Jealous for Our Worship

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God's grace is enough for us to live in victory, but if we reject it, our pride will bring about His opposition.

James 4:5-6

Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

On the heels of James 4:4, which calls us out for our spiritual adultery, this passage, uses sarcasm to open the door for two more powerful points: God's grace is enough for us to live in victory, but if we reject it, our pride will bring about His opposition.

The sarcastic opening points out that the Scriptures are not just there to be read…but to be followed. They are to be effective… not just informative. With that in mind, James reminds us that God is jealous for our worship. He is jealous for our focus and for complete unity through the Spirit. Not jealous in a broken, sinful way of course, but jealous as in a parent’s concern over a wayward child or a wife’s concern over a wayward husband. It’s a righteous jealousy.

From there, we discover two profound points: God has given us the grace we need to overcome our fleshly desire for the things of the world, but if we reject that offer and remain unfaithful, we can expect His opposition. Regarding this fact, J.A. Motyer rightly said:

“The God who says, 'Here is My grace to receive' says in the same breath, 'here are My commands to obey.'"

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