FAITH WORKS SCRIPTURALLY

 

JAMES 1:18-21

FAITH WORKS #5

 

The theme of James is “Faith Works”.  Last time we saw that FAITH WORKS KNOWLEDGABLY.

If we are going to overcome temptation we must have a working knowledge of what temptation is, how it acts, and how to avoid it.

 

Tonight we see that FAITH WORKS SCRIPTURALLY. For us to be all that we should be for our Lord Jesus Christ, we must apply our faith to the proper learning of God’s Word.  In James 1:18-21 we see three important concepts.

 

REGENERATION BY THE WORD OF GOD – Vs. 18

 

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “Why am I child of God?”

The obvious answer is that you were born again by the work of the Spirit of God through faith. John 3:1-7, John 1:12-13

 

I am a child of God because I am born again through faith in Christ.

 

But James gives two more answers to the question, “Why am I a child of God?”

 

Of his own will begat he us…

 

You are a child of God because God willed you to be a child of God.  This fact may be hard for us to accept if we think that we have any goodness or merit in ourselves. But, if we think of the greatness of our sin, and how spiritually dead we were, it makes sense that God had to choose to save us.

Ephesians 2:1-7, Ephesians 1:3-6

 

James 1:18 - Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth,

 

God willed you to be a child of God, and God provided a channel through which you could understand salvation and trust Christ as your Savior. The channel is the Word of truth.  

   

It is through the Word of truth that we understand that we are sinners.

It is through the Word of truth that we learn that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again.

It is through the Word of truth that we learn that God loves us.

It is through the Word of truth that we learn that we must place our faith in Christ. Romans 10:17, 1 Peter 1:23  

 

So we are born again by the will of God using the Word of God.  And there is a purpose for this.

 

James 1:18  - Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

There was a celebration of the giving of the first fruits of the harvest to God.  James as an early Christian, saw he and other Christians as the beginning of a glorious harvest.

 

Every Christian is part of that great harvest of souls, whether we be part of the first of the harvest or not.  And each one of us is a Christian because:

1.     We were born of the Spirit

2.     We believed by faith

3.     God willed it

4.     We believed as a result of the Word of truth 

 

RESPONSE TO THE WORD OF GOD – Vss. 19-20

 

James 1:19-20 - Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: [20] For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

 

We were born again by the Word of truth.

Does the Word have any importance after we are saved?

Of course it does! 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Romans 15:4  

 

As a result of the value of the word of God, we are to be “swift to hear”.   

·        I should be eager to hear the Word of God whether I read it or have it taught to me.

·        I should be attentive to the Word of God, wanting to learn from it.

·        I should not shun the reading or the preaching of the Word of God. 

·        I should not make excuses for not hearing or reading the Word, but should seek opportunities to do so. 1 Peter 2:1-3, 2 Peter 3:18

 

We are also to be slow to speak.

 

The churches in James’ day were fairly open.  People were allowed to put in their “two cents” worth.

It is possible that people would start to speak in response to what was being said.

I think that James is telling us to hear completely before we respond.

All too often we start to respond because we don’t like what we hear. 

With the Word of God, we must hear completely before we respond to it.

Proverbs 18:13

 

In responding to the Word of God, James 1:19-20 says, Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: [20] For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

 

We are to be slow to wrath.

We don’t always like what we read in the Word of God because it convicts us.

We don’t always like what we hear preached in the Word of God because it convicts us.

There has been many a Christian who has gotten angry when the Word of God has been preached, taught, or read.

 

It is easy to get angry when we initially hear something we don’t like or disagrees with our life style.

I am sure there have been people angry with me down through the years.

But in responding to the teaching or reading of the Word we are to be slow in getting angry over it.

There is a good reason for that.

Man’s anger does not work God’s righteousness.

 

Instead of getting angry, we should search the Scriptures to see if what is being said is true.  If it is, we shouldn’t get angry, but do what the Scripture says.   

 

RECEPTION OF THE WORD OF GOD – Vs. 21

 

James 1:21 - Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

 

Have you ever considered confessing all known sins before reading your Bible?

Have you ever considered confessing all known sin before listening to a sermon?   

   

To get the most out of a sermon or Bible Study, we should confess all filthiness, that is, moral impurity.  We should confess all superfluity of naughtiness, that is, all wickedness or vice that we know of within us.

 

We already heard Peter say, Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

 

Anything that will hinder the Spirit of God using the Word of God in my life should be confessed and forsaken.

Then I will be in the proper position to humbly receive the Word of God.

 

Once I have placed myself in a humble, submissive position, I am ready to hear what God has to say. I am ready to humbly accept God’s opinion.

 

A lot of people don’t humbly receive the engrafted or implanted word because there are weeds in the soil.

The weeds must be removed before someone can actually see the Word of God bear fruit in their lives.

 

The engrafted word is able to save our souls.

Wait a minute!

I’m already saved!

Yes, if you know the Lord Jesus as your Savior, you are.

However, the humbly received word received in good soil will save you from the problems caused by sin now.

It will save you from a lot of grief.

 

Faith Works Scripturally

REGENERATION BY THE WORD OF GOD – Vs. 18

RESPONSE TO THE WORD OF GOD – Vss. 19-20

RECEPTION OF THE WORD OF GOD – Vs. 21