Jul 7, 2024. James 1:1-8

Please click here for the audio and click here for the video link to this message. Please click here to view today’s bulletin.

THE PERFECTING WORK OF PATIENCE. James 1:1-8. 7/7/24. #1.

1 James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings. 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

1. Introduction

                a. James is known as the wisdom literature of the New Testament

                                a1. It was accepted late into the canon due to men believing that it taught a works salvation in chapter 2 (Luther called it a right strawy book)

                                a2. Deals with practical matters of faith

                b. Of the 4 men named James in the NT, James, the half brother of Jesus is the likely author (the Apostle James was martyred early – Acts 12, 44 AD)

                c. James wrote to the dispersed 12 tribes (scattered by persecution after the martyrdom of Stephen)

                d. James was the leader of the Jerusalem church and led the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15)

                e. Probably written between 45 and 50 AD (James was martyred in 62 AD, according to Josephus

2. Hang in there

                a. Notice that James does not spend time in pleasantries, but immediately jumps into correction

                                a1. His tone is to command rather than to urge

                                a2. There were serious issues to address

                b. Perseverance was an issue, along with instability, anger, disobedience, lack of charity, lack of love, being respecters of persons, gossip, lack of repentance, lack of faith in prayer, and lack of proper order

                c. After the persecution that scattered the church, many began to waver in their faith

                                a1. James begins by stating that trials are friends

                                a2. Enduring trials produces growth

                                a3. We are to expect persecution

                d. Proper response to trials:

                                a1. Be joyful = not because of the trials, but due to the growth enduring trials can bring (I Thessalonians 5)

                                a2. Count it joy = reckon or calculate that the trials will bring a good end (Romans 5:1-5)

                                a3. Recognize that trials come in various forms (lit., multi-colored) – persecution, physical, financial

                                a4. Be patient (hupomenos, remain under) = to not only endure the trials, but persevere through them, refusing to waver in faith, commitment, and service while facing opposition

                                a5. Let the trials mature (telios) you (by working through the trials by faith we become equipped seasoned soldiers of the cross, instilling a confidence and trust in Lord that is unshakable

                                a6. Trials are to make us complete (totally fit, equipped, and furnished = II Timothy 3:17), so that there is no spiritual deficiencies

3. Seeking help

                a. In our own strength, we fail (John 15:5)

                b. James urges us to call upon the Lord for wisdom

                                a1. Not only does God have all wisdom, but he is readily willing to dispense wisdom to us in grand proportions is we ask him

                                a2. Asking God for wisdom assumes that you want the wisdom and will use it, even if you desire something else (fun, escape, comfort, wealth)

                                a3. God does not reproach us for asking for help

                c. James warns us that we must ask in faith

                                a1. Not faith that we will receive the answer we desire or that God will do our bidding

                                a2. Faith is believing that God is willing and able to equip us to do his will

                                a3. Faith also requires us to accept his will

                d. James warns that a double-minded man is unstable

                                a1. Those who want both to do God’s will and their own will are unstable, not truly seeking God

                                a2. God wants to be served with a whole heart, mind, and soul (he will not allow competition for our loyalty – I Kings. 11; 18)

                                a3. Those who are in and out of faith will not prosper and should expect to receive nothing from God

                                a4. Revelation 3 without total commitment, there is no commitment at all (Whom do you serve?)

Key passage: Romans 5:1-5

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.