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The Condition of Modern Man

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A Sermon on James 4:13-16

Boasting About Tomorrow

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. (ESV)

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What does the Bible say about the world’s problems? The world gives many diagnostics to explain its many ills. The rationalist says that humanity’s biggest problem is that people do not use reason. Others say that people have yet to overcome their base desires. But what does the Bible say? According to God’s word, why do people kill one another and oppress each other? In this sermon on James 4:13–16 titled “The Condition of Modern Man,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones focuses on the passage to find answers to these questions. Here it is seen that humanity’s problem is that people are greedy and love themselves. It is out of this self-love that they fight and kill their fellow humans. But this is only symptomatic of the deeper problem of the fundamentally fallen nature. People not only sin, but they are sinful. What is the answer to this great dilemma? How can sinful people overcome this hatred of God and the word, and be saved? The answer is Jesus Christ. In spite of fallen humanity’s hatred towards God, God sent His only Son to die in the place of sinners. This sermon confronts all with the biblical command to repent and believe upon the name of Jesus.


Additional Scripture Translations

James 4:13-16, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

13Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. For you are just a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

James 4:13-16, King James Version (KJV)

13Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. 16But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.


About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.