Wednesday, 25 July 2018

James - Digging Deeper 5

And so we continue on in our James study.  This post we cover James 1 vs 16 - 18.  It always astounds me how much one can get out of just a few verses.  And the next time I visit in James, I will not be surprised when God shows me another facet to His character through His word.

Notes: EH = Everett Hill - Exploring the Elements of an Authentic Christian Lifestyle

James 1 vs 16 – 18:
(16) “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.  (17) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.  (18) Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” 

Deceived:
  • Deceived here in the Greek is “Led astray”.  
  • God does not want us to be led astray into thinking anything good in us, is of us.  That is pride.  EVERY GOOD THING comes from the Father.
  • The “running away from temptation” sounds negative, but perceived differently, its “running to and pursuing every good thing”, which is from the Father.
Every Good gift:
  • When we think that we are the author of good in us, we deceive ourselves and set ourselves up for temptation, open doors, and pride.
  • We should remember, “There is no goodness apart from God, so we must count on God’s good gifts to see us through each moment.” (EH)
  • When we realize that every good gift comes from God, we will start to intentionally depend on Him and shall reap the blessing that comes from that.  Independence does not bring blessing.  It brings flesh into play, which brings death.  Dependence on God brings blessing and life.
  • James is saying the way to avoid being deceived is to decipher what is of God and what is not.  He says here in James 1 vs 17:  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above; it comes from the Father of all light, in whom there can be no variation…
  • If we, who are parents know how to give good gifts to our children (Matt 7 vs 11), how much more our Heavenly Father… Thus if it is good, glorifies Christ, good and useful for our sanctification, our continued transformation, then it is of God. 
  • If something leads us away from God, into darkness, into pride, self-reliance, etc etc, it is not of God.
  • God is the father of all light, and if we look on temptation, through the beam of His light, then the temptation looks pale, unattractive, with no draw.  Because God’s light exposes it for what it is.  Death.
  • Choosing God’s goodness, choosing light, choosing life, is not always easy and when we do so, God rewards us.  We must always remember that God’s mercies are new every morning for us because He loves us and wants us to be renewed daily and not weighed down by guilt, shame and despair.
  • I feel it needs to be mentioned here that James points out that that God is unchanging!  We may change, we may fail or succeed, but God never changes.  What He means yesterday, He means for today and tomorrow.  That is comforting in this ever changing world.
Firstfruits:
  • James says that we are a kind of firstfruits of the Lord’s creatures.  EH goes on to say that the reason for this is that God views us through the lens of Jesus.  Because Jesus is our righteousness. 
  • We are saved, born-again and transformed daily, but far from perfect.  He sees us for what we are right now, but also what He created us to be.  He treats us as He intends us to be, but gives us grace and mercy to journey to that place. 
  • We are made valuable simply because God has picked us. (EH)  We are His firstfruits, because it is His will for us to be so. 
  • As humans, made in the likeness of God and redeemed by Jesus, we are God’s most glorious creation, or at least we will end up being so once He is finished with our transformation. (EH)



John Henry’s commentary says the following:
  • We are taught yet further that, while we are the authors and procurers of all sin and misery to ourselves, God is the Father and fountain of all good.
  • Let corrupt men run into what notions they will, the truth, as it is in Jesus, stands thus: That God is not, cannot be, the author and patronizer of anything that is evil; but must be acknowledged as the cause and spring of everything that is good.
  • Father of lights: vs 17: God is the Creator of the sun and its rising and setting are the same, unchanging. So, God is unchangeable. What the sun is in nature, God is in grace, providence, and glory; aye, and infinitely more. 
  • As every good gift is from God, so particularly the renovation of our natures, our regeneration, and all the holy happy consequences of it, must be ascribed to Him.
  • Us as God’s firstfruits: That we should be God’s portion and treasure, and a more peculiar property to him, as the firstfruits were; and that we should become holy to the Lord, as the firstfruits were consecrated to Him, Christ is the firstfruits of Christians, Christians are the firstfruits of creatures.

By God’s will, we have been chosen to be His firstfruits, holy and set apart, for His glory and enjoyment.

God bless
Tracy



My ABIDE scripture this week is:
Prov 16 vs 3:  Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.




Also in this James Study series:
James - Digging Deeper 1
James - Digging Deeper 2
James - Digging Deeper 3
James - Digging Deeper 4

James - Digging Deeper 6 coming soon 😊

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