Praying Devotedly

Praying Devotedly

James 5

We have found that James has been teaching us things that we should all practise as Christians.

To be a Christian is still to be like Jesus Christ.

How did this name come about?

A handful of Jews from Jerusalem had gone to Antioch of Syria and preached the “Gospel” to the Gentiles.

Act 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
It is the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ that makes Christians.

If we are not like Jesus Christ then we are not Christians!

James has been preaching to Christians, who were scattered because of persecution, and this lesson continues today in chapter 5.

We ended last weeks lesson with this verse:

Jas 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

When we know how to do good by the Word of God, and reject God’s Word then we are living in sin!

Let’s Begin:

*****Jas 5:1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

The Church is a mixed blend of people from all parts of society and from all cultures in this world. We should not be surprised when we find some in the Church who are rich.

It is not sin to become rich!

If those riches come from your own sweat and the work of your own hands then you need to thank God for what he has done.

But when those riches come at the expense of others then it was gained in a fraudulent manner.

James begins to condemn this type of rich man.

Happiness can never come from the riches in this world!

The quicker we find this out the better off we will be!

A comedian once said “money talks but all it says to me is goodbye”

Most of us find this to be true.

To “weep” is to be in misery and is a sure sign of grief.

To “howl” is to be in overwhelming distress as this misery has taken over your life.

Where does this misery come from?

*****Jas 5:2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

That word riches means “all possessions”.

That word “corrupted” means all those possessions have perished or will perish.

Many of the early Christians had been robbed of all their possessions simply because they had become disciples of Jesus Christ.

A moth breeds in yarn and garments and will eat the material thus destroying that garment.

That word “motheaten” means “the ways” of the rich will be destroyed!

*****Jas 5:3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

That word “cankered” means that the best your riches will ever do for you, is to provide corruption.

That word “rust” is what happens to metals such as steel or iron, but the same Greek word used here can also mean the poisonous venom that is emitted by a serpent.

It is hard to have a good testimony and be very rich, if you have not used those riches to further the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.

It is even harder to have a good testimony if you have lost those riches but still have a great desire for them!

It is that “lust for those riches” that will eat at your flesh and gnaw at your conscience until you have been consumed in your own misery.

Communism began when a certain group of the rich, took advantage of the hopeless poor. And on the backs of these poor they built themselves great riches and in some cases large nations.

By the means of slavery, many men have become rich and prosperous and human trafficking is still prevalent in our world today and it is still about riches.

Even today in what is called democracy and democratic governments, the reality is, that wealth and political influence have concentrated the wealth of the world into the hands of only a small number of multinational power brokers.

It is these men that have more control over the things of this world than we realize!

Even in America, even in an administration that says they are taking from the rich to give to the poor, the super rich have gotten even richer.

The intent of our governments today is not to take away from the rich to help the poor, it is to take away from what is called the middle-class, and make them all poor, while the rich just get richer.

The proof is in the results and not what the politicians say!

These things have always taken place and these things will increase until the time of Christ, when He will put an end to them!

Mar 14:7 “For ye have the poor with you always”, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.

But when our Lord returns we also have this promise:

Rev 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
Rev 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and “the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies”.

Rev 18:11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; “for no man buyeth their merchandise any more”:

Rev 18:17 For in one hour “so great riches is come to nought”. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

Rev 18:20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; “for God hath avenged you on her”.

There is the sinful Babylon of false religion.

There is the sinful Babylon of those rich who have gotten rich off the backs of innocent people.

Both will fall at the return of Jesus Christ!

*****Jas 5:4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

That word “behold” means that the things written in the Book of Revelation will come to be true, “as sure as all the Word of God”!

God will avenge all the wrong that has been done to His people!

God will avenge all the wrong that has been done to His creation!

Jesus had these words:

Luk 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

Our God is a righteous God!

God came down from Heaven in the flesh to become our Savior!

Our Savior will return again as Judge and what we look for in a true Judge is “equity”.

Psa 94:20 Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?
Psa 94:21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.
Psa 94:22 But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.
Psa 94:23 And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.

Our God is righteous in all His ways!

2Th 1:6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
2Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

That Lord of the Sabaoth is in fact the Lord of Hosts!

The Lord Jesus shall be revealed coming from Heaven with His mighty angels and that day gets closer every tick of the clock!

Those that have oppressed the people of God’s creation, will be judged!

*****Jas 5:5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
Jas 5:6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

That judgment will come to all who have lived and gained their wealth off the backs of others and ignored the Word of God.

They have lived in luxury on this Earth but there is no luxury in Hell.

They have indulged in wantonness or have made a sport of the way they live.

In other words they take great pleasure in all the evil things they have done!

They have fed off their desires, like beast eat their prey until they can eat no more.

Like sharks, they love the “feeding frenzy” over those less fortunate than themselves!

There are sometimes another reasons for the great wars that we see.

Most all wars have no real winners except for those that financed them and who are the underwriters of those wars.

In our past there have been those that have financed both sides at the same time, not choosing sides but only choosing riches over the death of the masses of people.

This still happens today, there are great riches to be made in every war!

In some wars the truly guilty are those that supply the weapons that have condemned those that are innocent and cannot resist!

God’s answer is patience!

*****Jas 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

Just as the farmer must be patient until his crop comes to harvest, the Lord is very patient waiting on His precious fruit!

This is something that we all need to understand!

There are somethings that are just worth waiting for and the Lord sees every “Born Again” child of God as “one worth waiting for”!

There is great joy in the presence of angels in Heaven at every salvation!

It has now been over 2000 years since the Lord Jesus went to prepare our place.

He knows exactly how many places to prepare and He is truly waiting on those to fill those mansions.

Not one home in Heaven will be unoccupied!

Not one home will ever be sold or up for rent!

Someday soon the last part of the Body of Christ will be saved and the Church will be complete and we will all go to our new home in Heaven!

As the Lord is patient until this time we need also to be patient!

*****Jas 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

We are living in sin, “if we do not live expecting the Lord to come at any time”!

We should know that the Lord Himself prays for each of us and this is one of His prayers as He prayed for Peter!

Luk 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, “that thy faith fail not”: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Our time to go home draws closer every moment that passes!

The Lord will make all things right when He comes in “judgment”!

*****Jas 5:9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

What are the signs of impatience? To “grudge”, is to murmur, and groan and express your feelings against those that oppress the Church.

When we do these things it will affect our testimony and if one soul is lost because of our actions we will face that judgment also, at the judgment seat of Christ!

The eyes of the Lord are on every thing that has been done to us and is being done to His Church but His eyes are also on us in any wrongdoing!

If we study the Word of God and listen to it’s truth, and see the things that are going on in our world, we should have no doubt that our “Judge is standing before the door”, prepared to come to us at any time!

We are not the only ones who have seen hard times!

*****Jas 5:10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.

“My Brethren”, means all God’s people, and we should know that all those that have spoken in the name of the Lord are our examples of others who have suffered.

Heb 11:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
Heb 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
Heb 11:38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
Heb 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
Heb 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Though some may be able, not many of us can say we have suffered as these mentioned in the Book of Hebrews.

These are our examples for suffering affliction.

The Bible never says that God’s people will never suffer!

These that gone before, are our example in suffering and also our example in patience!

And God says those that do not believe, those that trust the world, are not even worthy of one child of God left behind to tell them about Jesus.

We are all a part of God’s “Grace” to the unbeliever when we follow in the ways of Jesus Christ!

*****Jas 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

God saved each of us for a specific purpose and God knows what is best for each of us to fulfill that purpose!

Not many will ever prosper and be much help to others if they have had an easy life!

We will never realize what a good day is all about, until we have actually had a bad day.

True happiness comes from enduring what “has to be” endured!

To be a Christian is to be like Jesus Christ and Christ “had to endure” all the things that happened to Him in order to bring joy, first to Himself, and then for us.

Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; “who for the joy that was set before him” endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

What does endurance look like?

Act 8:32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, “so opened he not his mouth”:

All things were created by the Lord Jesus and we know that “God spoke” our world into existence.

But when He could have stopped His own death, He endured all these things and “opened not His mouth” and He did this for you and I.

We read many things in the Bible, such as the patience of Job, to encourage us in our bad times but we seem to forget the perfect example of our Lord as He endured death so that we can live and live forever!

Job was a real person and the story of Job is a real story and Job did have much to endure but after these things, then Job had real joy.

The Lord Jesus had much to endure and then came His joy for our Salvation!

When we endure the things of this world we should remember the absolute “joy” that is soon coming for all those that love the Lord.

And there are other things we need to do.

*****Jas 5:12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

We must remember that as Christ Jesus endured the all the things that led Him to the cross, He also opened not His mouth!

We should remember there are no victories in Jesus until there are battles!

Blessings can come while we are in our trials but the greater blessings will come after we have endured that trial!

When we become impatient in our trials and temptations, it first noticed in our speech and then in our ways.

It is easy to say things that we do not mean, when we are suffering!

The Jews would swear often to back up the statements they had made but they were very careful not to blaspheme God in their swearing.

They would swear by heaven or by earth or even Jerusalem, but James teaches us all that all these things were created by the Lord and “it is impossible” to avoid swearing by God in any oath.

It is always better to just say yes when the answer is yes and no when the answer is no!

Even Jesus said to speak more than these things, is sin!

Mat 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: “for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil”.

So what is the best way to use our tongues? Prayer!

We may think that we are nourished by the food we eat and it is important.

But the absolute best use of our mouths are in prayer!

*****Jas 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

When we find ourselves in the furnace, the most important thing we can do is pray!

Heb 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

It was the cross of Jesus that tore down the barrier that was between us and God.

There is not any part of the day that we cannot go to the Lord in prayer!

We have no set times as some do, that we can reach out to the Lord. Our God is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

To be afflicted is to suffer from some difficult things in our life.

These are things that come not by our own sin, but by the things that we must go through in this life.

We are not to grumble and complain!

We are not to blame the Lord or anyone else!

