James Chapter 1

Transcript

James 1 Commentary

Welcome to World Events And The Bible. I'm Brandon T. Ward. We're going to begin the book of James today. Now this book of James, it was written by James, who was the brother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It was written about the year 45 A.D. or so. Now something about the book of James. I just love this book.

It's going to help teach us how to be good people. Good Christians. How to treat each other, how to think about when you're dealing with somebody and interacting with them in life. It just gives us a whole lot of information. It's it's such a good book, teaches us how to be good people. So with that said, let's say a prayer and let's begin our study.

Heavenly Father we ask you for wisdom and understanding of your word in Jesus name. Amen. 

Greeting

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All right, James chapter one, verse one. Here we go, James a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the 12 Tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. So this book is addressed to the 12 Tribes of Israel. Right. 

But we know it's to all of us today because we've all been grafted into salvation. If we accept our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, then we were accepted into God's family, right. Just a quick thing about the 12 Tribes in case someone is not familiar with them. The 12 Tribes of Israel were the ones that God kind of put in charge.

If you want to use that term, to spread the word of God to the world. I mean, that's how it was supposed to happen. He basically used that family to bring down the Bible. Well, what became the Bible to all of us today, all right. This family started back surely with Adam, but everybody kind of recognizes Abraham as the father of the 12 Tribes of Israel.

He had a son named Isaac and Isaac had a son named Jacob. Now Jacob's name was later changed to Israel and Jacob's sons. He had 12 of them, and each one of them would be one of the 12 Tribes of Israel. Okay. So that's kinda how that went down. 

The Trying Of Our Faith

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Let's go ahead and pick it up with verse two now. My brethren count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations. 

Now, why would you want to count it joy? When you fall into temptations? That's like a trap, right? It's because it builds your Christian character. It builds your faith. It's like faith building moments. I'm sure you've heard that term many of times. You know, when you endure things in life and you overcome it, it's like jumping that hurdle.

You know what I mean? Maybe the first one, you, weren't sure you can get over, but when you got over, you know, you can get over the next one and you can do that by reaching out to God and he'll help you through those difficult times in life. But you know, faith those are faith building moments. So use those temptations to your advantage.

Stay out of them. I mean, don't go throwing yourself in temptations. That's not what we're talking about, but when things come your way and you're able to defeat it, hey, it's going to build your character. It's going to build your faith in God and thank God for it. Thank God for helping get you through those moments.

Verse three. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith, worketh patience, this word patience. It means endurance. So the more you're tried, that's what I'm trying to get out here. It's going to build your endurance, and it's going to make you more dependable, you know. Dependable for your family, for God, God will be able to rely on you. He could use you to get his will done. That's a beautiful thing. 

Verse four. But let patience have her perfect work. That you may be perfect and entire wanting nothing. This word perfect would be better translated, complete. None of us Are perfect, right? We're never going to be perfect. But when we are tried, it can make us complete, it can complete us. And this wanting nothing is really lacking nothing.

So we're going to build our faith to the point that we're lacking nothing, you know, spiritually or physically, you know, just on the natural sense. 

Verse five. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally. That means he just pours it on out and upbraideth not. And it shall be given. 

Now where does wisdom come from? All wisdom comes from God, right? Proverbs two, six and four seven says if you want wisdom. Go to God, ask him and he'll give it to you. So that's where we got to go. If we want that wisdom, if we want help building our faith, we go to God and talk to him about it, ask him to help us do it. And then we got to put in the effort.

So as we're reading this, I really want you to apply these scriptures to you and your life and your family life. Don't think of it as a book that you're just reading some words on a page or anything like that. I mean, apply this to your life. 

That's how we build by learning from the Bible. Right? Is by applying what we learned to our life, to each other. All right. 

Let's go to verse six. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. That means no doubting you can't doubt. If you're going to ask in faith, then do it in faith. Don't pray and be like, ah, well, I don't really think it's going to happen. Because then it won't happen. 

Whatever it is that you're asking God for, it's not going to, if you doubt it. So that's what James is saying here. For he that waiver, it is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind tossed. So just toss back and forth, whichever way the wind blows that's where these waves are going to go.

You don't want to be like that. Jesus said in a, in a verse here, what did you expect to see, like a reed shaken in the wind? You know, like blowing whichever way the wind blows. I mean, you can't do anything for your family that way you can't do anything for yourself that way. Much less God. If you're constantly blowing with the wind. 

Blowing with the wind, what does that mean? It means blowing with the world. Maybe the world's taking you this way, and maybe you're trying to hang on to God a little bit, but then the world blows you that way. I mean, apply these words to your own situation in life. Okay. 

