Search Results: James 1:2

1

We should neither court suffering nor complain about it. Instead, we should see it as one of the means God chooses to employ in order to make us increasingly useful to the Master. It is from this perspective that James urges his readers to “consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2).

2

Why not love the world?

1. Because the gain of it is the loss of the soul – Matthew 16:25.

2. Because its friendship is hatred to God – James 4:4.

3. Because it did not know Christ – John 1:10; 17:25.

4. Because it hates Christ – John 7:7; 15:18.

5. Because the Holy Spirit has forbidden us – 1 John 2:15.

6. Because Christ did not pray for it – John 17:9.

7. Because Christ’s people do not belong to it – John 17:16.

8. Because it will not receive the Spirit – John 14:27.

9. Because its Prince is Satan – John 13:31; 16:11.

10. Because Christ’s kingdom is not of it – John 18:36.

11. Because its wisdom is foolishness – 1 Corinthians 1:20.

12. Because its wisdom is ignorance – 1 Corinthians 1:21.

13. Because Christ does not belong to it – John 8:23.

14. Because it is condemned – 1 Corinthians 11:32.

15. Because the fashion of it will pass away – 1 Corinthians 7:31 .

16. Because it slew Christ – James 5:6; Matthew 21:39.

17. Because it is crucified to us – Galatians 6:14.

18. Because we are crucified to it – Galatians 6:14.

19. Because it is the seat of wickedness – 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 5:19.

3

In such trials God still truly blesses our faithfulness to Him, but these blessings can as well involve the mercy of removing us from the grasp of this world’s pleasures as rewarding us with worldly delights (Heb. 12:11; James 1:2-4). Whether God chooses the ordinary path of rewarding our goodness with observable blessing, or the extraordinary path of blessing our obedience with trials that will strengthen our character and stretch our faith, His love is never lacking (Heb. 12: 6-11).

4

1. Pride Is the Root of All Evil (Genesis 3:5; 1 Timothy 3:6; 1 John 2:15-17). 2. God Hates Pride (Proverbs 8:13; 16:5; Isaiah 23:9; Daniel 4:29-37; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). 3. God Loves Humility (Proverbs 11:2, 15:33, 18:12, 29:23; Isaiah 57:15, 66:2; Micah 6:8; Luke 14:11; 1 Peter 5:6). 4. What Pride Is Not: a. Acknowledging and appreciating the gifts and abilities God has given you. b. The presence of godly desire, ambition and purposeful direction in your life (1 Timothy 3:1). c. Acknowledging the work of God within you. d. The pursuit of excellence. e. Defending and proclaiming the truth of Scripture. 5. Pride Is Deceptive (John 8:31-36; Jeremiah 49:16; Proverbs 16:2, 21:2).

5

Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, after His likeness (Gen. 1:26). But in Adam’s sin, the human race was given over to corruption (Rom. 5:12-21). We are still image-bearers (Gen. 9:6; James 3:9), but the image has been distorted (Gen. 6:5; Eccles. 7:29). The goal of sanctification is the renewal of this image. The holy person is being renewed in knowledge after the image of the Creator (Col. 3:10), which means growing in righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24). This does not happen all at once, but rather, we are transformed into the image of God one degree of glory to another (2 Cor. 3:18). God is holy, so most basically being holy means being like God. This is why it’s so critical that Christians know the character and work of the one they worship. If you want to know what holiness looks like, look at God.

6

Though God owes us no explanation, one or all of the following possible objectives may help us understand “why” God decrees such fear-producing events (in nature) – (see Psalm 135:6-7; Lamentations 3:38):

1. God is recognized as powerful and not to be trifled with. God often asserted that cataclysmic events were done to display His power to men (Exodus 9:14-16; 14:31).

2. Society is warned of the greatest calamity, eternal judgment. A physical disaster is nothing compared with eternal damnation. A hurricane is an announcement: “If you don’t repent, worse than this is coming” (Luke 13:1-5).

3. Some people are deservedly punished for their rebellion. The Bible states that “the wrath of God is revealed [lit. is being revealed] from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:18). That means now. Hurricanes are just one of the ways that might happen (Psalm 7:11-13).

4. Some true believers are tested or disciplined and made stronger in their faith. The same storm that judges a non-believing man may be the crucible of testing and/or chastisement for a true Christian, and will toughen and purify him for the future (James 1:2-3; Hebrews 12:5-11).

5. Believers may be taken to heaven; and some enemies of God may be removed from the earth. This is a reality that is hard to accept, but nonetheless true. The Bible says that our days are ordained by God even before one of them is lived (Psalm 139:16). He also promises that many rebellious people will face a calamitous end (Psalm 73:18-19).

6. The godly are given an opportunity to love sacrificially. Because of the nature of the true believer, you will always find Christians among those on the scene helping to relieve the distress (1 John 3:17; Galatians 6:10). Their love may point many to Christ.

