Timeless truths about difficult passages. There are times in our Scripture reading that we encounter a very challenging passage. James 4:5 is one of those. So, how do I handle passages like that? First, I don’t immediately share my opinion about it. “Here’s what I think this passage means” is a sad commentary on our lack of study! The Bible is not open for personal interpretation. It does not have five or ten interpretations. It may have fifty or a hundred plus applications! Totally different. There is only one correct interpretation. Too many times we become dogmatic about things that are unclear.
Second, I study the passage and pray over it. So, today instead of writing devotionally about this passage, I am writing about how to deal with passages like this one.
Third, difficult passages are not passages upon which you want to build a doctrine. Avoid going into a deep theological position based on a challenging passage. That is unwise.
Fourth, consider the various ways people have looked at the passage. Have an open mind and a teachable heart. But follow the clear rules of hermeneutics. Remember to keep a passage in context. The Bible will not contradict itself. Allow clear passages to bring light on unclear passages.
“Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: ” He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:5-7 NASB