100110 How to Live Your Faith 07 How to Receive the Best Gifts - James 1:16-18
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100110 How to Live Your Faith 07 How to Receive the Best Gifts - James 1:16-18

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Sermon 7 in a series on the Book of James (this one is on James 1:16-18) presented January 10, 2010, at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells

Sermon 7 in a series on the Book of James (this one is on James 1:16-18) presented January 10, 2010, at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells

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100110 How to Live Your Faith 07 How to Receive the Best Gifts - James 1:16-18 100110 How to Live Your Faith 07 How to Receive the Best Gifts - James 1:16-18 Presentation Transcript

  • James 1:16-18 NIV
    Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. (17) Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (18) He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
  • James addresses problems & needs of the Christian life
    Writes in “how to” principles
    Some verses transition between themes
    James 1:16 NIV Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers.
    Could belong with past section on temptation
    Could belong with section on God’s goodness
    Either way, subject of deception is appropriate
  • 1. Everything that is bad comes from the Devil
    James 1:16 NIV Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers.
  • Satan constantly tries to deceive us
    Eve was correct:
    Genesis 3:13 NIV Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
    Peter was right when he warned:
    1 Peter 5:8 NIV Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
  • In contrast, God never deceives
    He always deals with truth
    Jesus came declaring:
    John 14:6 NIV “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
    John 8:32 NIV “… you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
  • Jesus’ assessment of Satan
    John 8:44 NIV You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
  • James urges us not to be deceived
    First, aboutthe source of evil – Satan
    Second, aboutthe source of good –God
    He is the source of good
    He is the one who brings good out of bad
    Romans 8:28 NIV And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
    Romans 8:28 NASB And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
  • 2. Everything that is good comes from God
    James 1:17 NIV Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
  • James contrasts what Satan gives and what God gives
    He uses such descriptive words as good, gift, perfect, above, lights, and firstfruits
    These are “life” words contra “death” words he used in the preceding passage
  • God loves us and desires what is best for us
    It is God’s nature to give
    He is good
    Hedelights in giving good gifts
    Bible contains
    Accounts of God blessing those obeying Him
    Innumerable promises of God’s blessing
    Every good gift comes from God
    And every perfect gift comes from Him
  • “Perfect” is teleios, the same word James used earlier
    James 1:4 NIV Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
    God is perfect & all He does is perfect
    His gifts are not only good, they are perfect
    They come from above because that is James’ concept of where God is
  • These gifts come down from “the Father of lights”
    “Father of lights” is found only here in NT
    Reference to God of light is frequent
    Beginning with the creation account and carrying through the Book of Revelation
    Revelation 22:5 NIV There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
  • Jesus made that connection with himself
    John 8:12 NIV When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
  • God described as one “who does not change like shifting shadows”
    Anchored in many promises of God
    Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
    Promised anew for us
    Hebrews 13:5 NIV Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
  • God is a dependable friend
    Proverbs 18:24 NIV A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
    Jesusis like that
    Hebrews 13:8 NIV Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
  • He is the Rock on which we should build our lives
    Matthew 7:24-25 NIV “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. (25) The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
  • God is the One to be trusted; what He promises, He will do
    1 Thessalonians 5:24 NIV The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.
    He is not like the shifting shadows
    You can count on Him
  • 3. God offers us the very best of gifts
    James 1:18 NIV He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
  • God initiated our salvation by His own will
    He is the aggressive lover
    He is the initiator
    He loved us when we treated Him with contempt
    Romans 5:8 NIV But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • “Gave us birth” is apokueo
    Literally to beget, to produce, to breed
    Refers to our new birth
    It was His will to bring us to spiritual birth
    As Jesus said
    John 1:13 NIV children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
  • Paul talks about this new birth
    Titus 3:3-7 NIV At one time we … were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. … (4) But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, (5) he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, (6) whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, (7) so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
  • The result of this new birth is that we are “firstfruits of all he created”
    Firstfruits was a requirement of Law
    Vital part of God’s covenant with them
    First & best of everything belonged to God
    James’ readers understood the concept of firstfruits
    Christians are firstfruits of God’s creation
  • God is a generous giver
    He’s lavished us with many gifts:
    New birth through Jesus Christ
    Firstfruits of God’s kingdom
    He’s given us life that will never pass away
    Earth & the universe are temporary
    But we will never pass away
    Death has no more control over us
    We have eternal life!