AF-S79-071705 James A
Another beautiful day… it just keeps going. The sun comes up, it sets and comes up again.
We have all the time in the world or at least enough time to put off the worry until tomorrow.
The world seems like it will never end and it calls into question the return of the Lord and the whole God idea.
We can smugly go about our earthly affairs.
We all know we're going to die though, or do we? Are we in such denial that we think it won't happen to us?
Luke 17:26-30 ~
“And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. “It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. “It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.
Why don't people give more thought to the world beyond?
Well, a little, but what's the good of thinking about the next thing when we can't know anything about it and can't do anything about it either?
What if you can know something about it and that knowledge can allow you to also do something about it?
Isn't it worth expending every effort to determine?
No, I believe what makes me feel good and if I'm wrong it won't matter anyway?
It always comes around to what works for the individual, what makes me feel good about myself and my future.
That's the way we know Truth from Lies, who is served?
2 Timothy 3:1-5 ~ But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
We'll come back to "difficult times."
Holding to a form of…. What does that mean?
The power of godliness
If we accept the proposition that God created us and wants a genuine relationship we can easily see the Truth of Christianity. God has established something completely opposite of natural thinking that logically has Him providing the bridge and just as logically would require our acceptance and continued desire for relationship.
Parable of the sower
1 Peter 1:3-23 ~
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
1- The End will come
2- In the end times it won't seem like the end to those perishing
3- If we accept Truth, then by our faith, we accept the power and not just a form of godliness.
4- We will suffer, but it's all good.
Luther - an epistle of straw lacking the wheat of the Gospel and unworthy of the apostolic spirit.
Not listed in the Muratorian Canon 160 - First quoted by Origen in about 220.
Sent to Jews in a fairly local area, accepted quickly in the East, But Paul and later John were the guys in the West.
Eastern (Chiastic order and circular) even though excellent Greek,
Jewish even though many Western concepts,
Doesn't quote Jesus though most like Jesus' own words.
Once accepted universally by 323, it was relegated to the back because it was seen as mostly ethics not theology.
Then it was in conflict with Catholic thinking about Mary, so it must be James son of Alpheus the less.
Then Luther, then Tyndale.
Born about 1
Saw Jesus about 30
Saul's attack about 34 Acts 8
Agrippa (Grandson of Herod) under Claudius 44 James the Great by sword Acts 12
Written 45 possibly oldest book of New Testament
Ist council 49 Acts 15
Death 62 Annas the Younger between Festus and Albinus James was thrown down from the temple, beat and stoned by the Jews; and finally had his brains dashed out with a fuller’s club.
66 church moved to Pella under Simon his brother
James father of Judas (Thaddaeus)
Son of Zeb
Son of Alph
James / Joe / Simon / Jude /
James the Just, Old Camel Knees.
1James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.
2Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Romans 5:3-5 ~ And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
1 Peter 4:12 ~ Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;
2 Timothy 3:12 ~ Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
James forces us to look at ourselves – and at the process of sanctification – in an entirely different light. So many people think of themselves as basically okay, except for their sin. They admit that they need Jesus to forgive their sins, but they feel that the rest of their life does not need any radical change. Some would even go so far as to assume that they are just a great big bundle of human potentiality. They may need God for salvation, but in some way they foolishly suppose that God really needs them. The truth is that we have nothing to offer God, and that we need everything from Him. When we think that we are sufficient in and of ourselves, we deceive ourselves. God brings adversity into our lives to show us our deficiencies, and as we see these deficiencies, we realize that we must cry out to God to supply what we lack. The entire Christian life is a process of recognizing our deficiencies, and seeking His grace to supply our needs. The process of sanctification is never completed in this life, but when we are complete, we will lack nothing, because He has amply provided for our every deficiency. To resist and detest adversity is to resist the sanctifying and perfecting work of God in our lives. To rejoice is to embrace His perfecting work in us.
Oswald Chambers - they went forth for His name’s sake …” Our Lord told us how our love for Him is to exhibit itself when He asked, “Do you love Me?” (John 21:17). And then He said, “Feed My sheep.” In effect, He said, “Identify yourself with My interests in other people,” not, “Identify Me with your interests in other people.” First Corinthians 13:4–8 shows us the characteristics of this love—it is actually the love of God expressing itself. The true test of my love for Jesus is a very practical one, and all the rest is sentimental talk.
Faithfulness to Jesus Christ is the supernatural work of redemption that has been performed in me by the Holy Spirit—“the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit …” (Romans 5:5). And it is that love in me that effectively works through me and comes in contact with everyone I meet.