“We are” to go to the only One who can help and that is our God in prayer!

This is the time to pray and not put it off!

Even Paul prayed that God would change his circumstances but God just gave Paul more “grace”.

The Lord Jesus prayed, if there could be another way than to be separated from His Father for even one moment but God gave Jesus more strength.

And while you are going through your troubles there will always be others who are not!

If we are not down in the valley of transgression and are on the mountain top then we need to be singing Psalms of praise!

BUT, it is the “mature” Christian who can sing Psalms of praise and pray “while he is yet suffering those afflictions”!

Anyone can sing after their troubles are over!

It is through our prayers and our songs that we can worship our Lord!

This is what true worship is all about!

What songs should we sing?

Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs”, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

The Bible teaches us much about prayer and when we sing we need to be singing?

We need to be singing, Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs!

*****Jas 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
Jas 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

It would be a rare thing to find a congregation that gathered that did not have someone who was sick in some way among them.

The Greek word “astheneo” is used here and it means to be feeble, diseased, sick, or weak.

No doubt that this person should also be praying for themselves in closet prayer!

Mat 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Today this person would also ask to be put on a prayer list at his place of worship.

But James says to also call on those that have been Christians for a long time, the elders in the Church, and not so much the novices, who are new converts.

1Ti 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
1Ti 3:6 “Not a novice”, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

These would be men who have been through many trials and temptations and would have experienced many blessings of the Lord and had followed and lived by the Word of God!

Pro 4:10 Hear, O my son, and “receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many”.

These would be men who had “the gift and the grace of prayer” but they could also offer a word of counsel and advice.

It is true that in the time of the Apostles that they and some few others, had the gift of healing but James is not saying this in this passage.

When the Lord healed and the Apostles healed the results were instantaneous, the were complete, and they were permanent.

They were also unconditional and each one had a purpose!

And these healings were always secondary to the Word of God!

Luk 9:6 And they departed, and went through the towns, “preaching the gospel, and healing every where”.

The preaching came before the healing!

The “gift of healing” terminated once the New Testament was written!

There was no further need for the “gift of healing” and there are no more Apostles.

God now responds to the prayers of His children “at His own will and for His own purpose” but He will still respond!

We should also remember that even in the day of James and Paul, God chose not to heal everyone.

Timothy was a preacher of the Gospel but Timothy was not healed:

1Ti 5:23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.

The Apostle Paul prayed to be healed 3 times but God would not heal Paul:

2Co 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness”. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

This is the same answer that is given the most today!

God’s “Grace” must be sufficient enough for us to get through the trials of life!

In the day of James, oil was one of the few medicines that existed, and to be anointed with oil and the laying on of the hands are symbolic of the “healing power of God” and a sign of seeking the divine “Grace of God”.

In other words “let them use oil who can by their prayers obtain recovery for the sick”.

All healing then and now, are by the hand of God!

No human possesses the gift and the power to heal!

How do we know this?

*****Jas 5:15 And “the prayer of faith shall save the sick”, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

It is not the oil, it is not the laying on of the hands, nor is it any medicine that heals and saves, It Is The Prayer Of Faith!

And it is by the will of God and and the purpose of God that all prayers are answered!

The sick cannot be raised up unless the Lord raises them up!

The lost cannot be saved unless they are saved by the Lord!

Sins cannot be forgiven unless they are forgiven by the Lord!

Sin is the greatest sickness in this world we live and God sent His Son to solve that problem!

1Jn 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

And this is also why a prayer of faith is required!

Act 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Act 16:31 And they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”, and thy house.

Prayer is the key to life on this Earth!

And without Prayer in the name of Jesus, you will never make it to Heaven!

*****Jas 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

To confess means a full, a frank, and an open confession!

If we have sinned against any person, then we need also to forgive them!

Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

We must pray for each other, and not to some priest as Rome insists!

Pro 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: “but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy”.

We must intercede for one another because we have a Savior who intercedes for us all!

Jesus Christ’s intercession restores us to fellowship with God when that fellowship is broken through sin!

1Jn 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

To pray for one another is also some of the “good works” that come from a “saving faith”!

That word “availeth” means “the profit of”!

The effectual fervent prayer is a prayer that profits!

This is not just a prayer from someone.

This is the prayer of someone who is justified by the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and has the truth of God’s “Grace” within him.

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Tit 2:13 “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ”;
Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

This is the “Grace” that saves and also the “Grace” that heals!

If you are not looking for that blessed hope, the appearing of the great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, then do not expect much from your prayers nor your prayer life!

It is this one thing that can energize our prayers above all other things!

It is this one thing that makes for fervent prayers!

Elijah was such a man.

*****Jas 5:17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
Jas 5:18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

When the rain stopped it was because Elijah prayed, and it was by the hand of God!

The systems that make rain, put in place by the creating hand of God,were still in place but all God’s creation is still under His direct control.

Luk 8:25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! “for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him”.

Pro 30:4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? “who hath established all the ends of the earth”? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?
Pro 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

There are many great wonders of nature but “they are all” under the absolute control of our supernatural God!

God can answer any prayer at any time because it is He who sits on the throne of His Own Creation!

All prayers that meet God’s conditions will be answered!

*****Jas 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
Jas 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and “shall hide a multitude of sins”.

What is one good reason for “soul winning”?

There will be at that point in time, less sin in our world!

The more souls saved, the less sin in our world!

What is the truth?

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Too many churches have erred from this truth!

Jesus Christ is the “only way” to our Father in Heaven!

Jesus Christ is “the truth” of what we will find in the Father when we get to Heaven!

Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Jesus Christ is all the life that can be given to us from our Father in Heaven!

1Jn 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

When we can incite others to come to the Lord Jesus Christ for all their needs, we are completing the Will of God in our lives that we live for Jesus!

Every soul that is saved is one less soul that will never see spiritual death!

This will complete our study in the Book of James.

Next week we will look at some things in the Book of 1 Thessalonians.


Let’s Pray!

Submitting Compliantly

Submitting Compliantly

James 4

We have been learning that “good works” will follow a “saving faith”.

Saving faith is a complete belief in the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The “Gospel” is saving ministry of Jesus Christ, His life, His ministry, His death, His burial, and His resurrection all done for “whosoever” will believe on all these things.

The “Gospel” does not come in parts, the “Gospel” begins and ends with the Lord Jesus Christ!

1Jn 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

When we are “Born Again” of God and filled with His Spirit, it will produce “good works” as we have seen but just as important it will show up in our speech.

SO, What is submitting?

Submitting is yielding to another source, surrendering your view to another view, referring to someone else before making a decision.

What is being compliant?

Bending your own will in favor of someone else’s, yielding to the request of another.

When we can yield ourselves to the will of God, we can live a righteous life which means we do the “right things” and that will bring peace not only to ourselves but also to those around us.

Jas 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

The results of peace is then a lack of wars.

What is the cause of wars?

Wars usually begin because of changing relationships and opposing interest of people.

Many wars have begun because of power grabbing, someone seeking to be in power.

Many wars have begun because of the conflict between the social classes.

History has proven all these things to be true.

But James tells us why there wars within the Church.

Let’s begin:

*****Jas 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

Remember James is still speaking to Christians.

That word “whence” means, “though the search will always begin with outside circumstances”, the problems are most always internal, within the “Body of Christ”.

In other words, the Church is destroying itself from the inside!

These wars go against the peace that comes from being obedient to the Word of God.

These “fightings” are the carrying out of the wars within the Church.

James says these wars always begin within our own selves because of wars within our own members.

When we are living by the Word of God, we will be at peace within our own selves and we will not be a part of any war.

We will never have true revival in the Church until we have peace within the Church.

Revival has nothing to do with adding members, it is a setting of existing members on fire for God

How do these things begin (“come they not”), James says we already know the answer.

The beginning of all wars begin with our own “lusts”!

Desires that you have, that war against your brothers and sisters in Christ and against your fellow man!

Desires that go against the Word of God, cause a war within our own bodies against the will of the Holy Spirit!

The Apostle Peter wrote of these same things:

1Pe 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, “which war against the soul”;
The Apostle Paul also knew these things very well:

Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, “warring against the law of my mind”, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin “which is in my members”.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

How are we to be delivered from this war within ourselves?

*****Jas 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Jas 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

We must first realize the source of this turmoil is within ourselves.

Jesus Christ explained it this way:

Mar 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

When we allow the things of this world and the cares of this world to to replace the “good news” of the Word of God, then we will war with our own selves and we must be honest, our lusts are hard to control.

When we set our minds on certain things and our will is weak through the cares of this world, we will most often yield to that desire.

To make matters worse, we often desire things we know that we can never obtain which in turn will make us do almost anything to obtain them to fulfill that desire.

When we simply cannot obtain that thing we desire the most, then that lust will change to envy of those that have what we most desire!

This will often turn into an all out war within our own selves and affect everyone and everything around us in a sinful way.

We should be very clear, God promises to provide everything we need to fulfill “HIS WILL” for us and He will do this when we pray properly.

We should also be very clear, that God makes that promise to those that pray, not to those that are fighting within themselves!

We have already learned that a double minded man can receive nothing from God!

This is also the answer to the whole problem.

We need to know how to pray and then pray often!

It is not enough just to ask for good things but we must ask for the right things to be used for the right reasons along with having the right intentions!

God deals in needs and not wants!

In most cases, it is our lack of faith that will even keep us from receiving something we may actually need, for the ministry God has for each of us.

And it is for sure that if we receive anything for the work of the Lord and then use that thing to satisfy our own lust then there would little need to pray for God to replace it!

God is not fooled by our sinful ways!

*****Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

We know that an adulterer has allowed his affections for another woman to interfere with his affections for his wife and the same for the adulteress has done for her husband.

But James is speaking of “spiritual adultery” in this verse.

James is speaking to those “Born Again” men and women of the Churchm, who have put the cares of this world before their relationship with the Lord, Our God!