The Double Minded

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Verse eight. A Double minded man is unstable in all of his ways. And there it is right there.

A double-minded man, constantly changing your mind about things. Well, maybe I, I kind of want to be with God. Well, I kind of liked the world. I mean, again, apply it to your own situation, but when you come up with something, if you're going to follow God, then follow him. You know, you can't be wishy-washy otherwise, you're going to be like the waves that we just read about and this wind that's blowing them around.

You don't want to be like that. It's not going to help you. It's not going to help anybody around you. All Right. 

The Brother Of Low Degree Is Exalted

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Verse nine. Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted. What is this about? We're going to find out this brother of low degree. It's typically talking about the people that are humble.

People that don't have a whole lot of money, basically on one aspect of this. All right. You know why these people, in this example what we're going to learn here. And we're gonna be told about some rich people too, and we're not going to be talking about the financial sense. You'll see. 

But we're talking about setting your mind on things that are above, like Colossians three, two tells us, and then Jesus told us in Matthew. Oh yeah. Matthew six verse 19, to build your treasures in heaven. So that's what this brother of low degree is doing. He's kind of building his treasures in heaven. He's putting that there, he's focusing on the heavenly things rather than earthly things. So on earth he's considered lowly. He's considered lowly. All right. Let's see what happens in the next verse here. 

The Rich Is Made Low

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Verse ten. But the rich and that he is made low because as the flower of the grass, he shall pass away. You know, hey, we're all here only for a set amount of time, and then we're gone and we're back with the father. So it's all in how we conduct ourselves on earth is how we're going to be rewarded in heaven.

It's going to be our standing in heaven. You know, what kind of maybe position and things that God puts you in charge of. I mean, think about those things. I think most of us just kind of think about floating in clouds or something in heaven, you know. But no, there's much more to it. There's much more to it.

And this rich, it's going to go, James, is going to talk about the rich guy here a little bit, and he's not beating up on people that have money. If they did it the right way. 

He's going to be talking about cheats. He's going to really dial that in, in chapter five, but he's talking about people that are stealing from other people. That's why they got so much money. They rip people off like this brother a low degree, probably. All right. 

Let's read verse 11 here. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass and the flower thereof, falleth and the grace and the fashion of it perisheth. So also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.

I like how this kind of puts it here. It really explains like how we are here, we're looking good, you know, for a time. And then as time goes on, hey, we'll just be gone, you know. We'll have lived our lifetime, we'll pass away and whatever things that we've accumulated on earth, you can't take them with you.

You're not taking them anywhere. When you go to the grave, that's it, you're gone. Your spirit goes back to the father who gave it. And it says the rich man will fade away in his ways, whatever ways his ways were. Was he a good man? Was he a bad man? In this example, you're gonna learn, these are bad dudes right here.

And that's why he's gonna fade away in his way. And if he's not careful fade away into the Lake of Fire even. Okay. 

Enduring Temptation

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Verse 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. Where else is this written? In first Peter chapter five, verse four, Jesus says he'll give a crown of life to those who follow him. To those who endure this temptation.

So the Bible is just, it always backs itself up. That's why I love it so much. No matter which book you're reading. It's going to tie to some other book in some fashion. That's what makes it really special. That's what makes you know that you can trust this book, you know. I mean, look how we opened up the beginning.

We were talking about the 12 Tribes of Israel and I had to give you a little bit of a history lesson on that. And James is going to reference Abraham later in this book. And so it all, it's all tied together, it's the word of God. But hey, it's a good thing when you're tempted, it builds your faith.

That's what we learned in the opening verses here. And that's what we're being told right now. Let's go to the next verse here. 

Verse 13. Let no man say when he is tempted, I'm tempted of God. Oh oh. For God cannot be tempted with evil neither tempteth he any man. 

You know, I hear people say that all the time too. Oh, God's tempting me. Or God's testing me. People will say that all the time. He's testing me this, that. God doesn't send burdens your way. 

Jeremiah 23:33 through 40 will tell you that. You know, I mean, think about it. Do you set booby traps for your kids? I hope not. Do you put a candy jar there, the camera on there and you know, a trip wire or something to kind of catch him up? Of course you don't, you better not. Two Peter three, three nine says that God wants everyone to come to repentance.

And Ezekiel 33:11 says that God even wants the wicked to be saved. He wants everybody to be saved. He doesn't want them to be wicked, obviously. He wants them to turn from their ways the scripture says. So the point is that God's not going to be sending burdens your way then. Right. He's not going to be trying to tempt you.

Cause if you are attempted by him, and you fail, in your temptation constantly. And one day you go stand before God and he says, you have to give account of your life. Right. And he's going to say, why did you do this? Why did you do that? Why did you grab that cookie out of the cookie jar? And you're going to say, well, you put it there. Of course I did. 

