The Saints Who Kill Christ
11/22 Reading Portions: 1 Chronicles 17; James 4; Jonah 1; Luke 6
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You desire and do not have, so you murder. James 4:2
The conflict raging within the mortal members of our corrupt flesh may seem overwhelming at times. Yet, they are no match for the gospel. The problem is in us. Our flesh is weak… and we submit to it often. James reminds us of the battle in the first few verses of this fourth chapter. Our lusts, desires, and passions wage war against the new creation Christ has made us to be. James cautions us not to commit murder by our covetousness. The KJV uses the word “kill,” but the original Greek, φονευω (fon-YOO-ō), amounts to the same wretched thing: murder. Keep in mind, James is writing to believers, to his brethren (Jas 1:2), among the twelve dispersed tribes, as a bond slave of the Lord Jesus Christ (Jas 1:1). Yes, this means he’s calling saints murderers. Whenever we surrender to our fleshly lusts, selfish desires, and worldly passions, we murder; that is, in the eternal sense, because we’ve murdered the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Savior hung upon the wooden tree of Calvary for our sins. Since we’ve been saved by God’s grace in Christ, each time we sin, it is as if we condemned Christ to die, despised His sacrifice for sins, and murdered the very Hope of mankind upon the cross. This is really the climax of this epistle. James pulls out all stops here to explain that if someone has been saved by God’s grace, it must exhibit a change of life, producing evidence of true gospel faith. Sin should be viewed as so vile to us, that to commit any sin would be like murdering Christ anew. When James writes of the struggle in our mortal flesh, he is consistent with Galatians 5:17. When he writes of the reality of murdering Christ afresh with our sins, the apostle is consistent with Hebrews 10:29. May we, by God’s grace, ever and always have this perspective of sin.
Our flesh will rise and we will lust
If we surrender not
To Christ completely with all trust
And quash our murd’rous plots.
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