1. Subjects previously covered in our study of James include:
a. "facing temptations" (1:2-18)
b. "hearing and doing the Word" (1:19-27)
c. "respect of persons" (2:1-13)
d. "faith and works" (2:14-26)
e. "a warning for teachers" (3:1)
f. "use of the tongue" (3:2-12)
g. "true and false wisdom" (3:13-18)
h. "strife among Christians" (4:1-10)
i. "speaking evil of others" (4:11-12).
2. Throughout his letter James showed how Christians must not overlook God's will.
3. (4:13-17) James dealt specifically with overlooking God's will when making plans.
I. (vs.13) THESE INSTRUCTIONS RELATE TO SELF-SUFFICIENCY
A. James confronted a situation in which financial plans are made for the future.
1. James wrote about people who decide on their own:
a. when they will do what they want to do
b. where they will go
c. how long they will stay there
d. what they will do
e. what the outcome of their efforts will be.
2. In this statement,:
a. God is not mentioned
b. God's will is not considered
c. God is not recognized as the source of all good blessings (1:17)
d. no plans for serving the Lord are included.
B. Depending upon self to this extent must be avoided (Jeremiah 10:23).
C. One of the Lord's parables was about a man with this problem (Luke 12:16-21).
D. Making plans for the future is not wrong, but God and His will must be included in our plans.
II. (vs.14, 16) JAMES SHOWED WHY CHRISTIANS MUST NOT BE SELF-SUFFICIENT
A. (vs.14) We must not be self-sufficient because no one knows what will happen tomorrow.
1. Life is like a vapor -- it appears for a short time and vanishes.
2. Life is so uncertain that we cannot afford to overlook God and His will.
B. (vs.16) We must not be self-sufficient because it is evil.
1. Self-sufficient people rejoice in their "boastings."
2. All such rejoicing is evil, and the Lord's people must not be guilty of it.
C. Instead of depending upon self, . . .
III. (vs.15) CHRISTIANS ARE TO DEPEND UPON THE LORD
A. Christians are to acknowledge the Lord's will and trust in His providence.
B. Paul's example is worthy of imitation (Acts 18:20-21; 1 Corinthians 4:19; 16:7).
C. Wise advice is given in Proverbs 3:5-6.
IV. (vs.17) KNOWING TO DO GOOD AND NOT DOING IT IS SIN
A. From the context, knowing that we should trust in the Lord's will and failing to do so is sin.
B. The Bible addresses the sin of omission many times (Matthew 25:24-30; 25:41-46).