Faithlife Sermons

TCB: Doing What Needs to Be Done

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 3 views
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Before Beyonce’, Justin Timberlake, & Post Malone. Even before Madonna and New Kids on the Block, there was one name that dominated entertainment for nearly 30 years and continues to inspire young artists today.
Elvis.
Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi and rose to stardom in the 50’s and 60’s. In his day he was bigger than life and he was one day to be known as the King of Rock and Roll. His life of music, concerts, and movies was just his way of "taking care of business".
Those of you that are familiar with Elvis Presley will know that "TCB" (which stand for "Taking Care of Business") was Elvis’ personal saying. It was kind of a slogan. He even had a diamond ring made with the letters "TCB" on it and named his band the Taking Care of Business Band.
Elvis was, in his day, bigger than life and his business was to be the King of Rock and Roll. His life of music, concerts, and movies was just his way of "taking care of business".
Elvis Presley died at age 42 on August 16, 1977. I remember the day because of a weird coincidence. I was driving in downtown St. Joseph MI and had just noticed a car with bumper sticker that proclaimed in brash bold letters, "Elvis - King Forever" the radio announcer broke into the regular programming to announce that Elvis Presley was dead.
Elvis’ motto led him to be the undisputed King of Rock and Roll during his life.
In our text, James is giving the church a similar call. Speaking to the church in chapter 1 about Trials and Temptations, now James moves to practical matters. Constancy, consistency, and singleness of purpose are the key Christian virtues James calls us to at the beginning of his book. Now, James begins to shift into how we live that out.
Constancy, consistency, and singleness of purpose are the key Christian virtues James calls us to at the beginning of his book. Now, James begins to shift into how we live that out.
Constancy, consistency, and singleness of purpose stand out as key Christian virtues.
So how do we live out our lives in obedience to God’s Word?
Douglas J. Moo, The Letter of James, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos, 2000), 81.

Slow Down

Hasty speech and anger do not please God. We’ve all heard the expression haste makes waste, but James is making the connection that haste, not thinking through our lives, but just going through the motions of life doesn’t lead to just waste, but something more dangerous: Unrighteousness.
Proverbs 18:2 ESV
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
James is calling us to live in peace with each other, to live a life of virtuous obedience to God’s Word. The only way that peace can prevail with the “everyone” is for us to be ready listeners and slow commentators, especially in heated situations.
James is calling us to live in peace with each other, to live a life of virtuous obedience to God’s Word. The only way that peace can prevail with the “everyone” is for us to be ready listeners and slow commentators, especially in heated situations.
The only way that peace can prevail with the “everyone” to whom the admonitions apply is to be ready listeners and slow commentators, especially in heated situations.
Contrary to some who would defend anger as the last resort for the Christian under trial, James declared they are simply wrong. Paul’s approach, “in your anger do not sin” and “do not let the sun go down on your anger” (; cf. ; ), is comparable to “be … slow to become angry.” Anger is dangerous even when expressed in speech. Angry speech is part of the temptation to seek vengeance and was of deep concern to both James and Paul. We are not able, as God is, to be angry and not to sin, and so if anger is rejected as our motive for action before God, then we must also rid ourselves of the things that cause our anger.
We are to put away all filthiness and wickedness. The word for putting away is a word used to describe taking off a garment and putting another on. We are to take off the filthiness and wickedness, the me first attitude and the vengeful heart that causes us to quickly seek to lash out at others and instead are to:
Kurt A. Richardson, James, vol. 36, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1997), 89.

Listen Up

James actually begins this section with this admonition: Let everyone to be quick to hear. But what are we to be quick to hear specifically? Are we quick to hear the arguments and concerns of others? Well, yes, that’s part of it. We are to listen to what others say, but if you follow his logic we are to put off filthiness and rampant wickedness and we are to receive the word of the Gospel.
Now, James is talking to Christians. He is talking to those who are in Christ, haven’t they already received the Gospel when they were saved? Yes. But he is talking about a receiving again. Through receiving the Gospel again and again our faith is renewed and deepened.
The New American Commentary: James (2) Discarding Offense and Accepting the Word (1:20–21)

Receiving the word in this sense is not entirely passive but entails an active concentration on that which has already determined the faith of the believer. Through “receiving” the word again, renewal and deepening of faith can occur

We must allow the truth of the Gospel to dig deep into our hearts to affect us and change us and shape us and mold us, and James says that this happens by first being a good listener.
Proverbs 2:2 ESV
making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;
Proverbs 12:15 ESV
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.
Proverbs
We

Do Good

Do Good

This is a call to action. You and I have an active faith. It’s not passive:
James: A Commentary on the Epistle of James 1:19–27; A Series of Sayings About Hearing and Doing

If a person does not conduct himself in accordance with the “word,” then what he has heard sticks with him about as much as the mirror image sticks with a person who has observed himself in a mirror: he forgets it

\

James’ call is to do what we see in God’s Word. We are not to be hearers only, but to be doers. The example he uses is someone who looks in a mirror and when he turns away forgets what his or her face looks like. This seems ridiculous, but that’s the point, just as its ridiculous to think that a person could look at their own face and moments latter forget what they look like, so it is ridiculous to look at the inspired word of God that is useful for
2 Timothy 3:16 ESV
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
So James calls us to yes read God’s Word, but also to do God’s Word.
Paul agrees:
Romans 2:13 ESV
For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.
And so does Jesus:
Luke 11:28 ESV
But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letter of James B. Obedience to the Word Is the Mark of Genuine Christianity (1:21–27)

In his message of the kingdom, Jesus announced the overwhelming, amazing wonder of God’s sovereign grace reaching down to reclaim sinful people for himself. But no one emphasized as strongly as Jesus the need for people touched by God’s grace to respond with a radical, world-renouncing obedience. Both the gracious initiative of God and the grateful response of human beings are necessary aspects of the gospel. The word, through which we are born into new life (v. 18) and which becomes implanted in us (v. 21), is a word that must be put into practice.

Love Others

Love Others

James ends by showing what the result of listening to and believing the Word of God is: Loving God, and Loving Others.
Notice what he says:
James 1:27 ESV
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
James 1:26–27 ESV
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Romans 1:26–27 ESV
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Notice the focus on true religions. First its focused on what is pure to the Father.
Isaiah 1:16 ESV
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil,
Isaiah 1:16–17 ESV
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.
But it also loves others.
Isaiah 1:17 ESV
learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.
Religion that stops at the doors of the church or the doors of your house is not Christianity.
True Christianity loves. It loves the hopeless and the helpless. It cares for orphans, even those orphans whose parents are at home. It cares for widows. It cares for the helpless and the hopeless.
We need God to expand our vision of what our mission field is through the Word of God. Our mission field begins in our homes, but if it ends there then we aren’t honoring God and his kingdom, it stretches to our churches, but that kind of religion doesn’t please God.
John Calvin agrees:
“[James] does not define generally what religion is, but reminds us that religion without the things he mentions is nothing.”
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letter of James B. Obedience to the Word Is the Mark of Genuine Christianity (1:21–27)

Specific and concrete actions are needed to demonstrate the reality of one’s claim to “have religion.

D. L. Moody who when he encountered a man who said, “I have been on the Mount of Transfiguration for five years” shot back, “How many souls have you led to Christ?” “Well, I don’t know,” was the reply. “Have you led any?” persisted Mr. Moody. “I don’t know that I have,” answered the man. “Well,” said Moody, “sit down, we don’t want that kind of mountaintop experience. When a man gets so high that he can’t reach down and save others there is something wrong.”
D. L. Moody who when he encountered a man who said, “I have been on the Mount of Transfiguration for five years” shot back, “How many souls have you led to Christ?” “Well, I don’t know,” was the reply. “Have you led any?” persisted Mr. Moody. “I don’t know that I have,” answered the man. “Well,” said Moody, “sit down, we don’t want that kind of mountaintop experience. When a man gets so high that he can’t reach down and save others there is something wrong.”
What a
R. Kent Hughes, James: Faith That Works, Preaching the Word (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1991), 83–84.
True religion occurs when we do this:
We must
Slow down and quit rushing around and trying to hear ourselves talk.
Listen up to God’s Word and the biblical council we hear from other believers.
Do Good, hearing and then doing the Word fo God is essential and then
Love Others. This is true religion. This honors God. And this brings life.
Acceptable religion requires our words, our hands and our hearts. May we live life this way...
Douglas J. Moo, The Letter of James, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos, 2000), 96.
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Letter of James B. Obedience to the Word Is the Mark of Genuine Christianity (1:21–27)

Calvin says, “[James] does not define generally what religion is, but reminds us that religion without the things he mentions is nothing.”79 James is not polemicizing against religious ritual per se but against a ritual that goes no further than outward show and mere words. He is probably somewhat dependent on a widespread pagan and Jewish tradition that emphasized that proper cultic worship must be accompanied by ethical conduct.80 Specific and concrete actions are needed to demonstrate the reality of one’s claim to “have religion.”

Related Media
Related Sermons