We are not to be concerned with the motives and the ways of this world we live in, as we go about serving God.

We are only to be aware that we are in a war with the evils of this world as a soldier in the army of God!

That word enmity means how it sounds, those that are friends with the world are the “enemies” of God.

The Apostle John wrote:

1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father “is not” in him.

We must believe the Word of God are the Words from God!

One of the first things the Athiest will say is, “is not the Bible written by men”?

We know that these men were inspired by God and that these are the actual Words of God!

No one can serve two Masters. We can have only one Master in our life!

Jesus said these words:

Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: “for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other”. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

The Words of God are life and God’s Word will bring eternal life!

*****Jas 4:5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

The Apostle Paul wrote that the Old Testament is to be our schoolmaster.

Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

A schoolmaster in the time of Paul was intrusted with the care of children until they reached the age when they could have their own children.

The lessons that we can learn from the Old Testament are timeless!

These “scriptures” teach us how to cope in our sin filled world by showing us what happened in the past to God’s people.

We can see how God has dealt with sin, from the time of Adam.

God will never change in the way He deals with sin!

We must study the Word of God to learn the lessons of the past.

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

There are no vain scriptures in any part of the Word of God!

We must rightly divide the Word of God!

If we think that God has placed His Holy Spirit within us to sow discontent, or uneasiness, along with hatred, then we have misjudged the will of God!

Envy springs from our own pride, our own ambitions, and our own sinful desires.

In fact the Apostle John wrote;

1Jn 2:16 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”.

All these things are from the world and it is these things that are the cause of wars in the world and the wars within our own selves!

God gave us His Holy Spirit for other reasons than to war with each other!

We saw last week the fruit of the Spirit.

To be sealed with the Holy Spirit of God is to be confirmed as the “Blood Bought” children of God!

The Holy Spirit of God is our down payment on our still to come inheritance!

Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

We already know that Our God is a jealous God!

The Scriptures of God teach us the truth.

The Spirit of God encourages a lust within us but that lust is for us to learn the truth of the Gospel and then be a doer of the Word of God!

God’s answer to all our mistakes in the Church Age, is to give more “Grace”!

*****Jas 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

God gives us many things that we do not deserve.

We do not deserve to be saved.
We do not deserve to be filled with the Spirit of God.
We do not deserve the “Grace” of God!

God even gives us more “Grace” than we deserve.

God gives us more “Grace” than we desire. If we do not desire spiritual things, then we do not desire spiritual life!

God gives us more “Grace” than we know. When we reach the “Judgment seat of Christ” we will see that God has given us more “Grace” than we know.

God will also give us more “Grace” than we can use!

Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, “grace did much more abound”:

God’s “Grace will flow from the mind of God into the heart of each of us that know the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.

But God’s “Grace” is reserved for those that humble themselves before Him!

1Pe 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: “for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble”.

AND, to be humble is to be submissive!

*****Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

The title of this lesson is “submitting compliantly”.

We submit to God when we receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our “personal Savior”!

We must surrender ourselves to Jesus!

Eph 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

When we surrender ourselves to Jesus the power to resist the Devil is revealed in us.

The Devil is far more intelligent and powerful than we are, so we cannot resist him through the strength of our own flesh.

The Lord Jesus defeated the Devil with the Word of God.

We can do this same thing and the Devil knows this.

Satan will be stubborn until we mash his head with the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.

1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

SO, to claim victory in this life we must draw nigh to God.

*****Jas 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

When we take a step toward God, He will also take a step toward us. Our steps are then doubled.

It does not take long to get close to God after that first step!

How do we draw nigh to God?

1) We must sanctify ourselves.

Exo 19:22 And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.

How do we sanctify ourselves?

A.) We must cleanse ourselves of the filth of this world.

Isa 1:16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

B.) We must admit that we are still sinners.

Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

C.) We must purify our hearts.

We must obey the truth of God!
We must love our neighbors as our own selves.

1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

D.) We must stop being “double-minded”.

Jas 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

We must take a stand on the Word of God and then Stand on it!

*****Jas 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

We must be aware that sin in our life will bring with it sadness and regret. This is Holy Ghost conviction who makes us aware that we have done wrong.

We must mourn at every failure we have in being obedient to God!

Mat 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

We cannot celebrate in our sin, our laughter must turn to mourning.

Heb 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

Any joy that comes from sin will not last very long and that joy will turn to heaviness.

Heaviness is sadness and sorrow.

Pro 12:25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.

When we can reach this point quickly we will then humble ourselves before God.

*****Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Pride is the same sin of the devil!

1Ti 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

Pride is also the most difficult of our sins to overcome and will always lead us to other sin.

When we are humble, we recognize that we are continuously in the presence of the Lord and He is watching our every move, because He loves us.

In order to grow in the Lord we must be aware of the presence of the Lord in our lives!

1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

The Lord would not watch over us, if He did not care for us!

The Lord will not only lift us up fully into the world to come but He will even lift us up in this world we live in now!

But we must keep the “Royal Law”! “Love thy neighbor as thy self”

*****Jas 4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
Jas 4:12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

Why do we find it so easy to condemn the faults of another brother or sister in Christ?

When we get involved in gossiping and slandering we are actually ruining our own testimony!

We will be found out and people will avoid us.

We should look at these verses as the commandments of God!

Not one of us are qualified to sit in judgment of another!

There is and can be, only one Lawgiver!

It is only Our Lord who is able to save and who is also able to destroy at His will.

God has given us several commands in our lesson today.

We are commanded to submit ourselves before God.

We are commanded to resist the Devil.

We are commanded to draw nigh to God.

We are commanded to cleanse our hands of evil.

We are commanded to be afflicted and mourn because of our sin.

We are commanded to “humble” ourselves in the sight of God.

We are commanded to speak no evil of another.

When we obey these things we will find that God has more “Grace” than we have faults!

*****Jas 4:13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
Jas 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

James gives us another absolute fact of life and he says “listen to these words”.

Not one of us knows for sure what we will be doing on tomorrow!

Life is made up of many activities and many decisions will have to be made but we very seldom get to make those decisions until that thing is before us.

We do not know what is going to happen in the next moment and even much less about tomorrow!

Apart from the will of God, life is truly a mystery!

In our best interest we need to seek the will of God that He has for each of us.

Life begins to make sense when we follow the Lord Jesus Christ!

A wise man once wrote:

Pro 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

We may not know what tomorrow may bring but we do know what our future has for us when we follow Christ Jesus.

To us, life may seem long because we measure it in years but we live life in this flesh one moment at a time.

BUT, in comparison to the eternal life that is promised by the Lord, truly the duration of this life is no more than a vapor.

Even Job who gave us the earliest Book of the Bible knew this truth:

Job 7:7 “O remember that my life is wind”: mine eye shall no more see good.

And Job lived more than 200 years.

Job 42:16 After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, even four generations.

Even Moses who lived 120 years said:

Psa 90:9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: “we spend our years as a tale” that is told.

We may count our days by our birthdays but God says we should number our days:

Psa 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

God says we should spend this short life that we exist in this flesh, seeking His wisdom!

We have only one chance of succeeding in this life!

Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Psa 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Psa 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

We should not forget who sits on that Heavenly Throne!

*****Jas 4:15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

When we leave God out of our plans, we find that we have no plan at all!

God is behind the scenes of everything in our lives and His knowledge extends even into the little things we do everyday.

There is nothing in our lives that does not fall under the control of God!

Pro 19:20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
Pro 19:21 There are many devices in a man’s heart; “nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand”.

*****Jas 4:16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

When we rejoice thinking we have accomplished anything on our own, then our thinking is wrong!

We cannot even live without breathing God’s air!

Remember James is writing to Christians who are supposed to know these things.

The same God that saves, is the same God that provides all our needs!

The more we think we accomplish in our lives, the more we think we can do all things on our own.

This is wrong thinking!

We have no potential without God!

Being in God’s will is not a formula for living in misery, it is living outside the will of God that will bring with it misery.

Going against the will of God is always sin!

*****Jas 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

There is the sin of “commission”, doing things that God has told us not to do. We oursleves and those that we love will suffer from the commission of these sins.

Then there is the sin of “omission”. This sin comes from failing to do the things that God wants us to do.

Many times it is only that certain person God has asked something special or has a special calling from the Lord, who knows of this sin he or she is committing by not answering the call of God.

When we know that we are to depend on the Lord for all things and we fail to recognize the work of God in our lives we are committing the greatest sin.

We are commanded to witness for Jesus. It is sin not to do so.

We are commanded to tithe, it is sin not to do so.

We are commanded to evangelize, it is sin sin to do so.

And keeping with the theme of the Book of James.

We are commanded to separate our selves from the things of this world, and it is sin not to do so!

We are commanded to honor our God and keep Him first in our lives, to go against any part of the Word of God is sin!


Let’s Pray!

Speaking Wisely

Speaking Wisely

James Chapter 3

James has given to us many things that are necessary once we are saved.

James has taught us how we can live in the victory of Jesus.

James has taught us that we should love without discrimination.

James has taught us how to be dependable servants.

Today James will teach us how powerful our words can be.

We should clearly understand that the same faith that saves us from the eternity of Hell, will also produce good works after salvation.

Not only are we to live by following the ways of Jesus Christ, we are to also weigh our words to others wisely.

We must listen to what the Word of God teaches and God’s Inspired Word will bring us to the right kind of “faith”!

No amount of works can ever produce “saving faith”.

And, the wrong “faith” will never produce “good godly works”.

James continues with this theme in our lesson today.

*****Jas 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

James is still speaking to our brothers and sisters in Christ as he continues.

That word “masters” in this verse means, an instructor or a teacher.

Teaching is a gift of God.

1Co 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, “thirdly teachers”, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

We should note that this gift of teaching is not the same as a talent but comes only after salvation.

Some people truly have the a talent to teach and God will make use of such people in some way.

This gift of teaching in verse 1, is the gift that comes by the Holy Spirit after salvation and it must be done for the glory of God.

