1.Stephen 1.1.Acts 7 1.2. Stephen provides the example of how we are to allow our faith to speak through our actions, regardless the cost. 2.One of the purposes in the book of James was for him to emphasize to his readers that it is doers, not just hearers who enjoy the approval of God. 3.14 What doth it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but have not works? can that faith save him? 3.1.James introduced his inspired discussion of the relationship between faith and works as they pertain to salvation.He set forth a hypothetical man, who claimed to have faith, but was inactive and did not work. 3.2.A man is saved by faith, as the New Testament teaches consistently.However, James was asking if a do-nothing, inactive, all-talk-and-no-work "faith" could save. 3.3.What are the works discussed? 3.3.1.Works are the commandments of the Lord. Obedience to which is absolutely essential to salvation (1 John 4:12; 2 Thes. 1:7-9). 3.3.2.Paul also taught the necessity of obedience to the commands of Christ (Rom. 6:3-4). 4.15 If a brother or sister be naked and in lack of daily food, 4.1.To illustrate how useless a non-working faith is, James suggested a hypothetical situation.The one who claims to have faith encounters a naked and hungry fellow-Christian 5.16 and one of you say unto them, Go in peace, be ye warmed and filled; and yet ye give them not the things needful to the body; what doth it profit? 5.1.He dismisses them with empty words of blessing instead of supplying the items needed. 5.2.He may even congratulate himself on his sympathy and helpfulness toward those who are unfortunate. 5.3.James desire is to show the heartlessness of someone who would send one away, who obviously is in need, to fend for themselves. 5.4.One cannot be warmed by good wishes or fill an empty stomach with greetings. 6.17 Even so faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself. 6.1.“Even so” means in like manner 6.2.Faith that does not busy itself in works that please God is not worthy to be called "faith."Empty words do not help the helpless. 6.3.Likewise, any claimed "faith" without accompanying works is of no value. It is actually dead, nonexistent. 6.4.Just as pure religion does not exist apart from doing God's will (James 1:22-27), so true, living faith is impossible without appropriate works. 6.5.Is there any situation in our secular life where we would not prove our faith by our works? 6.5.1.Sports?Politics? 7.18 Yea, a man will say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith apart from [thy] works, and I by my works will show thee [my] faith. 7.1.This "I'm okay, you're okay" approach to religion is commonly held at present. 7.1.1.The Protestant branch of sectarianism holds that men are saved by faith alone, while the Roman Catholic branch contends for salvation by meritorious works. 7.1.2.They have both become so overemotional and convictionless in their acceptance that generally they speak out that either position, if sincerely followed, is accepted of God. 7.2.James immediately responded to this baseless, ridiculous argument by issuing a challenge to his respondent: "Demonstrate, prove your faith without your works."Of course, such was and is impossible. 7.3."Faith" in the abstract is similar to electricity in that it cannot be literally seen itself.Both are "seen," demonstrated, only in the effects or works which they produce. 7.4.Without works faith is only a claim.However, James correctly argued that by his works he (and therefore, any person) could demonstrate his faith.The implication is that only by one's actions can he prove and demonstrate his faith. 8.19 Thou believest that God is one; thou doest well: the demons also believe, and shudder. 8.1.James granted that there is a certain kind of "faith" that may exist apart from good works. It is the kind that intellectually acknowledges the existence of one true God. 8.2.This is the same kind of faith in God the devils ("demons," ASV) have and they have such strong faith that they tremble at the very thought of God. 8.3.Demons were cast out of their human hosts, the demons being cast out acknowledged God and/or Christ (Matt. 8:29; Mark 1:24; Acts 19:15). 8.3.1.They tremble in terror of their horrible eternal fate at the Judgment (Matt. 25:41). 9.20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is barren? 9.1.He prefaces his conclusion by embarrassing one who would claim to believe and even argue such a foolish idea: that faith could either be demonstrated, or in reality, even exist, without ("apart from," ASV) works. 9.2.“Vain man” literally means an empty headed fellow. 9.3.“Barren” from the Greek argen which means unproductive. 9.4.This is the kind of faith that the denominational world states saves. 10.21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar? 10.1.How was he justified?Not merely by a profession, but by a proof of his faith. 10.2.While this principle was seen in other events of Abraham's life, it was principally and ultimately seen in his offering of Isaac upon the altar. 10.3.Abraham raised his knife to slay Isaac for the commanded sacrifice only to be stopped by God. 10.4.What can be said for the faith of Isaac? 11.22 Thou seest that faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect; 11.1.He was not intending to de-emphasize the faith of Abraham, but to emphasize it in its proper perspective with his works.He argued that faith cooperated and interacted with his works for a perfect blending of the two elements.His mighty faith in God caused him to do what God commanded and his works served as the perfect proof of his faith. 11.2.His faith would have been unperfected, incomplete, thus dead, had he not done the work God commanded him to do.Abraham's faith was so powerful that he reasoned that God would raise Isaac if he killed him as a sacrifice (Heb. 11:17-19). 12.23 and the scripture was fulfilled which saith, And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God. 12.1.The statement of God to Abraham to which James referred is found in Gen. 15:6: "And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness."Interestingly, God did not say this to Abraham after he had offered Isaac, but perhaps 20 years before Isaac was even born. 12.1.1.Was James confused, thinking that God had counted Abraham's faith for righteousness only after he offered Isaac, instead of earlier? 12.2.Before the episode in Gen. 15 God had given Abraham the great threefold promise, each part of which required an heir for fulfillment. Yet he and Sarah were now in their old age and still childless.The promise of God immediately precedent to Gen. 15:6 was that Abraham's seed would be as numberless as the stars of the heavens. 13.24 Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith. 13.1.James moved from the illustration of this truth in Abraham to the universal application of it: "a man," that is, any man, all men.Any man who seeks to be justified in the sight of God will find it only through a faith that works, not by faith alone. 14.25 And in like manner was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works, in that she received the messengers, and sent them out another way? 14.1.Rahab is a remarkable example of the power of faith.Though a resident of the heathen city of Jericho around 1500 B.C. and a participant in the vile occupation of harlotry, through her faith she rose above those evil influences to be among those through whom the promised seed of Abraham would come to bless all nations (Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:16; Matt. 1:5). 14.2.When Joshua sent the spies into Canaan in preparation for invading it, Rahab hid them and helped them escape certain death in Jericho.Through her faith in the God of Whose wonders and might she had heard, she believed her city would be destroyed and she exacted a promise from the spies that she and her family would be spared (Josh. 2:1-14). 14.3.Her faith was so great that the Hebrews writer included her in his list of the great heroes and heroines of faith (Heb. 11:31).Again, the point of it all made by James was that true faith, justifying faith, is more than a mere profession. 14.4.Rahab's faith was living and vital as seen in her works, which were prompted by and were in harmony with her faith. 15.26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead. 15.1.When the body and spirit are separated death occurs. 15.2.Our human parents gave us our bodies through God's law of procreation (Gen. 1:28), but our spirits (immortal souls) are given us by God (Eccl. 12:7; Heb. 12:9). 15.3.At death the body, which is made from the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7), goes to the grave to decay into dust from whence it came (Eccl. 12:7). 15.4.However, the spirit of man lives on, never to die, in the vast realm of eternity, either with God in Heaven or with Satan and his minions in Hell (Matt. 25:46). 16.Conclusion 16.1.One is saved by his faith when that faith leads him to do what God has directed.Faith that refuses to obey is not saving faith.One does not truly believe.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - Being Thankful
We are entering into the holiday season.Of all the times together with friends and family over the next 5-6 weeks, Thanksgiving is my favorite. It is not commercial; it is still “pure”.There are parades, food, and football games; but most importantly family.
