“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.” James 4:6

In “The Provision of Grace,” we noted the meaning of grace is Spirit-enablement, the magnitude of grace is “mega,” and the moment of grace is present—now. If grace is a “now” provision, then why are so many believers powerless? The text says God resists the proud. Pride is the big hindrance, and it has several manifestations.

First, there is the pride of self-indulgence. This obvious form is the selfishness of catering to the base side of the self-life. This is simply yielding to the flesh which produces the works of the flesh. This is the irreligion of unrighteousness. Pampering self in violation of God’s righteousness is gross pride that essentially says that sin is more satisfying than God. In such a case, grace, though available, is neglected.

Second, there is the pride of self-dependence. This subtle form is the self-aggrandizement of catering to the seemingly noble side of the self-life. This is simply depending on the flesh but with an aim to do right—which again produces the works of the flesh. This is the counterfeit religion of self-righteousness. The flesh cannot meet the standard of God’s righteousness; only God meets the standard of God. This reality reveals why we need imputed righteousness in justification and imparted righteousness in sanctification. We need grace—the Spirit imparting to you the life of Jesus Christ. “Not I, but Christ” meets the standard of God. Self-dependence only produces self-righteousness. Outwardly, it may look good, but it is counterfeit righteousness. It may produce the form of godliness—and there is a form—but it denies the power thereof. Again, pride misses out on the grace He makes available.

God resists the proud—to awaken them to their need of God and His grace. Self-indulgence leads to compromise. Self-dependence leads to condescension. Either one becomes repulsive. So how do we access grace? In the final part of this series, we will consider the access.

John Van Gelderen

John Van Gelderen

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About This Blog

Hello, I’m John Van Gelderen. I am an evangelist and the president of Revival Focus Ministries, an organization for the cause of revival in hearts, homes, churches, and beyond, and for evangelizing. This blog is focused on experiencing Jesus. I believe in order to really live, you must access and experience the very life of Jesus Christ.