C. Readiness to face temptation. 1:19-27
1. Counsel for victory over temptation. 1:19-21
2. Careful in complete obedience. 1:22-25
3. Consistent in service. 1:26,27 James defines the difference between –
a. Selfishness. 1:26 Being the focus of attention. “…bridleth not his tongue…”
3 John 9-10 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
2). Conniving –
Proverbs 17:9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; (Forgiven and buried)
but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends. (repeated often)
“Spiritual Gossip” such as “Did you hear what she did”? The proper answer is “No, let’s call her and ask her what she did”. That will end a lot of this loose talk. They will wish that they had bridled their tongue!
3). Contradicting the Word of God.
Matthew 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Isaiah 1:15-18 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
4). Condemning their own selves. They were self deceived –
John 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
There are those who are just like them today. They need to repent of their sins and turn unto the Lord which will result in –
b. Selflessness. 1:27
The believer needs to be an example to the world –
1 Timothy 4:11-15 These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
1). Caring for others for their good. James 1:27a
a). The connotation of the word “…to visit…”
To visit with a result in mind, a purpose to be achieved.
Note these examples –
Matthew 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Luke 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
Acts 15:14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
Not just to go, but to go and make a difference in their lives!
b). The character of the visitor –
Notice the qualifications of those men in the church who will be dealing with members of the church and especially those in need, such as orphans and widows –
Acts 6:1-3 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
2). Caring for our testimony for God’s glory. James 1:27b
John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
Understanding the purpose of temptation, we are reminded by Peter that submitting to God and seeking His glory, we bring praise to His name and provoke others to follow God and His purpose for their lives –
1 Peter 1:6-7 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Are you consistent in your love for God and in your service unto Him? James is encouraging us to have faith in God and look after others – God will look after us!