In America we celebrate it as a chance to be thankful for the freedom we have.As Christians, we also freedom; freedom from sin through the blood of Jesus Christ. But we also have so many other things to be thankful for.
Some things we share in common with the world: food, the blessings of nature, our families. Others have nothing to do with the world.
God from the beginning has demanded complete obedience by man. From Genesis through Malachi, the nature of God, with His power and His attitude toward obedience and disobedience, is demonstrated over and over again.Later, Jesus proclaimed, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matt. 28:18).His power and authority are illustrated in such a manner that they are beyond question.
Col. 3:17 - And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Note that our actions are not to follow our own desires, but those of Christ -- and with the proper attitude.In the process of obedience we are to give thanks to God and the Father by Him.
What is desired is conduct that has been authorized by Christ, accompanied with thanksgiving growing out of having the Word dwell in us richly.This is a person who loves God and finds pleasure in obedience, knowing that it is for his own good on earth and is the means whereby Heaven becomes his home.His primary interest is in knowing what God wants him to do, and there is no interest in seeing how close he can get to sin without sinning.As a result, he is not plagued by many of the temptations that overcome others.
Obviously being thankful is right; we ought to be grateful to God. The Bible repeatedly urges all to give thanks.
The disciples were a very thankful people for the blessings given to them by God.
1 Thess. 5:16‑18 - Rejoice evermore.Pray without ceasing.In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you
We should be thankful to God for the opportunity given to us to be with others of like mind and purpose in his church.
Col. 3:15‑16 - And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful.Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms [and] hymns [and] spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God.
Christians have the right to pray, and we should never forget to give thanks for all things.Our gratitude is to be continual because our blessings are continual (1 Thess. 5:17).
Eph 5:20 - giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
Our life, our breath, our family, our food, clothes and all other things that sustain us in this world would not be without God. May we always give him the thanks, reverence and praise that is due him.
A life of dedicated to praise and thanksgiving unto God will help you overcome all obstacles placed in your path. And never forget the words of James, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been approved, he shall receive the crown of life, which [the Lord] promised to them that love him."
I have heard from many of you over the last 11 months expressing thanks, praise, concerns, disagreement and many other requests. My prayer is that God continue to be with each of you and your families as you continue to strive to live a life pleasing to Jehovah.
A special prayer for our troops that are overseas. I have loved hearing from you and please know that we love each and every one of you. We pray that God will bring you home soon!
For those of our troops that are injured, you can brighten their holidays by sending a holiday card to:
Holiday Mail For Heroes P.O. Box 5456 Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
All cards must be received no later than Monday, December 7th.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - James 2:1-13
1.The problem of prejudice and being a respecter of persons rears its head with every generation. 1.1.It comes in the form of: 1.1.1.Rich versus poor 1.1.2.Educated versus uneducated 1.1.3.Male versus female 1.1.4.Nationalities and skin color, etc. 1.2.What is prejudice? 1.2.1.Literally refers to the prejudgment of another. 188.8.131.52.We judge someone based on predetermined criteria not knowing the person or having sufficient knowledge of them to form opinion. 184.108.40.206.WWI – rest houses had above the door said “Abandon all rank, ye who enter in.” 220.127.116.11.1.This must happen in the church. 2.1 My brethren, hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, [the Lord] of glory, with respect of persons. 2.1.“The Faith” means the whole of the Christian religion. 2.2.“Respect of persons” come from the Greek word Prosopolepsia (pros-o-pol-ape-see'-ah) which means: 2.2.1.respect of persons 2.2.2.having partiality 2.2.3.the fault of one who when called on to give judgment has respect of the outward circumstances of man and not to their intrinsic merits, and so prefers, as the more worthy, one who is rich, high born, or powerful, to another who does not have these qualities 2.2.4.James is saying, “don’t hold to Christianity and at the same time show partiality and special consideration for those who are rich or highly favored in the world.” 2.2.5.Don’t try to be a Christian and a hypocrite at the same time! 2.2.6.John 7:24 - Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment. 2.3.What is wrong with partiality? 2.3.1.That is what is discussed in the rest of our passage. 2.3.2.Practice is not representative of a Christian. 18.104.22.168.1 John 4:7-11 - Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is begotten of God, and knoweth God.He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.Herein was the love of God manifested in us, that God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him.Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 3.2 For if there come into your synagogue a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, and there come in also a poor man in vile clothing; 3.1.Synagogue from the Greek Sunagoge (soon-ag-o-gay' ) which means an assembling together (only time in NT) 3.2.Literally means one who wears a gold ring.Indicates one who had many rings and wore them in an flamboyant fashion. 3.3.Poor comes from the Greek Ptochos (pto-khos' ) 3.3.1.reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms 3.3.2.destitute of wealth, influence, position, honor 3.3.3.lowly 4.3 and ye have regard to him that weareth the fine clothing, and say, Sit thou here in a good place; and ye say to the poor man, Stand thou there, or sit under my footstool; 4.1.What is wrong with partiality? 