Monday, October 27, 2008

James 1:12-18- Striving for Fruit

James 1:12-18- Striving for Fruit

I. A restatement of the Blessings in the Thorns (v. 12)
A. One of the reasons for being able to have joy in the midst of trials is that we know God will work it out to His glory. (Romans 8:28)
B. Another reason for being able to have joy is that the ultimate end result will be us being made more like Christ, until that day when we get to heaven, and we are just like Him. (“...And when you have been approved, you shall receive the crown of life.”)
  1. “...been approved...” – the idea: Passed the test- when we have endured all that God has asked of us to endure for this life
  2. The crown of life: when we shall see Christ with our own eyes and shall see the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise of eternal life and fellowship with Him.

II. Where do the trials and temptations come from? (v.13-15)
A. In this context, James is not talking about chastisement from God because of sin. God has specifically said that in those moments, He will try us and that we will know it is of Him, so if, as James tells us, God will not send temptation and trials, he must be using the words to mean something different. Consider the holiness of God and whether or not this would go against His nature to actually put that trial or temptation there Himself (vs. allowing it to happen).
B. These trials and temptations come from either within us (lust of the flesh) or from the world (the lust of the eyes and the pride of life).
C. It is not the temptation that is wrong, but what we choose to do when the temptation is before us.
  1. “...When he is carried away of his own lusts....” This is the part where we allow temptation to gain a ground hold and a solid foundation within our hearts, allowing for the beginning of going down that path towards sin. This is the part where we generally think to ourselves, “A little bit can’t hurt” or “I can control this” or “This shouldn’t be a problem since I know I can walk away whenever I want.” These are lies of our own hearts and the devil to ensnare us.
  2. “When lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin”-this is where we actually begin to act out those thoughts of, “A little bit can’t hurt” and we find ourselves doing the things that we promised to God we would never do.
  3. The result of that choice of sin: “...and when sin is finished, sin brings forth death.” Whether it is our relationship with God, or our relationships with others (which is effected by our relationship with God), when we sin, we kill those relationships. Often times, those sins will in a small way physically kill us over time (smoking, drinking, drugs, stress from the guilt of what we’ve done or the stress from the bitterness, anger, hate, depression, etc.). According to God, if man had not sinned in the garden, he would not have to physically die. It is because of sin that we age and die. Some sins speed up the process faster than others do.
III. Transition (v. 16)
A. James uses this verse as a transition into his next thought.
B. First, he says, “Do not be deceived” in that we should not be deceived by sin.
C. “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.”-James is pleading that we would not fall back into the deception that sin once had over us before we were Christians; He is pleading that we not fall back into the snare of the devil.
D. He also uses deceive to tell us how we can know what truth really is as he goes into verse 17. (hence the phrase, “My beloved brethren”- agape)

IV. What is truth then and how will it help us to see the blessings in the midst of the trials of our faith? (v. 17-18)
A. First, variation or shifting of shadow = God’s Immutability-He cannot change his nature, which plays into the context of this along with God’s Holiness from v. 13
B. This verse is the “Why?” to what James says in v. 16.
C. “Every good gift is from above....” We can know what is truth and what is not based upon its comparison to Scripture. We have to take each moment of our lives as we are living it and filter it through the Biblical Grid.

V. The Gift of God (v. 18)
A. The exercise of His Will
  1. “He brought us forth....”- We are only who we are because of Christ. “But for the grace of God, go I....”
  2. “...By the Word of Truth....”-It is God’s Word that is this gift to us, for without His Word, we could not have salvation (John 1:1, 1 Timothy 3:16).
B. The result of His Will being exercised in our lives (“ that we might be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.”)
  1. First fruits = unique, set apart, sanctified, made holy and pure
  2. God gave us the gift of His truth so that we would be unique in that as we have fellowship with Him we can withstand the trials of life as they come. We can, through that gift of His truth, trust and depend on Him for strength and have something to stand on when those trials and temptations come.

