V. Instructions on Humility. James 4:1-5:6
A. Covetousness. James 4:1-10
1. Revealed the problem. James 4:1a
2. Recognized the cause. James 4:1-5
a. Their Covetousness. 4:1b
b. Their Conflict. 4:1c,2
c. Their Confusion. 4:3
d. Their Condemnation. 4:4 “Ye adulterers and adulteresses…” Unfaithful to God!
e. Their Conviction. 4:5
3. Recommended the solution. James 4:6-10
a. Repent unto the Lord. James 4:6
b. Resist the devil. James 4:7
1). The exhortation to the believer. “…Resist the devil…”
a). The devil is the originator of pride –
Isaiah 14:12-14 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
b). The devil is the propagator of pride.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
2). The example of the Lord. “…God resisteth the proud…”
God resists the Devil and He resists all those that are lifted up with pride. We have already been commanded by the Lord through James in chapter one that “the double minded man is unstable in all his ways” Jesus warned allegiance must be given to one master –
Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Now we must consider the practical issue – how in the world can I resist the devil? He is more powerful and knowledgeable that I am!
God will always provide that which we need to accomplish His will in our lives!
3). The enabling of the Lord.
We are commanded to ‘…resist the devil…” How? Refer to Ephesians 6:1-18
A positive action must accompany this resistance of the devil –
c. Return to the Lord. James 4:8,9
Proverbs 8:17-18 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
1). Confession. 4:8
King David, through pride in privilege and position, sinned against God. He was an easy prey for Satan to attack –
2 Timothy 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
David resisted God in his pride and acknowledged his suffering –
Psalm 32:3-4 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer.
He finally sought the Lord, submitted himself to God and confessed his sin –
Psalm 32:5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.
2). Contrition. 4:9
When we repent and return, we know the sadness of a broken heart – not only that of our own heart, but of the one that we hurt by our actions. We return in grief of mind and heart. We prepare ourselves to meet the one that we have offended.
Remember the attitude of the prodigal son as recorded in Luke chapter 15, returning home, not as a son, but a servant. His fear of rejection was turned to rejoicing because of the love of his father who was praying for his son to repent and return. This is an illustration of the Lord’s love and mercy for His children to come to Him –
d. Rejoice in the Lord. James 4:10
When we, believers, acknowledge the truth of God that James has stated and act accordingly by humbling ourselves, He will forgive us and restore us to fellowship with Himself.
Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This is a wonderful promise of God and will bring forth rejoicing in our lives!