Summary: Last week we looked at the topic of temptation, focusing in on the result of yielding to temptations and some ways to avoid temptations taking hold over our life. One of the key principles was the God is and always will be above temptation. Yet, God doe
THE BOOK OF JAMES
LESSONS FOR THE MATERIALIZING CHURCH -- PART 4
James 1:16 - 20 – GOD’S INVOLVEMENT WITH TEMPTATION
INTRODUCTION: Last week we looked at the topic of temptation, focusing in on the result of yielding to temptations and some ways to avoid temptations taking hold over our life. One of the key principles was the God is and always will be above temptation. Yet, God does have some involvement in our temptations, just not the involvement we would think. He is not tempted, nor is He the author of our temptations.
TRANSITION: God’s involvement in temptation is us. God is concerned about us!
I GOD’S COMMAND REGARDING TEMPTATION – 1:16
James 1:16 (AMP) Do not be misled, my beloved brethren.
A Deception or misleading is the image of a sheep going astray. When sheep get lost they just keep on going down the trail. They do not have a concept of coming back.
B There is a danger
1 in being deceived that God is the source of our temptations
2 in being deceived that God does not care.
3 in being deceived that God will not help.
C James tells us that we are capable of believing in God the wrong way.
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.
1 The demons believe and have enough sense to fear God
2 We believe and do not have the sense to fear God – we are in ERROR about God’s nature. The results of this are severe!
Romans 1:19-23 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
a God makes Himself plain and clear to us
b We make a conscious decision to ignore God’s revelation about Himself.
c We then have no excuse.
d As we walk further away from God, we find more and more substitutes for Him.
D God understands the concept of reaping and sowing
Galatians 6:7-9 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
1 When we live our lives in error, we reap the result of living a life apart from God.
2 When we live our lives in communion with God, we reap a close companionship with God.
II GOD’S COMPASSION – 1:17
James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
A God is the source of everything good!
1 God is the source of every gift
2 God is the source of every impulse to give
3 Our impulse to give is one aspect of God’s image in us.
B God’s gifts are perfect
1 The right gift
2 The right time
3 The Right person
4 The right purpose
C God’s gifts are not by chance
1 They come down, not fall down
2 They come down from the one who founded EVERYTHING GOOD – “The Father of Lights”
3 They come down from the one who never changes even a little.
III GOD’S CHOICE
James 1:18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
A God chose to save us
1 Salvation comes from a birth
a Not making it through trials
b Not avoiding temptations
c But through the Word of God
B God chooses us to be His firstfruits
1 Firstfruits were an offering to God before the harvest.
2 A special relationship God desires to have with us
THE REASON JAMES TEACHES ABOUT TRIALS WE WILL FACE AND TEMPTATIONS WE MUST AVOID IS BECAUSE WE ARE SPECIAL TO GOD
Special in the way he interacts with us
Special in way He blesses us!
So, in light of this God expresses a concern, …
IV GOD’S CONCERN – 1:19-20