James 1:19-27 Holiness in Trials

by | Aug 23, 2023 | James, New Testament

I. Holiness In Trials Vs. 19-21

A. Holiness Of Speech In Trials Vs. 19, 20

1. Important to remember that the context is speaking about enduing trials and hardships.

a. Example– Unfair treatment against you. It’s obvious and clear that it’s unfair.
b. Example- Someone that disagrees with you, or that makes your life more difficult.

2. V. 20b– What is it that we want to accomplish when we suffer with a trial?

a. Produce the righteousness of God- We want to correct the wrongs done against us.
b. We want to make things right & fair. We want justice.

3. Vs. 19, 20a tell us four things to consider when we are trying to “make things right”.

a. V. 19Be swift to hear– To hear the word of God. See verse 18. Receive godly counsel.

i. The Word of God is used to both bring us to faith, & then instruct us through life.
ii. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

b. V. 19-Be slow to speak-be slow to respond verbally in the midst of the trial.
c. V. 19-Be slow to get angry-orge– a natural anger against something, in this case, an abiding anger against injustice, according to our view of things. A judge’s anger.

i. Thumos- explosive, sudden anger. Not what is spoken of here.

d. V. 20a-Your anger doesn’t bring godly results-orge-

i. Anger towards sin is right, but a quick outburst doesn’t bring godly results.
ii. Often times, our anger is simply a defense of us wanting our own ways and being angry at the trial brought before us. We get angry at God; we get angry at people.

4. V. 26- We often believe that our goals are godly, right, & fair. Religious rightness.

a. In our efforts to “make things right”, we don’t bridle our tongue.
b. We lose our temper, we are rude, we insult people, we meanly criticize.
c. We make a scene, we embarrass others and we embarrass ourselves.
d. We do this all supposedly as we try to produce the righteousness of God.
e. We are deceived, and our religion isn’t really changing us. We act carnally.
f. We blame God, and we blame people, and we sin trying to “make things right”.

B. Holiness Of Actions In Trials V. 21

1. V. 21a-Laying aside…a deliberate action to be taken.

a. Filthiness- moral defilement, inappropriate speech.

i. Difficult trials are no excuse for ungodly behavior and ungodly speech
ii. In the midst of a trial, we sometimes go back to ungodly behavior

b. Overflow of wickedness– the sinful leftovers from your unsaved condition.

i. Difficult trials are no excuse for acting like you did before you were saved.

2. V. 21b-Receive with meekness… with mildness of disposition, receive God’s word.

a. The implanted word-Receive the word continually, even during difficult trials.
b. Able to save your soul- They knew the saving power of the word.

i. They needed to remember the assisting and counseling power of the word.

II. In The Midst Of Trials, Be A Doer Of The Word

A. Be A Doer, Not Just A Hearer

1. V. 22-There is a huge difference between hearing God’s word to doing God’s word
2. It is incredibly important to hear God’s word.

a. Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

3. However, it is possible to deceive ourselves into thinking that just because we heard God’s word, and maybe even agree with it, that enough has been done.

a. Deceive- No one would agree that they like being lied to, mislead, deceived, fooled.
b. Yet it is entirely possible that we deceive ourselves.
c. Do we intend on deceiving ourselves? No! How then does that happen?
d. Hebrews 5:12-14 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
e. We become deceived Christians, who in the midst of a trial, can’t get through the trial in a godly fashion, because we don’t make a habit of walking by God’s word.

i. We fall into a trial or temptation.
ii. We ask God for wisdom about how to get through the trial, but we don’t receive it.
iii. We don’t receive it because we are double-minded, we have Plan B as a backup.
iv. We hear God’s word and think it’s enough that we agree with it conceptually.
v. We hear God’s word, but don’t do it, and deceive ourselves.
vi. That moment of deception is just one of dozens, scores, or hundreds of deceptions
vii. Our spiritual senses are dull because we rarely obey God’s word.
viii. When the trial comes, we have to go back to square one, like a newborn Believer.

f. Many such Christians turn away from God when the trials are too hard for them.
g. God cannot be blamed; such Christians are like little children with no wisdom or endurance, simply because they have not exercised themselves spiritually.

4. Vs. 23, 24- This describes what hearing only is like. The hearing doesn’t remain.

a. The man stands in front of the mirror, sees spinach in his teeth, knows that he ought to remove the spinach, but he leaves the mirror without taking that truth with him.
b. He walks around looking foolish. Everyone sees the spinach except him.
c. He resents the funny looks he gets, the whispers, the stares, and what people say.
d. He gets angry at the way people laugh at him. He thinks they are wrong.
e. He loses his temper, is full of wrath, and he doesn’t bridle his tongue. He feels wrong
f. The mirror (word of God) showed him the problem and how to fix it.
g. He agreed with the problem and the solution but did nothing about it.

5. V. 25a- Looks into…continues- more than a glance; to stoop over and inspect repeatedly.
6. V. 25b- Perfect law of liberty– Walking in God’s word brings freedom and life blessings.

B. What Being A Doer Looks Like V. 27

1. Religion- Christianity is a religion that points to relationship with God. Not a bad word.
2. Visit- True Christian faith is very much involved in helping those in need.

a. 1 John 3:17 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
b. Clement- Clement, describing Christians- “He impoverishes himself out of love, so that he is certain he may never overlook a brother in need, especially if he knows he can bear poverty better than his brother. He likewise considers the pain of another as his own pain. And if he suffers any hardship because of having given out of his own poverty, he does not complain.”
c. When enduring trials, we shouldn’t stop visiting and helping those in need.

3. Unspotted- Free of sin while going through the trial.
4. Remember James 1:12! Supremely happy is the man who endures temptation.