Every preacher will also be a teacher, but not many teachers will ever be preachers which is a special calling from God!

Every teacher must have a great interest in the Word of God and must be willing to study God’s Word.

Every teacher must fully believe the Word of God!

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Every teacher must be apt to teach:

2Ti 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2Ti 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

James says there will not be many teachers because God will condemn that teacher who does not teach the Word of God according to it’s truth.

At the judgment-seat of Christ, God will require more from teachers than from others!

This chapter of James is more about the teacher and the preacher than it is about the believer.

Each believer must know these things in order to know the truth when they hear it!

The study of the Bible is for every believer!

*****Jas 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

There is not one single preacher or teacher who can walk so closely to God that he never stumbles.

There is not one single preacher or teacher who will never say something that will not be offensive to someone.

And God’s Word will always offend the non-believer in many ways.

There are no perfect preachers nor teachers and there are no perfect believers!

The lesson for us all is, that through the Word of God, we can learn to be in control of our entire body.

No man can live without sinning against God and in many things we will offend all who listen to our words.

It is the Word of God that must be our bridle!

*****Jas 3:3 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.

Horses are without man’s understanding. Horses are strong animals and would be unruly unless bits and bridles were put into their mouths.

A good use of the bit will have a great influence on the attitude of this animal!

God tells us that we must not be like the horse:

Psa 39:1 I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.

A good use of the Word of God will also have a great influence on our attitudes.

*****Jas 3:4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

Ships are a very large and would drift endlessly without direction if not for the small rudder. To control the helm is to control the direction of the ship.

The tongue is to the rest of our body as the rudder is to a mighty ship.

The New Testament Church is that mighty ship on the open ocean, tossed to and fro when driven by Satan’s temptations, and the world’s persecution, ready to be carried away by false doctrine.

But the Church can be directed on the right path, when those in it control of their tongues and preach and teach the truth of the Word of God!

When we walk in the Word of God, we are going in the right direction!

*****Jas 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

The tongue is one of the smallest parts of our body but can be the largest troublemaker that we have!

As Christians we are to control our tongues!

We are to keep our speech truthful:

Eph 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

We are to keep our speech gracious:

Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

We are to keep our speech serious:

Eph 5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

We are to keep our speech relevant:

Col 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

We are to keep our speech courageous:

1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

We are to keep our speech corrective:

Tit 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

And we must keep our speech purposeful:

Mat 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

We must always be ready to speak the Word of God!

2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

When the Word of God is on our tongue then foolish people will come to know the truth of Our God!

Psa 37:30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.

Pro 10:21 The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.

When we just boast of great things, the fires of sin will be kindled.

*****Jas 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

It can be said that our words are the expression of our thoughts and our thoughts are the revelation of our character.

The spoken word can be a weapon or it can be a thing of peace.

Because of this we need to exercise complete control over our tongue.

The tongue can be a fire.

When our words inflame others we leave from controlling of our tongues to become part of that same flame.

Our tongue must be treated as any other part of our bodies in which we have complete control.

We control our arms and legs and we need to control our tongue.

It does not matter how much good work for the Lord we have done with our bodies, our tongue can ruin our testimony!

The Greek word used here for our English word “Hell” is “Gehenna”.

This word appears 12 times in the New Testament and by it’s meaning is “the fire of Hell”, the “everlasting fire” and “eternal punishment”.

Of those 12 times the Lord Jesus Christ used this word 11 times and in James is the only other occurrence of this word.

The tongue can be a world of iniquity when it is set on the fire of Hell!

Every fire begins with a small flame but every flame that that is fanned can grow until it consumes everything it it’s path!

Sin is exactly the same!

Sin begins with a simple thought but when the flames of sin are fanned then that sin will grow until it has consumed the entire body, the soul, and our entire being.

Hell is itself a world of iniquity and there is no deliverance from Hell once you are there!

We are all sinners that can only be saved by the “Grace of God”!

So inside this body of flesh we are still full of depravity, and unfaithfulness.

Hell is exactly the same!

All those that will inhabit Hell will be there by choice because they have refused to accept the eternal presence of God made available only through God’s sacrificial love by Jesus Christ!

There is no deliverance from Hell beyond the grave but there is a deliverance on this side of the grave by our faith in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ!

A true Christian will have some control of his own tongue just as he will in all of the actions of his body.

*****Jas 3:7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
Jas 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

James, by the Holy Spirit, is teaching us that if the actions of our “faith” in the promises of the Lord Jesus Christ cannot control the actions of our flesh, including our tongue, then our faith that is lacking.

Every animal on the face of this Earth can be tamed except maybe the sheep.

The sheep is a dumb but peaceable animal that will always be in need of a shepherd to keep from becoming lost which is why God chose to come as a Shepherd for His Own lost sheep which we are.

In the act of salvation, God delivers us from deceitful tongues.

Psa 120:2 Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.

If we then continue with our own lying lips and our own deceitful tongues, how can we say we have been delivered?

When we have been delivered we will have the proper tongue:

Psa 126:2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.

It is only through the Lord Jesus Christ that our tongue can be tamed!

*****Jas 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

Even though we are scarred by thousands of years of sin, we should not ever forget, that all humans were created in the image of God.

Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

We need to acknowledge ourselves as God’s “created beings” and respect that every human being are also part of God’s special creation.

God is still a “whosoever will come” God!

Even the most depraved sinner can still be “Born Again” into that image of God!

Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

God’s new man will then be changed!

*****Jas 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

When we can come into God’s house and worship Him and offer Him praise and then leave God’s house and speak as the world speaks, then we must question our salvation!

The Apostle Paul gave us these words:

Rom 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, “but not according to knowledge”.
Rom 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, “have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God”.

Words are very powerful and almost everyone has been harmed by words from time to time.

If we say we love God then we cannot also not love God’s created beings and all of God’s creation.

To believe in any part of evolution is to not believe the Word of God!

We seem to always forget that God will first judge the Church before He will judge this world we live in!

James gives us some examples.

*****Jas 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

This question has an obvious answer. A spring of water from the ground will either be sweet or bitter, it cannot be both.

So it is with the believer.

Holiness cannot come from a heart that is unholy!

*****Jas 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

All the way back in the Book of Genesis, God says that each plant and animal can only reproduce after it’s own kind.

We can see that James clearly understood Creation was an act of God.

Just as a fig tree cannot bear olives and a fountain cannot yield both salt and fresh water, there is something wrong with a man’s mouth that can worship God and curse his brothers and sisters in Christ and any other human being!

When our hearts are with with God, then our tongues will be right in every circumstance!

Where did James learn these things? From his half-brother, Our Lord Jesus.

Luk 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

We should be able to see a Christian before he ever speaks and when he speaks it should only confirm what we have seen.

Christianity is an inward principle practiced by living holy and sound speech.

When we are filled with the Spirit of God our heart and our mouth will react in the wisdom of Jesus Christ.

Heb 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, “the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name”.

*****Jas 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

Wisdom signifies the knowledge, the lovingkindness and the fear of the Lord.

Psa 107:43 Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.

Why are these things so important? Let’s ask Daniel.

Dan 10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, “thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words”.

When we do all these things in the ways of the Lord and through the Holy Spirit can control not only our tongues but our entire body, then God will hear our words and He will come to us in our prayers.

Why should we pass up this tremendous blessing?

The lack of Godly wisdom will surely open the door for the Devil.

Our conversation will reflect our style of life!

*****Jas 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Jas 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
Jas 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Envy is the mother of strife.

Envy is the source of all errors in our doctrine.

Envy is a desire for our own fame and will cause us to act on impulse.

Envy can poison the Church.

All these things were part of our “Old Man” before salvation.

Mat 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

When we boast of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and these things still come from our mouths then we are lying against the truth of the Gospel!

We must understand there is no wisdom of this world that can lead us in the ways of God.

It is God’s Word that must be our road map to glory!

1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

Worldly wisdom is of the world, the flesh, and of the Devil.

Worldly wisdom is humanistic and will most always lead to envy and strife.

Envy and strife will always lead to confusion and then to the evil work of Satan.

Our “New Man” must be centered on Christ Jesus!

1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1Co 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

*****Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

What are the pillars of wisdom?

True wisdom comes from above.

Pro 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

1) God’s wisdom is first pure. This is not only the first thing on the list but without the “pure wisdom of God” none of these other things will amount to anything.

We also must begin in purity:

Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

2) God’s wisdom is peaceable. We must make allowances for others. We must not only love peace but we must bring peace while keeping in mind that purity comes before peace.

Peace at any price is not worth having. We must stand on the Word of God!

1Pe 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
1Pe 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

3) God’s wisdom brings with it gentleness. A Christian should always be a gentleman. We will always have to make allowances for others.

Php 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

4) God’s wisdom is easy to be intreated. God is reasonable. SO, We must be just, not unjust. We must yield to the things of God. We must believe the things of God. When we can give in to all the things of God we will be easy to live with.

Remember what we learned from the 1st chapter of this book.

Jas 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

5) God’s wisdom is full of mercy and good fruits.

To be full of something is to be controlled by it. When we follow God’s mercy we will also be full of mercy.

Luk 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

And everyone that is faithful should also be fruitful!

We are not walking worthy of the Lord unless we are fruitful!

Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

6) God’s wisdom is without partiality. We must look on every human as a special creation of God in His own image. We must remember God has a purpose for each of His created beings.

We must look into the heart of each individual just as God does. We must not be swayed by outward appearances.

Jas 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

7) God’s wisdom is without hypocrisy. There will not be one hypocrite in Heaven!

We cannot be hypocrites in our relationship with God, and we cannot be hypocrites in our relationships with other individuals.

We absolutely cannot pretend to be something we are not!

We must be sincere in our worship of God and we must be sincere in our relationships with others.

Rom 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

Righteousness is the product of the wisdom that comes down from above!

*****Jas 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

The theme of our lesson is “speaking wisely”.

There is a great difference between man-made results and God-given fruit!

