The Christian life—Dangers of Riches James 5:1-6
Believers Should Show Low Priority to Riches James 5:1
Believers Should Know That Riches Can Ruin Us James 5:2-6
come you rich people, wail and howl for the miseries that will happen
to you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your clothes have become
moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have become corroded. Its poison
will be a witness against you and will eat up your flesh like fire.
You have amassed riches for these final days. 4 Look, the pay of the
workers who harvested your fields, from which you took a cut for
yourself, calls out, and the workers’ pleas for help has entered
the ears of the Lord of Heavenly Armies. 5 You have lived a soft life
on this earth and [a life given to] pleasure. You have fattened your
hearts as for the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned [and] killed
the righteous. He does not resist you.
thing that is regarded as more important than another.
do we decide what is more important?
couldn’t find much on that topic. There were plenty of websites
how to prioritize, but none on why people choose something as the
this is my guess: self. Some may state that it is Maslow’s
Hierarchy of Needs, but I have seen many that worship of God is more
important than sleep or food, etc. Pain would definitely be
something to think about, but again the few times I was in such pain
that health personal couldn’t get my attention, I was still
Lord Jesus stated
4:34 CSB My
food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work,”
6:38 CSB For
I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of
him who sent me.
26:39 BSB Going
a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it
is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as
some money is too high a priority. Perhaps this why the Scriptures
label it a root of evil. 1 Timothy 6:10 CSB For
the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it,
some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with
our passage, it appears that some people that James knew had money
as a higher priority that God’s will. Luke 16:13 CSB No
servant can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and
love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and money.
the opinion of the Lord Jesus towards Laodicean church. They seemed
to believe that since they were rich materially, they were also
spiritually rich: Revelation 3:17 CSB For
you say, 'I'm rich; I have become wealthy and need
nothing,' and you don't realize that you are
wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.
us heed St. Paul’s inspired admonishment: 1 Timothy 6:8-9 CSB If
we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those
who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish
and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction.
From wrong priorities which led to chaos in their lives which had an
effect on their treatment of others.
love of money finally leads to murder for too many, who must have
that the righteous did not resist.
has been said that murder is for one or combination of three
sex, or power.
gives power, so people can crave it to have more influence: Proverbs
22:7 BSB The
rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.
Hosea 12:8 NLT Israel
boasts, "I am rich! I've made a fortune all by myself!
No one has caught me cheating! My record is spotless!
of abandoning the faith: Proverbs 30:8 BSB Keep
falsehood and deceitful words far from me. Give me neither poverty
nor riches; feed me with the bread that is my portion.
of “I can do anything myself. I don’t need God.” Nehemiah
9:25-26 NLT Our
ancestors captured fortified cities and fertile land. They took over
houses full of good things, with cisterns already dug and vineyards
and olive groves and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate until
they were full and grew fat and enjoyed themselves in all your
blessings. "But despite all this, they were disobedient and
rebelled against you. They turned their backs on your Law, they
killed your prophets who warned them to return to you, and they
committed terrible blasphemies.
Proverbs 18:23 BSB The
poor man pleads for mercy, but the rich man answers harshly.
against others: Micah 6:12 BSB For
the wealthy of the city are full of violence, and its residents
speak lies; their tongues are deceitful in their mouths.
corrupted by evil desires: 1 Timothy 6:9 NLT But
people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by
many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and
lead to family difficulties: Proverbs 15:27 BSB He
who is greedy for unjust gain brings trouble on his household, but
he who hates bribes will live.
help deliver from some difficulties and buy justice for themselves,
but wealth has no influence on God who judges their soul: Proverbs
11:4 NIV Wealth
is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from
attitude about finances=
it is from God’s blessing: 1 Chronicles 29:12 BSB Both
riches and honor come from You, and You are the ruler over all.
Power and might are in Your hand, and it is in Your hand to exalt
and to give strength to all.
our trust in God instead of money: 1 Timothy 6:17 BSB Instruct
those who are rich in the present age not to be conceited and not to
put their hope in the uncertainty of wealth, but in God, who richly
provides all things for us to enjoy.
to hoard it but share it for God’s glory: Matthew 6:19 BSB Do
not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust
destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
assist widows and other brothers and sisters in their need: 1
Timothy 6:18 BSB Instruct
them to do good, to be rich in good works, and to be generous and
ready to share,
James 4:13-17 WELCome on, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into this city, stay there a year, buy and sell, and make money.” 14 On the contrary, you don’t even know what [will happen] tomorrow. For what [is] your life? It is just a puff of smoke that appears for a moment then disappears. 15 For you should say, “If the Lord wills, then we will live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your self-confidence; all such rejoicing is evil. 17 So then, the one, who knows what is right and does not do it, is guilty of sin.
