Main point summary
Grace inspired humility should lead you to reject self-centered approaches to community and repentantly embrace submission to God and his sovereign plan for your life.
What causes quarrels and
what causes fights among you?
Is it not this, that your passions 1 are y at war within you? 2
You desire and do not have,
so you murder.
You covet and cannot obtain,
so you fight and quarrel.
You do not have,
because you do not ask.
You ask and do not receive,
because you ask z wrongly,
to spend it on your passions .
a You adulterous people! 1 Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?
b Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world
makes himself an enemy of God.
Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit c that he has made to dwell in us”?
But d he gives more grace.
Therefore it says,
e “God opposes the proud,
but d gives grace to the humble.”
Submit yourselves therefore to God.
f Resist the devil,
and he will flee from you.
g Draw near to God,
and he will draw near to you.
h Cleanse your hands, you sinners,
and i purify your hearts, j you double-minded.
k Be wretched
Let your laughter be turned to mourning
and your joy to gloom.
l Humble yourselves before the Lord,
and he will exalt you.
I found this a tough passage to arc, particularly at the top level. My rational behind going with a BL relationship here is as follows. It seems this core truth about God has two significant implications. (1a-3c) deals with what happens when the grace of God is ignored in the context of community. (7a-10b) outlines the effect the grace of God should have on our lives i.e. humble submission. Both stem from a core understanding of God that James is labouring to present as central to a faith-filled lifestyle.