The Character of Faith Pt. 1
James 2:1-13 (ESV)
My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.  For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,  and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,”  have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?  Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?  But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court?  Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.  But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.  For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.  For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.  So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.  For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
We lived in Southern Kentucky while attending Bible College. For the first Read More
Putting on Righteousness
Matthew 5:20 (ESV)
For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
What did Jesus have in mind when He spoke these words? What was He getting at?
The Pharisees had a very elaborate system developed. It was a system of works. They thought that if they did all the right stuff God would somehow be obligated to show them His goodness and ultimately take them to heaven.
Jesus was not at all impressed. Jesus was ready to forgive sinners. Jesus had no forgiveness for those who were unrepentant and self righteous. Read More
The Gift of the Word
Last week we saw the truth spoken by James. God is never responsible for evil. Because of God’s very nature it is impossible for Him to have anything to do with sin…except punish it.
James shift gears and begins to contrast the statements that people were making. Instead of blaming God for evil, James shows us what God is responsible for. Read More
The Fatal Attraction of Sin
So far in my messages from the Book of James we have been speaking of trials. According to what James has said up to this point we are to count them as joy based on the fact that God has in mind our growth. When we respond to them in a God honoring way we grow and mature in Christ-likeness. Read More
There is a misconception in our consumer driven culture. The misconception is, money = security or money = happiness. It’s interesting that of all the trials James could mention specifically, he begins speaking of the haves and the have-nots.
Here is an interesting statistic: Compared with Americans in 1957, today we own twice as many cars per person, eat out twice as often and enjoy endless other commodities that weren’t around then–big-screen TVs, microwave ovens, SUVs and handheld wireless devices, to name a few. But are we any happier? Are our lives filled with ease and contentment? The answer is that we are not happier. We are not more content, in fact, we are the most unhappy and medicated culture ever to exist. We spend our lives acquiring goods only to find they don’t satisfy. They didn’t provide security, or make our lives easier. They didn’t deliver what they said they would. As a result, we are left with debt, bills, and depression. Keeping up with the Jones’ is a race that leads nowhere but destruction. Read More