·In our passage, James knew of some who presumed that tomorrow would come. That is not Christian reality.
·There are 2 other passages dealing with this
oJesus spoke a parable of a rich man, whose land had produced a superabundant crop. Praise God! But the man presumed to live for a long time, never thinking that death could happen at any time. This man’s treasure is only here on earth. He didn’t take time for gathering spiritual treasure. Luke 12:19-20 LEB And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many possessions stored up for many years. Relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your life is demanded from you, and the things which you have prepared—whose will they be?’
oThe Lord Jesus makes 2 points we need to learn
§Not to be greedy: Luke 12:15 LEB And he said to them, "Watch out and guard yourselves from all greediness, because not even when someone has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.
§Forgetting we should make it our priority to be working for heavenly treasure over earthly treasure: Luke 12:21 LEB So is the one who stores up treasure for himself, and who is not rich toward God!
·Earthly treasure= financial things as money, net worth, etc. There is nothing wrong with money or being rich, but the error comes in our attitude and priority.
oThe best produce is the Fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22-26 MEV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, and self-control; against such there is no law. 24 Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be conceited, provoking one another and envying one another.
oThis fruit is based on all goodness, as God defines goodness: Ephesians 5:9 MEV or the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth
Brevity of life= Psalm 39:4-6 NLT LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath. Interlude We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.
·The difference is boasting about ourselves instead of boasting about God.
·An article about boasting (I don’t know much about this site, so as with all be discerning).
God’s will= is the most important thing. We should always have this attitude and be serious about it. Some things we know are God’s will, and we must do it. Some things are not God’s will, and we must avoid it.
Know what’s right and doesn’t do it is sin. Sin isn’t just breaking God’s law; it is also knowing what is right and being negligent.
place yourselves under God’s authority. Resist the devil, and he
will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.
Cleanse [your] hands, sinners, and purify [your] hearts, double
minded. 9 Be in agony, moan, and wail. Let your
laughter turn into sobbing and [your] joy into heartbreak. 10 Humble
yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up. 11 Do
not badmouth one another, brothers. He, who badmouths and condemns
his brother, condemns the law, but if you condemn the law, you are
not a doer, but its judge. 12 Only one is the lawgiver, who is able
to save and destroy. So, who are you to condemn another?
28:18 NIV Then
Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on
earth has been given to me.
Peter 5:7-9 NIV Cast
all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of
sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the
faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the
world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
things the devil does to fight us
about the Christian faith
about our faith
about God’s love for us
Questions about the
reliability of the Bible
Questions about what
us of our past
us of our failures
Temptation to sin in
many fleshly or intellectual ways
Temptation to get
angry at God for our failures or what think God should or should
not be doing
of doing evil
wanting to make us miserable
Through his servants
Know God’s ways so
well, that we will recognize the devil’s work: Hebrews 5:14 GW
solid food is for mature people, whose minds are trained by
practice to know the difference between good and evil.
source of absolute truth. We have a source of 100% truth—the
Bible in its plain, normal sense.
4:26-27 GW Be
angry without sinning. Don't go to bed angry. Don't give the devil
any opportunity to work.
6:11-15 GNB Put
on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to
stand up against the Devil's evil tricks. 12 For we are not
fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual
forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic
powers of this dark age. 13 So put on God's armor now! Then when
the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy's attacks;
and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground. 14
So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with
righteousness as your breastplate, 15 and as your shoes the
readiness to announce the Good News of peace.
8:38-39 NLT And
I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love.
Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our
fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow--not even the powers
of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above
or in the earth below--indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be
able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ
Jesus our Lord.
