Some illustrations and stories may not be in place. I hope to get to them later and fill in. If you are teaching a Bible study and using these notes, you should try to find stories and illustrations which fit your setting. Don't tell my stories unless you can think of nothing else :-)
James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
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.
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
: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:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
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 vain.
27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Author: Cannot be sure, so God does not want us to speculate.
To: Vs 1- Twelve Tribes. Saved Jews scattered by the persecution in Jerusalem.
Note the Apostolic expectation- Rom. 11:23.
A. Why do we have Trials and Temptations?
Verse 2- Temptations bring us joy.
How? ILL Matt. 5:11-12
How do temptations come?
Answer: We "fall into" them. They are random. You cannot plan for them.
Who allows temptation?
Answer: God the Holy Spirit. CF Luke 4:1-2
God leads, Satan tempts. CF vs. 13.
ILL- Rondo Murphy manuscript. He accused God of creating confusion and temptation to be lead astray.
How can you be like Jesus without temptation?
Verse 3- Trying of your faith-- By whom? Answer: God.
Why? So you will become patient.
Verse 4- "Let" Allow God to lead you into the wilderness w / Satan?
Why? So you will be perfect and wanting nothing.
What is the key to this perfection or wholeness?
Answer: I Cor. 10:13- Use the escape God gives.
Important: God PLANS your escape and perfection.
There is NO perfection without trial, temptation, and escape !!
How does this work?
Rom. 5:3-5- Note the steps to love being shed to others!
Hebrews 12:1- This will not end until death or rapture.
It is a life process which keeps us winning.
II Thes. 1:3-4- Note the tribulations.
When does God even the score?
Many evil people and Satan have tempted us.
They make traps and trials. Is God watching?
Rev. 3:10- Tribulation is vindicated by God's wrath
Rev. 14:11-12- The wicked tormented for tempting YOU.
Psalm 95:8- Temptation is often in the wilderness, during hard times
Job 23:10-12- Job determines to go through the Lord's testing.
II Tim. 4:6-8- Fight, finish, and keep the faith. Key to perfect man.
Jude 1:3- Contend: With tempters, ungodly men- vs. 4
Hebrews 6:1-15- Patiently endure and obtain the promise.
Do we count it all joy??
B. Do you lack wisdom?
Ask God for it.
Vs. 5- "If any of you lack wisdom..." is a bit of an understatement.
We ALL lack wisdom, the kind God gives.
This wisdom is ONLY for saints. Proverbs 2:6-7
CF Prov 3:19-23- Note association between God's creative power and our need.
God gives wisdom "liberally."
Psalm 68:35- God loves to give what we need.
Eccl. 2:26- God's good things are for YOU.
1 Corinthians 15:57
1 Timothy 6:17
1 Peter 5:5
Now, in light of the above, how can we expect God to give wisdom?
Vs. 6- There is a problem-- We are prone to waver.
Define: Wavering- In our faith.
Matt 21:31-32- Who believes? NOT scholars and high muckity mucks
Jude vs. 5- Unbelief destroys people. It is dangerous. Wavering is deadly.
ILL- Steeple chase- Ever seen a horse hesitate? Bad news.
Pole vaulter same. Can end up hanging in the air like a fool.
Javelin toss- Get a nasty bang on the back of the head.
Vs. 7- What do we get from wavering and doubt?
Nothing from the Lord.
BUT, we open the door to Satan
1 Thes 2:18- Nothing hinders a saint like that saint doubting.
II Tim 2:25-26- Oppose themselves. Start out and then quit.
They need encouragement to "recover"
ILL Like a skid in the winter. Recover and keep going.
Vs. 8- Double minded man-
Carlton Helgerson's statement: "If you start buttoning your shirt wrong at the bottom, you will be wrong all the way up."
CF James 4:7-8- Saints can become very double minded.
ILL Pentecostalism- 1900- started with tongues. NEVER been right since then.
1 Kings 18:21- Halt-- Double minded people come to a stop in their Christian walk
C. Rich man beggar man...
Vs. 9-- First, This is only for "brothers"- saints.
It often works the opposite for unsaved.
How is the low man exalted?
Cf: Job 31:19-22- A rich man in Christ feels obligation to exalt the poor.
Cf: Eccl. 2:26- God makes this happen.
Note how it goes opposite according to the man's relationship to God.
ILL. John Bates-- Being a "brother," God handed John the heap of the rich tax payer.
Vs. 10-11-- Note that the rich man is also a saint.
Unsaved rich men do NOT allow anyone to make them low.
Cf: Luke 19:1-10-- Zacch. by his new nature, divested himself to the poor and downtrodden.
ILL. Story of Richard Simonian-- As usher, and ranch.
Note why the rich saint easily loosens his purse strings:
He knows he will soon fade in this life.
Cf. 1 Samuel 2:7-- Saints know who adds the riches.
Horde it and He can take it all.
ILL. Story of LaTourneau and tithing. How God made sure he obeyed
7700 ILLs- No 1850, p. 475
Vs. 12-- Why put this here?
Low man's temptation-- To refuse help. Pride.
ILL- Grandma Klaber- Did not have chance to learn this.
