Submission and Humility.

1 Peter 5:5-7.

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

James 4:6-10.

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." Therefore submit 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. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

In his exhortation to the scattered Christians, Peter the apostle says: "Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" [1 Peter 5:5].

He exhorts all Christians to be submissive to one another and clothed in humility. The idea here is to wrap ourselves in humility because "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Jesus Himself said: "And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Matthew 23:12).

If we are to receive God's grace, we have to be humble. The world may scoff at these virtues - submissiveness and humility - and term them as weakness. However, these are the very virtues that Christ Jesus Himself displayed while on earth as He Himself says: "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:29).

We are to humble ourselves under God's mighty hand and cast all our cares upon Him. It has to be a total abandonment. We have to be content in the fact that He cares for us and will exalt us in due time (1 Peter 5:6, 7). Until such time, we are promised of receiving God's grace to bear our afflictions.

Peter further alerts the suffering Christians to the wiles of the devil and how he walks about like "a roaring lion" seeking someone to devour. Therefore he calls upon them to be sober, vigilant (very alert), and to remain steadfast in the faith.

James echoes the same message in James 4:6-10.

Submit to God so that He may be more gracious towards you.

Resist the devil and he will flee from you. If not resisted and hurled back, he presses the attack.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. If we wish God very near to us we must seek to dwell very near to Him. Only sin keeps us afar off. Cleanse your hands of evil doing. Purify your hearts of evil thoughts. Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Mourn over your sins and sincerely repent of them. Then you will be able to draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

We require these virtues - gentleness and humility (involves submission) - in greater measure with love as our motive in order to enjoy greater degrees of God's grace.