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Humility In The Sight Of The Lord

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Introduction

Please turn with me in your Bibles to and let’s take a look at the passage we studied the last time we were here in James.
(NKJV)
4 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 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. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 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. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
4 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 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. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 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. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?
James 4:1-6
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
There are many commentators who believe that James is warning believers to turn from sin. And in a sense it can look that way. There is one commentator/ pastor that has given the view that these are not true believers within the body of Christ but more like apostates. The language within this letter to Jewish believers seems to be addressing that issue. The wheat and the tares! Those who profess and those who possess.
“God resists the proud,
As you all know from the scriptures we are studying in the Gospel of John that this is a real battle that our Lord is addressing. James, who by the way if you didn’t know already is the Lord’s half brother through Mary, is addressing the same issue here in his letter. There are two things to consider here. 1) If these are sinning believers the call is to repentance and to stop sinning that they would not continue in defiling the blessed name of Christ and 2) If these are professing but not true believers this is a call to repentance and to turn from a superficial belief, a false belief that is not saving faith. Now your question to me is going to be, “what do you believe?” Given the evidences of the attitudes and the constant addressing of these attitudes and ungodly actions I have come to the conclusion that these are not true Christians. I tell you beloved not what I think, but because I have seen this attitude at work within the church by experience and it is pride without repentance and it’s evil and does not belong to God and this is what James is confronting.
But gives grace to the humble.”
This is none other than the call to “examine yourselves to see whether or not you are in the faith” given by Paul. When you go home today go home and read chapter 1-4 and really pay attention to the evils that James is addressing. If you have a pen and paper handy write these passages down that helped guide my decision. ; ; ; and 3:11-18. Take this home with you and see for yourselves.
As we move forward we move into a portion of Scripture that solidifies the fact that James is addressing unbelievers. One thing we have to understand before we get started is the heights of grace that God gives to even those who are not possessors of the saving faith that God is willing to give if a person who comes humbly to our great God who is Savior by nature and I believe that if we see it from this perspective we see just how great God’s grace is. If that is even possible.
God has made Himself known to all humanity by all of conscience and all of creation read Romans 1:18-20.
(NKJV)
19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
Today we come across 10 commands directed at these unbelievers to respond to God’s divine call. These 10 commands are to submit, to resist, to draw near, to cleanse, to purify, to be miserable, to mourn, to weep, to earnestness, and finally to humility. Let’s begin here.
James 4:6 NKJV
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
This comes from an Old Testament passage.
(NKJV)
34 Surely He scorns the scornful, But gives grace to the humble.
“God resists the proud, We need to understand the severity of this verse. This is much worse than saying God resists us by not giving us what we want because we don’t listen to Him.
But gives grace to the humble.
The original word, antitassetai, signifies, God’s setting himself as in battle array against them; (Matthew Henry asks the question) and can there be a greater disgrace than for God to proclaim a man a rebel, an enemy, a traitor to his crown and dignity, and to proceed against him as such?
Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 2416). Peabody: Hendrickson.
Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 2416). Peabody: Hendrickson.
This is God suited in battle array prepared for battle against the sinner. Do you see the significance here? But gives grace to the humble.” How great is God’s grace? Without going into great detail, we are going to let the Scriptures speak to us this morning about the length, the height, the depth of God’s great grace.
James 4:7 NKJV
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

1) To Submit

James 4:6
. Therefore submit to God.

hupotassō (submit)

hupotassō (submit) means to be obedient, obey, bring under control, put in subjection as a soldier submits to his superiors. Just to give you an example of how its used. Luke uses it when Jesus was a boy He submitted to His parents (). Paul uses it in submitting to human government and in when he told wive’s to be submissive to their husbands just as the church is subject to Christ and etc.
What does this mean? A person cannot come to God without submitting himself to God, to Christ in obedience to His Lordship. It’s a change of allegiance whereas a believer was once under the control of the world system, under the lordship of Satan, his child, now that person has given God full ownership over him. With that an exchange of loyalties from friends, family, and world to God alone.