4.1.1.It is selective in whom it serves 22.214.171.124.Christians are to serve all men – Gal. 6:10 4.2.The message of the gospel is that God desires all men to be saved and spend eternity with him in heaven. 126.96.36.199 Tim. 2:3-4; Rom. 5:6-10; John 3:16; Mark 16:15-16; Matt. 28:19-20 4.3.Peter and the Gentiles 4.3.1.Gal. 2:11-14 5.4 Do ye not make distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 5.1.James is asking, “When you show partiality, based upon secular success, wealth, riches, worldly goods, are you not opposing the teaching of the Lord who expressly forbid such action? 5.2.They were like the double minded in chapter 1:8.They wavered between the teaching of the Lord and the temptation to take advantage of what favors they might gain by giving special treatment to those who were well off. 5.2.1.Proverbs 16:2 - All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the motives. 5.3.They were judging based on an evil consideration; selfish motives 5.3.1.Passage suggests that it was quite unusual for a rich man to enter the assembly. 6.5 Hearken, my beloved brethren; did not God choose them that are poor as to the world [to be] rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he promised to them that love him? 6.1.Being rich is NOT a sin! But some questions must be asked... 6.1.1. What do you do to attain it? Does your line of work bring reproach upon God such as gambling, liquor sales, etc? Does it cause you to put the services of the Lord as secondary in your life? 6.1.2. What do you do with your riches? Is it just a means to gain more? 6.1.3.Letting the world, and the gains from the world, become the priority in our life is a sin! 6.2.Love God and not the world 6.3. The passages make it very clear that the poor are more receptive of the truth than the rich. Why? 6.3.1. Rich face more temptations 6.3.2. Rich have more to give up in order to focus on service to God 6.4.The meaning of this passage is the poor are much more likely to be rich in faith than the rich. 6.4.1.Our life should be measure in the richness of our faith, not our worldly possessions. 6.5.Being heirs is based on our love of God and our obedience to him.If I let this world take precedence over heaven, I CANNOT gain heaven. 188.8.131.52 Tim. 6:17-19 - Charge them that are rich in this present world, that they be not highminded, nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;that they do good, that they be rich in good works, that they be ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on the life which is [life] indeed. 6.5.2.Matt. 6:19-21 - Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also. 7.6 But ye have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you, and themselves drag you before the judgment-seats? 7.1.Those to whom James wrote had given preferential treatment to the rich and treated the poor with contempt. 7.2.The poor are far more likely to obey the Lord than the rich, but they were being dishonored 7.2.1.Dishonor comes from the Greek word Atimazo (at-im-ad'-zo) meaning to dishonour, insult, treat with contempt whether in word, deed or thought 184.108.40.206 John 3:17 - But whoso hath the world's goods, and beholdeth his brother in need, and shutteth up his compassion from him, how doth the love of God abide in him? 7.3.Jews were under the rule of the Roman government but they were permitted to conduct civil and religious courts to hear matters of litigation.The poor were often brought into court and, through the power and the influence of the rich, had actions decided in their favor and against the poor 7.4.What is wrong with partiality? 7.4.1.Dishonors men 8.7 Do not they blaspheme the honorable name by which ye are called? 8.1.Blaspheme from the Greek blasphemeo (blas-fay-meh'-o) 8.1.1.to speak reproachfully, rail at, revile, calumniate, blaspheme 8.1.2.to be evil spoken of, reviled, railed at 8.1.3.The rich slandered the name which the disciples wore over and over as indicated by the tense of the verb 8.2.Honorable from the Greek kalos (kal-os’) 8.2.1.Good, noble, excellent 9.8 Howbeit if ye fulfil the royal law, according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: 9.1.The text does not require slighting the rich.Rather, both the rich and the poor should be honored equally.Only then are the requirements of loving neighbor as self filled full or perfected. 9.2.Character, not outward appearance, demands special recognition. 9.3.Command to love your neighbor 9.3.1.Matt. 22:35-40 9.4.Emulate Christ’s love for ALL mankind 9.4.1.John 13:34; Rom. 5:6; 15:7; Eph. 5:1, 2 10.9 but if ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors. 10.1.This is not a condition of occasional weakness, but a way you consistently act 10.2.Too often the gospel is being compromised because elders and preachers do not want to offend the big contributors 10.2.1.2 Tim. 4:1-5 - I charge [thee] in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.But be thou sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil thy ministry. 11.10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one [point], he is become guilty of all. 11.1.How is it that when one commits one sin it makes him guilty of all? 11.1.1.Evidently in this sense it is true: When one commits one sin he is a lawbreaker in regard to the law as a whole.It only takes one sin for one to become a lawbreaker in respect to the whole law.One is guilty of all in the sense that he is a violator of the law in general. 12.11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou dost not commit adultery, but killest, thou art become a transgressor of the law. 12.1.It does seem that James was striking out against some Jewish notion that they could keep some of the law and be right with God or that some violations would not be counted against them.James seemed to be trying to get them to see that neglect of treating all men equally will not be passed over as if it were not a violation of law. 12.2.Is the Christian under law?Absolutely! 12.2.1.See John 14:21; 1 John 2:4; 3:24; Acts 17:30; 1 Tim. 4:11; Matt. 7:21; 1 Pet. 2:1-2; Rom. 3:27; 8:2; Gal. 6:2; James 1:25; and Heb. 8:10. 12.3.Law was not annulled in one sense; it was merely changed (Heb. 7:12). 12.4.Notice Paul's language: "to them that are without law, as without law, not being without law to God, but under law to Christ, that I might gain them that are without law" (1 Cor. 9:21). 12.5.Through obeying law, as a non-Christian, or through adhering to law, as a Christian, grace which saves is extended to us. 12.6.So we often see that the language of Jesus included exhortations to keep law (John 14:15; 15:14). 