How to Receive God’s Grace

Text: James 4:6-10

God’s grace is offered to all (Titus 2:11), but it is not received by all. This passage tells us how to receive God’s grace, which leads to salvation (Ephesians 2:8).

We Must Be Humble (v. 6)

  • God offers grace to all, but only gives it to the humble (Matthew 5:3) – humility is contrasted with pride (Luke 18:9-14)
  • Pride blinds one to his faults – he believes he does not need God, and that God owes him for his goodness
  • Humility allows one to see his faults and recognize his need for salvation

We Must Submit to God (v. 7)

  • Remember that this is in the context of receiving God’s grace – “Submit therefore to God
  • Many believe that grace and works are conflicting in salvation – they are not (Ephesians 2:8-10)
  • Humility should lead to obedience (James 1:21-22) – faithful obedience results in justification (James 2:24)

We Must Resist the Devil (v. 7)

  • We resist the devil because he is trying to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8)
  • The devil attacks us through false teaching (2 Corinthians 11:3) and temptations to commit sin (1 John 2:15-17)
  • Grace is not a license to sin (Jude 4) – it frees us from sin (Romans 6:1-2, 11, 14); leads to salvation (Romans 6:22-23)

We Must Draw Near to God (v. 8)

  • If we draw near to God, He will draw near to us (cf. Hebrews 4:15-16)
  • How? … We draw near to God through Christ (Hebrews 10:19-22)
  • As Christians, we must continue to draw near to God by following the way of Christ (John 14:6)

We Must Cleanse Our Hands (v. 8)

  • This is a continual process – contrary to the Calvinistic idea of “once in grace, always in grace”
  • We were cleansed of our past sins in baptism (Acts 22:16) – after baptism, we must cleanse ourselves of any sins that we commit (1 John 1:7, 9)
  • We are not to ignore sin in our lives (1 John 1:6, 8; 2 Corinthians 13:5)

We Must Purify Our Hearts (v. 8)

  • The Scriptures repeatedly affirm that God’s grace is conditional – those conditions are more than just outward; our hearts must be pure (Matthew 5:8)
  • We must watch over our hearts (Proverbs 4:23) – obedience must be from the heart (Romans 6:17)
  • You double-minded” – we must have a wholehearted devotion to God (Matthew 22:37)

We Must Mourn (v. 9)

  • Many believe that God just wants them to be happy – this idea is used to justify all kinds of sin
  • God wants us to be happy in heaven… but we have to get there first – we must mourn for sin (Matthew 5:4); groan for heaven (2 Corinthians 5:2)
  • True and lasting happiness is found in heaven (Revelation 21:4)

Conclusion (v. 10)

  • How do we receive God’s grace? … James comes back to the point on humility – this is connected to everything else
  • God will exalt us “at the proper time” (1 Peter 5:6) – this will be when the Lord returns (1 Peter 1:3-7, 13)

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