Our fruit must be the product of our lives for the Lord Jesus Christ.

As we share the fruit of God with others, then they can be fed and they can also produce good fruit.

We must see the connection between what we say and what we say we are!

When our hearts are right with God, then the Holy Spirit can control our lives and the fruit of the Spirit will produce good fruit from good works!

Jesus said:

Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.


Let’s Pray!

Serving Dependably

Serving Dependably

James 2:14-26

Last week we saw the sin of discrimination in the church, this week we will see that “saving faith” will also show up in our actions.

One of the greatest tragedies in the Church today is that we see so many confess the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior but there is then no change in their behavior nor their character.

This absolutely cannot be true, if we obey the Word of God!

We must first answer this question that Jesus ask us all:

Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Christianity is not a matter of opinion.
Christianity is not a matter of feeling.

Christianity is a matter of life!
Christianity is being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Christianity must be what we are and what we are shows up in what we do!

Christianity is in obedience and not in a feeling, nor is it an opinion!

So what is true saving faith?

Let’s Begin:

*****Jas 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Everyone has faith of some kind even the Atheist who say there is no God.

It is the object of that faith and the results of that faith is what makes the true “saving faith” valid!

James asks us all, what profit do we obtain from our faith?

If we were in a business and had made an investment we would expect at some time to see a profit.

To be saved is to have made an investment in the Word of God!

We must ask ourselves:

1) Do I truly believe the Words that God has given to me?
2) Do I really trust in God’s promises?
3) If I believe what God says then what does He expect of me?
4) What is the profit I receive from my faith?

Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth”.

The Lord Jesus said that He was the truth.

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

The truth is, that what we believe in our hearts will make itself known in our actions!

The profit of this truth is that the Lord Jesus Christ is our salvation and our eternal life.

Jeremiah wrote to the Jews that there is no profit in lies.

Jer 7:8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.

So what is true saving faith?

Even in the early church there were those that claimed a saving faith but they were not saved.

Jesus has these words for all those:

Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Jesus says that a person of faith will produce some fruit.

When saved we are filled with the Holy Spirit and the fruit, not the fruits, is this:

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

And there is more fruit:

Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

And Jesus adds these words:

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he “that doeth” the will of my Father which is in heaven.

You see, it is not what we say that makes us saved, it’s what we do with our faith after we are saved that is the proof of saving faith!

Even Jesus teaches us that just to say we believe is not enough, our belief in the Lord Jesus as our personal Savior must show also in our actions.

Again this is the greatest tragedy in the church today!

James gives us an example.

*****Jas 2:15 If a brother or sister “be” naked, and destitute of daily food,
Jas 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

In this example of James the terms brother or sister, let us know that these are all fellow Christians who are all bound by God’s Word to help others in a time of need if we are able.

That word “be” in verse 15, means we know about this need and/or we are aware of this and know this to be true.

That word “be” also tells us that we have it in our means to offer that help and have not already done so.

In other words we have witnessed with our own eyes that this person is certainly in this position of need.

That word “destitute” means that his lack of nourishment is showing up in his health. It is noticeable for all to see.

This fellow brother or sister in Christ is lacking nourishment and has been for awhile and has reached a point in their lives that they sincerely need some help and they have approached you, honoring you also as a child of God and fellow Christian.

They would have had to humble themselves greatly in order to do this.

You already know what they are, “now” they will see what you are and the truth will show up in your actions.

This is not even a stranger from another assembly but you both attend the same house of God and live in the same neighborhood.

God says to love thy neighbor as thyself.

But what we see is a “faith” that has not resulted in a changed life!

There is nothing wrong with praying for those in need.
There is nothing wrong with wishing for prosperity and happiness for them.
There is nothing wrong with praying that they will be warmed and filled with all the accommodations of this life.

Food and clothing are the basic needs of life in this world we live in now.

In fact God says this:

1Ti 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

But we also know that we have more than what we actually need.

The wrong comes when you have it within your own power to help, especially those that are brothers and sisters in Christ, but you refuse to do so.

You know you have some clothes you can spare.
You know you have food in your cupboard that you can spare.
You know you have the time to even prepare them a hot meal while they warm them selves at your fire.

You know you have the means to help them but your “so called faith” has not profited them at all.

Your faith then has no works!

And James says.

*****Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

What is dead faith?

Any declaration of faith that the Lord Jesus Christ can forgive us of our sins and this does not result in a changed life and good works, is a false declaration of faith!

True saving faith can never be alone because it will also bring with it a new life and that new life will bring forth with it, good works!

This person may know in his mind the doctrine of salvation but he has never submitted himself to the Lord Jesus Christ for His work, nor does he even trust God for his salvation!

True faith in Jesus Christ brings life eternally.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, “but have everlasting life”.

And where that new life exists there will be first growth and then fruit.

Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

We know that it is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that justifies us before God, but that faith can never be alone, that faith will always bring with it good works.

We certainly have a right as Christians, to believe that a profession of faith which does not bring a changed life may be an empty profession!

This is not being a judge of others!

Remember it is the Word of God that must our mirror.

We also know that only God knows who is saved because God can see into the heart of the believer!

And James continues:

*****Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Genuine faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation will indeed produce fruit that demonstrates it’s reality!

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus “unto good works”, which God hath before ordained that “we should walk in them”.

By that same faith we are to walk in good works after salvation!

This is a command of God and not a request!

God saved us so that we can show forth the goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ!

This is the only job God has given us to do!

James never says that good works produce salvation!

James never says that faith plus good works can save!

James does say that good works will always be a part of true saving faith!

*****Jas 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

We already know that James was writing mainly to the Jews.

The main difference between the Jewish religion and that of other nations was the fact of monotheism as opposed to polytheism as all other nations of that day believed.

Even now there are only 3 monotheistic faiths.

1) Orthodox Judaism.
2) Orthodox Islam.
3) Orthodox Christianity.

That word “orthodox” simply means those that believe the genuine doctrine of their own scriptures.

In Christianity it means that we must accept the complete Word of God!

All other religions are structured around evolutionary pantheism and not one of these pagan beliefs are never condoned in the Bible.

The Jews believe in Jehovah God, but not Jesus Christ.

In Islam their faith is in the writings of Muhammad, not Jehovah God, nor Jesus Christ.

The true Christian places their faith in Jehovah God who came to this Earth as the Lord Jesus Christ, the true Messiah!

James said it was good to be Monotheistic but even that is not sufficient enough for salvation!

Only Christianity acknowledges that our Creator will also be our Redeemer!

And James adds that even the devils(demonic beings) believe in the one God Jehovah and they tremble in fear of Him yet they will never be saved!

The Devil can neither love the Lord nor will he ever obey the Lord!

Satan has made his choice and Satan knows his particular ending.

The “Burning Lake Of Fire” was created for Satan.

Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, “prepared for the devil and his angels”:

Any human being that ends up in this place has chosen to be there themselves and have only themselves to blame.

*****Jas 2:20 “But wilt thou know”, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Many people today say that James was conflicting with the Apostle Paul but James received these words from the Holy Spirit many years before Paul had written any of his epistles.

And we should never forget these words:

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

It is the Word of God that is our guideline for “good works”!

Actually there is no conflict “at all” in the writings of Paul and these of James.

James taught that by the works of the law no one could be saved!

Paul clearly taught that genuine faith would produce good works!

Salvation must be by the “Grace” of God, and accepted by “Faith”.

Since no one can earn salvation and only God can see into the heart of the believer, then only God can know for sure who is saved and who is not.

But it is a fact, that the reality of that “faith” can only be demonstrated to others by “good works”!

So the truth that James states is that faith without good works is a dead faith!

These are all facts of Scripture!

Then James refers to the faith of Abraham giving us an example.

*****Jas 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
Jas 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

Just so we can be sure let’s see what the Apostle Paul wrote:

(Rom 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; “but not before God”.)

These two verse may seem to contradict each other but they do not.

Abraham was raised in Ur, a place of pagan worship and he left that place and obeyed the One true God, Jehovah.

Abraham had not been seeking God nor did he deserve any gift of God! (A picture of Grace)

Abraham accepted God at His Word and this was the object of his faith. (A picture of faith)

Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham, “when he was called” to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, “obeyed”; and “he went” out, not knowing whither he went.

Abraham left his fallen state behind in Ur, to live by faith as a man in a strange land. (A picture of being “Born Again”)

Abraham was then justified in the sight of God. (Once justified forever justified)

Gen 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

James words do not conflict with this statement of Paul!

James simply says, was not Abraham justified “before men”, when he offered up his son Isaac.

Abraham was justified, before God by his faith and his obedience to God after he was already righteous in the eyes of God!

This took place when Abraham left Ur in search for that Heavenly City of God!

These good works of Abraham followed after after his righteousness before God!

There is no conflict between the writings of Paul and the writings of James.

In fact there is no conflict in any of the scriptures in the Word of God!

It is by our good works, “that our faith is made perfect” in the eyes of God and the eyes of those that are always watching, you if you claim to be a Christian!

*****Jas 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

The scripture was not “confirmed” but “the scripture was fulfilled”.

Fulfilled means, the Word of God was executed just as God said!

Confirmed would mean that the Word of God was only established.

It’s very important for us to realize that “all” the Word of God “will be fulfilled” just as God says and just as it is written.

It will be the same for us as it was for Abraham!

Abraham did not just believe in God, but Abraham believed every Word that God had said to him.

Gen 15:6 And “he believed” in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Abraham believed the Words that God said, the promises that God had made.

The Word of God was not an “act” of Abraham’s faith, the Word of God was the “object” of Abraham’s faith!

It was not the promise that Abraham believed, Abraham believed all the things that were promised!

Abraham believed that he would have a seed and a very numerous seed while he also believed that the Messiah would spring forth from his seed.

Abraham believed in the end result as if it was already in his possession!

This is what we are all to do!

This is faith’s true meaning!

We are not just to believe the promises that God makes, but we are to accept the complete fulfillment of those promises to a point, “where we can act on them while we are still living”.

