James follows up establishing our three foremost enemies…
- The flesh (v.1-3)
- The world (v.4-5)
- The devil (v.6-7)
…with three exhortations to repent from the most damaging effects of these enemies…
- Pride (v.8-10)
- Criticism (v.11-12)
- Arrogant self-confidence (v.13-17)
This is not just a lesson exclusively for us as individuals, but together as His church. These enemies bring division to destroy Christ’s intention of a single, unified body of believers.
“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
— John 17:22-23
The whole point of the spiritual gifts is to defeat these goals of our enemies in order to establish us united in His Word.
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
— Ephesians 4:11-14