Summary: As we’ve taken these nine tests of faith througout the book of James, we haven’t gotten the results we were hoping for. That’s why we need to show God’s grace by remediating each other.
1. Results that show the need for remediation
2. Responsibilities for providing remediation
3. Rewards for giving remediation
As many of you know, I used to write curriculum for our military schools. And one of the things you have to do when you write curriculum is that you have to write tests. As a matter of fact, we would always write the tests before we actually wrote the classroom curriculum. We did that for a reason. Now, it wasn’t so that our classroom instructors could teach the test. As a matter of fact, they weren’t allowed to do that. We did it that way so that we could make sure that our students got the things out of the lessons that we wanted them to. We would use the tests as a measuring tool. After a student came through one of our classes, we would measure them to make sure they got it. Of course, there were times where they didn’t get it. A few people didn’t get it because they refused to for whatever reason. Those people usually didn’t even make it to the test. They got weeded out before we even got there. But some people just didn’t get it. And when it was test time, that was very evident. But our schools had a policy. It was called “remediation”. Remediation basically means that we were not going to let a student fail. If a student showed effort, we were going to work with them until they were able to legitimately pass the test. We didn’t give anybody any answers. We didn’t make it any easier on them. As a matter of fact, it was often harder on them. But we did what it took to equip them to pass the class. It meant a lot of extra effort on our instructors’ part, but it was worth it. If a secular organization like the military is that concerned with people passing leadership tests… don’t you think that we as the church ought to be that much more concerned with people passing spiritual tests? Tests with eternal consequences? This morning we finish up our journey through the book of James. And each week as we’ve gone through the book, James has given us spiritual tests of faith. He started his letter like this: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations. Knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” Consider it joy when God tests your faith. Why? Because He tests your faith for a reason. He tests your faith so you can know that it’s real. He tests your faith so that you will patiently endure till He calls you home. He tests your faith in order to make your relationship with Him complete and full and lacking nothing. But how often do we sound like the elementary school student to his teacher? “Teacher, why do we have to have so many tests?” Or, “My teacher’s mean—she gives too many tests.” Why does the teacher give tests? To make you secure in the lessons she’s taught you. Why does God give tests? To make you secure in the faith that He’s given you. Over these past few months as we’ve taken these nine tests of faith… we’ve probably not gotten the results we were hoping for. I don’t know anyone that has gotten all A’s. As a matter of fact, probably very few of us have gotten a passing score. That’s why we need God’s grace. And through God’s grace, He’s given us each other. He’s given us each other for the purpose of remediation. This morning, I want each of us to refuse to let any of our brothers or sisters fail the tests. I want each of us to commit to remediating each other till we can pass the tests in front of us with flying colors. In order to do that, we need to look at three products of test taking. The first product of test taking is results that show we need remediation. After all, we can’t know what needs to be fixed if we don’t know what’s broken. Results that show we need remediation.