Have I considered God’s goodness?
We brought lust, sin and death together, seeing the progression of sin and how to defend ourselves against temptations.
In contrast to ‘each one of us‘, we want to LOOK at God ‘the Father’.
Open GODcha to the Book of James.
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Let’s Begin With Prayer
“Oh Gracious Father, make us know Your ways, O LORD: teach us Your paths. Lead us in Your truth, and teach us. For You are the God of our salvation. We will wait for You all the day,” (Psa 25:5) Thank you!
LOOK at What God Says
Go to GODcha, and yes, give it a try again by yourself.
Focus on v17-18.
See how you do on your own, and then come back for help.
How did you get underway?
READ God’s Word
Did you read James 1:17-18?
Did you consider CONTEXT? These verses will make more sense if you do.
Read James 1:13-18 again, asking the 5W’s and H to put you into CONTEXT?
Read verse 16, “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.”
Don’t be deceived about what?
To answer, we need to understand the CONTEXT.
LOOK at what this verse is sandwiched in between.
DO NOT BE DECEIVED about ‘your’ temptations, lust, sin, and death – v13-15.
DO NOT BE DECEIVED about ‘the Father‘ – v17-18.
Okay, we need to LOOK closely at the Father, so we won’t be deceived.
READ God’s Word
According to James
1. What do we LEARN about ‘every good and perfect gift’?
“every good…perfect gift is from above coming down” (Jam 1:17)
Note: the Grammar for ‘coming down‘ is present tense, meaning it continually comes down; it keeps coming; He gives constantly.
We see: What God gives is good.
We see: God gives constantly.
2. What did you discover about ‘the Father‘ who is Key?
- God is the Father of lights
- God the Father is above
- Every good and perfect gift that is above comes from the Father
- With God there is no variation or shifting shadow
- God brought us forth by the word of truth
- God brought us forth to be a kind of first fruits of His creation
- God is the Creator.
3. Did you consider the Contrasts?
God does not tempt anyone vs. God gives good gifts.
Temptation, lusts, sin brings forth death vs. God brings forth the brethren by the Word of God (life).
How has God stopped you as you soak these in?
Let’s see what else we can LEARN from the Cross References (CR).
God Uses Truth To Explain Truth
1. Who does EVERY perfect gift come from?
God with Christ freely gives us all things. (Rom 8:32)
2. Regarding EVERY perfect gift, what is granted to every believer? How?
We have received:
a. Everything pertaining to life and godliness – By God’s divine power. (2Pe 1:3)
b. The Holy Spirit – when we repent. (Act 2:38)
c. Justification [made right with God] – Through redemption in Christ Jesus by His grace. (Rom 3:24)
d. Grace and the gift of righteousness – Through the death of Christ. (Rom 5:17)
e. Eternal life – in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 6:23)
f. Gifts that differ according to the grace given to us. (Rom 12:6)
g. Grace being saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. (Eph 2:8)
h. The gift of God’s grace which was given according to the working of His power. (Eph 3:7)
i. Salvation (1Pe 1:10)
j. His divine nature. (2Pe 1:4)
3. James tells us God is the Father of lights.
What do you LEARN about this description?
What point is James trying to make?
God made the great lights, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psa 136:7)
We see: God, ‘the Father‘ is the Creator, who is the Source and Sustainer of the great lights.
4. What do you LEARN about ‘with God there is no variation, or shifting shadow’?
a. The LORD, does not change. (Mal 3:6)
We see: God NEVER changes!
We see: The lights (sun, moon, stars) that God the Father made do have variation and do cast shadows (eclipse etc.),
God the Father DOES NOT change.
5. What does James say is the most wonderful goodness of God, His perfect gift?
By His will He brought us forth by the Word of truth. (Jam 1:18)
THINK: This is in contrast to sin that brings forth death in verse 15.
6. What do you LEARN about being ‘brought forth by the Word of Truth’? What does this mean?
a. God the Father caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1Pe 1:3; 23)
b. Those who receive Christ, believe in His name, become the children of God, not born of flesh and blood, BUT born of God. (Joh 1:12-13)
We see: to be brought forth by the Word of Truth is a work of God.
c. Jesus said to Nicodemus (who had a dead faith) one must be born again (born of water and the Spirit) to see and enter the kingdom of God. (Joh 3:3-5)
We see: as we can’t cause our physical birth, we can’t cause our spiritual birth.
We see: as the human birth requires 2 humans, so the spiritual birth requires 2:
The water, which is perhaps the Word (Eph 5:26); (1Pe 1:23), and
7. What is the Word of Truth?
a. The word of truth is the gospel. (Col 1:5)
b. In the word of truth, is the power of God… (2Co 6:7)
c. Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (Rom 10:17)
NOW THINK: If you don’t hear the Word, you don’t hear the message that saves.
d. The Thessalonians heard and received the Word. (1Th 2:13)
8. According to James, why did God the Father, bring us forth – cause us to be born again?
So we might be the first fruits among His creatures.(Jam 1:18)
9. What do we LEARN about ‘first fruits’?
a. The 1st and best of the harvest was to be brought to God. (Exo 13:12)
b. Israel was the 1st of His harvest, holy [set apart] for the LORD (Jer 2:3)
c. Christ who was raised from the dead, is the first fruits of those who are asleep [those ‘in Christ’ who have passed away]. Christ is first to be raised and then those at His coming will be raised. (1Co 15:20, 23)
d. The house of Stephanas was the first fruits of Achaia devoted to the ministry of the saints. (1Co 16:15)
e. Epaenetus, the first convert to Christ from Asia. (Rom 16:5)
f. Those purchased from among men as first fruits to God and the Lamb, who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. (Rev 14:4)
We see: first fruits in James refers to believers in Christ, who by God’s will have been born again, born of God, when we hear and receive the Word of Truth, the gospel.
What Have We LEARNED
You’re on your own. You can do this.
HEAR God Speak
Am I a believer in Christ?
Have I heard and received the Word of Truth?
When was I born again?
How do I show my gratitude to the Father of lights for all He has done for me?
Respond to God…LIVE it out!
Take a Deep Breath!
Ponder all that God has shown you about Himself. Thank Him for all His goodness toward you and all He has given and continues to give to you.
“I will meditate with my heart, And my spirit ponders:,” (Psa 77:6).
Journal Your Discovery in Your Notes.
Journal what you summed up!
Add all you have LEARNED about God to your List in your Notes.
Praise God the Father
OH GRACIOUS FATHER, Creator of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow, who never ever changes, we bow before You humbly as we see who You are and what You have done for each one of us! Oh Father, we thank you for every perfect gift that comes to us from YOU! Help us to remember that Your divine power has granted to us everything that pertains to life and godliness. Oh, we have so much to be ever so grateful to You for. Thank you that You have graciously bestowed Your grace upon us, giving us ears to hear Your Word of Truth. We are indebted to You for the faith to believe, saving us, and giving us the gifts of Your Holy Spirit, righteousness and eternal life. Oh, we thank you for bringing us forth, causing us to be born again, born of You, born as new creatures! May we honor and glorify You as Your first fruits among Your creatures. If there is anyone joining us who has not been born again, may they be given ears to hear, repent and believe in Christ who died for them. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen!
Looking forward to bringing this all together tomorrow.
Next: Wrap Up James 1:13-18.
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