13.12 So speak ye, and so do, as men that are to be judged by a law of liberty. 13.1.Those apostates (those who want to bring unauthorized change into the church) state that we are NOT under any law. 13.2.They are under the false idea that liberty is liberty from law, they speak of some mysterious elevation of the Spirit where the truly spiritually minded are set at liberty from legalistic rules and regulations.This kind of “gentle” view of the Christian life is precisely what some want to hear. This makes them feel they can drink socially, dance, smoke, curse, watch/read pornography, and dress as immodestly as the world dresses.In short, they feel they are at liberty to be pretty much the way the world is. 13.2.1.Matt. 7:13-14 - Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby.For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it. 13.2.2.John 14:15; 15:14 13.3.We are not set free from law, as all the passages we have used show.We are, by Christ's law, to be set free from sin. 13.4.It is a law of liberty because it gives us freedom from sin.We not only are washed from our sins, we learn by the law of the Spirit what is sin so we can avoid it and free ourselves from it (Heb. 5:12-14).We can discern good from evil. 13.4.1.Notice Jesus said, "If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples: and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32). 13.5.From what would they be free, the Jews asked.They boasted they had never been in bondage to any man. 13.5.1.Jesus replied, "Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin.And the bondservant abideth not in the house for ever: the son abideth for ever.If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John 8:34-36). 14.13 For judgment [is] without mercy to him that hath showed no mercy: mercy glorieth against judgment. 14.1.Who shall obtain mercy?They that offer mercy shall obtain it. 14.2.If one does not give mercy, mercy shall be taken from him.Often forgiveness involves being merciful. 14.2.1.Jesus not only taught His disciples to pray, "And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors" (Matt. 6:12), and then said, "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matt. 6:15). 14.3.He also told a story which illustrated this law -- the parable of the king who forgave a servant a debt of ten thousand talents. That man found a fellow-servant who owed him only a hundred shillings, He cast him in the prison till he should pay all.The king heard of it and before he cast that unmerciful servant into prison, he said, "Shouldest not thou also have had mercy on thy fellow-servant, even as I had mercy on thee" (Matt. 18:21-35)?
Christians are called to make a distinction when determining who we associate with, but it MUST be on spiritual grounds, not carnal.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - James 1:19-27
"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all..." All of us have said something at one time or another in our life that we wish we could have taken back. We have all lost our temper, reacted harshly at someone or something. As we continue our study of James, we are reminded that a child of God needs to let the Word of God take root in our heart and put away the wickedness and filth of the world from our lives.
1. James tells us that we will be subject to trials and temptations.But, through our faith in Christ Jesus, we can overcome everything we face and, in the end, receive the crown of life. 1.1. “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all…” 2.19 Ye know [this], my beloved brethren. But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 2.1. “Ye know this” seems to indicate that James is acknowledging that his readers were familiar with the facts to which he has referenced in preceding verses 2.2. From the context, it appears that these admonitions are given in regards to our response to the Word of God; James 1:18; 21 2.3.Therefore, they are qualities needed especially in times of trial when we need the Word of God most in our lives 2.3.1. We are well aware of the fact that we are brought forth into spiritual life by the Word of Truth; therefore, let your life, in word and in deed, reflect the knowledge that you have gained. 2.4. “let every man be” 2.4.1. Comes from the Greek word “esto”; it is imperative tense 2.4.2.Thus James commands each of those he wrote to regarding the following: 220.127.116.11.swift to hear 18.104.22.168.slow to speak 22.214.171.124.slow to wrath 2.5."swift to hear" 2.5.1.To be swift to hear God when He speaks, for Faith comes by hearing (Rom. 10:17; John 6:44-45) 2.6. "slow to speak" 2.6.1.Our judgment is too often hasty, quickly formed, and our words too ready (James 4:11-12; Matt. 7:1-5) 2.6.2.We need to learn to be slow to speak when another may be angered by the thing said (Col. 4:6; Prov. 15:1) 2.6.3.One must be careful about replying against God (Isa. 45:9; Rom. 3:4; 9:20-21; 11:34) 2.6.4.Man must be slow to promise, first being sure of the ability to keep the promise (Luke 14:28ff; Eccl. 5:2-4) 2.6.5.Our prayer ought to be that of David when he stated: "Set a watch, O Jehovah, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips" (Ps. 141:3). 2.7."slow to wrath" 2.7.1.Wrath (anger) comes from the Greek word orge’ which means to have violent emotion resulting in uncontrolled anger and improper indignation 2.7.2.Men will not, and cannot, properly listen to God when they entertain bitterness, malice, and hatred in their hearts 3.20 for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 3.1.When a person is "quick" to speak and "quick" to wrath, as well as "slow" in the hearing of the word of truth, he is in no condition to listen to the Word of life. 3.2. Therefore, the Word of life does not control his life and instead of "the righteousness of God" being worked, he finds himself in a state unacceptable to God. The state just mentioned might very well refer to his relations with others, as well as his relation to God Himself. 3.3.Observe the following: 3.3.1.When a person loses his temper, he never works the righteousness of God. Moses is an excellent example of this."They angered him also at the waters of Meribah, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes; because they were rebellious against his spirit, and he spake unadvisedly with his lips" (Ps. 106:32-33). 126.96.36.199.There is a righteous indignation, as of Christ, but it is indignation for the things of God (righteous indignation is not personal anger)."And when he had looked about on them with anger being grieved at the hardening of their heart...."