And then you would have a reason, you would have actually legitimate reason if God was really booby trapping you. But he doesn't do that. Just like you don't booby trap your own kids because you love them, and you want them to succeed, right? You don't want to hamstring him. God's the same way. 

Verse 14. But every man is tempted. Here's the truth of the matter. But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust. And enticed. 

You went and sinned because you wanted to go sin. You liked the booze, the drugs, the women, the men, if you're a lady, whatever it was. You're the one that did it. It wasn't God, you made the decision. I don't care who's around you. I don't care who your friends are, what they do. In the end, you're the one that made the decision to do it. So you've got to deal with that. You're the one that has to take accountability. 

No one's going to stand on judgment day before you and God. All right. It's you and God. Don't blame your pastor or anybody else because of what they said or taught you.

I mean, judgment starts at the house of God, but in the end, it's your job to verify everything that you're taught. I mean, we're reading the word of God right here. If someone's teaching you something, they better give you some verses, so you can go double check what it is. 

And make sure they're not cherry picking. People cherry pick a lot, but you're going to be accountable no matter what it is. Let's go ahead and read the next verse. 

Verse 15. Then when lust has conceived it bringeth forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. It's Romans six 23 that says the wages of sin is death. So if we sin and we don't repent, then that's it. Right. 

That's why Jesus came. He provided that way so we could repent so we could be forgiven of our sin. And you know, when our sin is put next to our name right there in this book and heaven. Right. But when we repent, it's like erased. Erased isn't even a good enough word because if you write something with pencil and you know, you erase it, you could still kind of see it on the paper. Right. 

Well, when God, erases it your sin, it's gone. It's like it was never even there. All right. I mean, that's a special gift because you know, when you mess up, it's still in your mind though, right? When you mess up, I mean, some people have some bad sins that they do and it's stuck in their head and they can't get over it.

All right. Let's take the next verse. See what happens here. 

Verse 16. Do not err my beloved brethren. Don't mess up. Don't mess up. Don't fall into those temptations. And when they do come along, beat them, jump over them, get through them. You can do it, ask God to help you with it. 

Heavenly Wisdom

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Verse 17. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.

Not from here, from above. And cometh down from the father of lights. That's our heavenly father. With whom is no variableness. 

There's no fickleness, neither shadow of turning. He doesn't change. He doesn't change his mind on things. He's not double-minded. He's not tossed with the waves. 

Boy, wouldn't that be a mess?

How could you follow a God that was constantly changing his mind about things, right? I mean, he sent us the book. He's like, ah nah, I didn't really mean that. And that's not how God works. We work that way. We're double-minded at times, but we're getting a good lesson here that look, don't be double-minded. Stick to it, whatever it is that you want to do in life and then run with it.

That's how you make progress. That's how you improve yourself. I don't care what it is. I don't care what your goal is to achieve. I'm not even talking about just Christianity. I'm talking about what is it out of life that you want? What is it out of a life that you want to achieve and accomplish?

Think about those things. You do that by getting wisdom from God, ask him to help you with whatever it is you want to do in life. Ask him to help you understand the word of God and apply it to your life. These are not just letters on a page. These are not just sentences on a page. This is the word of God. Apply it to your life and you will be blessed for it. 

Verse 18. Of his own will begot He us, with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creation. 

What does this mean? 

First fruits of his creation. Well, what are we. We are mankind. We learned way back in Genesis that God created man in his image. I mean, we look like God does. He has a couple eyes and nose and mouth, hands, legs. I mean, we look like God, we're made in his image. 

So we're firstfruits of all of his creatures, everything he created, we're more special than all of them. Okay. So you really want to think about that. So that's why we're supposed to apply ourselves and try to be righteous and godly people because we were made after God, right?

In all aspects, not just in our physical form, but we have a spirit. He has a spirit. I mean, think about all those things. That's why he wants us to be godly. 

Swift To Hear, Slow To Speak, Slow To Wrath

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Verse 19. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, listen to this for me. Slow to speak, slow to wrath. If you could follow just this one verse right here, you would just about follow everything that God wants you to do. 

Swift to here. That means if somebody comes to you with something, just be quiet for a minute. Just listen to what it is that they're saying. Swift to hear what they're saying. Not just hear just quick enough so you can bark something back. All right. 

Slow to speak. That means, think about what you're being told. Process it in your mind a little bit before you start saying something back. 

And slow to wrath, because what you hear might make you upset, right? And then you're gonna start barking back to. If it's some hostility, you don't want to do that because of builds of this wall. There's this wall that goes up, boom, right? Between you and that other party. They are hootin and hollerin at you. You start hootin and hollerin back. 

