Friday, October 7, 2011

Digging Deeper (James 1:12-16)

Digging Deeper 5          James 1:12-16 (Another shovel full)

God’s Word is such an amazing blessing as God opens up for us a portal into the heart of God and reveals to us who He is and who we are and His amazing plan for us. This week we are digging deeper into the Epistle of James. Looking for what God has for us to see and learn.
This week we pick up in verse 12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. The rest of this passage is going to hinge on that first phrase “Blessed is a man that perseveres under trial” James is going to describe this process but we first need to answer two questions. What is a blessed man and what kind of a trial must a man travel  in order to be blessed? First the word blessed is translated here from the Greek word “makarios” and the simple definition of this word is possessing the characteristics of deity. It does not mean that someone has become God it simply means that they are exercising and experiencing the character of God in their life. The trials that James is talking about are temptations, (peirasmos) this is not sickness or financial hurting or any other particular difficulty. The statement is that you are blessed when you are tempted if you react with godly character.
This man that is blessed will get an approval, and once he has he will receive a crown of life. A man has not shown the character of God until he has faced temptation and overcame it. It is then after a man has shown the character of God in the face of temptation that he receives the crown of life. The reward for persevering with godly character is a life in the blessing of God, which is the crown of life, experiencing and exercising the character of God. This is a result of the promise of God to those that love the character of God and follow it.
Verse 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. God does not tempt man with the purpose of failure. It is not God that is to blame when we fall rather it is our own lust which emanates from our pride resulting in a reaction outside the holy character of God Verse 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. James continues to explain how that happens. Verse 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Once a man “falls for something” it captures the mind and the heart and then comes the sin as man is overcome by his lust and cannot contain himself and the results of sin is death it is the opposite of crown of life in verse 12.
Verse 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren James give this solemn warning concerning deception. Notice first here that James is talking to believers (my beloved brethren) and the warning beware of being deceived by your own lust.
A man has shown the characteristics of God when temptation comes. Evidence of the approval of God is the Lord’s promise of a crown of life. But when temptation stirs the lust of man and results in actions to satisfy the flesh rather than the character of God there is no approval and no crown of life only death. Do let your deceitful mind carry you away!
Having dug a little deeper what do we believe?
What do we believe about God?
1.     God extends His character to man.
2.    God gives approval for acting in His character.
3.    God is the holder of the crown of life.
4.    God does not test man with the purpose of failure.
5.    God holds both life and death.
What do we believe about ourselves?
1.     We can experience and exercise the character of God in our lives.
2.    We can receive the approval of God by reacting to temptation in His character.
3.    We can have victory over our lust by reacting to temptation in God’s character.
4.    Every trial results in either  the crown of life or it brings forth separation from the blessing of God “death”

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