Summary: Intro on James, #1 Do trial and testings make you a bitter or better Christian?
Book of James
Introduction & 1:1-4
The Book of James was written by the half brother of Jesus.
It is also believed to be one of the first books of the Bible that was written.
The Book is also a practical book rather than one of theology.
It is call “the little big book”, it is often times referred to as the proverbs of the New Testament.
There are two key words that we will see here in James works and faith.
They are not contradictory but they are complementrory but the theme of James is not just faith and works it is faith that works!
I have met so many Christians today that are not happy. Christians that look like that they were winged on a sour dill pickle. We as Christians should be happier than any other people. Why we have reason to be. We are going to spend eternity with our lord and savior. I belive that there are couple of reasons that that there are Christians who are not happy
1. There are many in Christians that have lost their standards. By standards I mean that many have lost or misplaced their real purpose as Christians and in some cases the reality of what a Christian really is.
2. Many Christians have simply ignored that that Christianity and it’s teachings are to be lived out practically in our day to day lives. By practical, I mean that which is more than theory and speculation about what Christianity is. If we reduce the whole of Christianity to that which affects our beliefs but not our behavior, then what makes the Christian faith any different than a cult or some other false belief system?
3. Many Christians are afraid of persecution. James 1:1-4 tells us to count it all joy when you fall into divers temptation.
a. We have lost our joy because we are so afraid of persecution.
b. Do we believe that we are above Jesus He was persecuted and tells us that we will be too!!! Jesus tells us in John 15
18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
c. If you were on trial for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you? We are so afraid of being persecuted that we don’t even act like Christians. When that is were we will receive real JOY!!!
d. Remember the early church in Acts 5 turn there verses 16, 18-19, 40-41 They were rejoicing that that got to suffer for the Name of Christ!!!
e. Paul and Silas
f. Look at what I peter 4:12-13 says.
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
Do trial and testings make you a bitter or better Christian?
We should rejoice when times of trial and temptations come, not because of the trial or temptation but because of what it produces.
Something we need to remember there is no true faith without the testing of it. and trial test our faith. Jesus tells us in Matt 5
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
God not only wants to bless you with things that He can do for you, God wants to bless your life with what he can do TO YOU AND IN YOU, by giving you patience to endure trials and test.
These are far more valuable than material things
The word LET means, to let go! To release yourself from trying to get out of the trials and test and let patience do it’s work in you.
The problem is that we fight and squirm around the trial before patience has the chance to complete it’s work in us. What work is that? It is the work of being mature.