Walk In The Spirit

“You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child.” (Exodus 22:22 NKJV)

We, as believers, are not to oppress or take advantage of any widow or fatherless child. In other words, we are to show them kindness and to help them.

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)

Here, religion is not meant to mean a set of rules and customs that bind a person to a particular religion, like the word has come to mean, but instead is meant to mean worship before God in its pure form.

Orphans and widows were one of the most extreme types of helpless people when James wrote this. Today, we have people strung out on all kinds of addictions, people who feel hopeless and people who are taken advantage of by all types of predators.

What is an orphan? An orphan is a fatherless child. Anyone who does not know God is considered a fatherless child, and, though some may have money and seem to be doing ok, there is still no Father to protect them from evil or to guide them through life.

Christians are to be a light to the world, showing others Christ in us, ministering to those who are fatherless in their troubles, while keeping ourselves unspotted from the world. We all fall at times because we are human, but, Jesus is always there to pick us up and carry us through our disasters, something those who do not know Jesus lack. This is where we can be helpful in ministering to those who have fallen and cannot pick themselves up. Whether our help comes by sharing the Gospel, sharing our time or sharing a resource, we worship God and show the love of the Father inside us when we help others in need.

What does it mean to keep oneself unspotted from the world?

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15 NKJV)

Here, John is not talking about loving the world in the same sense as he did in John 3:16 because God does love the world He created. John is talking about the part of the world that is godless, the part of the world that causes sin, the part of the world fallen since the time of Adam and Eve. John is specifically talking to young people who easily fall to lust, vanity, pride, chasing wealth and things like that. When these things are placed ahead of God, then the love, or the goodwill, of the Father is usually not the person’s internal motive.

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not 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. (James 4:4 NKJV)

The earliest translations only include adulteresses, but James was addressing a mostly male audience, which may be the reason for the addition of adulterers. This is not to be taken literally, as in those who cheat on their spouse, but is meant to convey the point of Christians who go against God, as Christians are the bride of Christ.

The world will try to sway Christians into following what the world says is right and wrong, which, a lot of the time, goes against what God says is good and evil. Christians who wish to be politically correct to become a friend of the world put enmity between themselves and God.

It may start out as a small compromise that might seem harmless, but it most likely goes against the word of God. All the world needs is a foot in your door and, most assuredly, your door will eventually open up to the world and change your heart, unless you repent and change your heart back to what is godly.

James is not merely talking about having enmity with God, but actually being an enemy of God. Jesus said, in Matthew 12:30, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” Being an enemy of God is being an ally of satan.

Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? (James 4:5 NKJV)

This is one of the most debated and perplexing passages in the Bible. No one has been able to agree on the Scripture referenced here. Many believe James is referring to Old Testament Scriptures in general, but no one can say with certainty. Also at the center of the debate is two sides, is James talking about the spirit of man or is James talking about the Holy Spirit who dwells in believers?

When we became believers, God’s Spirit began to dwell within us, yet it is our spirit who came to God in humility asking for forgiveness of our sins and asking God to dwell within us. Before that moment with God, we may have possessed a heart full of love for worldly things, but, then again, we may have possessed a good heart, a heart that just did not know God personally. Either way, it is God who changed our heart for the better.

While I was reading many commentaries on James 4:5, I heard an Old Testament Scripture in my thoughts, one that I had not yet read from an Old Testament book I have not read yet. I heard 1 Kings 3:5. I read that verse and I kept reading through verse 14:

At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?”

And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”

10 The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. 13 And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. 14 So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” (1 Kings 3:5-14 NKJV)

I then went back and read the entire chapter of James 4:

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not 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. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

Humility Cures Worldliness

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Do Not Judge a Brother

11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?

Do Not Boast About Tomorrow

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. (James 4 NKJV)

What is the Spirit that dwells within believers?

And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3 NKJV)

I was always taught this verse meant men would live to be 120 years old, but, it seems that is a wrong interpretation. All except Noah and his family loved the world while Noah loved God and preached repentance. God was giving mankind a 120 year warning to repent before the flood:

The Lord said; either,

1. To the men of that age by the mouth of Noah; or,

2. Within himself; {see Psalm 14:1} he determined.

Strive with man, or, contend, or, debate in or against men, as it hath hitherto done, by inward motions and suggestions in the minds and consciences of wicked men, or by the mouths and ministry of that small remnant of holy men, and particularly of Noah, who protested against and contended with the world of the ungodly, and by their doctrines, admonitions, threatenings, and examples, endeavoured to bring them to repentance: 1 Peter 3:19; or dispute with, or concerning, or because of men, i.e. whether I should destroy or save him, as God disputes with or about Ephraim, Hosea 11:8.

For that he also, i.e. even the seed of Seth, or the sons of God also, no less than the offspring of Cain; the pronoun being here put for the foregoing noun, and the singular number put for the plural, he, i.e. they, to wit, the sons of God. Both which figures are frequent in the use of Scripture. Or, he, i.e. man, all mankind, the sons of God not excepted,

is flesh; not only fleshly in part, or in some actions, but altogether, in regard of soul as well as body, minding nothing but making provision for the flesh to fulfil its lusts, Romans 13:14.

Not having the Spirit, Judges 1:19, nor heeding its good motions, but suppressing and resisting them.

Flesh not only in the condition of their nature, but in the baseness and corruption of their hearts and lives; as the word flesh is commonly used when it is opposed to the Spirit, as John 3:6 Romans 7:18, Romans 8:5, Romans 8:7, Galatians 5:17.

Yet, though he deserve a speedy destruction,

his days, i.e. the time allowed him for repentance, and the prevention of his ruin,

shall be an hundred and twenty years.During which time Noah was preaching; and, to assure them of the truth of his doctrine, preparing the ark. See 1 Peter 3:20 2 Peter 2:5.

Question. How did God perform this promise, when there were but a hundred years between this time and the flood, by comparing Genesis 5:32, with Genesis 7:11?

Answer.

1. The increasing wickedness of mankind might justly hasten their ruin, and forfeit the benefit of this indulgence.

2. This promise, though mentioned after that, Genesis 5:32, yet seems to have been made twenty years before it; for that verse is added there out of its proper place only to complete the genealogy; and therefore, after this narration, it is repeated here in its due order, Genesis 6:10. And such hysteron proteronsare frequently noted in Scripture.


The Holy Spirit still lives today within all who love God and do not love the world.

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. (Galatians 5:16-17 NKJV)

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:18-25 NKJV)

18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:18-26 NKJV)