James 1: 1-4 Teague Bible Church 10/27/13
What passages should we read when we are facing tough challenges?
I Peter 1
Today we focus on one reason Christians face trails, temptations, or suffering.
I have found eight Biblical motifs for why believers face these things, but there are some reasons which we will not know until we get on the other side of this life, in heaven, with the Lord. Some things are a mystery.
Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong the Lord our God;
but the things that are revealed belong to us and our
I Corinthians 13:12 “ For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then
face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall
know fully, just as I also have been fully known.”
Gregory Koukl Doc. 3 P.3
Intro to the book of James *********************
* James is head of the Jerusalem church Acts 15
* He is the half-brother of Jesus Matthew 13:55
* He was not a believer during the ministry of Jesus, but clearly
was one after the resurrection John 7:5 I Corinthians 15:7
* He was not one of the 12, but was an apostle Galatians 1:19
Book of James written with Jewish believers in mind and a few places it seems he is speaking to unbelieving Jews also. A general letter to all churches, however.
James is written as a corrective to those who think grace means no action, and not to be a theological source book as we have in the book of Romans. The corrective is to make sure our Christianity does not simply roll around in our heads, but that we get our faith into action!
1:1 “Lord Jesus Christ” fascinating that a strict Jew like James would use this full title, which reveals He knew that Jesus was diety and that service to Jesus was equal to service to God! That resurrection gave him all he needed to see that, “God was in Christ; reconciling the world to Himself.” II Corinthians 5:19
“,,,to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad”
(John 7:35) This originally referred to the “Dispersion” among the Jews after the breakup of the united kingdom of Israel shortly after Solomon ruled. Only the tribes Judah and Benjamin came back to settle in the land in any numbers. The rest were scatted. By the time James is writing the term was an acronym for any believer in Christ.
There was a well known Dispersion of Christians after the stoning of Steven; after Pentecost.
Where James is writing mainly to Jewish believers in Christ, it is clear that Peter is addressing many Gentile believers in 1 Peter.
Peter uses many terms, that wer,e before this time, used only to refer to Jews.
“Alien (dispersion), Holy Nation, Royal Priesthood, Chosen Race”
1:2 “Peira” In the Septuagint LXX – Greek version of
the Old Testament it says in Proverbs 27:21, “The crucible is for silver and the furnace is for gold, and each man is tested by the praise accorded him.” This means a test or trial.
Same word is used in James 1:2 to be a “crucible” where you are the one “heated up” to let you know what you are made of, or rather what you are becoming! If you did not know why you are allowed to be heated up, you might think something was wrong!
1:3 “Dokimion” this means to be approved after a test or trial
Example: You may have noticed a common label, stamped on the bottom of many products.
“U.L. Label : Tested and approved”
QUESTION: Now when those engineers test the limits of these
products do you really think they have any
doubt that it will pass? Of course not!
You see, the trials you may be having, may have little to do with the fact that you are still not perfect. All difficulties are not related to the fact that you still sin at times. There is correction for that, as in Hebrews 12, but this passage, in this context, is about a test we are all blessed to go through!
“Count it all joy” that we come through the test, perhaps a bit singed but not burnt up!
Critical to understand this! On the U.L. Label example, the engineers know the product can survive it; but the product, (if it were a person) does not know that. You need to know, what God already knows about you; which is, that you will profit from your trial, if you do not run away. Otherwise, it is just one more thing you are afraid of, out there, in your future. God wants to eliminate those fears. This is how He does it.
Don’t want to endure the trial? That’s ok, you get to do it over and over till you do endure. God is loving in that way; never giving up on you, even thought you may give up on yourself.
I Peter 4:12 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you.”
These trials are not happening because of punishment (in reference that passage in James and this one in I Peter); or that you are not perfect yet!
The Lord is trying to eliminate the fear that keeps showing up in our life. He is lovingly trying to help us replace that “wishbone” with a “backbone.”
1:3 “knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance”
Knowing the Word of God is critical; not some optional thing. Flying in the dark otherwise.
Gregory Koukl Doc3. P. 3-4
Doc. 1 “Contrary to fact world” P. 44-45
QUESTION: So now that we know it is a trial; how do we get the most out of a trial?
ANSWER: Stay in for the full test, for the full duration! Of course it will seem like it is going on too long; that is the part of the test! Stop running away each time, or you will have to go through it again! Have endurance!
1:4 “And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete,
lacking in nothing.”
James 1:12 “ Blessed is the man who preserves under trail;
for once he has been approved, he will receive
the crown of life which the Lord has
promised to those who love Him.”
James 1:12 ( This verse is not about salvation, but about rewards)