Story of visiting Pellerins. They would have been hurt to think that we were hungry.
Rich man tempted to hold back generosity.
ILL- Custom of Arabs- Generosity.
Where did this come from?
Cf- Gen. 18:1-8- Do angels need to eat? No.
So, if angels, who lack nothing, received Abraham's generosity, how much more we who need so many things?
Abraham's blessing came from knowing later that he had served God's messengers.
Cf- Heb. 13:1-3- This seems to still be happening.
Cf- Phil. 4:11-12- Can we learn both and rejoice in them?
God uses saints to balance His books. Psalm 34:10-19
Temptation is a challenge. Leads to defeat or to maturity.
Vs. 12- Here is a crown of life. Only way to get it is to endure temptation or trial without sin.
CF- Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Note- It is for any dispensation.
It sounds like not all in heaven will have one.
Vs. 13- Tempting God. Luke 4:1-13- Read all
Note: Satan did NOT make any reference to former lusts in Christ.
Does he do that with us?
So, Christ could not remember sin.
Satan had to invent a new thing for Christ.
Discuss ancient Jewish teaching- We need to sin so God can show His holiness.
Mohammed picked this up-- Said Allah invented sin.
Mormons claim Adam did us a favor in sinning.
Also, if God cannot find sin in Himself, how could He tempt a man?
Sin has to originate OUTSIDE of God
CF 1 Kings 22:7-9; 22:14-23- Note the almost curious way
God questions the evil angel.
What a blessing to have an innocent God.
So also with Christ.
Story: Reformed man who worried about our kids- "Street wise"
Vs. 14- Satan has something to start with in us.
CF- Ephesians 4:20-24 We have to choose to put off and put on.
Romans 7:18-23- Satan enters here to encourage the old.
Our dog- I say "get'em" at night to encourage him to guard us. Satan says get'em to the old nature.
Discuss heresy of irradication of old nature.
Story of Hildagard L_____. John MacArthur
Vs. 15- Lust is sin. Temptation is NOT.
Lust is private, sin seldom is. Death is definitely not private.
Point: Lust will go public sooner or later.
Story: Mike Kravitch and story of the preacher. Las Vegas
won in the end. Lust conceived. Dead preacher spiritually.
CF- Rom. 5:12- Sin brings death. That is why we die.
Vs. 16- Do not err, my beloved brethren.
Why so simple?
Answer: Because we are so dull.
Let us consider how dull we are:
1. Gluttony- Fat preachers.
2. Divorce and remarriage- Excused everywhere. Yet, drunkenness is not excused. Discuss
3. Exaggeration for a "good story."
4. Bend the laws that are not enforced.
Are these sins?
So, we do need to be told real simply, "Do not err..."
Vs. 17- God does not take from us without giving a better thing.
CF- Psalm 40:11-3- We are not without good things.
So why do we need to sin?
1 Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
Where is the knowledge of God?
Answer: In the Word.
2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 Obey the Gospel comes from read the Gospel.
1 John 5:18-21- Here is the victory. In Christ we find victory over sin.
Conclude: What kind of gift has God given us?
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
E. Do the Word
What is the basis of our works?
Vs. 17-18- He begat us by the Word and His works.
The word "Variableness" is said to be a scientific word from
James day for the movement of the heavenly bodies. God then is seen as unable to change like the moving heavenly bodies.
Vs. 18- God was not willing that any should perish. (II Peter 3:9) Vs.
18 is NOT the basis of selective salvation.
CF- John 1:12-14- Note the will of man and the will of God working together.
Vs. 19- Wherefore....
Based on your birthing by the Word and the will of God....
Control your wrath
All three are needed:
But, beware of man's wrath.
Prov. 12:16; 16:14; 19:19; 29:8; 30:33
Anger is different: Eph. 4:26; Titus 1:7
Wrath is meant to hurt and take revenge.
Rom. 12:19; Deut. 32:41
Vs. 20-- Man is the wrong one to work wrath verbally.
What goes with wrath? Answer: Fast to talk.
To control wrath, keep your mouth shut. Eccl. 5:2; Prov. 15:1-2&4.
Who judges this tongue: Psalm 5:1; 19:14
Vs. 21-25-- Hearing the Word and doing it is the work of the saint.
What hinders this way of life?
Answer: vs. 21- filthiness and naughtiness. Devil not needed!!
What advances the Word and the doing of the work?
Answer: vs. 21- Meekness CF- I Cor. 3:18-21
This is not wimpy religion. Here are mature saints not forcing their will on others.
Rebuke and reproof are to HELP others, not put them in their place.
II Tim. 4:2 Longsuffering and wrath don't mix. CF- Col. 3:12-14
Vs. 23-25-- The mirror test vs pitchfork religion CF- Acts 20:28- You first
Is this how we read. Ever think of how good a text is for another saint?
Note end of vs. 25- "Doer of the work" This is works.
Works begin IN me, not in being busy. Ps. 26:2; I Cor. 11:28; II Cor. 13:5
Vs. 25-- Beware of "Forgetful"
Read story of follower of Arnold Murray: E-Mail book VolII-- He did the "work"
These two verses will be used in Chapter two and three. So, not discussed here.