God Gives Greater Grace

Photo by RODNAE Productions: https://www.pexels.com/photo/side-view-photo-of-praying-man-7468222/

Please turn with me in your Bibles to James chapter four. Our text for today is:

James 4:6-7 But He {God} giveth more grace. Wherefore He saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

A Texas oil tycoon had one of his most prolific oil wells on fire – and every minute it burned he lost thousands of dollars in black gold. The tycoon called every fire department in that area, begging them to come and put out that fire. They came, and tried to get to the fire – but the blaze was just too hot! All they could do was contain the blaze from a distance. About 15 minutes after all the other fire departments responded, the Volunteer Fire Department came chugging along. The Fire Chief was driving Ol’ Betsy, a 1926 American LaFrance vintage fire engine. Wheezing and puffing, Ol’ Betsy took the crew past the other engines, and stopped well within blistering range of the inferno. The men jumped off, quickly set the hoses, and within minutes put out the fire. Everyone cheered! The firemen – heroes all – started stowing their gear, their protective clothing still smoldering. The Oil Baron was ecstatic. Finding the Chief, he promised to donate a million dollars to the Fire Department. After all was settled down, the local newspaper interviewed the Chief. The first question asked was, “Chief, that was fantastic! We’ve never seen such bravery! What do you plan on doing with the million dollars you’ve been promised?” The Chief smiled, and sighed. “I think the first thing we’ve going to do is get the brakes fixed on Ol’ Betsy!”

When young people learn to drive, the most important thing they must learn is how to brake the vehicle. I believe that knowing when to “put the brakes on” is important, not just for fire engines and cars, but for life. Our country is in a run away condition today because people have turned away from God. As the famous Dr Phil (Phillip McGraw) often asks on his show, “How’s that working for you?” I don’t think it’s working well for any of us. The Bible says that:

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace …

When you watch television or read the news, do you see peace in our America, or anarchy, hatred, division, and war? God wants us to havepeace. Not just peace with Him (though this is important), but peace with others, and with yourself. Jesus said:

John 16:33 … in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Jesus is the Healer. Jesus is the means to Grace with God. When the blind came to Jesus, He healed them. When the crippled came to Jesus, they left walking. When the leper came to Jesus, He took away their disease. When we come to Jesus – receiving Him as He is – God is free to not only forgive our sins, but also to free us from our sins. The Bible says:

Romans 6:16-18 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

Coming to Jesus in faith will change your heart, and this in turn will change your life.

The Beginning Of The Blessed Life Is
Submission To God

James 4:6 But {God} giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

God is the Source of Grace, and God will give more grace. What is this thing we call grace? Dr. Charles Stanley in his pamphlet What Is Grace writes:

I remember a person once saying, “He did not like the word Grace; he thought the word Love meant the same and was much better.” This is a mistake, grace goes a great deal further than love. Man loves that which in some ways he thinks worthy of love, and he thinks God is the same as himself, and therefore he says, “I must turn to God some day and try to be worthy of His love; and then He will love me.” Now the grace of God is the very opposite of this human thought. I do not know anything like it in the whole world. “What is grace?” said I, the other day. “Mercy,” was the reply. Well, it is true the love of God and the mercy of God are both very, very wonderful. “God who is rich in MERCY, for His great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins”; and both the mercy and love of God are thus in grace; that is in pure unmerited favor. Yet this grace of God goes further, yea, far beyond the reach of all human thought.”

Grace is when God does not give us what we deserve. God does this every day. God has done this from the beginning of humanity. When God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, God told Adam:

Genesis 2:16-17 (CEB) … Eat your fill from all of the garden’s trees; 17 but don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because on the day you eat from it, you will die!”

God – Who is God – established a right and a wrong. He told Adam what was right, and clearly outlined what was wrong, and what the consequence of that wrong would be. What did Adam do? He did that which was WRONG, disobeying God. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Adam disobeyed God. He did not submit, but arrogantly chose to do what HE wanted to do. The Scripture says:

Romans 5:12 (ESV) … sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned

When Adam sinned, he did not go to God for Grace. Instead, Adam sought to do “penance”. The Bible says that he took fig leaves and, sewing them together, made a covering for his and Eve’s sin. When God called Adam out of hiding, Adam stood defiantly in front of God and blamed Eve for what happened. He would not submit himself to God. God as Judge could have killed Adam had He wished. The wages of sin is death. Adam had been warned. But instead, God allowed Adam and Eve to live. Not only this, He took away the “Fig Leaf Designer” clothing that they were wearing, and killed an animal. Taking the pelt of the animal (Genesis 3:21) the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. This is Grace. Adam and Eve deserved death, but God, in His abundant love, gave them life.

God blesses the prideful with life, but no one can have a life with God apart from His Grace. When we humble ourselves before Him and call upon His Name, He gives us Grace and Greater Grace. God taught Adam and Eve that:

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Sins against God are only covered by the shedding of blood, by death. Adam and Eve did not die in the Garden that day because God killed an animal in their place and, taking it’s pelt, covered their sin. Yet this was only a temporary covering, for God could not allow them to stay in Paradise. A greater covering for sin had yet to come.

That greater covering is found only in Jesus Christ. The Scripture says:

Colossians 1:19-20 (ESV) For in (Jesus) all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through (Jesus) to reconcile to Himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

From the time of Adam’s fall until Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary, mankind covered sin by the sacrifice of animals that were considered “without spot or blemish”. But these animal sacrifices were only temporary, given by the Grace of God until Jesus came. When Jesus Christ came – God the Son becoming the son of Man – He came as God’s only covering for sin. Because He died on Calvary for you and me, our sins can be covered when we give our lives to Him. The Scripture says:

Romans 3:23-27 (ESV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a {satisfactory payment} by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.