Lord Jesus suffered as well for a purpose. There is a purpose for
us, too. Hebrews 2:10 GNB It
was only right that God, who creates and preserves all things,
should make Jesus perfect through suffering, in order to bring many
children to share his glory. For Jesus is the one who leads them to
provides the way, the strength, the will, etc., but we must DO His
need to ask for His help: Psalm
145:18 NLT The
LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in
We must want purity (as
God defines it) and put our effort to do so: Philippians 1:10 NLT
want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live
pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ's return.
sorrowful, cry, and weep: Adam Clarke in his commentary writes on
afflicted, and mourn - Without true and deep repentance ye cannot
expect the mercy of God. Let your laughter be turned to mourning - It
appears most evidently that many of those to whom St. James addressed
this epistle had lived a very irregular and dissolute life. He had
already spoken of their lust, and pleasures, and he had called them
adulterers and adulteresses; and perhaps they were so in the grossest
sense of the words. He speaks here of their laughter and their joy;
and all the terms taken together show that a dissolute life is
help us to use nice words and thoughts (rebuke can be spoken in a
godly manner) and wise words: Proverbs
15:1 GNB A
gentle answer quiets anger, but a harsh one stirs it up.
We don’t want to abuse
others with our speech: Job 19:1-2 GW Then
Job replied to his friends, 2 "How long will you torment me and
depress me with words?
type of speech in body language and words is important. Ephesians
4:29 AMPC Let
no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or
worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech]
as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is
fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and
give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it.
we say and how we say it are indicators of our heart: Matthew
12:34-35 GNB You
snakes—how can you say good things when you are evil? For the
mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good person brings
good things out of a treasure of good things; a bad person brings
bad things out of a treasure of bad things.
and speech: 1 John 3:18 GNB My
children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be
true love, which shows itself in action.
we say must be true: Ephesians 4:25 GNB No
more lying, then! Each of you must tell the truth to the other
believer, because we are all members together in the body of Christ.
be according to God’s standard: Matthew 7:1-2 GNB Do
not judge others, so that God will not judge you, 2 for God will
judge you in the same way you judge others, and he will apply to you
the same rules you apply to others.
does the devil want to destroy Christians?
some ways the devil uses to destroy us?
does James instruct fellow believers to be sorrowful, cry, and weep?
is important about what we say?
must test all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21), so how can we judge?
The Christian life—placing ourselves under God’s authority James
Believers Should Know the Origin of Personal Wars and Arguing James
Believers Should Know Being Friends with World Is Enemy of God James
Believers Should Be Humble and Resist the devil James 4:7-10
Believers Should Know Not to Slander Judge Wrongly James 4:11-12
do arguments and strifes among you [come] from? [Don’t they come]
from your lusts that are at war in your bodies. 2 You covet something
and do not get [it], so you kill. You zealously desire [for things]
but cannot obtain it, so you quarrel and fight. You do not get
things, because you do not ask. 3 You ask, and do not receive,
because you ask with wicked motives, in order to squander it on your
lusts. 4 You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that to be
a friend of the world is to be an enemy of God? 5 Or do you think
that the Scripture says for no reason, “The Spirit that lives in us
yearns because of envy?” 6 But He gives greater grace. That’s why
he says, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Mears writes on James 4: The
world consists of all the things around us and the spirit within us
that are blind and deaf to the value of spiritual things and care
nothing about doing the will of God. The devil has organized this
world on principles opposed to God in every way. They are principles
of force, greed, ambition, selfishness and pleasure. The believer
should be crucified to this world. (Source)
for fights (wars, arguments, etc.) is πόλεμος
pólemos. It means war, battle, fight, dispute, etc. Robertson’s
Word Pictures has (polemos,
old word, Mat 24:6) pictures the chronic state or campaign, while
machē (also old word, 2Co 7:5) presents the separate conflicts or
battles in the war.
So we have a conflict that is a continuous battle that no one will
The Greek word
for strifes (quarrels, fightings, etc.) is μάχη máchē. It
means contentions, fights, etc. As we see above it refers to the
These are hot headed
arguments that each person feels so strongly that they will fight
even to the point of destroying their fellow believer.
We have a choice as
believers. We can live our lives in the world’s lifestyle or God’s
lifestyle. The world’s is results in disorder, confusion, and
societal ills. God’s lifestyle results in peace, love, joy, etc.
Which lifestyle do we
How do we avoid
Know the truth
Truth is reality.
God’s ways are
best. Isaiah 55:9 NLT For
just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are
higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
yoke is easy. His yoke is His rules. Matthew 11:30 NLT For
my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.
ways are decent and orderly: 1 Corinthians 14:40 NET And
do everything in a decent and orderly manner.
are characterized by the fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such
things there is no law.
ways lead to death: Proverbs 16:25 NLT There
is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in
ways lead to life: Romans 8:6 CSB Now
the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit
is life and peace.
Love is a choice.
