JAMES - CHAPTER 1 TESTING TO BE RECEIVED WITH JOY Print E-mail

JAMES – CHAPTER 1

TESTING TO BE RECEIVED WITH JOY

SUNDAY, September 22, 2019, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

James has for his theme “pure religion”, the religion of the heart experienced divine love.  He shows that pure religion is being tested by trial and temptation in the faithful.  Trials and testing also will reveal the carnal and selfish within us.  

 

James presents to us the faithful believers who are an example of “pure religion” under test and trial.  These he encourages.  James also has in view the more fleshly and self-seeking whose conduct shows them as failing the test of “pure religion.”  These he rebukes.  Throughout the epistle, true heart-religion, whether as tested in the lives of the faithful or as testing and judging the lives of the carnal is the message of this book.

 

James tells us of two kinds of faith, two kinds of wisdom, two kinds of temptation, two kinds of confidence, and two kinds of self.

Many cry to the LORD to bring the harvest, to bring a revival to our land, but people of God until we can carry the glory of God in righteousness, peace and joy, we will not carry his Harvest, or a revival.  This is why so many start well, but fall away because of the weight of the glory.

 

James gives us practical truths about what it means to be declared righteous by God.  He gives us clear insights on faith and walking in the truth.

 

James 1:1: James a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

 

  The statement is very straight forward, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad.  Some suggest it was written to the first generation of Jewish Christians who were scattered after the martyrdom of Stephen in A.D. 36 or 37.   As a result of the first dispersion, Jews were still scattered all over the world; that it is clearly written to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad is also prophetic of the dispersion of 70 A.D. which has now lasted for over 2000 years.

 

Three persons by the name of James are mentioned in the New Testament.  However, Christians agree this is James, the son of Joseph and Mary and brother of the Lord Jesus.  In Gal. 1:19, he is called James the Lord’s brother.   He is also known as James the Just.  

 

7:5: For neither did his brethren believe in him.  This leads us to believe that James, the brother of Jesus was not saved until after Christ’s resurrection.

In 1 Co. 15: 5-7, Christ appeared to James after he had appeared to the “twelve.”

He calls himself a servant, not an apostle.  In the Acts and letters there is a James who stands out prominently, as the pastor of the church in Jerusalem whose position  and character exactly suit the author of this letter

Like his older brother, he was killed for his faith according to the Jewish historian Josephus in A.D. 62.

James gives us the revelation of the sweet uses of adversity where we will one day count it all joy.

Jas 1:2 - My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.

Christians are not to court trials or knowingly tempt sin which creates trials; but when we meet with temptations, we are to regard it with unreserved joy because it is used by God towards holiness of Character.

 

Jas 1:3 - Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience.

 

Christ is working into us perseverance.  James is writing to those whose faith is being threatened by daily struggles and hardship.  This could range from religious persecution, health problems, and financial difficulties to even spiritual oppression.  James is clear such trials and temptations are never a waste, there’s a goal: spiritual maturity born through perseverance.

 

This is the perseverance and patience which works in us the Overcomer.  Endurance produces rich fruits of faith which produces power to overcome. 

 

Jas 1:4 - But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

 

When faith passes the test, then what can Satan do to you after you have overcome the temptation and the test.  When we are tempted, if we know the LORD and the perfection of His ways, we will turn away from sin because of our love, awe and fear of the Lord.  Our selfish nature will succumb to the lust of our flesh, the pride of life and the love of money.  The fear of God, will count the costs and walk the higher path of righteousness in Christ Jesus.  

 

 

Jas 1:5 - If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him.

 

The Lord is the sum of all wisdom.  He keeps it safe within Himself until we discover who He is in us.  It is the glory of God to conceal a thing and the honor of kings to search out a matter.

 

God gives wisdom freely to all without finding fault.  He won’t see our lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold us over our failures, but he will overwhelm our failures with his generous grace.

 

Jas. 1:6 -8:  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

 

This is the duality of true faith and false faith.  Lack of faith reveals a duality of life, the fleshly is double minded, and true faith does not waver.  The ambivalent person believes one minute and doubts the next.  Being undecided makes you become like the rough seas driven and tossed by the wind.  You’re up one minute and tossed down the next.

 

Jas 1:9 -11: Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:  But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.  For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withers the grass, and the flower thereof falls, and the grace of the fashion of it perishes: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.

 

We know it is God who makes rich and blesses.  James is not condemning prosperity.  He is speaking here of humility.  The poor person who seeks after the Lord will be exalted; but a rich person who seeks only after wealth, their earthly glory will fade away like a wildflower in a meadow. 

 

Let the poor seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto them.  Let the rich seek first the Kingdom of God and not their earthly riches.

 

Jas 1:12 - Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

 

James is speaking to first generation Christians who are daily being put in prison, and killed for their faith.  A crown of life is promised to those who persevere under trial, as it is to the martyrs in Rev. 2:10.

 

Rev 2:10 - Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

 

 

Persecution always refines God’s people.  The Lord knew that even more severe persecutions were coming and encourages them to be faithful to death and they will receive the crown of life and shall not be hurt of the second death.

 

I have always accelerated under persecution.

 

James and John both received the crown of life because they were faithful unto death.  Christians today in the United States are not facing this kind of tests and trials for our Faith.

 

James then passes from the outward trial to the inward trial or temptation; from our holy trials to our unholy ones.  The former must be endured, the latter resisted.    

 

Jas 1:13 -16: Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.  Do not err, my beloved brethren.

 

God is un-tempt-able of evil or untried in evil.  Evil never finds an entrance into His heart and therefore He tempts no-one.  Satan tempts to bring out the bad; God tests to bring out the good.  The true source of temptation is the evil heart within.  First there is evil desire, which has a child called sin.  The sin when it is full grown gives birth to death.  The death is in contrast to the crown of life. 

 

Jas 1:17 -18: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.  Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

 

 

Jas. 1: 17-18: T.P.T.:  Every gift God freely gives us is good and perfect, streaming down from the Father of Lights, who shines from the heavens with no hidden shadow or darkness and is never subject to change.  God was delighted to give us birth by the truth of his infallible Word so that we would fulfill his chosen destiny for us and become the favorite ones out of all his creation.

 

Unchecked Copy BoxJas 1:19 -21: Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:  For the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

 

 

Jas 1:22 24:- But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass.  For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was.

 

Jas 1:25 - But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

 

Jas 1:26 -27:  If any man among you seem to be religious, and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is vain.  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

www.eastgateministries.com

Scripture from K.J.V. and T.P.T.

 
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