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Bible study: The book of James (part 2)
Temptations & the gifts of God
Passage: James 1:12-18
Perseverance and blessing (v. 12)
- It is a blessing to be persecuted when we face trials because we love God
- Our reward will be the crown of life
- God cannot be tempted by evil
- God is always good and holy.
- God does not tempt Man at all
- Why? Because God is holy and not evil
- Thus, we can't blame God for temptation (v. 13)
- Note: However, we must realize that since God is sovereign, God allows us to be tempted. Therefore, we should not think that temptation is random.
- Temptation is used by God in the same way as trials. (Rom. 8:28)
- So where does temptation come from?
- Process of temptation (v. 14-15):
- Lured and enticed by own desire
- Desire is nurtured, not rejected (See the example of Joseph and Potiphar's wife)
- Desire when nurtured will conceive (give rise to) sin
- Sin when practiced in greater and greater depth will lead to death (Spiritual death)
Good gifts of God
- In contrast to temptation, God give us every good and perfect gift
- 'every', not 'some' good gifts. God loves us and give the best to us (Lk. 12: 22-31)
- These gifts are from above
- They cannot be manufactured by Man
- We are to ask God of them and He will give it to us
- The basis of giving good gifts is the unchangeability of God and the goodness of God (v. 17b)
- God is holy and good, therefore we are given good gifts
- God is unchangeable, therefore this promise is definitely trustworthy (2 Tim. 2:13)
- One of the good gifts is the word of truth which is the Word of God (v. 18)
- In the context, this gift of the Word of God is stated as being given to the Diaspora Jews so that they would become Christians and grow in Christ.
- They are considered firstfruits as they are the first converts to Christianity at and after Pentecost. (Jews converted to Christianity first before Gentiles)
- For us, we are the firstfruits of God's plan of salvation and restoration. The creation will one day be transformed to a new creation (c.f. Rom. 8:20-23)
- For us, this tells us that God's Word is the only thing which will bring people to Christ (c.f. Rom. 10:17; 1 Cor. 1:21), not skits, drama, music, or anything else.