Abraham had no problem offering up Isaac as requested by God because Abraham knew that God had plans for Isaac that would be fulfilled no matter what was done to him.

Abraham believed that God would have to resurrect Isaac by some means if he killed his only son! (A picture of Jesus)

Abraham was justified by his faith way before he was justified by his works!

This is the same faith God expects from us all!

This is the faith that brings righteousness before God!

This is saving faith!

This faith comes from considering the Word of God in our own minds and making the decision that it is the Word of God that is real and our own thoughts are vain!

It is this seed of Abraham who can also be “friends with God”.

Jesus said it this way:

Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Joh 15:14 Ye are my friends, “if ye do whatsoever I command you”.
Joh 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

True “faith” is accepting the end result of the promises of God as complete but we just haven’t reached them yet, just as Abraham did.

The results of this faith is that we are to be busy about the work of God and we must leave our old life behind as already dead!

Born Again means an immediate change!

So we should begin to see these things clearly.

*****Jas 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

The faith that justifies, must include obedience to the “Royal Law” of the Lord as we studied last week.

But all these things do not happen at once.

We must first have saving faith which brings Salvation.

We must grow in the Word of God which brings Sanctification, to come out from among our old ways and those of the world we live in.

And the object of our faith will be Glorification, the day we meet Christ Jesus.

2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Our works can only begin when we can separate ourselves and our works from those of this world.

James gives us another example.

*****Jas 2:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

It should be observed that Rahab was a known harlot.

This was her trade, her means of making a living.

Her trade was legal, condoned, and even participated in by the standards of her ruling government but illegal in the eyes of God.

Just as I am now, Rahab was a the chief of sinners in her family.

But God’s amazing “Grace” can save the chieftest of sinners, praise the Lord.

Rahab had received the spies and the messengers of Joshua into her house and believed God’s Word.

(Remember Joshua in the Greek is Jesus)

Rahab showed her faith in her confession to God’s messengers.

Jos 2:9 And she said unto the men, “I know that the LORD” hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.

Jos 2:11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: “for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath”.

Even Rahab knew she could not loose her salvation!

Then Rahab showed her “faith” by her works in helping God’s people.

Heb 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them “that believed not”, when she had received the spies with peace.

Rahab did not have a dead faith!

Rahab had a faith that worked in love, by the Word of God!

*****Jas 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Faith is a spiritual thing!

Works are material things!

Where true faith abides, then God will also abide.

It is the Holy Spirit of God who gives eternal life.

God’s love will cause actions from each born again body that did not exist before salvation came.

What is the “Divine Principle”?

The more we exercise our faith in Christ Jesus, the more we will believe.
The more we believe the more “faith” we will receive.
The more “faith we receive, the more we are able to work for the Lord.
The more we work for the Lord, the more we increase our faith.
And this cycle should continue until the day God calls us home!

It is our works after salvation that show our growth in the Lord!

Just as the body without the Spirit is dead, then faith without works is also dead!

Saving faith begins when we believe that there is a God!

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

If we cannot believe that God exists then we will remain lost in this dying world!

Because no amount of good works can get you to Heaven!


Let’s Pray!

Loving Impartially

Loving Impartially

James 2:1-13

Last week we learned that we need to be a doer of God’s Word and not hearers only.

Today James will give us an example that will hit home in every place.

*****Jas 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

SO, what is showing partiality?

Being partial is favoring one person more than another to a point where it affects our good judgment. This comes from our own will and our own affections and not from a love of the truth and justice.

Even though James was writing more to Jewish Christians, that term brethren includes all Christians as we are all brothers and sisters in the “Faith”.

We cannot be united to our Saviour if we do not believe with our whole heart and all our mind on Him. We cannot reap the benefits of redemption without our sincere faith in our Lord Jesus.

Remember, because we have been redeemed, we have a new owner and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are to follow in His ways and not the ways of any other!

What thing do we know for sure?

God does not practice partiality!

Rom 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

On the day of judgment God will not look on the outside of the person.

Eph 6:9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; “neither is there respect of persons with him”.

We are to do these same things as Our Lord does.

Col 3:25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: “and there is no respect of persons”.

When we become judges ourselves, then we will be judged by our own prejudices.

God does not see a difference between the rich and the poor!
God does not see a difference between the slave and the free man!
God does not see a difference between the servant and the master!
God only sees the human race and never sees the color of any man!
God will only do that which is just and right to all who seek Him!

The sin that is being addressed by James in this passage is, “respect of persons”.

Favoritism has no place in the life of anyone to claims to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!

1Ti 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, “doing nothing by partiality”.

Then James gives us a hypothetical example that we all can relate to.

*****Jas 2:2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
Jas 2:3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:

1) We have our assembly.

The Greek word used here for “assembly” is where we get the word “synagogue” but James is referring more to the Greek word “ecclesia” which means “a called out group”.

These are believers whom God has called to be a special group of His own.

The church is a union of Jews and Gentiles on equal footing as fellow heirs in Christ!

Eph 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

James was speaking to all those that assemble in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

2) We have the man with a “gold ring”.

For the most part a gold ring would signify a person of great importance but rings were a common part of Jewish dress. In reality only a few Jews could afford gold rings but those that did would certainly wear them. There were always a few prosperous people in the early church but for the most part the early church was made up of the poor.

It is the poor that most often are the objects of God’s greatest concern and the reasons are obvious even today!

1Co 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

3) We have the “goodly” apparel, the “gay” clothing.

These clothes would give the appearance of a man of means. These clothes would also be clean, expensive and impressive.

But that term “gay” has a darker meaning, it would mean attention-getting clothing.

This would be a person who was deliberately trying sway the judgment of those that saw him or her!

4) Then we have that poor man.

This gives us a picture of a man who was not only poor but beggarly, unbathed, and in filthy clothes.

5)We have that “vile” raiment the poor man was wearing.

This gives us a picture of absolute filth. Someone who gave the appearance of evil but no one knew him.

Not just wearing rags but foul smelling and dirty rags. This man would have had an odor of filth!

James paints us a picture of stark contrast between these two men.

They are what they are, but it is the “assembly” of God’s people who are wrong and the sinners in our picture and not either of these men.

They say to the poor, we may have a place for you but you will have to stand, there is no seat for you.

They say to the poor, just do as you are told and we may allow you to stay in God’s House.

But they say to the man in the “gay” clothing, sit in the place reserved for those of honor.

Sit in the place reserved for our pastor as he will be at the pulpit and his seat is not taken.

In a synagogue of the Jews, they would have insisted that he sit Moses’ seat!

Mat 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
Mat 23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:

Then James explains this sin for us all to understand.

*****Jas 2:4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

It is a fact that we are prone to judge by outward appearance!

It is also a fact that Jesus never did this!

The Lord Jesus never looked on the outward appearance of anyone but will always accept “whosoever” into His family!

Act 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that “whosoever” shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Mat 12:50 For “whosoever” shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

“Whosoever” still means anyone, any person, from any walk of life!

Showing partiality is then our greatest sin!

To see this more clearly let’s see what happened to Our Lord Jesus.

Isa 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isa 53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Jesus was a picture of this the poor man and was despised and rejected by His own self-righteous nation.

In this hypothetical story of James, this poor beggar was despised and rejected simply because of the way he looked and smelled, by a self-righteous people.

No one took the time to even get to know him.

If the Lord Jesus would show up in our Church of today, He would go unnoticed or even rejected because their was nothing in His appearance to make us desire Him.

Isa 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

In our assemblies today, we reject those that we say are not our kind of people.

But what did Jesus do?

Mar 2:15 And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.

Jesus Christ was a friend to sinners though He disapproved of their sins.

Jesus did not compromise with sin, but He had compassion on the sinner!

Mar 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

The religious experts in the day of Jesus judged Him by their human standards and He was rejected.

To the religious experts:

Jesus came from the wrong city.
He did not attend the right schools.
He did not have the approval of the people.
He did not meet the requirements of the government.
Jesus had no wealth.
Jesus ran with the wrong crowd.
Jesus lived on the streets because Jesus was homeless. Jesus did not even have a home.

Luk 9:58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

We become “unjust” judges when we judge by appearance and this is a terrible sin in the eyes of God.

To reject a stranger simply for his looks is to reject the Word of God!

Those that cater to those “that appear” to be rich think that there will be some benefit that will come from those people.

It is a fact in America that the richest men support many charities and some of those may do some good but they do not support the spread of the Gospel which brings eternal life.

They do not support the Church!

They do not support missionaries!

So, what would Jesus do?

1) If the visitor is a Christian then we accept him. (The Spirit of God abides in him)
2) If the visitor is not a Christian then we accept him. (Christ Jesus died for all sinners)

Jesus Christ is the link of love for us all!


*****Jas 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

It is a fact that the Word of God has held true but the Word of God is alive and is even more valuable, especially in our day!

1Co 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Co 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

We always seem to forget, that this is God’s plan and we need to be involved in His plan, rather than seek ways to change it to suit ourselves.

James cautions the Church to listen to these words.

The poor, as a class of people furnish more believers and more support to the Church than all the rich class. This is a fact!

The rich must first renounce the power of his riches to have any power toward salvation and most of them find this hard to do.

We are all poor in spirit and we must all realize this, to ever become rich in the Spirit of God!

True riches begin with faith!

Luk 12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

We become rich toward God by serving Him.

1Ti 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
1Ti 6:19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

It is in these things that if we will learn, we will be more like Jesus Christ our Lord!

2Co 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

We must all become poor before we can become rich in the things of God!

Sometimes those that are already poor in this world understand this in a better way and we can learn from them!

To despise the poor is to reject the ways of the Lord!

For after all, most of our problems in this world come from the rich rather than the poor!

This is also a fact!

*****Jas 2:6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
Jas 2:7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

When we base our opinions on looks and appearances as seen by our eyes, we seem to always reject those that are lest fortunate than ourselves.