We can choose to do
God’s will that results in peace or not do God’s will that
results in death.
Know what God thinks
God wants the
brothers and sisters to live in peace:
let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one
body, rule your hearts. And be thankful.
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
seek revenge. Let God do it, if it is needed. 1 Thessalonians 5:15
sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to
do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
Know ourselves: Do
we want peace?
Philippians 2:3 NLT Don't
be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of
others as better than yourselves.
Colossians 3:13 NIV Bear
with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a
grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Luke 10:27 NIV He
answered, " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your
mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
assistance: Luke 10:27 NIV He
answered, " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your
mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.
are fleshly desires. Not all fleshly desires are evil. They need to
be in moderation. Romans 13:13-14 GW We
should live decently, as people who live in the light of day. Wild
parties, drunkenness, sexual immorality, promiscuity, rivalry, and
jealousy cannot be part of our lives. 14 Instead, live
like the Lord Jesus Christ did, and forget about satisfying the
desires of your sinful nature.
are godly desires.
11:23 NET What
the righteous desire leads only to good, but what the wicked hope
for leads to wrath.
27:4 NET I
have asked the LORD for one thing - this is what I desire! I want
to live in the LORD's house all the days of my life, so I can gaze
at the splendor of the LORD and contemplate in his temple.
5:6 NET Blessed
are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be
is God’s will for us: Galatians 5:24 NLT Those
who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of
their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.
John 15:5 CSB I
am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in
him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.
of God= We can resist God and willing disobey, but it comes with a
penalty. We must not fight God: Acts 5:39 NIV But
if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will
only find yourselves fighting against God.
does not answer prayer.
does not bless.
chastens believers, not blessing the disobedient
Clarke states: Perhaps
the word in this and the two succeeding verses may be well
paraphrased thus: “Do ye think that concerning these things the
Scripture speaks falsely, or that the Holy Spirit which dwells in us
can excite us to envy others instead of being contented with the
state in which the providence of God has placed us? Nay, far
otherwise; for He gives us more grace to enable us to bear the ills
of life, and to lie in deep humility at his feet, knowing that his
Holy Spirit has said, Pro 3:34: God resisteth the proud, but giveth
grace to the humble. Seeing these things are so, submit yourselves
to God; resist the devil, who would tempt you to envy, and he will
flee from you; draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you.”
the (Holy) Spirit that God hath placed in us lust to (towards) envy”
(namely, as ye do in your worldly “wars and fightings”)?
Certainly not; ye are therefore walking in the flesh, not in the
Spirit, while ye thus lust
that is, with
against one another. The friendship of the world tends to breed
the Spirit produces very different fruit.
Keener in his IVP Background commentary states:
James may refer to the evil impulse that, according to Jewish
tradition, God made to dwell in people; on this reading, he is
saying, “This human spirit jealously longs,” as in Jas 4:1-3.
Less likely, he could mean that one’s spirit or soul longs and
ought to long—but for God (Psa 42:1-2; Psa 63:1; Psa 84:2).
third possibility is that he may be citing a proverbial maxim based
on such texts as Exo 20:5, Deu 32:21 and Joe 2:18, summarizing the
sense of Scripture thus: “God is jealous over the spirit he gave
us” and will tolerate no competition for its affection (Jas 4:4).
(Like Jewish writers, New Testament authors sometimes midrashically
meshed various texts together.) This view seems to fit the context
somewhat better than other views, given that Scripture did not
speak this “in vain” (Jas 4:5); but the “greater grace” of
Jas 4:6 could support the first view above.
a difficulty accepting God’s opinion if it differs from theirs
8:13 ESV The
fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way
of evil and perverted speech I hate.
John 2:16 NIV For
everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the
eyes, and the pride of life--comes not from the Father but from the
6:16-17 NIV There
are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,
14:11 NIV For
all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble
themselves will be exalted.
warning to us: Isaiah 2:17 NIV The
arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled; the
LORD alone will be exalted in that day,
2:3-8 NIV Do
nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility
value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but
each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships
with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being
in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to
be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by
taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by
becoming obedient to death--even death on a cross!
are to live in humility with God. Micah 6:8 NIV He
has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD
require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly
with your God.
some differences in words and actions that show the difference
between the Christian lifestyle and worldly lifestyle.
is the origin of most disagreements, wars, fights, arguments, etc.?
does God state that without Him we can do nothing?
some reasons God hates pride and love humility.