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Summary: Four factors that when followed will help a person fortify their faith

HOW TO FORTIFY YOUR FAITH

(James 1:18-25)

INTRODUCTION

-So far in our study of James we have seen:

1. How faith responds to trials (testing) (2-11)

2. How faith responds to temptations (12-17)

3. Tonight we will see how faith responds to truth (19-25)

-How we respond to truth will determine how we are able to respond to trails as well as temptation

-What James shares with us about truth takes rise in (verse 18) Read

-The picture James gives us here is one that shows us "How to fortify our faith"

-James tells us there must first be a ...

I. READINESS TO HEAR THE WORD OF GOD (v. 19 Swift to hear)

A. How we hear has a direct effect on our faith

(Rom 10:17) faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (To have faith we have to hear the word)

(Rev 2:7) "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says

B. The source of what we are ready to hear has a lot to do with wether our faith will be fortified or fail

1. Readers digest or revelation (Secondary literature or scripture)

2. Jn 17:20 Jesus indicated that we would come to faith through the word (testimony) of the apostles

B. How we hear the word (scripture) says a lot about our faith and fellowship with God

(I Jn 4:6) We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us.

(Jn 10:16) Jesus said His sheep will hear His voice (our readiness to hear will reflect a right relationship with God)

C. There are basically three kinds of listeners

1. There are those who are slow to hear

a. These listeners can hear sermon after sermon and never give any thing said a second thought (never act)

b. The sad part is some day they will surely regret the fact that they weren’t ready to hear the word

c. Moses said God would raise up another prophet like him and he said this Prophet you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. `And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed...(Acts 3:22-23)

2. The second type of listener are those who are selective in what they hear

a. These are those who only hear what they want to hear (mostly things which suit them) (slow speak / wrath)

b. Sometimes we are selective listeners on a subconscious level (Kelly and the girls crying)

c. "We all listen for what is important to us." (If not good listener we can learn to be if we want to be!) School!

3. God want each of us to be listeners who are seeking the truth (This is the third class of listener)

a. This is the kind of listener Cornelius was (Acts 10:30-33)

D. The characteristics of a good listener are (awake, alert, in tune, interested, avail themselves to opportunities!)

-if we are ever going to fortify our faith we must first be ready to hear and be seeking the truth

-Now then secondly James says if we are going to fortify our faith then we must ...

II. REMOVE THAT WHICH HINDERS (v. 21 lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness)

A. In the original the idea of filthiness is an individual with excessive ear wax

(it’s of little help if we are ready to hear but we have our ears plugged but that is the picture here)

B. (v.18) would seem to indicate that James is speaking to and about Christians in this context

1. It seems some still had sin left over from their past (prior to becoming Christian) pop up now & then

2. Their hindrance here was what James called an overflow of wickedness (James says remove that remnant)

C. Sometimes our repentance, our severance with the past, is not as complete as it should be. (Stop short)

(Matt 5:29) if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you (v.30) if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you (we must swiftly severe sin from our lives)

(Heb 12:1) the Hebrews writer exhorts us to lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us

-as long as sin is left to linger in our lives our faith will never really flourish (sin in the camp stifles spiritual growth)

D. James says we must put off or lay aside this sin (like someone removing a dirty garment - get rid of it)

E. There are two things required in this removal (this putting off or laying aside)

1. It starts with our obedience to the gospel (Col 2:11-12)

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