation of God.
2. Enmity to God. The Bible becomes dull; prayer becomes irksome; and final apostasy is often the sad consequence of worldly compliances.
IV. THAT MOST EXCELLENT WAY WHICH THE APOSTLE'S DENUNCIATION SUGGESTS. He would have us decide. The benefits of decision are numerous and great.
1. It is ordinarily attended with less difficulty than a vacillating and hesitating habit.
2. It is a noble object to aspire to fidelity to God.
3. There is an interesting reciprocation. If we are God's people, He is our God; and we have everything to expect from Him.
4. The real pleasure which decision opens are many and great. The conscience is at rest; we have unbounded confidence towards God; and the unclouded prospect of heaven is opened before us.
5. The comforting sense of acting according to our real circumstances as responsible dying men, men who are to be judged.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.