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PROVERBS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT – pt.1
Testing of Your Faith
Good and joyful day today to all Christian brothers and sisters on this the day the Lord has made. Pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee, or tea, or milk, or whatever is your favorite, we’re about to slice a piece of the Bread of Life, the Word of God. And today’s slice comes from the Book of James Chapter 1. This chapter is sub-titled~Testing of Your Faith
3 Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy.3 For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.5 If you need wisdom – if you want to know what God wants you to do – ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking.6 But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.7 People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.8 They can’t make up their minds. They waver back and forth in everything they do.9 Christians who are poor should be glad, for God has honored them.10 And those who are rich should be glad, for God has humbled them. They will fade away like a flower in the field.11 The hot sun rises and dries up the grass; the flower withers, and its beauty fades away. So also, wealthy people will fade away with all of their achievements.12 God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.13 And remember, no one who wants to do wrong should ever say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else either.14 Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires.
Let me start this message with the note that this is part one of a series of messages I will refer to as the beginning of a series named… PROVERBS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
I call it that because I do feel that this epistle, or letter, James wrote to the twelve churches of Jewish Christians who were living outside of the Holy Land.
It is possible that the recipients of this letter were among the first converts in Jerusalem who, after Stephen’s martyrdom, were scattered by persecution; according to Acts 8:1.
This would explain the letter’s opening emphasis on joyfully enduring trials that test faith and require perseverance.
The letter was evidently written at an early date as indicated by his use of the Greek word “synagogue” to refer to a Christian place of meeting.
The purpose of James’ letter was to encourage Jewish believers who were suffering various trials that were testing their faith; and to correct the erroneous ideas about the nature of “saving faith.”And to instruct them oftheir need of wisdom; to accomplish saving faith.In fact, I almost called this series of messages “Trials-Testing-Faith-Wisdom”
Some things I learned about the Book of James intrigued me. For instance there seem to be at least seven major features indicated in this letter….
1. It seems to be the first book written in the New Testament, to my observances.
2. There are more reminiscences of Christ’s teaching than others.
3. It contains in 108 verses actually contains 54 commands. Causing me to see a striking resemblance to Christ’s teachings.
4. It contains such Godly wisdom and instruction.
5. James seems to be a astute observer of nature; particularly fallen human nature.
6. Other writers have called him “Amos of the Old Testament,” due to his addressing social injustices and inequalities.
This caused me to compare his writings to the writings of the Old Testament “wisdom” books; and I must say I agree.
But, enough about the writer and the book, let’s get into the meat of the messages on
Topics that called for…. trials, testing, faith and wisdom. With that said let us begin examining trials as a required course in life.
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