1) Do you see the blessings in the thorns? Are you allowing the temptations and trials of this life to help you become more like Christ?
2) When the temptations come, are you fighting against sin, or are you simply giving place to it? Are you deceiving yourself or are you trusting in God’s Immutable Truth to help you in times of struggle?
3) Are you living the separated life from sin and allowing yourself to be set apart for God? Are you that unique fruit that He wants you to be?


ElderChild said...

Why have your portion in a religion that is of this world, when believers are exhorted to:

“Love Not The World”

”For the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one”(I John 5:19)

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of The Only True GOD will abide for ever.” (I John 2:15-17)

“If you were of the world, the world would love it’s own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.” (John 15:19-20)

“Where do wars and fighting among you come from? Do they not come of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is to be at enmity with The Only True GOD? Therefore whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of The Only True GOD.” (James 4:1-4)

“The world cannot hate you; but the world hates Me, because I testify that the works of this world are evil.” (John 7:7)” and “The Messiah gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of The Only True God, Our Father.”(Gal 1:4)

The Messiah testified: “If the world hates you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”(John 5:18) Truly, Truly, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life in this world shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall have it unto life eternal.” (John 12:24-25)

John testified: “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (I John 3:13) “ James testified, “Whoever would be a friend of this world is the enemy of GOD”(James 4:4)

The “earth and it's life forms” are The Creation of The Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”, he who is “the father of lies”, he who “has blinded the minds of those who believe not The Messiah”! All the nations of this world are under the dominion of, and serve, the evil one for he provides the fuel that feeds mankind’s “imag”ination, and mankind’s “imagination is destroying and perverting Creation(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures, Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, Faith, Simplicity, .etc.) ;-(


ElderChild said...

Once again, the “earth and it's life forms” are The Creation of The Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The current “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”.

Those who “love this world” all serve “the god of this world”, and play their part in the processes that seek to destroy The Creation of The Only True GOD. “And The Only True GOD will destroy them who destroy the earth.” (Rev 11:18c)

Global warming, polluted air, land and waters, toxic wastes, sexual perversion, evil inventions of destruction, greed, hate, carnal warfare, dis-ease ,,,etc,,, are all destructive processes that have their root in “the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life”.

The Truth Is Alive in those who have been born of The Spirit for “they no longer love this wicked, evil world and it’s things, nor do they love their own lives in this world”.

They but seek and desire The Will of GOD, their Father and Creator, as they await their final transformation. “Corruptible to Incorruptible" ndeed and Truth!

Now “the ground was cursed for Adam’s sake” because he “hearkened unto the woman”.

Adam listened to a woman rather than obeying The Only True GOD. Yet because of Faithful Noah, The Only True GOD “no longer would curse the ground for man’s sake” because Noah obeyed The Only True GOD! (Genesis 8:21-22)

And the Faithful today are exhorted to “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.”

Be not of those who deny and defy “The One GOD, Father of All”. Be not of those who are destroying and perverting the earth(land, air, water, vegetation, creatures) and perverting that which is Spirit(Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, Hope, Mercy, Faith, .etc.)!

“Set your affections on things above”. Desire heavenly, eternal things. Quit serving ‘time’ in the prison that is this world and take heed unto The Call of "The Only True GOD" to ”Come Out of her, MY people!”

“Come out” from among those who are destroying and perverting Creation and be of those who follow The Messiah on “The Way to The Truth of The Life”.

“Come out” of the worldly systems, which are the product of mankind’s “imag”ination, especially the systems of religion. "Pure religion and undefiled before GOD The Father is this, to visit the fatherless(those who know not their Father[Creator]) and widows(those who have not experienced The Messiah and The Power that raised Him from among the dead") in their affliction and to keep oneself uncontaminated by the world." (James 1:27)

Simply, all other religions are impure, defiled and of this wicked, evil world!

Faith will not create a system of religion!

Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world and it's systems of religion, for "the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one" indeed and Truth.......

Truth is never ending.......