You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”
It’s amazing how when you finally break down what James says, you actually see the incredible purity of the gospel written there.
The key to understanding the above verses is this one.
Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?
Now this is written before AD70 before God dwelled in humans but were perceived by Jews (whom he was writing to) to live in the temple built by Herod.
“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God” is hence forth referring to the world of the old covenant. The age of Moses.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Means to reject the old covenant and not be double-minded.
If the devil is really a ferocious demon as taught by many, do you think it will just flee when you reject it?
It is speaking about those who oppose the new covenant.
Jesus said of them as children of Satan.
You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
Referring to the Pharisees.
You see the word diablos means the accuser. Jesus called the accuser of the Jews Moses.
“But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.
What he means here is the Law of Moses and the old covenant. That is the devil you should resist.