Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Draw Nigh to God

Date: AM
Text: James 4:7,8
Psalters: 226, 324, 366, 396
Confession of Faith
  1. The meaning.
    1. This is not the nearness of God’s omnipresence, but the nearness of a conscious, living communion in fellowship.
      1. Adam experienced an intimacy with God in paradise at the tree of life, but he lost God’s nearness kept from the tree of life.
      2. God immediately gave a promise to a portion of the human race (woman’s seed).
      3. In the New Dispensation God’s presence with His people is in Jesus (God and man, John 1:14) and His Spirit in hearts.
    2. What does it mean to draw nigh to God? (James writing to converted Jews, so uses Old Dispensational language).
      1. It is a spiritual act of faith, not a physical act - as we are told to rend (circumcise) our hearts, not our garments (body).
      2. Those with but a small principle of the new obedience are not always consciously near Him so we are always to draw nigh.
  2. How do we draw nigh to Him?
    1. “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners.” As the priests and Levites were required to wash themselves before entering the temple.
    2. “Purify your hearts, ye double minded.” This is their inner life: thoughts.
    3. “Submit yourselves to God.”
    4. “Resist the devil” who is a most formidable liar and slanderer.
    5. This is the means the God of our salvation efficaciously draws us to Himself.
  3. A victorious blessing follows.
    1. God promises that the devil (he) “will flee from you.”
    2. “And He (God) will draw nigh to you.” The prodigal son is eagerly received because our Father’s love never changes.
      1. God draws nigh to us first, as Sovereign Father (who draws us to Him) and as Savior in Jesus’ cross and resurrection.
      2. The future tense assures us that we will have the conscious experience of God’s nearness when we draw nigh to Him.