(Mark 3:5). 3.3.2.Anger can lead to hatred."Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil" (Eph. 4:26-27). 3.3.3.Righteousness is doing right."And Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is acceptable to him" (Acts 10:34-35). 3.3.4.To be acceptable, one must, by faith in God's grace, in full obedience, do what God has outlined (Ps. 119:172; 1 John 2:29): " ...He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous" (1 John 3:7). 3.3.5.Our righteousness depends upon our obedience to God's Divine will, which made us enjoy a right relationship with God (Ps. 32:1; cf. with the quote in Rom. 4:7-8). 3.3.6.Every man, to be pleasing to God, to work His righteousness, must have "a quick ear," "a cautious tongue," and "a calm temper." 4.21 Wherefore putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 4.1. Rhuparia (hroo-par-ee'-ah) - The word for "filthiness" is used only here in the New Testament.It clearly and distinctly denotes filth, dirt, or that which is vile and makes for filthiness.This refers to sin, all (that word is in the text!) sin and any sin, and cannot be lessened to any degree by any man or group of men. 4.2.The word "all" does not stop with "filthiness" but also includes "overflowing of wickedness" which means "full and running over."The idea is that we absolutely be true to the word of truth and put these things off.Some things we are told to "put on," such as those things mentioned in Col. 3:12-14. 4.3. "which is able to save your souls" (1:21) - Stated very clearly, the Word of God has the power to SAVE OUR SOULS! 4.3.1.ITS POWER TO SAVE IS FOUND IN ITS ABILITY TO... 188.8.131.52.CREATE ANEW 184.108.40.206.1. I.e., to cause us to be born again - 1Pet. 1:22-25; Jm 1:18 220.127.116.11.2.This is because of what the Word of God contains:God's way of salvation through Jesus Christ! 18.104.22.168. SANCTIFY 22.214.171.124.1. The word "sanctify" means to "set apart for a holy purpose" 126.96.36.199.2.David sang of the Word's ability to sanctify God's people - Ps 19:7-11 188.8.131.52.3.In His prayer, Jesus spoke of the sanctifying influence of God's Word - Jn 17:15-17 184.108.40.206.4.Thus the Word of God can serve to set us apart for His purpose! 220.127.116.11.PRESERVE 18.104.22.168.1.The young were told to preserve their way by the Word of God – Ps. 119:9,11 22.214.171.124.2.The elders were admonished to keep the church pure by the same Word - Acts 20:28-32 4.4.God's Word cannot dwell in vile and wicked hearts (Col. 3:5-17; 1 Pet. 2:1-2). 4.5.Only the pure in heart shall see God (Matt. 5:8). 4.6.When a person is meek and submissive to all that the word of truth teaches, it can save (James 1:21; Matt. 18: 3-5). 4.7.The power of the Word (dunamos), (Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:18) informs us of its ability to save the soul, that which is worth more than the entire world (Matt. 16:26). 5.22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves. 5.1. "Be ye" is from [ginesthe], a present middle imperative.Therein we have the meaning of "keep on being."This is what I must do and it is what you must do.The thought is that this is something that must be done by self, and I am not to let up, but I am to "keep on keeping on" being a practitioner of the Word. 5.2. “Doers” – poihtai(poy-ay-tace' ) a maker, a producer, author, a doer, performer, one who obeys or fulfils the law, poet 5.2.1. We get our English word poet from poihtai 5.2.2.A Christian is to live their life as a perpetual poem, demonstrating beauty and symmetry of a harmonious life 5.2.3.It denotes the type of action from the heart where motivation results from the active participation in doing the will of God 5.2.4.One must express themselves through the actions of life 6.23 For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: 6.1.When we hear the word only and don’t allow it to take root, it is soon forgotten and can never be a blessing to us. 6.2.When we do not live as God desires for us to live, we forget who we are.Forgetful not because we forgot, but because we turned to other things. 7.24 for he beholdeth himself, and goeth away, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 7.1.There is a great responsibility, placed upon "the hearer" of the Word.Let no one who hears or reads this think the responsibility is not on "the hearer" and that it is just on "the teacher" (preacher).The "soil," indeed, has a great responsibility. 7.2.We must translate into our lives the lessons that we learn. 7.3.We, as Christians, are given many opportunities and we will answer in judgment for how we utilize those opportunities. 8.25 But he that looketh into the perfect law, the [law] of liberty, and [so] continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing. 8.1.This man “looks” as opposed to the one in verse 24.This man is highly interested in the word of truth and seeks to apply it in his life. 8.2.“Perfect” is complete; “liberty” is the same as our word freedom 8.3."Looking into" a law that is complete, whole, and one that is a "law of liberty," in which a man finds his freedom by his compliance to its instructions 8.4.Those who have "obeyed" the law of Christ are now "free" from sin and all of its consequences. 9. 26 If any man thinketh himself to be religious, while he bridleth not his tongue but deceiveth his heart, this man's religion is vain. 9.1.The way we think of ourselves is very important.If we see ourselves as morally mean and low, we will behave in keeping with that impression. 9.1.1.Self image is vital to right conduct.It is critical for us to know we have worth, dignity, and honor. 9.1.2.The opening chapter of the Bible tells us that human beings are in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-27).God is a spirit (John 4:24), and therefore does not have corporeal features."Made in the image of God" does not mean physical appearance.We are in God's likeness because we can think, and have a spirit, sometimes called an inward man (2 Cor. 4:16). 9.1.3.God placed eternity in the heart of His human creature (Eccl. 3:11).Jesus taught that one human life has more value than the total wealth of the whole world (Matt. 16:26).To throw away a life so precious is a serious matter. 9.1.4.We must improve upon our opportunities to assure that the life God has given to us is returned to Him enhanced and beautified. 