To be honest we see what we do not want to become!

When we see those that are more fortunate than we are, then we see what we want to become.

BUT, we are then judging by the ways of this world!

To “despise”, is to have the lowest of opinion for someone.
To “despise” someone is to have a low opinion of one of God’s created beings.

Pro 22:2 The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all.

These poor that we despise very seldom ever cause us any personal problems.

Pro 18:23 The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.

In this time of James, Christians were being being persecuted from all sides at this time.

Jews were corrupt in their religion and their government and hated the Christians.

The Romans were corrupt in their government and worshipped false gods and hated Christians.

The Christian could not expect justice from anywhere but from God!

It was the rich of this world who would drag the Christians into court.

It was the rich in society who made laws to single out and afflict the Christians.

It was the rich of the Jews who would take away all the possessions of the Christians.

Act 13:50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.

It was these rich in worldly goods who blasphemed the Lord Jesus Christ in all these things.

But by despising those that were poor, but called of God, these Christians were committing the greater sin!

*****Jas 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
Jas 2:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

What is the “royal law”? The laws of King Jesus.

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

It is these two laws of Christ that link God to man and man to God!

Love is the fulfilling of the law!

Rom 13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: “therefore love is the fulfilling of the law”.

Those that do not know the “royal law” do no not know God!

It is a serious and a grievous sin to show partiality in the Church!


*****Jas 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

The wages of sin is death!

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

When sin is our commander, we will have death to eat as pay!

Sin must be treated like a person!

In fact when sin rules our lives, then sin becomes our god!

If we would treat sin like the “living enemy” that it is, then the more we are likely to fight against it!

When we treat sin like a simple mistake, or having a bad day, we will over look the seriousness of sin and that in itself is a greater sin!

We already know that the death of our flesh is a fact of life!

But this “death”, the “wages of sin”, is total and complete separation from God, Our Creator and is the Second Death.

Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. “This is the second death”.

Physical death is the separation of body and soul and the separation from this world in which we now live!

“Eternal death” the wages of sin, is the final, ultimate and total separation of the body and soul and from Heaven and God forever!

If there was anyone who could keep every law of God, (613 laws of Moses), and break only one law, that is enough sin to cause a permanent separation from God.

James gives us this example.

*****Jas 2:11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

From the ten moral laws.

Exo 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Adultery is fornication with another man’s wife but like fornication it is also sin against our own bodies as well as before God.

Remember Jesus even said, if we are just think about committing adultery we have committed that sin already.

But fornication is a greater a sin against our own bodies!

1Co 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

This also the same for incest, sodomy, bestiality, and all other immoral sexual contact “because it is an impure action to our own bodies” that was given to us by the Lord God.

And to murder.

Exo 20:13 Thou shalt not kill.

To take the life of another human being.

God’s plan has always been for all His creation to preserve life.

God is the giver of all life!

It is Satan who had the keys of death!

But it does not matter to God which of the 10 moral laws were broken because God just sees sin!

God sees a people “who have made sin their god” and all these things reflect back to the greatest sin!

Anytime we reject the Word of God, we have rejected our God and made our own selves little “gods”.

This takes us back to the very first commandment!

Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

All sin violates this law of God!

So, what is the remedy?

*****Jas 2:12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.

What is the law of liberty? God’s law of love!

The Bible is still our love letter from our Father in Heaven!

When we need man-made laws to keep us from doing wrong, then we do not know the “perfect law of liberty”.

When God’s laws are written in our heart, we will not want to violate the things written in God’s love letter.

That’s what repentance is all about! A change in our direction. A change in our mind. A change in our heart!

It is the “perfect law of liberty” which gives us our freedom from the curse of all man-made laws!

What is the basic law of liberty?

Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”.

If we do not practice this law of liberty, then the law of “Grace” will condemn us more heavily than all those man-made laws.

This is the judgment that we will face and that will take place when we face Jesus at the “Judgement Seat of Christ”!

2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

As Christians we will never be again judged for our sin, they are under the Blood of Jesus.

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

But our works after being saved will be judged and judged without mercy!

Rom 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

1) Our words will be judged:

Mat 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

2) Our deeds will be judged:

Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Col 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
Col 3:25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

3) Our attitudes will be judged: Jas 2:13

*****Jas 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

There will be consequences for treating others without mercy and compassion, and we make it much worse when we show mercy to some and no mercy to others!

God has shown us His Mercy and Grace by saving us from the pits of Hell.

God will not show His Mercy at the “Judgment seat of Christ” for He will have judgment without mercy!

When God finds repentance and faith, then He will show mercy.

When God finds rebellion, then God must show justice!

If our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ does not control our behavior in this world, then we have not only failed in the purpose of God but we have failed our own selves!

We must practice the doctrine that we defend and that is the complete Word of God!

To be a Christian is to be like Christ Jesus in all our ways!

God will not allow discrimination in His Church to go unpunished!


Let’s Pray!

Living In Victory

Living Victoriously

James Chapter 1

Today we will begin a 6 week study of the Book of James. We should first consider that the Book of James was the very first of the General Epistles to the early church.

It was James who set the standard for all the epistles that would follow from the other writers, including the Apostle Paul.

So let’s begin:

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

Some things we should know about this James.

1) This James was prominent in the early church located in Jerusalem and was called a pillar of the church by the Apostle Paul.

Gal 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

2) This James presided over the the Jerusalem council as referred to by the Apostle Paul.

Act 15:13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:

Act 15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

3) This James could not have been James the Apostle of Jesus.

Act 12:1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
Act 12:2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.

4) It was this James who the Apostle Paul reported to, when Paul was in Jerusalem.

Act 21:18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.
Act 21:19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.

5) So who was this James? Again the Apostle Paul.

Gal 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.

Until this time we know that none of the half -brothers of Jesus cared for His ministry and did not believe Jesus was the Messiah.

Mat 13:55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

Joh 7:5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.

So when did this change?

After The Lord Jesus arose from that grave.

Again the Apostle Paul:

1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
1Co 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
1Co 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7 After that, “he was seen of James”; then of all the apostles.
1Co 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

So the first person to write a book of the New Testament to the believers who were scattered by persecution, was the one time unbelieving half-brother of the Lord Jesus Christ.

James understood that the Church would need some guidelines and the Holy Spirit inspired James to give us these words.

What we should learn is mainly 2 things.

1) Good works are the main sign of saving faith.

Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

2) Good works by themselves cannot lead to salvation.

Jas 1:21 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 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

It is this James, the half-brother of Jesus, who calls himself a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. This James knows now that he has shared his entire life with the true Messiah.

James had received the Holy Spirit when he was with the Apostles and his mother Mary in the Upper Room.

Act 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
Act 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, “and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren”.

It is this James who quickly became the leader of the church in Jerusalem.

But there was also another half-brother of Jesus who also had a ministry in the early Church.

His name was Jude.

Jud 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

Both of these became servants of Jesus and the early Church.

James wrote his epistle to his Jewish Christian brethren who had been scattered because of the persecution of the early Church.

It was James who decided that the Gentile believers were not bound to the Laws of Moses but be bound by the laws of Christ.

That word greeting tells us that James did not use a scribe to write this great Book of the Bible but wrote using his own hands.

*****Jas 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Jas 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

What are temptations? Temptations mean trials or being put to the test.

Temptations are common to all men but only the Christian can understand them.

Dan 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; “but the wise shall understand”.

Any new believer that thinks the Christian life is easy is in for a shock!

Jesus warned us all:

Joh 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

But as believers, we must live in the victory of Jesus.

James says to count it a joy to be tested because God will test our commitment to Him!

A “faith” that is not tested cannot be trusted!

Our goal should be to turn every defeat into a personal victory.

A wise man once wrote “When life hands you a sack of lemons, then make some lemonade”.

We can have joy knowing that we can refuse to yield to all temptation.

Now this is not always going to happen, so we can also have joy knowing we have learned a valuable lesson and come out stronger and better from our failures.

God is not sitting in Heaven with a big stick ready to knock us down when we get back up!

God will always encourage us even in our failures!

God is not going to throw any of His children away!

How does that song go? “He’s still working on me”.

Isa 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
Isa 64:9 Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people.

That word “count” means to evaluate.

We must evaluate our lives after our test and set new goals and priorities.

Remember test are intended to change our direction and to make us better suited for God’s purpose!

Another lesson we will learn is that thing called “patience”.

This is a terrible word that should have been left out of every book but here it is.

1) God will test us to increase our faith.

2) Testing works for us and not against us when we learn from it.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

3) God wants us all to have the ability to keep going when things get tough.

Rom 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
Rom 5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

A little patience will make us a better person!

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

Patience will take away the complaining every time we are faced with an obstacle.

Patience will allow us to see that all God’s children are facing temptations and we are no different and are not just being picked on or set apart from others.

Patience will mold us into something beautiful and joyful in the eyes of God.

And if we lack in anything God will provide that also.

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

When we pray for the “wisdom” of God we should remember one thing in particular.

Pro 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

No man is wise until he has a fear of the Lord.

Without the fear of the Lord, there can be no “Grace” and it is “Grace” that brings repentance, faith, and love.

The fear of the Lord is our awe and reverence for Him, as a Divine Holy Being.

The fear of the Lord will show in our desire to worship the Lord in the right manner and our desire to serve Him in the things He asks us to do.

In the Old Testament it was called “Trust”.

Today it is called “Faith”!

James says God will generously give us His wisdom in handling all temptations and all test. God never wants us to fail!

God will never upbraid us, which means God will not ever charge us with doing something wrong.

When we repent of our wrong doing and our failures those things are quickly forgotten by God and He will never bring them back up again.

But the wisdom that God will provide will always be according to His Written Word!

We need the wisdom of God’s Word so we do not waste the opportunities that God is giving us to become mature Christians!

But there are some conditions we must meet in obtaining the wisdom of God.

*****Jas 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

What is faith?

