Sunday, March 13, 2011

Book of James - Part 10: Submit Yourselves to God

The Book of James
Part 10 - Submit Yourselves to God
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

James 4:7-10
 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.


INTRODUCTION

In the beginning of Chapter 4 in the Book of James, we read about James’ warning us not to be worldly.

He continues today, in verses 7-10 about what to do if you are worldly.

In this handful of verses, James will show us what God expects from us, and what we are to do about it.

Today we can take this word, and ask ourselves, “Am I submitting to God?”, “Are the things I do for God, or me?”


       I.            SUBMIT YOURSELVES TO GOD

a.      Submit yourselves to God
                                                             i.      To the plan He has provided {The Cross}
1.      First for your salvation
2.      then, for your guidance
3.      finally, to lead others to Him


b.     Resist the devil and he will flee
                                                             i.      We do this by keeping our focus on Christ and the cross, what He did for us there.  The same cross where Satan was defeated.

1.      Colossians 2:14-15 “Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”


                                                          ii.      If you are living in a sin, and you know it is a sin, you are not resisting the devil, but inviting him into your life.

1.      As long as you are inviting him in, he will never leave.
a.      Remember last week when we read the works of the flesh?
b.     Ephesians 5:3-6 3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”

c.      “neither filthiness, foolish talk or joking”

d.     “No whoremonger, nor unclean person, no covetous man who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ (salvation)

e.      “Do not be deceived...because of these things, comes the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”

2.      When you find yourself in sin...YOU MUST;
a.      Confess it!
b.     Ask the Lord for forgiveness
c.      REPENT, truly
d.     You will be forgiven, and made clean...


c.      Come near to God and He will come near to you
                                                             i.      Run away from God {by ignoring His Word, His Spirit, the Lord’s commands} and God cannot come near you.

1.      When we work to come closer to God, He will be closer to us...in a relational way.
a.      We know God is everywhere, and cannot be physically closer, since He is everywhere.

b.     But in a relational way, we can be closer to Him.

c.      When we give 10% of ourselves to God and our relationship with Him, we get 10% of a relationship...

d.     If we give 90% of ourselves to a relationship with God, we will get 90%.

e.      We cannot give little of ourselves, and expect to receive all...relationships do not work this way.



   II.            WASH YOUR HANDS
a.      After we submit ourselves to God and His will, we see the sin in our lives...we need to do something about it now!


b.     Wash {purify} your hands {works}
                                                             i.      You sinners
                                                          ii.      We need to CHANGE our works!
                                                       iii.      James tells us here that we need to DO {works} in a cleaned {purified} manner.
1.      He is speaking about the basic motivation behind our acts.

2.      When we recognize the sin in our lives, we see that all of our actions were done with selfish motivation.
a.      We help others...to be praised by them

b.     We give to charity and the poor...to FELL better

c.      We say kind things...to make others like us

d.     Our actions all have selfish and self-centered motivation...and count for NOTHING in the Kingdom of God!

e.      BUT, these very same actions, done with the right motivation {to serve God and His will and purpose} purifies {washes} our works {hands}.


c.      Purify your hearts
                                                             i.      You double-minded

                                                          ii.      James is telling us, we need to change the core of our being.

                                                       iii.      Our hearts are our motivation for all that we say, think and do...it is the storehouse for all we know, and understand, and it is the looking glass by which we see the entire world, others and our personal experience.

1.      If it is impure and corrupt, dirty and scratched, this is how we view everything.

2.      But, if we submit ourselves to God, confess our sin and allow His Holy Spirit to do a work in us...our hearts will be purified, cleaned and filled with God’s Word.
a.      As we grow in faith {through the reading of God’s Word}, we are purifying our hearts, and growing closer to the Lord.

b.     However, we MUST have TRUE repentance, or there is no TRUE forgiveness for our sins.



III.            RECOGNIZE YOUR SIN
a.      Be afflicted {recognize your own misery} - You need to see the sin in your life, and all the curses it has brought with it.

                                                             i.      Mourn and weep
1.      When was the last time you cried over your sin?
2.      Have you ever truly mourned for sinning against a pure and holy God?
3.      If you do not have a new relationship with sin since coming to the Lord, then you do not have a new relationship with God.

                                                          ii.      Let laughter turn to mourning
1.      Sin against God is not to be taken lightly...
2.      It is not a past time, party time, fun time...
3.      The word promises, if you do not mourn and weep for your sin now, there will come a time when you do...but it will be too late to repent.


b.     Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord
                                                             i.      and He shall lift you up

                                                          ii.      If you humble yourselves to the Lord, mourn for your sin against Him, He shall lift you up!

                                                       iii.      Too many spend their entire lives trying to lift themselves up, make themselves FEEL better, make their lives more enjoyable...but to no avail...
1.      You must submit to the Lord, confess your sin, truly repent, then, and only then, will He lift you up.
CONCLUSION

When hearing the Word of God today, do you feel as if you are truly submitting to God in your life?

Remember, God has three wills for you in your life...first of all, for you to  be saved, secondly for you to seek His will in your life’s direction, and thirdly, that you help others to come to the knowledge of the only one who can save them, Jesus Christ.

Are you resisting the devil in your life, or inviting him in?

Come closer to God through faith, which is increased through the reading of His word, and He will come closer to you in relationship.

Focus your actions in life on pleasing God, not man.

Recognize the sin in your life, confess it to Him, and repent with a true repentance, and God will lift you up.