For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die--but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8 ESV)
The first describes God’s I’m-not-waiting-for-you love which rescues helpless, unwilling rebels from their sins. If you’ve been in the church for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve heard the Romans 5 passage often and rightfully so. The weightiness of God’s own Son dying for His enemies to buy them out of slavery, paying the penalty for their traitorous acts, and then adopting them as sons is something that you and I just can’t take in easily—if we fully grasp what the Lord has done on our behalf.
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? 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 that he has made to dwell
in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:4-6 ESV)
Maybe we’re not exactly all the way to “drop dead”, but James paints an accurate portrait of who we are—hopeless apart from the second but. “But he [God] gives more grace.” The Lord comes out in battle formation against those who dare stand against Him, but strengthens and encourages the one who confesses to having divided loyalties and a selfishness that could kill. And we receive more grace than the passions and hedonism that seem ready to destroy us and our relationship with our Groom-to-be.
I don’t know about you, but I can get so discouraged in the battle against the flesh. I begin to think there’s no winning this war, so why not just give up and go home. Then I remember the second but, “but He gives more grace.” I say it again to myself, “but He gives more grace.” And again a third time, “but He gives more grace.”
My God's not impotent. He’s not a wimp (like me) when it comes to eradicating sin from my heart and life. He will give me all that I need to press on and accomplish the remainder of what James calls for. Listen as he finishes the thought: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee
from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you" (James 4:7-10 ESV).