Friday, September 22, 2006

Fourth Pass at This Weekend's Bible Lesson: James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a

[To see what this is about and to read the first pass at the lesson, go here. The second and third passes are here and here, respectively.]

[Continuing the Verse-by-Verse comments...]
7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
(1) To humble ourselves by submitting to God is not a submission to humiliation. Those who subordinate themselves to God acknowledge God's greatness and receive His power for living. First Peter 5:6 says, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time." By bowing to the God we meet in Jesus Christ, God lifts us up to become our best selves, the people we were made to be. (Haslam)

(2) Resisting the devil is precisely what Jesus had to do in the wilderness. We can be thankful that He did. Jesus' resistance to sin allowed Him to go to the cross as the perfect sinless representative of the human race, accepting our punishment for sin and winning eternal life for all who believe in Him.

More on temptation and resisting it here.

8aDraw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
(1) This is one of ten imperative statements made in vv. 7-10.

(2) There's a great promise here: God will come to those who ask for Him to be with Him.

(3) We also see something about the nature of God: God will not force Himself on anybody.

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