9.2.The word translated "religion" or "religious" occurs five times in the New Testament.James used the word three times in these two verses, and Paul used it in the other two appearances.The English words "religion" or "religious are found seven times in the American Standard Version and six times in the King James Version.Those English words (derived from the Latin) mean "reverence for God, holiness, a system of religious beliefs." 9.2.1.The word does not mean formal acts of worship, such as prayer, or giving, or singing.It projects the idea of fearing God and therefore doing right in daily conduct. 9.3.We pray that God will give us the good sense carefully to choose our words even when we correct those who oppose themselves.Vicious language and offensive, conceited, cocky, bumptious speech does not become the saint.Cute answers and harsh put-downs should be avoided. 9.4."While he bridleth not his tongue..." 9.4.1.James put great emphasis in his letter on controlling the tongue.It is a noticeable part of his teaching.The irreparable harm done by a loose tongue cannot be overstated. 9.4.2.We have an obligation to abstain from railing, berating, blasphemy, profanity, and gossiping, and a duty to "let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer each one" (Col. 4:6). 9.5."But deceiveth his heart ..." 9.5.1.We tell ourselves we want to do what is right, but, unnoticed and therefore unadmitted is a stronger wish of carnality.Even when the heart is pure and the conscience clean the appeal of the flesh is overpowering. 9.6."This man's religion is vain." 9.6.1.We may think of ourselves as religious, but if we do not bridle the tongue our representation of religion is unprofitable, useless, worthless, vain.Our protestations of devotion to God are idle and empty, if we do not watch over our speech. 9.6.2.This verse makes it plain that God expects every word of His covenant to be honored with obedience. 10.27 Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep oneself unspotted from the world. 10.1."Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this..." 10.1.1.James, having shown the nature of false religion, next proceeded to discuss the beauty of unpolluted religion.It is twofold.It consists in doing right and refusing wrong. 10.2."To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction ..." 10.2.1.Every true child of God, in the practice of sincere religion, will show a concern for the downtrodden.He will provide for those unable to provide for themselves.He will protect the defenseless. 10.2.2."Whoso hath the world's goods, and beholdeth his brother in need, and shutteth up his compassion from him, how doth the love of God abide in him?My little children, let us not love in word, neither with the tongue; but in deed and truth" (1 John 3:17-18). 10.2.3.Benevolence is a mark of undefiled religion.Not every charitable person will be saved, but no uncharitable one can enter the gates of Heaven. 10.2.3.1. Some say the work of caring for orphans and widows is exclusively the duty of the individual, and the whole body of believers in a given location cannot act in concert to feed, clothe, and soothe the hungry and suffering. 10.2.3.2.The idea that the local church, acting as a group, cannot follow the instructions of James, is absurd.It denies that the church can practice pure and undefiled religion.To make this only the work of a saved person, acting independently, is to usurp for one's own benefit the glory that belongs to Jesus and His church. 10.3."And to keep oneself unspotted from the world ..." 10.3.1.The appeal of the flesh is powerful. 10.3.2.We must keep our eye on the “prize” by knowing and doing the will of God.It is when we fail to practice what we “preach” we forgot who we are and whose we are.
Monday, November 9, 2009 - James 1:12-18
One of the greatest challenges of living the Christian life is dealing with "temptations." This can be especially true for new Christians who have been washed by the blood of Jesus Christ only to find themselves immediately bombarded by the same temptations that led them to sin in the first place.How are we tempted? Two passages that deal with this very subject are:
>I John 2:16 - For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world
>II Corinthians 11:15 - And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works
As we continue our study in the book of James, chapter 1, we find helpful words for the Christian. Just like we warned, in verses 1-11, that we would face various trials in life, James now directs his attention to the inward temptations that so often overtake us. In this passage James helps us understand that there is a promise given to those who endure temptations, an understanding of who is responsible for those temptations and an understanding of how sin develops.
REVIEW OF VERSES 1-11 1.Life is not, nor will it ever be fair.There will always be periods of suffering, heartache and temptation.Despite this indisputable truth, Christians can live a full and happy life. 1.1.Keys to successful Christian living in today’s world 1.2.Instead of complaining or focusing on “why me”, we should rejoice that we are counted worthy to face trials for being a Christian and use it as an opportunity to mature spiritually 1.3.Trials – The greek word used here (peirasmois) means both outward trials and inward temptations 1.3.1.Trials become the testing ground of our faith. 1.4.Trials prove faith by enabling the believer to determine the extent and degree of willingness to endure and to be obedient to Christ 1.5.What is the purpose of trials? 1.5.1.It validates our faith by testing its genuineness. 1.5.2.It develops our patience, matures our character, rendering us more complete spiritually. 1.6.God did not promise knowledge through prayer.Knowledge comes from study, observation, and experience.This wisdom is the common sense, the ability, to utilize the knowledge gained. 1.6.1.Knowledge is possession of facts; wisdom is the ability of judging soundly and correctly. 1.7.Why would God bestow wisdom on us if we doubt him, his word and his promises? 1.7.1.I come to God with the faith that he will provide me the wisdom to deal with the situations of life in a spirit that complements my knowledge of God and his word 1.8.Both rich and poor have their trials; not necessarily the same trials.The road to heaven is not easy for either of them. 1.9.Christianity is the answer to all of life’s problems, regardless of what they might be. 1.10. Faithful Christians will not allow their relationship with God to be affected by his economic status or the fluctuations of life.
