Meditations on James 1:9-18

  • A Question for poorer Christians, v9, “Exaltation” – a higher position of enlightenment, such as the experience of the forgiven, noted in Luke 1:78. After the birth of John the immersionist, his father Zechariah spoke of how baby John would grow to present the Light of the world to people in darkness. When we realize who we are in Christ, all of our problems and opportunities come into perspective. How has this influenced you, or others in your life as a Christian?
  • A Question for richer Christians, v10, “Humiliation” – the abased position of service, such as the way the virgin Mary saw herself in God’s sight when she fully realized she was pregnant with the Messiah, Luke 1:48.  How can you put yourself in God’s care, to be more of a person of faith and integrity? How can you be one who is surrendered and poured out to Christ and used powerfully in the lives of others? (see John 3:30; Gal. 2:20-21; Phil. 3:10)
  • Do you believe that God’s blessings come to us in ways we cannot always fathom? Do you believe that He is indeed good? If not, what is blocking your view and/or experience?
  • How is perseverance or steadfastness, in v12, a factor in our faith development? What do we need to do to further understand God’s sovereignty so we have more willingness to endure, and not give up?
  • The fact about temptation in v14, should cause us to ask; Why is it important to not be deceived and not cave into false thinking? What happens when we do? What can we do to make sure we have the right view of sin and temptation? 
  • How have you struggled with temptations? How can this passage help focus you on the priority that Christ can and will fill you with Himself so that you will not be pulled into worldly desires? Remember Luke 9:23.
  • If we take v15 personally, then we can see that personally our sin brings upon our self, our own death, not the ability to pass on sin to others, but our own death. The death of a newborn infant is not caused by a parent’s sin, or Adam’s sin being passed on genetically, it is caused by merely being born human with the propensity to sin, whether a baby commits sin or not. Every human being is born capable of sinning, so death is the direct result whether a baby is viewed as a sinner or not, because genetically we don’t pass on sin, we pass on the ABILITY (lust/desire/will) to sin, therefore death is passed on, not sin itself, see Romans 5:12. Do you understand this?
  •  v17,“The Father of Lights” – Are we able to realize that we are witnesses to the Light of Christ to become the light that impacts others? Do we realize that our reliability, in being a reflection or a lampstand of the light to those who are weak in Him or do not know Him, will be the essence of Christ they may see in us? (see John 1:6-9; 1 John 1:7)
  • Is it God’s will to use the word of truth in our being born again, or is it man’s will to use the word of truth in our new creation? Read verse 18 carefully.

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