2) To Resist

. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Why must there be this submission to God, this change of allegiance, this exchange of loyalty? Because to submit to one is to resist the other.
(NKJV)
24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.
(NKJV)
16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
The word resist translates from the Greek word anthisētmi which means to oppose, to set one’s self against or to stand against. You have to understand either you are for God or for the devil and if you surrender to the Lordship of Christ you resist the devil, you oppose him, he is no longer master over you and the command to resist him brings along the promise that he will flee from you. What does this mean? This means that the doors are left open wide for demonic activity without submission to God.
(NKJV)
13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” 16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
Why didn’t that exorcism work? Because you have people who belong to a demonic world system trying to command demons to flee! Only the Spirit of God can do that. The demons knew Jesus and one who belonged to Him (Paul).
16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
So let the beginning of verse 7 sink deep down into your mind for a moment though. Do you see what that verse is saying? Before submission to God their is friendship with this world and James says back in verse 4 of this chapter, friendship with the world is enmity or hostility with God.
Devil in the Greek is Diabolos which means slanderer, or accuser. This is how blind we are listen to this. Before submission to God we love our sin, we love this world system with all of its lust’s and enticements. We love its language, it’s music, its entertainment, its style, its ways, its love for power, its pursuit and greed for financial gain, its thinking, we by definition belong to that system and its ruler before submission to God, and get this, the devil by nature loves that you want all that. Why? Because in the middle of loving all your indulgences in this world he turns around and accuses you before God almighty. His job is to blind you with the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and with the boastful pride of life to separate you from God so that you will die in your in indulgences, your lust for things, your idolatries, your sensual, emotional and sexual pleasures to separate you from the love God has for those made in His image. He knows that once you die there is no forgiveness of sins. His job is to separate God and man but God did something so marvelous. He sent His Son to reconcile that relationship.
James 4:8 NKJV
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

3) To Draw Near

. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
This is intimate fellowship, communion with the living God. MacArthur says quote:
Salvation involves submitting to God as Lord and Savior, but also brings the desire for a true relationship with Him. Seeking salvation is seeking God (cf. ; ).
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1998). James (pp. 205–206). Chicago: Moody Press.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1998). James (pp. 205–206). Chicago: Moody Press.
This is what make profession without possession such hypocrisy. How can you say that you know Him but don’t desire to have true relationship with Him? Hypocrisy shows nothing less than unbelief. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. David says in:
(NKJV)
18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.
David to his son Solomon says:
To all who call upon Him in truth.
(NASB95)
9 “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.
(NKJV)
13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

4) To Cleanse

. Cleanse your hands, you sinners;
(NKJV)
15 When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. 16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Even though you make many prayers,
(NKJV)
2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
I will not hear.
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood.
This is external behavior. One commentator calls it
the outward instruments of action.
16 “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.
Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 492). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 492). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Cease to do evil,
The idea behind this is the priests in the Old Testament had to ceremonially cleanse their hands and their feet before they sacrificed offerings to the Lord.
Again, this is still an act of submission to God. Matthew Henry says:
He who comes unto God must have clean hands. Paul therefore directs to lift up holy hands without wrath and doubting (), hands free from blood, and bribes, and every thing that is unjust or cruel, and free from every defilement of sin: he is not subject to God who is a servant of sin. The hands must be cleansed by faith, repentance, and reformation, or it will be in vain for us to draw nigh to God in prayer, or in any of the exercises of devotion.
Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 2416). Peabody: Hendrickson.
Before we move on, I just want to point out one thing here, the word sinners comes from the Greek word hamartōlos. There are many examples of this word used for sinners . In the Old Testament it always referred to unbelievers which the Jews to whom James was writing would have understood and in the New Testament was used of unbelievers, or the unsaved.
(NKJV)
13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
(NKJV)
13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’
(NKJV)
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Just a few examples.