7

Suffering brings enormous benefits:

1. Suffering verifies our faith (1 Pet. 1:6-7).

2. Suffering confirms our sonship (Heb. 12:5-8).

3. Suffering produces endurance (James 1:2-4; 1 Pet. 5:10).

4. Suffering teaches us to hate sin (John 11:33).

5. Suffering promotes self-evaluation.

6. Suffering clarifies our priorities (Dt. 6:10-13).

7. Suffering identifies us with Christ (2 Tim. 3:12; 1 Thes. 2:14-15; Gal. 6:17; Phil. 3:10).

8. Suffering can encourage other believers (1 Thes. 1:6-7; Phil. 1:14).

9. Suffering can benefit unbelievers (Acts 16:16-34).

10. Suffering enables us to help others (Heb. 4:15-16).

8

1. He is eternally the same (Ps. 102:25—27). 2. He is the first and the last (Isa. 41:4; 43:10; 44:6; 48:12) 3. He is what He is (Ex. 3:14). 4. He is incorruptible, alone having immortality, always remaining the same (Rom. 1:23; 1 Tim. 1:17; 6:15-16; Heb. 1:11-12). 5. His thought, purpose, will, and decrees are unchangeable: a. He executes His threats and promises (Num. 23:19; 1 Sam. 15:29). b. He does not repent of His gifts and calling (Rom. 11:29). c. He does not cast off people with whom He has made a unilateral covenant (Rom. 11:1). d. He glorifies those whom He foreknows (Rom. 8:29—30). e. He perfects what He starts (Ps. 138:8; Phil. 1:6). f. His faithfulness never lessens (Lam. 3:22—23). 6. He does not change (Mal. 3:6; James 1:17).

9

God’s gracious acceptance of us does not end our obligation to obey Him; it sets it on a new footing. No longer is God’s law a threatening, confining burden. For the will of God now confronts us as a law of liberty [James 1:25] – an obligation we discharge in the joyful knowledge that God has both “liberated” us from the penalty of sin and given us, in His Spirit, the power to obey His will.

10

[Trials are] intended to produce, when believers respond with confidence in God and determination to endure, a wholeness of Christian character that lacks nothing in the panoply of virtues that define godly character [see James 1:2-4].

11

Our Lord calls us out of the world; while living in it, we are not to be stained by it (James 1:27). We are to be in it but not to love it (Duncan Rankin).

12

However one chooses to interpret Revelation 3:20, it must not be thought that the sinner possesses the power to open his own heart to Christ. Only God can do this (John 6:44; Acts 16:14; James 1:18). Although God’s sovereignty in salvation does not negate our responsibility to proclaim the Gospel to all men, we must never suggest to people that the power to convert their hearts lies within them (Psalm 110:3; Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 2:24-26) (Darryl Erkel).

13

God “works all things after the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11). This “all things” includes the fall of sparrows (Matthew 10:29), the rolling of dice (Proverbs 16:33), the slaughter of his people (Psalm 44:11), the decisions of kings (Proverbs 21:1), the failing of sight (Exodus 4:11), the sickness of children (2 Samuel 12:15), the loss and gain of money (1 Samuel 2:7), the suffering of saints (1 Peter 4:19), the completion of travel plans (James 4:15), the persecution of Christians (Hebrews 12:4-7), the repentance of souls (2 Timothy 2:25), the gift of faith (Philippians 1:29), the pursuit of holiness (Philippians 3:12-13), the growth of believers (Hebrews 6:3), the giving of life and the taking in death (1 Samuel 2:6) and the crucifixion of his Son (Acts 4:27-28).

14

God acts first to strengthen sufferers internally. If you “suffer in a Godward direction,” He gives you hope. It is in the context of suffering that God strengthens hearts in many ways:

1. The love of God pours out directly into the hearts of afflicted persons who rely on Him in hope (Rom. 5:3-5).

2. God becomes directly known – “seen” – in ways previously unimaginable (Job 42:5).

3. Our foolishness is revealed, so that we might receive growing wisdom directly from God (James 1:2-5).

4. We are remade into the image of Jesus, and established in the love of God (Rom. 8:29, in the context of 8:18-39).

5. We learn to trust and obey Jesus, who walked the path of unjust suffering ahead of us and now walks it with us (Heb. 4:14-5:9; 12:1-11).

6. Our self-centered cravings are revealed and our faith is purified and simplified (1 Peter 1:3-15).

15

The word “death” is used in Scripture to describe three experiences:

1. Spiritual death, or the separation or alienation of the individual soul from God (cf. Gen. 2:17; 3:3, 8-9; Eph. 2:1, 5).

2. Eternal death or second death, which is the culmination or eternal continuation of spiritual death (cf. Rev. 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8).

3. Physical death which is the temporary separation of the material and immaterial aspects of the human constitution (cf. Gen. 35:18; James 2:26; Phil. 1:21-24; 2 Cor. 5:1-8, 1 Cor. 15:35-58).

16

But how do we get [wisdom]? There are several basic prerequisites.

1. Admit our need. Solomon said, “With the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2). The humble are those who do not think more highly of themselves than they should. They are willing to admit that they do not have all the answers, that their opinions may not always be right, and that they need to know the mind of God. In other words, they have a teachable spirit.

2. Fear the Lord. The Psalmist said, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10). To fear God is not to cower before Him in terror, but to bow before Him in awe, respect, and total trust in His purposes for our lives.

3. Study God’s Word. By loving God’s Word and meditating on it daily, the Psalmist discovered that he was wiser than his enemies, that he had more insight than his teachers, and more understanding than the aged (Psalm 119:97-100).

4. Pray. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). Sometimes praying for wisdom is the last thing we think to do when we face a knotty problem, a difficult decision, a pressing emergency, or an alarming crisis. The Lord is standing ready to give us His wisdom and we often think about everything we can do to work out the problem except talking to Him about it.

17

Salvation in Three Tenses:

Past, from sin’s penalty, immediate, secured by Christ’s death- Rom. 1:16; Acts 28:18, 16:31; Rom. 10:10; 1 Cor. 15:2; 2 Tim. 1:9.

Present, from sin’s power, continuous by Christ’s life- Heb. 7:25; Rom. 5:9; James 1:23; 1 Tim. 4:6; Phil. 2:12.

Future, from sin’s presence, prospective at Christ’s coming- Rom. 13:11; Heb. 9:28; Phil. 3:20; 1 Thes. 5:8.