James 1:13-17

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Text: James 1:13-17



Believers are to regard it as joy when they experience various trials because they know that God is at work in them to make stalwart believers out of them (1:2).

James 1:2-4 - 2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

The individual who experiences trials will receive a crown of life. The fact that he is enduring trials indicates that he is a saved person. Furthermore, all saved persons genuinely love the Lord in their new sinless natures (1:12).

(12) Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

In verse 13 a change is made in the meaning of the word translated tempt, tempted, or temptation. It switches from meaning trials or testings to temptations to commit sin.

I. When tempted to commit sin, no one should be saying that the One Who has tempted him is God - 1:13

James 1:13 - 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.

Let no man say = he must stop saying or he must not continue saying.

No man = no one, nobody

I am tempted of God = I am being tempted from God, where God is viewed as the source of the temptation to commit sin.

Cannot be tempted with evil, where evil is plural, is is untemptible by evil (things) or is without temptation by evil (things).

God is never tempted by evil.

Neither tempteth he any man indicates that it is contrary to His nature.

The tense of tempteth indicates that it is a timeless truth, something which is true at all times under all circumstances, which, when negated, implies that it is never true under any circumstance.

God never tempts anyone to sin.

II. Every person, however, is tempted as a result of his own sinful cravings when he is lured or baited, whether by his own wicked desires or by Satan or one of his demons (1:14)

James 1:14 - 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Athough God is not the source of temptation to commit sin, everyone has within him an old sin nature, which is all he needs to involve himself in sin.

There is also an enticement to sin which comes from outside the man, but this is not under consideration in this verse. He does not need this temptation from outside himself in order to commit sin. It is not the devil who makes man commit any sin. It is his old sin nature that wants to do wrong.

Enticed is lured or baited. His own lusts will do this, but so will Satan or one of Satan's demons.

Matthew 15:17-19 likewise indicates that the source of an individual's wickedness is his own heart.

(17) Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?

(18) But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.

(19) For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.

The believer is not a victim here. He is able to overcome the wicked desires of his old sin nature. He is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and also has a new sinless nature. With the aid of the Holy Spirit, he is able, in his new nature, to practice Philippians 4:8 ,

(8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

III. Lust produces sin, and sin produces death (1:15)

(15) Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Lust . . . bringeth forth sin is lust gives birth to sin or lust bears sin.

Its present tense indicates something that is a timeless truth

Sin suggests the crossing over of a line established by God

Sin . . . bringeth forth death also means sin . . . bears or gives birth to.

In this verse two different words are translated bringeth forth, but they mean the same thing.

Death is spiritual death in contrast to life which God gives to all those who love Him (verse 12).

(12) Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

In spite of what the old sin nature will desire to do, the believer is not a helpless and innocent victim. He does not need to dwell on wicked things but can, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, take his mind in a different direction. When wicked thoughts enter his mind, he can repudiate these thoughts, ask God for forgiveness, and ask God to give him victory.

IV. The believer should stop erring in attributing a solicitation to commit sin to God because God never changes or varies and only gives good gifts (1:16-17)

James 1:16-17 - 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Do not err = stop erring (i.e. being mistaken, being misled, misleading yourselves, being deceived, or deceiving yourselves)

From the Father of lights indicates that the source of every good gift and every perfect gift or present is to God the Father. The Father of lights suggests that He is the Father Who originated and rules over lights, i.e. the heavenly bodies - the sun, moon, and stars. The Father of lights will never lead anyone into darkness.

With whom is no variableness = with Whom there is not contained change or variation (or does not exist) change (or variation)

With whom is no . . . shadow of turning suggests a shadow caused by God's constant turning (i.e. variation or change) as if He cannot make up His mind. God never changes.