2.12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been approved, he shall receive the crown of life, which [the Lord] promised to them that love him. 2.1.The "joy" of James 1:2 is for the opportunity to win; the "blessed" of James 1:12 is the "joy" of one who has won.Therefore, endurance shall be rewarded; so stay with it, pay the price, finish the course and fight the battle, endure to the end!Such a one is "approved of God."The reward of steadfastness is the crown of life, the crown of righteousness 126.96.36.199 Tim. 4:8 - henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day; and not to me only, but also to all them that have loved his appearing. 3.13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempteth no man: 3.1.The words translated by "tempted" and "tempteth" in the context of James 1:13 and James 1:14 are appropriately defined as acts of enticement, allurement, or inducement to sin. 3.2.The accusation prohibited is one which alleges that God is the source of man's temptation. The ASV with footnote would read, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God ..."The word "from" more accurately captures the Greek word's meaning and more clearly conveys the thought of excluding God from consideration as the source of temptation. 3.3.Men should not so accuse God because God cannot be tempted by evil (literally, is incapable of being tempted) and God Himself does not tempt any man. 3.4.Adam and Eve, the human parents of all living, stand as the first case of man's blaming God or others for his own failings.In reply to God's question about eating the forbidden fruit, Adam, blaming Eve, replied, "the woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat" (Gen. 3:12).Eve, in turn, tried to excuse or lessen her guilt, saying, "The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat" (Gen. 3:13). 3.5.It is popular in our day to blame others for our failings. 4.14 but each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. 4.1.One conclusion of these two verses, simply stated, is that man is personally responsible for his own sin.The temptation of man occurs by means of an appeal to his own lust or desire. 4.2.“Fishing lure” 4.2.1.Fish safely hidden away beneath a rock, several yards away from and a few feet below the boat of the fisherman determined to have a seafood dinner. The bait, a most attractive but deadly lure, is cast a bit beyond the fish's nest. 4.2.2.The drawing power of the bait is proportionate to both the fish's hunger and its perception of the bait as something able to satisfy its appetite. 4.2.3.A smarter or less hungry fish would have rejected the bait, and so it is with the faithful child of God most of the time. 4.3.Some will try to blame God, Satan etc. 4.3.1.Romans 14:12 – So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God. 4.4.How does sin develop? 4.4.1.The first stage is TEMPTATION (14) 188.8.131.52.This stage involves two things: 184.108.40.206.1.LUST (desires, NKJV) - a strong desire for something 220.127.116.11.2.ENTICEMENT - an opportunity and encouragement to satisfy the desire 18.104.22.168.3.Put into a mathematical formula: Temptation = Desire + Opportunity 22.214.171.124.3.1.E.g., a small boy is TEMPTED to steal some cookies when he WANTS them (desire) and has a good chance to get them and not be seen (opportunity) 126.96.36.199.4.But remember, it is NOT a sin to be TEMPTED - cf. the example of Jesus 188.8.131.52.4.1. Jesus was tempted by all the things that we face, but his knowledge of God's will and his reliance on prayer allowed him to be sinless 184.108.40.206.5.Heb. 4:15 - For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin 5.15 Then the lust, when it hath conceived, beareth sin: and the sin, when it is fullgrown, bringeth forth death. 5.1.Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God 5.2.Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 5.3.The second stage in the development of sin is SIN ITSELF (15) 5.3.1.Temptation leads to sin only when you yield and ACT upon it 5.3.2.Sin therefore requires the added step of ACTION 5.3.3.Putting it again in mathematical terms: Sin = Desire + Opportunity + Action 5.4.The final stage is the consequence of unforgiven sin: DEATH (15) 5.4.1.This refers to spiritual separation from God, which is the "wages of sin" – Rom. 6:23 5.4.2.Ultimately such "death" involves eternal punishment 5.4.3.Rev. 21:8 - "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." 220.127.116.11.Putting it once more in the form of an equation: Desire + Opportunity + Action + No Forgiveness = Punishment! 5.5.1 Corinthians 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it. 6.16 Be not deceived, my beloved brethren. 6.1.Verb used; plan-ah'-o – “Be not deceived” is a command 6.2.Do not be deceived!Do not err! In this short verse men are urged to resist with all their might Satan's path to tragedy with its attractive gate, its deceptively scenic route through sin city, and its disastrous termination point called "spiritual death." 7.17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning. 7.1.Every act of God's giving is said to be good and everything He gives is declared to be perfect.The adjective translated "perfect" is from [@teleios] which carries the idea of completion.Thus, God's gifts are those without any deficiency or wrongful omission. 8.18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. 8.1.The phrase, “of his own free will” is participial, and means “willing he brought us forth.” 8.2.Instead of viewing God as a source of temptation, and consequent sin, he is the one who willed to give us life by means of the truth. 8.3.The “firstfruits” were offered at Passover and were a token or pledge of a fuller harvest to follow. 8.4.This phrase is especially meaningful to the Jews it was written to as they, who had been God’s banner carriers for centuries in a pagan world, had the truth first preached to them 8.4.1.Fulfilled when Christ came into the world. 8.5.“Creatures” discusses the unique position of Christians among all God’s creatures 8.6.It was God’s will those to whom James wrote should become his children 8.7.They became his children by being born by the word of truth; the gospel 8.8.those who did thus became the “firstfruits” of what would become a greater harvest SATAN'S WAY OR GOD'S WAY Two Choices one's own desire Godly desire James 1:14; 21
Two Courses Devil's seed = temptationGod's seed = word of truth James 1:14; 18
Two Consequences Sin = death First fruits = life James 1:12, 15, 18
The contrast shows the clear cut distinction confronting man.All should make a note of and remember the absence of any middle ground alternative, even for the deeply religious and morally good man who is yet outside of Christ's church (Acts 2:37-47; 20:28; 1 Tim. 3:15; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4; Gal. 3:27).
Monday, November 2, 2009 - James 1:1-11
For the next quarter, I will be teaching a class on the book of James. This is an incredibly uplifting book to Christians that guides us on how to live successfully in this world. If you will permit me, I would like to share my outline from the previous Sunday's class to encourage you as we all strive toward Heaven.
