What Does James 4:8 Mean?

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

James 4:8(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Christians are eternally united to Christ by faith, but sin is a barrier that fractures a believer’s relationship with God. Just as it is sin that separates an unbeliever from union with our Lord… so sin causes broken fellowship between a believer and God. When a believer’s fellowship with God has been broken, it will remain fractured until we confess our wrong doing with a sincere heart, for God is faithful and just to forgive His children their sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Although Christians are positioned in Christ and eternally united with Him, any post-salvation sins we commit will always break our precious fellowship with the Lord and we will remain separated from Him until the sin issue is put right. And this can only be done through humble confession of our wrong-doing. Although sin never removes us from our secure position in Christ.it certainly breaks our fellowship with Him for sin is always a barrier that separates fallen man from a holy God.

It was the apostle John who told us that: if we confess our sin to our heavenly Father, our fellowship with Him will be re-established, while James reminds us that if we are separated from God as a result of sin, we are to draw close to Him, and He will draw near to us. Indeed, James is very straight-forward in his reproof, for like John he knows that sin causes an unbridgeable barrier between a Christian and the Lord, which calls for humble confession and a purified heart, and so, he thunders: Cleanse your hands you sinners, and purify your hearts you double-minded people!

Sin in the life of a believer must be dealt with if close communion with Christ is to be re-established. If fellowship with God is broken, it is because of our sin and not because God has withdrawn from us. If we long to re-establish tender fellowship with the Lord, we are the one who are instructed to draw near to Him, for He is never far from any one of us.

Hearts need to be purified and uncompromising humility should replace any double-minded hypocrisy. We should do all we can to draw close to the Lord and to prayerfully cleave to Him; while resisting all that would hinder our commitment to Christ or damage our intimate communion with Him. There should be a deep cleansing of the inner heart; a separation from the world and a positive choice to single-mindedly keep the Lord Jesus Christ as our beautiful and singular focus.

Believer and non-believers alike can never approach God due to our own goodness, but those that are covered in the righteousness of Christ by faith in Him, have the right to draw close to Him – for He has promised to draw close to us. But this can only happen when our hearts are purified before Him, our lives consecrated to Him, and we have separate ourselves from the world, with our conscience washed, our sins confessed and our mind looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.

My Prayer

Loving Father I want to develop a singleness of mind towards You with my heart purified and my hands clean before You, so that I can draw closer and closer to Christ, my Saviour and Lord. Keep my ears open to Your voice, my eyes open to Your truth and my heart open to You alone, in Jesus name I pray AMEN.

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