Summary: Attitude, Obedience, What God Accepts
LIFE APP – Applying Faith In Our Lives
James 1:19-27 (p. 847) September 14, 2014
As I get ready for this message from our Life App series...I thought of a conversation I had with a young man named Shannon. He was newly married and had been a Christian for about a year.
Shannon had grown up in the Catholic Church and after his parents divorced he and his mom started attending the Pentecostal Church and then after he met his wife Vickie he started coming to the Christian Church. (Folks, women will get you to do things you said you’d never do. I think God made it that way! LOL)
I’d preached a message the Sunday before on 1 John 1:9 which says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Shannon called and made an appointment to talk with me about “sin.” To cut through the fluff to the core...he said, “Brother Rick I don’t believe I sin anymore after coming to Christ.”
Since it’s not too spiritual to say, “Are you wacko!!?” I said, Shannon why would you think that...he shared about a minister teaching him that in Christ...“His righteousness is our righteousness and sin no longer is our master.”
I said Shannon that’s true, but if taken out of context to say that “sin” is no longer an issue for us after our salvation...after all the Holy Spirit is given to us to “transform us into the image of Jesus.” (Romans 8:29) but while we live in this world in this “body of flesh” we will be tempted and sometimes we will fail...1 John 1:9 is written to answer that failure.
I said Shannon let’s look at scripture together and let me ask you a couple of questions....He was open and teachable and said, “That’d be great!” I started with this scripture from James.
JAMES 1:19-27 (p. 847)
(Question One) Have you ever lost your temper in anger and said something that was hurtful? Something you regretted? I know he was married, so I knew the answer to this question.
(Question Two) Have you ever known it was right to do something, or to help someone and you didn’t do it? I mean you didn’t hurt them, but you choose not to help them either.
Human anger doesn’t produce the righteousness that God deserves and James 4:17 says, “Anyone who knows the good they should do and doesn’t do it, sins.”
The truth I shared with Shannon and I’d share with you this morning is...we all sin, even after our “new birth.” Some are sins of commission...we know it’s wrong...and we choose to do it anyway to please ourselves...usually it’s to provide immediate pleasure!! Some sins are from “omission,” we know we ought to get off our donkey and help the guy in the ditch, but we choose not to because it’s messy and we’re busy. We pass by on the other side.
I thought long and hard about that conversation with Shannon about sin as I prepared this Life App message concerning Applying Faith In Our Lives.
First of all:
I. APPLYING FAITH STARTS WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE
James says, “My Dear Brothers & Sisters, take note of this:
I had a professor at Johnson that would say...”Class, it behooves you to write this down.” When Dr. Black said that “you’d better write it down, because you were going to see it again!”
James is saying the same thing...you’re going to encounter this in life...PREPARE FOR IT!!!
Prepare your attitude for people...for your relationships, your conversations daily.
“Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (v. 19)
If you want to learn...listen quickly, speak slowly. If you want to hear someone, even God...choose this attitude.
Real relationships are about how we communicate. Most arguments become verbal boxing matches between 2 opponents trying to knock the other down. We argue what we believe...get more angry and forceful when the other person doesn’t agree. “Don’t you understand what I’m saying?” “Can’t you hear what I’m trying to tell you?!!!”
No, neither of you can because you’ve stopped listening and are now trying to prove how right you are. Anger closes your ears and your heart. And the righteousness of God doesn’t live in this place.
Angry people don’t listen to God either. Satan stokes the fires of dissatisfaction and discontent. “Why did this happen to me? Why was I passed over? Why can’t I find someone? God can handle our emotion...anger is not a sin...you can be angry and not sin, but it is a threshold of emotion.
EPHESIANS 4:22-27 (p. 816)
James is saying the same thing...anger can open the door to attitudes that cause you to sin in your relationships. It doesn’t produce in your life righteousness...