Summary: Our faith will be tested to verify its validity.
"THE TESTING OF FAITH"
ETS: James affirms the fact that Christian faith is tested to verify its validity.
ESS: Our faith will be tested to verify its validity.
(Chapter One - The Examination of Faith)
Faith is tested by:
I. THE TEST OF TIME (1:1)
Acts 8:1-4 (15 to 20 years ago) these people withstood the test of time. When God is at work and there is no visible manifestation - you don’t see or feel faith (the norm in life). If we are to survive the test of time, then we must have a (they were not at 1st Baptist of Jerusalem any longer):
A. Spiritual relationship with God. "James" half-brother
Galatians 1:19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.
See Matt. 3:9, 12:48 and Mark 6:3. Earthly ties are secondary to our relationship with God. At one time, James was a skeptic and doubter (Jn. 7:3-5); however, James got saved (I Cor. 15:1-7).
The practical aspect that can be drawn from this is: Over 18 to 30 years James lived in the same house with the Son of God and was still lost. We shouldn’t feel guilty about our lost loved ones. In addition to having a spiritual relationship with the Lord, we must have a:
B. Servant relationship with God "a servant"
(James didn’t say, "James the half-brother of Jesus!")
"Servant" 1401 doulos - doo’-los : one who gives himself up to another’s will those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men. Devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests.
C. Sincere relationship with the Lord "scattered abroad" if you aren’t sincere, then you won’t make it when you’re all alone. It is a matter of priority: having a sincere spiritual relationship with God is how to pass the test of time.
II. THE TEST OF TRIALS (1:2-11)
The natural consequences of man’s fallen state and creation’s curse (Gen. 3:17, Rom. 8:18-23) is trouble--II Cor. 4:8-10
Job 14:1 Man [that is] born of a woman [is] of few days, and full of trouble.
J.M. "If your Christianity is genuine, it must show up in trouble. If it’s no good for trouble, then it’s no good. If its only good for when you don’t need it, then you don’t need it."
Treasure in Tragedy
A Christian man lost his home and mill when a flood washed them away. He was broken- hearted and discouraged as he stood surveying his loss. Just then he saw a glittering object that had been uncovered by the waters. It was gold! The disaster he thought had made him a beggar had actually made him wealthy. So, too, the Lord often works through our troubles to strip away certain cherished possessions to show us the better treasures of His love and power. How thankful we should be that in every storm of affliction we have the assurance that the Lord has a good purpose in view! See: Jer 29:11; Rom 8:28; Phil 3:7-8
A. The Nature of Trials (1:2) These are:
1. unavoidable "when" ho ton = "whenever"
2. unbeknown (unperceived) "fall into" to fall into something that is all around, be surrounded with no clear escape, a pit with walls.
3. unpredictable "diverse temptations" pi-ras-mos = a putting to proof, experience, adversity, all kinds of trouble.
B. The Christian Reaction to trials (1:2-12) our part in faith: Jn. 8:31, I Cor. 15:1- 2, Col. 1:21-23, Heb. 3:14, Heb. 4:14, 6:12, 10:39.
The exercising of perseverance comes by the energizing of the Holy Spirit I Cor. 10:13, I Peter 1:5 "kept" 5432 frou-reh-o to be a watcher in advance, to mount guard (post spies at gates Heb. 1:14)
C. We are to react with a:
1. Joyful Prospective (1:2) count 2233 hayg-eh-om-ahee consider joy 5479 Khar-ah = calm delight. How can we react this way? Knowledge (v-3 knowing this) with wisdom (applying what you know).
a. By perceiving its value - what good is it? What does it produce? or should I say, "What does God want it to produce?
(1). Spiritual Maturity (1:4,6) perfect 5046: tel-I-os the root word of finished -the same basic phrase Jesus used when He said, "It if finished". Spiritual maturity is channeled through (1:4) patience 5281: hoop-om-on-ay = the quality that does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial, endurance.
(2). Single Mindedness (1:8)
(3). Significant Meaning (1:9-11)
What Matters Most In Life?
Do you know who in 1923 was:
1. President of the largest steel company?
2. President of the largest gas company?
3. President of the New York Stock Exchange?
4. Greatest wheat speculator?
5. President of the Bank of International Settlement?
6. Great Bear of Wall Street?
These men should have been considered some of the World’s most successful men. At least they found the secret of making money.