Friends or Enemies of God? – a sermon on James 4:4-6 by Rev. Colin Pretorius.
As of a few weeks ago, we have a new government. No, don’t worry, I’m not going to preach politics or talk about the good or not-so good of the various political parties! But those of us who have the privilege of voting did have to make a choice, didn’t we? We had to choose which party to vote for, we had to fill in all those little boxes on the voting forms. Partly we vote because we are by law compelled to do so. But when we tick those boxes, we do so because we want to show who we stand for, whose lead we follow or who we want to govern us.
In our passage today, James talks about something a bit similar. He’s talking about a choice. But it’s not a choice between blue, red, green or teal parties. It’s not a choice between multiple parties whose policies may be similar in many ways. It’s not a choice about who’s going to be governing our lives for the next few years. The choice that James is talking about is much more crucial than that. He’s talking about the two ways we can live our lives. He’s talking about living like the world or living how God wants us to live. He’s talking about how our choices in life show who we stand for. We stand either against God or with and for Him. The way we live show whether we are enemies or friends of God. There are not multiple ways and there is no middle way, is what James is saying – there’s only a choice between living as enemies or as friends of God. In verses 4-6 he explains the danger or worldliness to his ancient readers – as well as to all of us. But he doesn’t leave it there. As he works through these dangers, he also reminds his listeners of God’s love and grace. In verse 4 he speaks of God’s Enemies. In verse 5 he speaks about God’s Spirit and then in verse 6 he turns to God’s Grace. And it’s on these three aspects that we’ll be focusing this morning:
• God’s Enemies (v4);
• God’s Spirit (v5); and
• God’s Grace (v6).