James 1:9-18 Enduring Trials & Understanding Sin

by | Aug 18, 2023 | James, New Testament

I. Truths That Help Us Endure Through Trials Vs. 9-12

A. Considering The Eternal Vs. 9-11

1. V. 9- The Christian who is materialistically poor in this world ought to glory in his exalted position as a child of God.

a. His sins are forgiven because of his faith in the substitutionary death of Jesus.
b. God is with him all the days of his life. Guiding, protecting, providing.
c. He has a place in Heaven, reserved for him.
d. The eternal promises and blessings far outweigh the temporal shortcomings.
e. These truths ought to help the “lowly brother” endure temporal hardships

2. Vs. 10, 11– The rich Christian can exult in the truth that He has been “brought low” by way of his realization of his need for a Savior. By humbling himself, he asked of God for forgiveness of his sins, and he received it.

a. The rich Christian has the blessed realization that he and his riches can perish quickly.
b. This gives him proper perspective about how to live in this world.
c. As quickly as grass or flowers can fade under the sun, so the rich man can pass away
d. If the rich Christian is hoping that his riches help him endure trials, he must remember that his riches can pass away overnight, and are unreliable.
e. The rich man needs to view himself in the same context as the poor man.
f. One who is forgiven, and promised Heaven.
f. 1 John 2:17 the world is passing away, & the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

3. These two juxtaposed truths are for the purpose of giving us perspective.

a. They are presented as truths to help us endure trials.
b. They are presented to show us that whether rich or poor, all Christians essentially must boil down their existence to truths that are eternal, not temporal.
c. Lenski-“As the poor brother forgets all his earthly poverty, so the rich brother forgets all his earthly riches. By faith in Christ the two are equals.”

B. The Blessings Of Enduring Temptation V. 12

Blessed- supremely blessed, happy.
Endures- to bear bravely and calmly.
Temptation- affliction, trials, enticements to sin, test to prove the quality of our faith.

1. Sometimes God sends test to prove the quality of our faith.
2. Sometimes Satan sends temptations to incite us to sin, failure, or destruction.
3. The verse doesn’t say…

a. “Blessed is the man who is never tempted”.
b. “Blessed is the man who finds temptation easy to conquer”.
c. It does say, “Blessed is the man who endures (gets through) temptation”.
d. When we say “no” to temptation, we are saying “yes” to God.

4. Whether we experience a test or a temptation, Christians are called to endure

a. Enduring the test-not giving in to escape the test; not compromising, not taking an ungodly way of escape to end the hardship.
b. Enduring the temptation-Not giving in to the sinful enticement; not wrongfully indulging yourself in the lust of the flesh, of the eyes, or the pride of life.
c. Enduring temptations/tests means that we choose to do what Jesus would do

5. Been approved– This is the purpose of God, to approve of the quality of our faith
6. What is the result of enduring tests/trials/temptations?

a. Blessedness; supreme joy, happiness, an emotional, spiritual, state of well-being.
b. There is no shame or sorrow, but instead, there is joy.
c. There is no damage control or cover up, but instead openness and freedom.
d. There is no disappointment, but instead, there is happiness at having endured.

7. Crown of life- The Christian life is one of enduring trials & never turning away from Christ. If we stay with Jesus, we receive eternal life.
8. To those who love Him- This is the motive for us resisting temptation.

a. “It takes a passion to conquer a passion”.
b. Our passion for God, for His kingdom, for holiness, and to be used by God.
c. There may be many less reasons to not sin, but the highest is our love for God.
d. Genesis 39:9 There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”

II. Understanding Sin Vs. 13-15

A. God Tests Us, But He Doesn’t Tempt Us V. 13

1. God is not the source of temptation. That is never His intention for any human being.
2. He is immune to being tempted to sin. It is not His nature to entice people to sin.
3. To the contrary, God strongly works in His children to not sin. (James 4:1-7)

B. Sin Begins With Us, Not God

1. Instead, there is a clear step by step process that occurs when we choose to sin.

a. Own desires- We all have particular tendencies and predispositions towards sin.
b. 1 John 2:15-16 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.
c. The cause and source of sin is within us. We cannot blame anyone else
d. Others may tempt us, but the source of sin lies within us.
e. Ephesians 2:3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

2. Drawn away- Something comes and seeks to draw us away from God.
3. Enticed- An opportunity occurs that offers us the opportunity to satisfy our desires in an ungodly, sinful way. The “bait” is offered and at that moment, we decide.
4. Desire is conceived- Consider the human egg and the sperm that meet and, what follows after that. It starts so small, and grows so complex. It becomes increasingly tangled.
5. Gives birth to sin- The sin is birthed, and now exists.
6. Sin grows into death- If left unchecked, sin produces all kinds of death.
7. NOTE- Let us not be a source of temptation to others. Live carefully. Understand yourself
8. NOTE- Know yourself and stay away from sources of temptation.

C. James Reiterates: God Only Gives Good Things Vs. 16-18

1. Vs. 16, 17- Don’t be confused about what God gives us. He only gives what is good.

a. Yes, it might be difficult to endure, but that doesn’t mean God means it for evil.
b. God can only give that which is designed to be good or bring forth good.
c. Father of (The) lights. The sun always shines, but there is darkness only when the Earth turns away from the sun. There is no variation or even slight shadow with God

2. V. 18- Of His own will-God did not and could not be prompted by anyone else.

a. There was no one that needed to persuade God to bring us forth in the new birth
b. No one persuaded God to send forth His word of truth. He did it of His own will.

3. To what end- That what He has given to us might become fruit that speaks of God.

a. Firstfruits- That first generation of Jews who became born again.