James 4:1-10 – The Grace of God to Put To Death Sin Within Us

It is a fact that we all have to face – none of us has ever had a relationship in our lives, not even one, that has been free of disappointment. None of us has realized our relational dreams. So we have to ask: Why are our relationships such a struggle? Why do we have to strive to live in peace and harmony with those whom we say we love? Why are our relationships marked by so much conflict? Why do we experience so much irritation, hurt, and impatience? Why?

The answer to these questions is both clear and hard to accept. Our relationships are a struggle because we all carry something into our relationships that is destructive to them. The Bible names it: sin. Sin causes us to be self-absorbed and self-destructive because it causes us to live for ourselves (see 2 Cor. 5:15). Sin causes each of us to be selfish in the real sense of what this word means. It makes us more demanding than serving, more accusing than forgiving, more defensive than approachable, and more critical than understanding and patient. You and I shouldn’t be surprised that our relationships are marked by problems. Given the presence and power of the sin that we drag into our relationships, what should surprise us is that our relationships survive at all.

Does the harsh reality of sin make you want to give up and quit? Does it make you long for that mythical island in the sea where you can live in peace all by yourself? You don’t need to panic, you don’t need to fear, and you surely don’t need to consider abandoning hope for the relationships you are in right now. Why? Because there is grace for this struggle. The hope for your relationships is not to be found in you or in the others in those relationships. Hope is found in a third person who has invaded your relationships by his grace. You are never alone in your relationships. He is with you. He is in you. He is for you. He offers you grace that is up to the task even when you’re not.

James 4 begins with one of the New Testament’s most honest discussions of conflict in our relationships. This passage is honest and direct about what we all face and why we face it, but the passage doesn’t leave us there. In the middle of this passage is this little phrase that changes everything: “But he gives more grace” (v.6). There is grace for every hurtful moment. There is grace for every time you sin or are sinned against. And the grace that you are given for your relationships will never, ever run out. There is always more of that grace for what is coming around the corner. You can give yourself to love, to forgive, to confess, to confront, to trust, and to persevere even when things are hard, because “he gives more grace.”

Paul Tripp

Read James 4:1-10 and consider where sin in your life might be leading you to quarrels and conflicts with those around you? How can you by the grace of God given to you put those things to death and put on the righteousness spoken of in the latter verses of this text?

All I Have Is Christ by Jordan Kauflin

Posted on: May 28, 2020 - 10:00PM

Comments are closed.