5) To Purify

. and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
If the command to cleanse your hands was and external behavior, the internal attitude is to purify your hearts. We see Hebrew parallelism here “cleanse your hands with purify your hearts” and “you sinners with you double-minded.” We see in where God declares:
(NKJV)
25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
This is something that we can not do by our own power. Its all of God. It’s Him who gives a new heart and puts His Spirit in us. says that God draws to to Him, not by force but by irresistible grace, grace that is so powerful that it cannot be resisted.
purify your hearts, you double-minded. James used this same word back in 1:8. What does is mean? It means double-souled. This is one who is holding on to God in one hand and the world in the other.
This is the person who lacks integrity, who claims one thing and lives another. This is the hypocrite in the assembly of believers who is commonly confronted in James. Here is further proof that James is speaking of and to unbelievers. The Lord Himself made clear that “no one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other” () and that “he who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters” (12:30). A double-minded person therefore could not possibly be a Christian.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1998). James (p. 210). Chicago: Moody Press.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1998). James (p. 210). Chicago: Moody Press.
We read earlier that God resists the proud but gives grace to the Humble. Hypocrisy is pride,
We read earlier that God resists the proud but gives grace to the Humble.Hypocrisy is pride,
Hypocrisy is pride,
hypocrisy is heart-impurity; but those who submit themselves to God aright will purify their hearts as well as cleanse their hands. 4
Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 2416). Peabody: Hendrickson.
Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 2416). Peabody: Hendrickson.
James 4:9 NKJV
Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.

6) To Be Miserable

. Lament
I don’t think lament captures the thought of whats going on here. The NASB translates this word as being miserable. Be miserable over what? I don’t want to be miserable! This isn’t like that. This word means to be sorrowful, to grieve, over your sin, being lost, being separated from God! Grieving like that of the loss of a loved one. This is brokenness!

7) To Mourn

. and mourn
This is deep grief and remorse. Do you know what it feels like to hurt over your sin?
(NKJV)
4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
For they shall be comforted.

8) To Weep

. and weep!
This is the outward manifestation of inner sorrow.

9) To Earnestness

. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
James is not condemning laughter and Joy but rather he is telling you who once loved your sin laughed at it and found joy in it, could care less about your separation from God, the excitement that comes with sinful pleasures! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
(NKJV)
25 Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep.
For you shall hunger.
Woe to you who laugh now,
Part ways with vain religion and empty profession, turn from hypocrisy
For you shall mourn and weep.
What is all this? It is the beginning of forgiveness! Be miserable, morn, weep over your lostness, over your sin, and come to God in earnestness, serious and sincere! The latter part of says:
(NKJV)
21. ...Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh.
For you shall be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
God will give you true joy when you sorrow over sin. This is something that believers know. Leave your lives as enemies of God! God gives grace to the humble! God resists the proud, turn from your self-righteous pride!
For you shall laugh.

10) To Humility

James 4:10 NKJV
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
:

Tapeinoō (humble yourselves)

Tapeinoō (humble yourselves).This means to make yourself low. Recognize sinner your lost state and your unworthiness in the sight of the Lord! Recognize that you stand before a Holy God! Say with Isaiah when he saw God’s holiness:
(NKJV)
Isaiah Called to Be a Prophet
6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” 4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”
5 So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; or my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”
5 So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”
6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
“Woe is me, for I am undone!
“Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”
The whole earth is full of His glory!”
4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
5 So I said:
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
“Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
For my eyes have seen the King,
For my eyes have seen the King,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The Lord of hosts.”
The Lord of hosts.”
The Lord of hosts.”
Recognize the power of Christ as Peter did when
He saw Jesus miraculously fill their nets with fish, (when he acted out in unbelief) he cried out, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” ().
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1998). James (p. 214). Chicago: Moody Press.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1998). James (p. 214). Chicago: Moody Press.
(NKJV)
12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Conclusion

Will you humble yourselves this day?
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