g(O)dd Studies: Draw Near to God... Sinner, James 4:8
A couple months ago we did an episode about interacting with the text of the bible (Ep 51). In that episode we offhandedly mentioned doing a bible study for one episode. As we thought about it we knew that a regular study wouldn't translate well to a podcast, so we decided to walk through our thought process as we read through a passage of scripture we're studying. The primary passage we'll address is James 4:8.
We decided to start our study with a passage from Oswald Chambers' devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, specifically the one from November 4th. We trust O.C.'s heart for doing good exegesis when using scripture, so we don't have an issue with what he said. Instead, we want to go deeper and take a contextual look at the whole of the passage.
O.C. uses the first half of this passage, which reads, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." This is a great passage and makes an awesome bumper sticker. We wanted to look at the second half and consider what it means for us Christians. The second half reads, "Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!" WHAT?! That's being said to Christians. So what could it mean? Here's what we think...