Summary: Part 6 in a series on the book of James
A Life of Works Produced By Faith
“God, the Giver of Good and Perfect Gifts”
Date: September 29, 2002
Place: Allendale Baptist Church
Text: James 1:16-18
· Some one has said that these three verses are a pivotal point in the chapter.
· James has reminded us that the problem with temptation to sin is not the nature of God.
· God may test and try us but He never will tempt us with evil.
· God will never try to get us to sin.
Afflictions, as sent by God, are designed to draw out our graces, but not our corruptions.
Let’s remember that James is speaking to the believer, the child of God, the Christian.
He begins in verse 16 by reminding the Christian “Do not be deceived”.
· This Greek expression refers to going astray or wandering.
· What James is saying is do not be deceived in your ideas of the characteristics of God.
· In the context of the chapter, he is saying “Christian, do not make the mistake of blaming God rather than yourself for your sin.
· We have already come to understand God allows testing and trails in our lives to grow our faith, to make us learn to depend on him more.
· But also to remove some of the things that are in our lie that are keeping us from growing.
· I need to clarify something today: When tribulation, testing and trails come it is not always because of sin in our life.
· Some one asked me this question the other day; “Is all testing because of sin?’
· Not necessarily… But if you are being tested in the same way over & over again… I would ask God to reveal any unconfessed sin in my life.
· Others have asked: When I am being tested, is God trying to get my attention?
· All I can say is I would listen just in case.
· So many folks come to me and say, “Brother Tim, why am I going through this?
· My response is always don’t ask me for wisdom. Ask God.
This morning I want us to see three very important lessons about God in this text…
First let’s see…
I. God’s Interest
A. “Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights”
B. Let me stop and say right off the bat, God has a great interest in every one of us.
C. My version says “Good Gift” and “Perfect Gift”. In the original Greek there are two different words for gift, to emphasize the perfection and inclusiveness of God’s graciousness towards us.
1. “Good gift”, speaks of the act of giving.
a. God is a giving God.
b. And no matter how hard you may look no one gives more than God.
c. Let me say this also, you can’t out give God
2. “Perfect gift” refers to the object of the gift
3. Perfect also means there is nothing evil that comes from God.
D. We enjoy a lot of good things. Whether it’s friends, health, employment, family or whatever.
E. We must come to the attitude and understanding that all things good come from God
Next James wants us to see…
II. God’s Immutability
A. “With whom there is no variation of shadow of turning.”
B. From our perspective, everything around us changes.
1. Day turns into night. Seasons change. Music changes. Styles change. (I still have a closet full of old Leisure Suits I’m waiting to come back in style.)
2. We live in a changing society. A society that says…
a. If you don’t like yourself, change.
b. If you don’t like your job, change.
c. If you don’t like your wife or husband, change.
d. If you don’t like your church, change.
e. If you don’t like your god, change.
But, Praise God James says GOD DOES NOT CHANGE
C. James also says there is no shadow of turning.
1. Here is the best definition of this text I have heard.
2. Jimmy Draper says, “When the sun is in eclipse, it is not the fault of the sun. The sun hasn’t failed to light or shine. But something has come between the sun and the earth. It is the way the earth is turned that causes the shadow. Whenever there is a shutting off of the presence of God from our lives, it is not His fault, but ours. It is our sinfulness that has caused us to turn away.”
3. We are the ones that turn from God. But praise His holy name, when we turn to Him He is always ready to receive us. When we repent He is willing to forgive us.
4. 1 John 1:9 tells us; “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”