Book of James Chapter 1:1-11
1.Life is not, nor will it ever be fair.There will always be periods of suffering, heartache and temptation.Despite this indisputable truth, Christians can live a full and happy life. 1.1.God has promised that he will never leave or forsake us. 1.1.1.Hebrews 13:5-6 - READ 2.Writer 2.1.4 named James in the NT 2.1.1.Father of Apostle Judas (not Iscariot) – Luke 6:16 2.1.2.Son of Zebedee, the brother of John – Matt. 4:21 2.1.3.Son of Alphaeus – Matt. 10:3 2.1.4.Brother of Jesus – Matt. 13:55 18.104.22.168.Wrote the book of James 22.214.171.124.Did not believe in Jesus during public ministry 126.96.36.199.Believed after the resurrection – Acts 1:13-14; 1 Cor. 15:7 188.8.131.52.Became a prominent member, possibly elder, of church at Jerusalem – Gal. 2:9; Acts 21:9 184.108.40.206.Mentioned multiple times in association with Peter and Paul 220.127.116.11.1.Acts 9:26; Gal. 1:18-19 18.104.22.168.2.Acts 12:17 22.214.171.124.3.Acts 15:13-21; Gal. 2:1-10 126.96.36.199.4.Acts 21:18-25 188.8.131.52.According to Josephus, he died a martyr around 63 AD by stoning 184.108.40.206.Eusebius said he was beaten to death by those who conspired against Paul when James refused to renounce Christ. 3.Why was it written? 3.1.In every age the people of God have faced challenge and temptation, hardship and trial.The overruling providence of God uses this to test our faith, thus trials become the proving ground of faith.More often than not the Christian cannot explain the trial or understand the "why's" of the situation.But one thing the Bible teaches clearly: All trials and temptations are for our good and ultimately, if we persevere, we shall receive the crown of life. 3.2.Keys to successful Christian living in today’s world 4.Verse 1 - James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are of the Dispersion, greeting. 4.1.Written by James, the brother of Jesus 4.2.Written to Christians who were scattered throughout the world, both Jew and Gentile.Many were descendants of Jacob so the reference to the “twelve tribes” is a figurative representation of the true “Israel of God”, the church. 4.2.1.Gal. 3:26-29 – “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.There is neither Jew nor Greek…” 4.2.2.Rom. 9:6 4.2.3.Gal. 3:7 4.3.Some believe it was written just to Jewish Christians that were scattered abroad after Acts 8 and Acts 11-12 as they lost jobs, possessions, family, homes and would have had to make fresh starts in strange lands. 4.4.See this from his addressing to the Brethren in verse 2 5.Verse 2 - Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations; 5.1.Instead of complaining or focusing on “why me”, we should rejoice that we are counted worthy to face trials for being a Christian and use it as an opportunity to mature spiritually 5.2.Trials – The greek word used here (peirasmois) means both outward trials and inward temptations 5.3.Trials become the testing ground of our faith.Jesus suffered the cross that He might arrive at the joy. 5.3.1."Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let Us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."(Heb. 12:1-2) 5.3.2."Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you" (Matt. 5:11-12). 5.3.3."Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, ye have been put to grief in manifold trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold that perisheth though it is proved by fire, may be found unto praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ: whom not having seen ye love; on whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice greatly with joy unspeakable and full of glory." (1 Pet. 1:6-8) 5.3.4."And not only so, but we also rejoice in our tribulations: knowing that tribulation worketh stedfastness; and stedfastness, approvedness; and approvedness, hope: and hope putteth not to shame; because the love of God hath been shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit which was given unto us" (Rom. 5:3-5). 5.4.To "rejoice -- count it all joy" in the midst of trial seems inconsistent, almost impossible, but this is not so.Moses "looked for the recompense of reward": 5.4.1."By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to share ill treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; accounting the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he looked unto the recompense of reward" (Heb. 11:24-26). 5.4.2.Paul and Silas, after being severely beaten, were "rejoicing at midnight" (Acts 16:25).The trials become the occasion of "joy." 5.5.Trials prove faith by enabling the believer to determine the extent and degree of willingness to endure and to be obedient to Christ 5.5.1.Compare Christ -> God versus Peter -> Christ 6.Verse 3 - Knowing that the proving of your faith worketh patience. 6.1.What is faith? 6.1.1.belief that the scriptures are true 6.1.2.a firm reliance on the Lord 6.1.3.unwavering trust in his word 6.1.4.character to obey the Lord’s commands 6.2.What is the purpose of trials? 6.2.1.It validates our faith by testing its genuineness. 6.2.2.It develops our patience, matures our character, rendering us more complete spiritually. 6.2.3.Unwavering faithfulness 6.3.Christians understand that the events of life are not the “end game”, merely something we must endure to prove ourselves different from the world. 6.4.1 Peter 4:15-16 - But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters.Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. 7.Verse 4 - And let patience have [its] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing. 7.1.Perfect is NOT sinlessness.It is completeness. 7.2.A term used in classic Greek to signify animals which had reached full growth (teleion). 8.Verse 5 - But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 8.1.God did not promise knowledge through prayer.Knowledge comes from study, observation, and experience.This wisdom is the common sense, the ability, to utilize the knowledge gained. 8.2.The ability to see great blessings in trials is not a natural one. 8.3.Knowledge is possession of facts; wisdom is the ability of judging soundly and correctly. 8.4.Rom. 10:17 8.5.2 Tim. 3:16-17 8.6.Guy N. Woods has said on this beautiful passage: "Knowledge is obtained only through study; wisdom is a gift of God.” 9.Verse 6 - But let him ask in faith, nothing doubting: for he that doubteth is like the surge of the sea driven by the wind and tossed. 9.1.Why would God bestow wisdom on us if we doubt him, his word and his promises? 9.2.This causes suspicion of God, not faith in God. 9.3.I come to God with the faith that he will provide me the wisdom to deal with the situations of life in a spirit that complements my knowledge of God and his word 9.4.The sea is tossed back and forth based on the situations around it.Christians should be firm, like the rock the wise man built his house on. 10.Verse 7 - For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord; 10.1.The second half of verse 6 represents a man who doubts and verse 7 tells us that a doubting man will receive nothing from God. 10.2.A doubting man should NOT expect anything from God. 11.Verse 8 - a doubleminded man, unstable in all his ways. 11.1.A double minded man is one that is in conflict all the time. 11.2.Someone who waivers in their faith. 11.3.Does not have complete faith or trust in God 11.4.Our actions are confused, unstable in our actions, temperament and attitude. 12.Verse 9 - But let the brother of low degree glory in his high estate: 12.1.Blessings from God have nothing to do with someone’s economic level. 12.2.Christianity is the answer to all of life’s problems, regardless of what they might be. 12.3.Faithful Christians will not allow their relationship with God to be affected by his economic status or the fluctuations of life. 12.4.Christians are rich based on their relationship with God and his promises. 13.Verse 10 - and the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 13.1.We should never be tempted to trust on ourselves or our possessions for they may be gone tomorrow 13.2.Crash of 1929 and 2000 13.2.1.Here today and gone tomorrow 14.Verse 11 - For the sun ariseth with the scorching wind, and withereth the grass: and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his goings. 14.1.Eastern people are familiar with the scorching wind called the simoom which begins with the coming of the sun and a blast of hot air from the deserts east of the Jordan Valley, and up from the burning sands of Egypt.Often times mentioned in scripture 14.1.1.Ezek. 17:10; Jonah 4:8; Isa 40:6-8 14.2.Both rich and poor have their trials; not necessarily the same trials.The road to heaven is not easy for either of them. 14.3.Both should find joy in service to the Lord and the eternal reward for those that are found faithful.
Next week, we'll study verses 12-18 as James advises us regarding outward temptations.