James 4:5-10

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Text: James 4:5-10

God's Provision for Deliverance

I. Within believers, there is a jealous spirit - 4:5

James 4:5 - Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

In my view, the spirit that dwelleth in us is understood as referring God the Holy Spirit.

However, some have understand spirit as referring, not to the Holy Spirit, but to a believers' lustful and jealous spirits, dispositions, or attitudes of mind which are too often found in them and lead to all kinds of sinful problems in their own lives and between themselves and others.

Lusteth is longs for, desires, or yearns over; and its present tense indicates that this is a timeless truth, something which is always true under all circumstances.

To envy is with envy or with jealousy.

There is no text in the Old Testament which specifically states this; so James is apparently summarizing the general teaching of the Old Testament. In Galatians 5:16-17 Paul wrote that God the Holy Spirit is in opposition to the old sin natures of believers.

(16) This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

(17) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

II. But God provides all the grace necessary for believers to experience victory in their lives - 4:6a

James 4:6 a - But he giveth more grace. . . .

God gives all the grace believers need. This grace is more than adequate for anything the believer may encounter.

III. Although always resisting the proud, God continually provides grace for the humble - 4:6b

James 4:6 b - . . . Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Wherefore = therefore or for this reason.

He saith is it says and means the Scripture says.

God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble is quoted from Proverbs 3:34 , which says, Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.

Resisteth is resists or opposes; and its present tense indicates that this is a timeless truth, something which is always true under all circumstances.

The proud is haughty, arrogant, or proud ones (or people).

But introduces a contrast between how God reacts toward proud people and how He reacts toward humble people. Although God resists the proud, He giveth grace unto the humble.

Grace is unmerited favor. In this context it is not saving grace but grace to live the Christian life and to have victory over their sinful lusts and desires.

IV. As a result, believers should always be submissive to God while resisting the devil, causing him to flee - 4:7

Starting in verse 7 there are a series of brief commands. The tense of all of them indicate that their action is to be undertaken at once and without any delay.

James 4:7 - Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Submit yourselves is subject yourselves, be subjected, be subordinated, or obey; and its tense indicates that this is to be done at once and without delay. It is the opposite of a proud, defiant resistance of God and His will.

Therefore = then, consequently, accordingly, or so.

To God is to God the Father.

Rather than opposing or resisting God the Father as an enemy, believers are to resist (or oppose) the devil, their true enemy.

The result of the believers resisting the devil is he will flee from (or away from) you, i.e. he will seek safety in flight. Its mood indicates that it is something which will definitely happen.

V. Believers should draw near to God, which will result in His drawing near to them. They should keep out of sin and purify their hearts - 4:8

James 4:8 - Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Draw nigh to God is approach God or come near to God.

He (i.e. God the Father) will draw nigh to you (i.e. will approach you or God will come near to you).

Cleanse your hands is make (your) hands clean, or purify (your) hands.

As sinners, they are sinners saved by grace. As believers, they must stay out of involvement in sin.

Purify your hearts is understood in the sense of make your hearts morally pure or cleanse your hearts. It is a matter of confessing and forsaking all sin.

Double minded suggests doubting or hesitating. A worldly believer is double minded. As a believer, his allegiance is to the Lord; but as a worldly believer, his allegiance is also to the world. His loyalty is divided.

VI. They should also be serious with the Lord and in the things of the Lord - 4:9

James 4:9 - Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

Be afflicted is endure sorrow (or distress), be miserable, or be wretched; and giving expression to this feeling means lament, complain, or grieve.

There needs to be mourning over sin and not giddiness or a phony appearance of happiness. People need to be serious with God over things lacking in their lives.

Mourn, which means be sad or grieve.

Weep or cry. They should weep because of the seriousness of their situation.

Let . . . be turned is a third person imperative for which English has no equivalent. It means must be turned, must be altered, or must be changed. What must be turned, altered, or changed is your laughter. It is not a time for laughter; it is a time for seriousness with the Lord.

Their laughter is to be turned to mourning or into mourning, (i.e. grief or sadness).

Joy is gladness and must be turned into heaviness (i.e. gloominess or dejection). In the context it suggests the opposite of joy, i.e. sadness, particularly sadness because of their failures to be what they should be as believers.

It suggests the need for seriousness in dealing with God.

VII. Believers should also humble themselves in His sight so that He might exalt them - 4:10

James 4:10 - Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Humble yourselves is cause yourselves to be humble, become humble, or make yourselves humble in attitude.

In the sight of the Lord is in the presence of the Lord or before the Lord, i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ.

Shall lift you up is will lift you up, will raise you up, or will exalt you. Its mood indicates that this is something which will definitely happen.