Cleanse Your Hands
by David J. Stewart
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” —James 4:8
Notice in James 4:8 that the Bible mentions the hands, the heart, and the mind. CLEANSE YOUR HANDS, YE SINNERS! Walking with God begins with a pure heart and a clean mind, and then your hands and feet will follow. It is interesting that Proverbs 6:16-19 mentions one's look, tongue, hands, heart and feet . . .
“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”
Let me make clear that a person does not have to stop sinning to be saved. I realize that upsets many self-righteous religious hypocrites, but it is nonetheless true. Romans 4:5 plainly teaches that a man is saved without works, and that one's faith is counted for righteousness. We are saved by Christ's righteousness, and that not of ourselves (because we have no righteousness to offer God, Isaiah 64:6). Jesus died, was buried, and rose again for our sins (1st Corinthians 15:1-4). Jesus sacrificed His literal blood to pay for our sins (1st Peter 1:18-19; Hebrews 9:12,24). Eternal life is a free gift, paid for by Jesus' physical blood. Salvation is receiving, not giving. To be saved, a man need only acknowledge his guilt of sin before God, and believing upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to be forgiven.
Now once you are born-again believer, you are a permanent member of God's family. Salvation cannot be lost for any reason. God tells us to search the Scriptures so that we can grow in the Lord (1st Peter 2:2; John 5:39). God commands all believers to be not conformed to this sinful and carnal world, but to be transformed in our minds with the Word of God (Romans 12:1-2). Philippians 2:5 commands us to have the mind of Jesus Christ, which means SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES as Jesus commanded (John 5:39). We are saved by the Word of God (1st Peter 1:23), and then we continue to grow as God's child by the Word of God (1st Peter 2:2). The Word of God is life and truth (John 6:63; John 17:17).
God commands us to draw near to Him, by departing from sin and having a pure heart. God doesn't like lukewarm believers (Revelation 3:15-16). Proverb 3:5-7 teaches the same truth, instructing believers not to lean upon their own understanding; but rather, to trust upon the Lord with all our heart, acknowledge God in all our ways, fear God and depart from evil. Jesus said that God is a Spirit, and can only be worshipped in Spirit (John 4:24). Jesus is God almighty (John 1:1-3; John 10:33; Revelation 1:8).
If you desire to be close to God, then as a believer you must purpose in your heart to depart from sin and live righteously in God's eyes. This has nothing to do with salvation. Our relationship with God was settled at Calvary the day we were saved; but our fellowship with God is a different matter. A child may anger a parent by bad behavior; but that in no way changes the biological parent/child relation. Likewise, a believer may live in sin; but that does not spiritually change one's relationship to God their Father.
To teach otherwise is a works-based-salvation, which is a road to Hell. Galatians 5:25 makes clear that it is possible for a believer to LIVE in the Sprit (i.e., be saved), while failing to also WALK in the Spirit (i.e., live an obedient life for God). Eternal life is a free gift, with no strings attached. Faith in the Son of God is the only requirement (John 20:31).
Yet, it is only reasonable that a believer should want to surrendering their life to God in love and service, because of what Christ has done for us (Romans 12:1-2). We forsake sin because WE ARE saved; not to get saved. A changed life is the FRUIT (result) of genuine repentance; and not a part of the ROOT of saving-faith.
There is no secret to the Christian life. It all boils down to whether you care or not. God cares (1st Peter 5:7), and we should as well. If you care, then you will obey God and focus on the things of Christ in this life (Philippians 2:21), and not the cares, riches and pleasures of the world (Luke 8:14). I'm tired of hearing professed Christians talk about buying gold and silver. No, Jesus said to lay up treasures in Heaven instead (Matthew 6:20). Forget gold and invest in God.
If you want to be near to God's heart, then you must be a soul-winner (Proverb 11:30; Matthew 28:19-20; Luke 8:15; 2nd Corinthians 5:11). God cares about getting people saved; but no one can be saved unless someone goes out publicly preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:14-17). Most churchgoers aren't saved, and the one's who are saved are so backslidden and spiritually immature that they couldn't care less about soul-winning. The notion that a Christian Rock band is the way to reach people is unscriptural. Romans 1:16 proclaims that it is the GOSPEL that is the power of God; not Contemporary Christian Music (CCM). We are living in perilous times of selfish evil hypocrites, thugs, and religious frauds (2nd Timothy 3:1-5). America has turned into a den of thieves, religious and secular alike. We have become one nation under treason!
Our text verse is not an invitation, but a royal command from God. Drawing nigh unto God should not be thought of as an option. It is every believer's duty, and ought to be our heart's most sincere desire. The question is: Do you care about the things of God? Do you get angry over evil in society? (Psalm 94:16). Do you RISE UP against the evildoers, and STAND UP against the workers of iniquity? (Psalm 94:16). Do you expose false prophets? (Titus 1:10-13). Do you obey Jesus' Commandments? (John 14:15). Do you abide in Christ and have His Words abiding in you? (John 15:1-7).
...Or is your heart and mind saturated with TV and Rock music? Is you mind filled with secular books, newspapers, and gossip? Is eating your next meal, attending your next party, going on your next vacation, or enjoying the pleasures of this life what's most important to you? Is your god your belly? Where do you stand with God? Most believers are as carnally-minded, worldly and saturated with this sinful world as can be. Judgment Day is coming (Romans 14:12; 2nd Corinthians 5:10-11). Life is truly short, and each day is one step closer to death. Every breath you take is a countdown to your last! Every beat of your heart is just one beat closer to the grave? Are you ready to meet your Maker? Hebrews 10:31 warns that it's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God?
CLEANSE YOUR HANDS, YE SINNERS! Ask God to create a clean heart within you as king David did in Psalm 51:10. You cannot live the Christian life alone without God's Spirit in you (Romans 8:9). God wants to live the Christian life through you, but first you must YIELD to the Holy Spirit's guidance, by searching and obeying God's Words. The Holy Spirit NEVER leads anyone apart, nor to go against, nor without, the holy Scriptures. If you want to draw nigh unto God, then you MUST draw nigh unto the Scriptures. Oh that we may all be pure of heart, and allow God to live the Christian life through us to do His good will and pleasure (Revelation 4:11).
Ye Must Be Born Again! | You Need HIS Righteousness!