Sometimes the scripture we read really challenges our lives. Reading this today, being honest, the words filth and evil made me cringe. My instant thought was – ”that’s not me” and then I skim past the scripture. But it has the power to change our lives – we need to remember that ALL scripture is from God.
Throughout the bible, including the New Testament, we are given clear instructions regarding behavior. While our spirit is regenerated solely through the work of Holy Spirit (as the free gift of Jesus by his sacrifice), our behavior is a function of our “flesh”. This is controlled by us. We can yield to the direction of the Spirit, as we ought, as James says “humbly accept word of God,” or not.
The truth is, being humble is hard and honestly, we don’t like being told what to do as it goes against “our human rights” but when we choose to continue in our “filth and live in evil”, this is when we grieve the Holy Spirit and we can face losing our eternal hope, which is what James wants to address.