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Read Introduction to James


“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”


It is not enough to “cleanse” our hands; we must “purify” our “hearts.”

and purify your hearts,

“Purify” is a different word than “cleanse” of the previous clause. The idea is to cleanse from defilement, to make pure. Both “cleanse” and “purify” are terms that allude to ceremonial cleansing. The word “purify” here refers to sanctification. Sanctification has to do with wholehearted separation unto God. We must keep our hearts separate for God.

you double-minded

“Double-minded” means two-souled coming from two words: twice and soul. A two-souled person wavers in his convictions and conduct. He doubts God’s principles and is uncertain about his own values. He divides his values between the world’s values and God’s values. This believer is uncertain about where he wants to go spiritually. A double-souled person has a problem with integrity, unity, and harmony of the soul because he wants to have a soul devoted to God and a soul devoted to the devil at the same time.

Jas 1:6-7, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”


God demands our mutually exclusive devotion.


It is one thing to resist the devil (4:7), but we need to go a step further — draw near to God in fellowship. To do this, we must deal with any sin in our lives by recognition and confession of those sins.

1 Jn 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

God demands mutually exclusive devotion. He will not accept half-hearted love. He wants a whole soul for those who wish to walk with Him day-by-day.