Friday, March 16, 2012

Digging Deeper (James 5:12)

I pray that God will change our lives for His glory by the study of His Word!
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Digging Deeper 25 James 5:12
The study of God’s Word is the only real way to understand the character of God, and who He is. But there is another aspect that is revealed our character.  As the Bible shows us the greatness of God it exposes our stature and it is in that humility, in that weakness, we can truly experience the strength of Christ. Now let’s dig a little deeper in God’s Word.
James 5:12 But above all, my brethren do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any oath; but let your yes be yes, and your no, no so that you may not fall under judgment. James leading to this passage has talked about works and controlling the tongue. He has expounded on things the believer should avoid and how to resist the devil. He has given warnings concerning the misuse of riches and much more. Then we come to this phrase “But above all” which gives great weight to what follows. “Do not swear” the command here is not “do not say curse words”. When we swear, by definition we are vowing that we will do something or makes something happen. This goes beyond what we consider making a promise which we understand to mean do everything in our power to make it happen. But to swear by either heaven or by earth would mean somehow we had control over such things. In passing we often say “if the Lord is willing and the creeks don’t rise” well I am not sure about the creeks rising but the first part is certainly truth to live by. Who are we that we can obligate heaven or earth to anything or anyone? The teaching here is we have nothing to swear by! Who are we? Making a vow in itself is not wrong it is even encouraged and shows a commitment to do everything as God enables us to further expose His glory but that is not the thrust of scripture here. Above all be humble!  The notion that we somehow have authority to swear by anything reveals pride and arrogance.
Let your yes be yes and you’re no, no… Just be honest, a believer’s word should always be trustworthy not because of our ability to keep it but because our words are carefully chosen and are founded solely on the strength of Christ and not our own. James is echoing Jesus words in Matthew 5:34 But I say to you make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God. Matthew 5:37 but let your statement be, yes, yes or no, no; and anything beyond these is of evil. We are being taught to be humble and honest in what we say only obligating ourselves to the truth for we have no other power in our lives other than God’s truth.
By seeing that God alone is sovereign we can see the truth about ourselves. We are in no position to make an oath concerning the things of God. And when we come to that place of humility we are changed, we become full of faith and strength because we see Christ as our only hope and strength in our acknowledgment of weakness we have become conquers. Romans 8:37-39 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What do we believe about God? 
1.   In God is all power.
2.   In God is all authority.
3.   In God is all truth and strength.

What do we believe about ourselves? 

1.   In our acknowledgement of our weakness God makes us strong

Covenant Church 210 Station Rd, Wilmington, NC 28405 (910) 395-5800

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