It doesn't matter if everything that came out of your mouth was 100% truth. You start barking like that, boom, that wall goes up. They stop listening. You stop listening. And all you have is a couple of people barking at each other. Not accomplishing anything. That's why James given us this lesson right here. 

Verse 20. For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. We can't have wrath and also do God's righteousness. 

James is going to tie in more to this later, but this is why we were just reminded that, you know, basically we're the first fruits of God we're created in God's image. We're supposed to try to act that way. We're not perfect, but it doesn't mean we don't try to be. Just because we're men doesn't mean we just brush it off. Oh, well I'm always going to slip up. Don't be an excuse maker. Don't be double-minded. 

Verse 21. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity that's abundant and unnecessary of naughtiness that sin and receive with meekness, with humbleness, the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. The engrafted word, the word of God right here, that's like imprinted  into your mind even.

And this is the only word that can save your souls. And the only reason it can do that is because Jesus Christ paid the price for us on the cross. He replaced all those sacrifices of old by becoming that lamb that was sacrificed for us. Right. He became that Passover of long ago, back in Moses day.

So we don't have to sacrifice a lamb or something like that every time that we sin. Wouldn't that be something, maybe it'd be better if we did have to do that. Right. Maybe we wouldn't mess up so often. All right. 

Be A Doer Of The Word

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We got that one, verse 22. But be doers of the word. I want you to pay attention for me, but be ye doers of the word and not hearers only deceiving your own selves.

Do you hear that? James is really going to tear this up here. He's saying you have to be a doer of the word. What word? The word of God, the one we're looking at. If you don't, if you're hearer only, you're just decieving yourself. He's going to bring some more of this together for us. 

Verse 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. 

What on earth does that mean? 

It means, you think about it. When you're looking in the mirror, you can clearly see herself, right. Obviously, right now, what do you see? This is our glass, right? We're looking at the word of God. 

So it's right in front of us, everything that we we're learning right now. And we've been talking about, don't be double-minded this, that. It's all right there in front of us, just like a reflection. 

Verse 24. For when he beholdeth himself, and he goeth his way. That means he leaves the mirror. And straightway, immediately. Forgeteth what manner of man he was. He forgot. So it was just like, when we conclude this Bible study and we put this book down, when you walk away from it, are you going to forget about it?

Are you going to forget what you learned? 

Are you going to forget about what God wants from you? 

That's kind of the analogy that we're given there. Given it so you go look in the mirror every time you look in the mirror, think about that reflection that you see. That reflection is supposed to be a reflection of God.

That reflection that you see, is what you put before everyone every day that you walk into the real world and you want people to see the reflection of God in there. All right. 

Verse 25. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of Liberty. What do you think that is? The word of God and continueth therein.

That means, you don't just hear and then go about your way forgetting what it was. It means you continue in the word of God. Hear and continue therein, he being, not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work. This man shall be blessed in his deed. You'll be blessed, if you hear the word of God, and you continue the word of God, and you do the word of God, all of the above. All right. 

Verse 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 in vain. You can't claim to be a Christian and then pipe off at the mouth all the time. We're going to learn in James chapter three, verse eight, that the tongue is a deadly poison that no man tame.

That's what he's kind of tipping us off to just a little bit right here. 

Let's read verse 27. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the father is this. This is what true Christianity is, pay attention. To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, in their time of trouble. And to keep himself unspotted from the world.

What are all those things? Hearing? 

No. All those things are doing. Those things are doing. They're looking at the perfect law of Liberty right here, this reflection back at us, and we're applying it to our life and actually doing it. Helping others in need. That's what it's talking about doing, not just going about your way, not just filling your own mind with knowledge and then saying, oh man, I know this, that, and the other thing. It doesn't matter what you know, it matters what you know, and how much you share with other people.

It doesn't mean go out to the street corner and all this type of thing. I'm just talking about leading a godly lifestyle. And when you do that, people recognize it and they'll come to you and they'll ask you questions or they'll just talk to you. Get some advice from you maybe. And just walking a godly life is a great example for other people.

And they may not say anything. Usually most people will not say anything to you about it, but some people will. And it goes a long way with how you conduct yourself in the real world. 

And to keep yourself unspotted from the world. That means don't get tied up with the world. Don't get tied up with all the cool things the world says is good and cool. Oh, you should do this. You should buy that. You should do this. 

It's just going to get you, it's going to, if it, those things offend God, then you don't want to have anything to do with them. Okay. And there's so much of that in the world today. It just keeps getting worse and worse. That the things that the world says is cool are not cool to God.

So you don't want to be a part of that. Okay. 

Well, that's going to conclude James chapter one. 

Hey, thank you so much for joining us.

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