James concludes his letter by discussing several values that ought to be present in a growing, healthy church: patience in suffering; prayer in sickness and trouble; praise in happiness; confession of sin; and restoration of those sinning. Which of these do you struggle with? Which are you doing well in?
In this sermon (from James 4:13-5:6), I examine James' teaching about pride and selfishness. He teaches that we should serve God from an attitude of total trust, and serve others selflessly.
The difference between godly wisdom and worldly wisdom is the difference between peace and division. If you find that there are problems and divisions everywhere you go, you may be practicing worldly wisdom. If on the other hand there is peace, it is likely that you are submitting to God, repenting from sin, and doing good deeds that come from humility and wisdom.
Editing our own speech is one of the most difficult things we face as followers of Jesus. James addresses this in James 3:1-12. In our speech, we want to be both gracious and truthful. We need to encourage others.
James reminds us that both bitter and fresh water cannot come from the same source. If we are to be godly, we must also honor God in our speech, to him and to others.
In James 2, James offers two means of being polluted by the world--showing favoritism and living by a dead faith. Favoritism is sinful because it breaks the royal law that commands us to love our neighbor, and dead faith is sinful because it doesn't represent the true and living God accurately. We overcome each by living, active obedience to Jesus that follows him closely into mission to the world.
On Sunday, I started a new sermon series in James. Over the next 5 or 6 weeks I'll preach through this book. This sermon is from James 1.
James teaches many things in this section, but above all he teaches us that the word of truth (God's word) gave birth to us, is planted within us, and saves us. It is that word that teaches us humility, how to persevere through trial to build our faith and become mature, how to ask for and receive wisdom, and how to live out our faith. We are to be DOERS of this word, not listeners only. When we LIVE the word, we practice religion that is not worthless but that is pure and faultless.
Do you believe this word? If you do, dedicate your whole life to applying it.
Since we are called to live out our faith, it reasons that faith without action is dead. In fact, this is what James teaches in his letter (2:14-26). Giving two examples--one a friend of God, the other a prostitute--James demonstrates from scripture that we are considered righteous by what we do.
A good faith is a faith that focuses on deeds of service for others.
James teaches us that we are required to live out our faith. Faith without works, after all, is dead.
In this sermon, I look at James 2:1-13 to learn how loving the poor as our neighbor and avoiding favoritism is what God looks for in one who keeps God's royal law by faith.
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