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

When we believe the promises of God are true and real, they become present realities. With these things firm in our mind then it can be said that we are seeing through the mind of our soul and not with our physical eyes.

To fully believe that you are a child of God and know your salvation is to be secure is the results of that faith!

When we doubt our salvation, we are doubting in the power of God and we will be like that ocean wave just moving around wherever the wind blows and foam out to nothingness, if we can even make it to the shore line.

A wandering ocean wave is up one minute and down the next minute and you can never turn your back on a wave, because you will certainly get wet!

*****Jas 1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Jas 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Just as it takes faith to be saved, it takes that same faith to open the ears of Our Father in Heaven.

When faith says yes and doubt says no, a response from God will not come.

Remember Peter as he was walking on the Sea of Galilee, he sank when doubt entered his mind.

What were the words of Jesus, “oh thou of little faith”.

A double-minded man, or woman, can never honor God!

The entire Laodicean Church Age is about double-minded men.

We must make a clear choice!

We must go the way of God and not choose the ways of this world!

“America stands on this threshold today and sadly is choosing the ways of this world”.

What are the words of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

In a double-minded world we must stand on the Rock of Jesus Christ and we will not be moved by the temptations this world lays out before us.

To be unstable is to stagger like a drunk man.

So what is the remedy for double-mindedness?

*****Jas 1:9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
Jas 1:10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
Jas 1:11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it 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 ways.

If we are to rejoice in all temptation then there must be a reason.

Even the poorest of believers are the children of God, birthed into a new life, with new principles, new affections, new desires, and a new path to glory.

Changed from the image of Satan to the image of God!

The poor who could never enter the rich man’s house, now owns a mansion and is rich in all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus.

It is that poor man who is called the “brother” of Our Lord!

That one who thinks of himself as rich, and trusts in his own wealth and have forgotten God can also rejoice in that he is made low as the poor man and can then know true riches.

He has been stripped of his goods for Christ sake. He no longer oppresses the poor but becomes like him, who is also on that new path to glory.

What is the story of the grass?

Isa 40:6 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field:
Isa 40:7 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.
Isa 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Without the Lord Jesus Christ we are all like the grass.

All the years we live are but a breath of time when compared to eternity. Sometimes it is not until we get old that we realize that we have not lived very long.

The future to the believer is such a marvelous event that truly the life we have lived in this flesh has been vain in it’s meaning.

Our past them becomes humiliating because we have not been the servant of the Lord we know we could have been.

Some people ask what tears will God wipe away in Heaven.

I believe it will be those tears that come when we realize we could have done so much more for the Lord and simply refused to do so!

When we yield to the Word of God and take our stand with the Lord Jesus Christ we can know the true meaning of life.

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

When we yield to the Word of God and apply that wisdom that comes from God we can endure all temptation.

Blessed means, a man who God has chosen. This chosen man of God man can then endure temptation.

God will test us by allowing temptation to come our way!

This why it is so important to know who controls this world we live in.

What did God tell Satan?

Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; “only upon himself put not forth thine hand”. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

Satan can only go so far in his temptation!

In other words God knows all things that we can endure and knows how much we can take and allows Satan to take us up this point.

What is the “crown of life”?

Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt 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”.

The crown of life is the reward of eternal life given to all those that remain faithful until the death of this flesh.

*****Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Jas 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

It is a foolish man who could believe that a Holy God would tempt His own children to do evil.

From way back in the Book of Genesis we know that temptation came from the “Serpent”. All temptation comes through Satan!

Satan was crafty in deceiving Eve and he is even more crafty today.

What will Satan do that we already know?

1) Satan will raise doubt concerning the Word of God.

2) Satan will lie to us, saying there is no Hell and no Second death and therefore no Heaven and eternal life.

3) Satan will convince all who listen to him that we all can be gods which is the same teaching of evolution that we will all evolve to be gods.

If temptation does not come from God, the problem then is our own lust!

That word “finished” implies an ultimate and final consummation.

In other words, if sin is allowed to continue without repentance and redemption, it will result in eternal and irrevocable spiritual death!

Therefore we need to give serious thought to the Word of God!

*****Jas 1:16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, “neither shadow of turning”.

The very first recorded words out of the mouth of God are these:

Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Our God is the “Father of lights”. God did not have to create light because God is light.

1Jn 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that “God is light”, and in him is no darkness at all.

God dwells in light.

1Ti 6:16 Who only hath immortality, “dwelling in the light” which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

God had to create darkness, but God only had to form the light!

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

All matter is energy in motion and light is the most basic form of energy in God’s physical creation!

God has no variableness!

The most basic and the most universal law of science is “the law of conservation of energy”.

In physics, “the law of conservation of energy” states, that the total energy of an isolated system cannot change—it is said to be conserved over time.

God has formed the light into many forms of energy but the quantity of energy remains the same.

The Light of God cannot be added to by creation and it cannot be decreased by time or any other means.

What God does is forever!

Ecc 3:14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

This is why “the law of of conservation of energy” is a scientific fact!

This is why there can be no shadow of turning.

The English word “turning” is translated from the Greek word “trope”. We also get the English word “entropy” from this same Greek word.

Entropy means “in-turning”.

In science, any system that turns in on itself, without drawing from outside sources, will become disorganized and fail.

In humans this called “confusion”.

God allowed this scientific fact to come about when God cursed His creation!

Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

All things are conserved in quantity by the power of God, but all God’s creation is deteriorating in quality, running down to eventual death.

This began with the sin of Adam and the lie of Satan.

Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

God has imposed these scientific laws, on His creation but God, Himself, is not bound by any of these laws.

There is “not even a shadow of turning” in Our God!

God’s Word is true in all ways!

*****Jas 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

God’s Word is incorruptible.

1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

We can be saved from the curse, because we can washed by God’s Word.

Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

It was God’s own will that He has begotten those that believe into His own family.

God loves us and it is a deliberate love!

Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

The Jewish land was consecrated to the Lord when the firstfruits were brought to the Lord.

The Jewish people were consecrated to the Lord by the first born child.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the first begotten Son of God and the first-fruit of the dead.

1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

It is because Jesus Christ was the first-fruit and that perfect gift and that perfect light, that all those that believe on Him and follow in His ways and God’s Word are then also firstfruits.

1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

And because there are firstfruits there will be second fruits but only after the Rapture of the Church.

Rom 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

Wherefore means because all this is true, there are things we should be doing now.

*****Jas 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
Jas 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Because we have been begotten by the Word of God and are already sons and daughters and brethren and heirs.

1) We need to be swift to hear. God gave us two ears.

We must be teachable and ready to learn. We need to listen to what the Word of God says. We must give deep consideration to what is said in the Word of God.

2) We must be slow to speak. God gave us only one mouth.

We must be slow giving our own opinions and expressing our own feelings giving time to consider what the Word of God has taught us.

3) We must be slow to wrath. God says:

Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Rom 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Wherefore because of all these things.

*****Jas 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

We must lay apart or take off the filthy garments of the world and wear the Robe of Righteousness.

We must put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

We must lay apart or take off the robe of wickedness and receive the Gospel of the sinless, Lord Jesus Christ.

1Pe 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
1Pe 2:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

*****Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Jas 1:23 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:
Jas 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

Those that say they know God and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ but are not obedient in their lifestyle to the Word of God according to this verse are deceiving their own selves.

The goal of the believer is to please God.

We must abandon our old way of thinking and all the thinking of the world!

We must abandon our old desires and the desires of this world.

Engrafted Word is to follow the pattern of the scriptures, the Word of God.

Tit 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
Tit 2:8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

When we look in the mirror and all we can see is that same old face we were born with and not that “Born Again” child of God, then we are looking at a foolish man.

The Word of God is our measuring stick, to gage the life we now have after salvation.

How do you measure up?

The Word of God is that true mirror which enables us to see ourselves as we really are!

2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

But if we can see the Word of God then we can see “the perfect law of liberty”.

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

Verse 18 said, “the Word of Truth”

Verse 21 said, “the engrafted Word”, which is inserting the Heavenly Word into our body of flesh.

Now our verse 25 says, “the perfect law of liberty”, the Gospel’s rules for true and eternal life.

Jesus Christ said:

Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

1) First comes salvation.
2) Next comes following the Word of God, and becoming a disciple of the Lord Jesus
3) Then the knowing of the Truth of God
4) To be made free.

Notice not set free.

“Set” would be to be put or to be placed place into freedom, this could then change.

“Make” is being molded by God into a new creature never to be in bondage again. “The perfect law of liberty”.

5) Then continuing in that freedom, becoming a doer of that Word of God, that brings such freedom and not having become a hearer only!

*****Jas 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

It can be said that everyone on the face of this Earth has religion.

Religion is a system of rules of conduct and laws of action based upon a belief.

Even the Atheist have their own set of rules they live by.

To most all others, to be religious is to worship and reverence a power that is not of this Earth.

A bridle and bit is used on a horse to lead him in a direction of the rider’s choice and not allow the animal to go in his own direction.

This verse states that if we see those that seem to follow a set of rules, yet cannot control their own tongues, or their own ways, then they practice a vain religion.

Vane means an empty and a worthless religion.

Religion is a ceremonial worship!

God does not allow for religion in Christianity!

God does not allow for ceremonial worship but a worship that comes from the heart of the believer!

There can be no outward show that can replace the inward man!

The Christian cannot seem to be religious and please God!

Eph 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
Eph 6:7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

To be pure, is to be free from all external things of this world and be a genuine child of God!

“Undefiled’, is to be unpolluted from the things of this world.

Those that are fatherless in this world will be all those that know that their True Father is in Heaven!

True widows in the time of Christ had no one to provide their needs. “They had no Savior”.

These “widows in their affliction”, would be those that have found the Lord Jesus Christ, the true Savior.

Those that are now “unspotted from the world” are now the children of the Living God.

These three groups are the Church, which is based based on the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We can only live victoriously by knowing the Lord Jesus Christ!

Jud 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
Jud 1:25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.


Let’s Pray!