It is only through the Blood that sin is covered – only through the Blood of Christ. Yet so many people are like Adam. We take fig leaves, and try to cover our sins. It is insufficient. The Blood must be shed! The Blood must be claimed.

Adam and Eve had two children named Abel and Cain. The Bible tells us that Abel offered a sacrifice to God, a creature without spot or blemish, but Cain’s offering was without Blood. God received and honored Abel’s offering, but the Scripture says:

Genesis 4:5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

When God told Cain to make the offering right, to bring an offering of Blood to Him, Cain stewed rather than submitted. God told Cain:

Genesis 4:7 (ESV) If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.

Had Cain brought an offering of Blood as Abel did, then God would have given him Grace. But Cain wanted to do it his way. He refused, and eventually shed the Blood of his own brother Abel. Abel’s blood could not make payment for sin – for only Jesus can do this. The animal sacrifices were “types” or Old Testament shadows of what Jesus would do on Calvary. The Bible says:

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.

Abel shed the Blood of the creature – an Old Testament shadow of Jesus’ Cross – and through this sacrifice was received of God. The Bible says:

Hebrews 12:24 Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

When Abel’s blood was shed by Cain, his blood cried out to God from the ground it soaked into. What Abel’s blood cried out for was JUSTICE. But when Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary, His Blood spoke to God, not for JUSTICE, but for MERCY. Cain let sin master him … but God still gave him a measure of mercy by marking him, but not by killing him as he so richly deserved. But Jesus’ Blood, shed for the believer, cries out to God MERCY, MERCY, MERCY!

When you come to Jesus by faith, the Blood of the Savior is applied to your life. Jesus said:

John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: {28} And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. {29} My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. {30} I and my Father are one.

It is for Jesus’ SHEEP that He died. A sheep submits.

James 4:6-7 … God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God …

There can be no eternal life without submitting to Jesus and to God. While you are stiff necked and unbending, screaming and crying:

It’s MY body!
It’s MY life!
It’s MY choice!

There is no salvation for the prideful, nor any blessing from God for the arrogant. There is only “weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth”. Jesus declared that in the judgment day:

Matthew 13:41-43 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

We See Greater Grace In The Life of Abraham

A Christian family was on vacation in another state and decided to visit a Church on Sunday. Before the Pastor started his sermon, he had everyone get up and shake hands with those around them. Thinking this was a great idea, when that family returned home they told their Pastor about their experience – and he loved the idea! That Sunday the Pastor got up before the congregation and said, “Next Sunday we’re going to start standing up and shaking hands with those around us before I begin to preach!” One man in the audience leaned over and, whispering to the woman in front of him, said “I think that’s a great idea. What do you think?” The woman replied, “Hey, we’re not starting that friendly stuff till next week!”

When you become a sheep of Christ, submitting your life to God the Holy Spirit, you realize that Grace is not just a one time thing that happens at the point of salvation. Grace is a daily thing that we as the children of the Kingdom rely on. God gives GREATER Grace.

The Bible always defines itself. When it speaks of GRACE, it gives us a perfect illustration of what GRACE is supposed to be. We see this illustration in the life of Abraham …

Romans 4:3 Abraham BELIEVED God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness

Abraham BELIEVED God”. What does this mean? How did Abraham BELIEVE God? God told Abraham:

Genesis 12:1-2 … Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: {2} And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

Abraham HEARD the promise of God.
God said “Get up, move, and I will bless”.
Abraham then ACTED on what he HEARD.
Abraham MOVED.

So many people today say “I believe God”, but they at no point in their lives obey God. What did Jesus say? My Sheep HEAR My voice, and FOLLOW Me, AND BASED ON THIS I GIVE THEM ETERNAL LIFE”. If Abraham had not followed God to the Promised Land, Abraham would have died “Abram” and would have never had any children. But Abraham HEARD and OBEYED. He submitted.

Vs 6 God resisteth the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

We are to SUBMIT to God, but RESIST the Devil. Faith is a process, not a point in time. You will always lose the Promised Land, the Promised Child, or the Promised Peace if you do not follow the God Who made the Promise!

God came to Abraham one day and said, “Abraham!” He told Abraham “You remember that child Isaac I gave to you? I want you to do something for Me.

Genesis 22:2 (ESV) … “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

Abraham, that child you waited for 25 years to have – the one I promised when you were 75 years old – your ONLY son – I want you to sacrifice him to Me. Abraham, do you believe in Me?”

I’m sure when Abraham first heard this, his heart skipped a beat! Yet Abraham did not argue with God. Believing in God, he got up early the next morning, took his son and two helpers, and headed out to sacrifice Isaac. When Abraham and Isaac started up that mountain, Isaac asked, “Where is the lamb for the burnt offering”? Abraham merely replied,

My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.

On that mountaintop Abraham laid Isaac on an altar. Tying him down, and arranging the wood around him, Abraham prepared to cut his own son’s throat. As he prepared to use the knife, God stopped him, saying:

Genesis 22:12 (ESV) … “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.

Abraham submitted to God. He looked, and saw a ram caught in the thicket, and offered up that ram instead of his son. What did God tell Abraham following the sacrifice? He said:

Genesis 22:16-18 (ESV) …. “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his[a] enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.

Dear Christian, you cannot be blessed unless you submit to God. A Christian is saved by faith in Christ and blessed by submission to God. When the trials of life overwhelm you, do not submit to worry or fear – submit to God. When tempted of the devil do not heed his hissing voice – submit to God. Submit to God in the valleys, and submit to God on the mountaintops. God giveth greater grace. Seek Him, seek His face, do His will, read His Word, and submit. May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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