All of Grace

An online community where believers can come and be challenged, edified and equipped with the Word of God unto every good work.
 
HomeHome  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  Log inLog in  

Share | 
 

 The Remedy to Worldliness: Part 6 - James 4:9

Go down 
AuthorMessage
LaRosa
Moderator
avatar


PostSubject: The Remedy to Worldliness: Part 6 - James 4:9   Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:58 am

The Remedy to Worldliness: Part 6 - James 4:9
Written by LaRosa Johnson
Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Now that we are in verse 9 of this passage, we have looked at half of the imperatives that James has given concerning the matter of turning from worldliness. Up to this point, James has instructed his readers to submit to God & resist the devil (v. 7), draw near to God, cleanse their hands and purify their hearts (v. Cool. So far, all of these have dealt with the actual turning away from sin and turning to God. Our passage today takes a look at the state that we should be in regarding our sin. With this verse containing four of our ten imperatives, it is a pretty heavy passage, but the first three relate to one another, so we will look at them as a single group. If hearts and minds are ready for the study of God's Word let us begin by reading our passage for today.

Quote :
James 4:9 (NASB) - Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.

Having read our verse, let us first take a look at the structure of the verse. We can see that this verse is broken into two sections; first, we have "Be miserable and mourn and weep," while the second half of the verse is, "let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom." The first half of this verse contains three of this verse's four imperatives, and they are: 1) be miserable, 2) mourn, and 3) weep. The final imperative is the word "turned," although it requires reading the whole context to understand what the imperative is talking about. Our study today will look at each half of this verse and the imperatives contained therein so that we can see the posture that we are to have concerning our sin.

As we can see pretty clearly from the first half of the verse, James is urging his readers to be sorrowful. At first glance, this appears to be contradictory to the teachings of Scripture where we are told to have joy and so on, but this is not the case. When we look at these words in light of their context, we see that they are absolutely appropriate under the circumstances. For these words there really isn't any reason to go to the Greek as the English words suffice to give us our meaning and bringing in the Greek only adds very little to our understanding. With that though, let us see what James means by using each of these words, and their importance given that they are back-to-back with one another. In order to do this, we must remember the context from the beginning of the chapter where James is speaking against their sinful deeds and their turning from God; with that in view, we understand that he is giving them a picture for how they should be responding to their sin.

The first imperative that we find is "be miserable," which basically means to be afflicted. For the believer, this is the emotion that he should have when he sins against God. In essence, this is a state of truly being broken and distressed over the sins we have committed against God. Knowing that we have sinned against the Lord, we should feel absolutely miserable realizing that we have once again fallen short of His perfect standard. Secondly, James tells us to "mourn." Mourning is the response that we should have over such brokenness; when we are broken by our sins and genuinely feel miserable, we should naturally have an inner response of mourning. Scripture is full of references to those who mourn, like in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:4; Luke 6:25); we also find other places in Scripture that talk about this, such as Psalm 51:17; Proverbs 14:13; and 2 Corinthians 7:10. Once you have an inward response to sin that comes in the form of mourning, you should then have an outward expression of remorse, which we find in the final imperative "weep." Very simply, weeping is the outward manifestation of inward brokenness over sin. One very clear example of this in Scripture is after Peter had denied Jesus, which we see in Mark 14:72. Realizing the sin he had committed against the Lord, Peter couldn't help but to weep and be repentant of his sins.

In essence, what James is showing us here is the posture that we need to have when we recognize that we have sinned against God. We should be absolutely broken over our sin, knowing that it doesn't line up with God's standard, which should then produce inner mourning and sorrow. And, when there is inner sorrow, there should also be an outward display through weeping. But James doesn't end there though, as he also brings more truth in the second half of this verse.

James also instructs that we are to turn our laughter and joy into mourning and gloom. What does he mean by that? Considering the situation that was going on in this congregation, they were literally enjoying their sins, as we saw earlier when we studied the first few verses of this chapter; they were finding pleasure in sin. This is not the kind of attitude that a true believer should have when faced with sin, which is why James is writing these words. Seriously, when you look at someone who finds pleasure in sin, they are the kind of person that gives no thought to God, life, death, sin, holiness, judgment or whatever; they are only after what is going to bring them pleasure. It is for this reason that James is saying that they (and we) need to transform that flippant emotion into genuine sorrow and repentance. An example of what this looks like is found in one of Jesus' parables (the Pharisee and the Tax Collector), which we find in Luke 18:13, 14. Here, we can see the sorrow of this tax collector and the posture that he had concerning his sin, and contrasting this with the Pharisee and his self righteousness.

If you haven't already figured it out, James is laying out for us the pattern for repentance. He isn't telling us that we need to be miserable the rest of our lives; instead, he is showing the kind of emotional state that we need to be in when we find ourselves in sin. When we are in fellowship with the Lord we should be walking in the joy of the Lord, but not when we're sinning. For those of us who are caught up in a lifestyle and pattern of sin, this is the prescription that we need in order to remedy our desires for worldliness. There is only one imperative left, and it serves as a summary of the previous nine, and we will take a look at that next time when we study verse 10. Until then, be miserable, mourn, and weep over your sins, living a life of true repentance!

devotion courtesy of Trailblazin Ministries
http://www.trailblazinministries.com/devotions/james071.php

_________________
Urban. Bible. Scholarship. - http://urban-scholar.com
Christ-centered Hip-Hop - http://www.sphereofhiphop.com
Back to top Go down
View user profile
 
The Remedy to Worldliness: Part 6 - James 4:9
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
All of Grace :: The Gathering Place :: Devotionals-
Jump to: