1. Last week we looked at faithfulness (intensity, integrity, interest in others, intentions).
2. This week, we take a look at the working of faith.
(1) Romans 10:17.
A. Faith comes by hearing.
B. Faith is evident in your doing.
(2) Read text: James 1:9-18.
3. Regarding text:
(1) James’ audience often on receiving end of troublesome treatment at hands of their own rich and arrogant countrymen.
(2) Chapter 1 = trials of life are not without value (cf. 1:2).
A. Sounds like something someone without any problems would say to one with problems…
B. Sounds like something your parents would tell you…
C. In this case, the wisdom is without question.
(1) Outside body –
A. Tempted to continue rejecting God’s authority, and Christ’s divine right to reign.
B. Tempted to indulge the flesh without restriction.
(2) Within body –
A. Temptation to side step the authority of God’s word, if only for the moment.
B. We too are tempted to indulge our fleshly desires.
C. Tempted to overlook, maybe even neglect worship of God, study word, serve others.
(a) Hopefully not to the extreme that those outside the body are tempted.
(b) Nevertheless, we are tempted
5. James draws our attention to the fact that my faithfulness depends upon a variety of factors, one of which = my ability to overcome temptation.
(1) Last week we looked at indicators of one’s faithfulness (Intensity, integrity, interest, intentions).
(2) Today, we look at James’ words about the ways faith works in our life.
DISCUSSION: Biblical Faith
I. Understands The Nature Of A Good God. (v. 13).
· 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.
1. Want to blame God for the adversities around us? Get in line.
(1) Adam was the first (Gen. 3:12).
(2) No shortage of people blaming God…
A. If it is wrong, why does it feel so right?
B. If it is a sin, then why did God create me this way?
2. A person with Biblical faith, knows that life is a test!
(1) Yes, temptation is a part of life.
(2) BUT, the test is from God, but the temptation is not!
(3) Read James 1:2-4.
3. How did we get here? Why are we here?
(1) Our point of origination = God! (Psa. 139:14)
(2) Our ultimate desired destination = God! (Eccl. 12:7; Jn. 14:4).
4. God’s nature = Your heavenly Father. He wants you to come home!
II. Sees The Need To Discern Diligently.
- "Do not be deceived (err), my beloved brethren." (James 1:16, NKJV)
· Illustration: Mistaken Identity (myna bird story).
1. Deceived = “led or lead astray”
2. In context, James is saying --
(1) Don’t allow yourselves to be led into a line of thinking that you have anyone to blame for your sins. Especially don’t ever think that you can blame God!
(2) If you, in the end, do not make it to God, you have NO ONE to blame but self.
A. Some teach falsely… BUT, truth is always available to those searching for it (Act 17:11).
B. Some tempt us with vigor, to join them in destructive ways, but way is clear (Mt. 7:13-14).
C. Amount of effort required to understand is relatively little, compared to reward.
D. Col. 2:1-4.
(3) It started with Eve, and it will end with you, if you are not careful.
3. Think about it –
(1) God brought us forth (i.e. Creation). Cf. Jn. 1:3.
(2) Sin took us away (e.g. garden; cf. Isa. 59:1,2).
(3) Gospel brings us forth again (1 Pet. 1:22-23; Jn. 3; 1 Cor. 5:17).
(4) Now, it is up to us / you not to go astray. It can be done! Must be done!
III. Recoils From The Nastiness Of Temptation
- "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death." (James 1:14-15)
1. If honest, we each can see areas of personal weakness / temptations.
(1) Some project that upon others, never trust, always finding fault…
(2) Some subject self to constant abuse because of the perceived failure.
(3) Some will develop skill of spiritual preparation and avoid many temptations.
2. Task = for you / me to understand our areas of temptation (as individuals, and as a congregation, which by the way, are not necessarily the same) and react.
(1) Every man is tempted.
A. Look around, every person in here is tempted by something.
B. Each of us is tempted because each of us has desires!
a. Desire to eat! Otherwise you starve.
b. Desire to sleep! Otherwise you might burn out.
c. Desire to touch! Otherwise you will not develop emotionally.
d. Desire to work! Work never hurt anyone.
e. Desire to talk!
(2) Question = Will a man let his desires / lusts carry him away to point of sin?
A. Desire to eat… gluttony.
B. Desire to work… workaholic.
C. Desire to sleep… lazy.
D. Desire to touch… fornication, lewdness, lasciviousness.
E. Desire to talk… gossip; idle talk; rumor monger!
3. Most, if not all of us are painfully aware of the nastiness of adultery, and pain resulting… Primarily, because individual unable to resist!
(1) Anyone in here choose the dirtiest booth at fast food place to eat?
(2) Anyone in here ever celebrate when the sewer backs up into the house?
(3) Anyone ever have surgery and say, “Listen you can save time and money on my operation by using same room, blankets, utensils of previous patient on me?
(4) Anyone in here enjoy being sneezed upon?
4. We resist! Why? The nastiness of it all. (Better booths, More $$ surgery...)
IV. Accepts the Nurture Offered By God. (v. 17)
· "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures." (James 1:17-18)
1. Life – (Acts 17:28).
2. Salvation – (Eph. 2:8-9).
3. Answered Prayers.
4. Peace that passes understanding (Phil. 4:7; Jn. 14:27).
5. Wife, children (Prov. 18:22; Psa. 127:3).
1. If it isn’t good, it didn’t originate with God. If it is not from God… it is not for good in your life.
2. He loves you, He nurtures you. Will you love Him in return?
· Jn. 14:15; 15:14; 1 Jn. 5:3.
· Nature of good God; Need to discern; Recoils from nastiness; Accepts the nurturing of God.