Friday, April 29, 2016

James Chapter One, Part 5

1:19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; (20) for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

James proceeds to give us some practical advice regarding our relationship with others. In hearing a matter we are informed to listen intently; the concept of being swift to hear simply means being willing to genuinely listen to someone. This might mean hearing someone telling you about a trial of theirs, or of a fellow saint falling to temptation, or any matter that would invoke a saint's judgment. Now I do not use the term judgment in the modern sense, as in condemnation; but rather judgment in a deliberate and intelligent effort to discern good and evil, and to separate a proper course of action from a foolish or sinful one. Jesus gives two examples.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

James Chapter One, Part 4

1:15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (16) Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

We have a morbid progression laid out for us of sin as it works in us to produce death. Return to verse 14 where we read "each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desire and enticed." We are, each of us, "drawn away" from a faithful walk of obedience with our Lord in the Holy Spirit when our special sin rears its head. Each of us who are saints through faith in Christ have it; we each have "hot buttons," certain sinful things or behaviors that entice us more than others'. Our flesh knows well what each is, and so does Satan, who hardly needs to prompt us at times for us to fall flat on our faces. To run our race, to continue forward with God (the only direction he desires for us to go in our maturity and faith) we must "lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us," Hebrews 12:1.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

James Chapter One, Part 3

1:13-14 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.

Here we come to a clear statement by James that God is not capable of evil; He is incapable of even being tempted by it. To clarify, the type of evil described in this passage is a Greek word used to define a lack of moral uprightness within someone. It is this absence of a moral fabric that inclines one toward good that brings every sinner into temptation. This particular word is used once more in James to describe the "unruly evil" of the tongue, James 3:8.
All Scripture is taken from the King James Bible (KJV) or New King James Bible (NKJV). Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.