Do not err, my beloved brethren. 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 (James 1:16-17).
Although sin gives birth to death, God is the source of life. He is the Father of lights (James 1:17), a reference to the Creation (Gen. 1:14-18). God gives us birth to a new life, which is the greatest gift [...]
Several Greek words are used in this passage to describe how sin begins, and all of them are connected with giving birth. When a wrong desire is nurtured, sin is conceived, like a baby in the womb. Sin, when it is completely grown, gives birth to death (James 1:15, author’s literal translation).
The picture is paradoxical. The process that is supposed to give life results only [...]
James is emphatic. Not only is God not the author of evil, He is not the source of temptation either. Evil itself is the source of temptation. According to this passage, the problem lies within us, which is the main reason it’s so hard [...]
When 13-year-old Heidy Moreno and her cousin, Mirella began questioning their mothers’ rules, Heidy’s mother decided to stop their rebelliousness before it got out of hand. She took Heidy to a spirit medium-a witch.
The medium claimed that Heidy had a bad spirit. “I see a gold feather over your head,” the medium told Heidy. “The spirit that possesses you is powerful.” The medium performed a ritual to remove Heidy’s rebelliousness. Suddenly Heidy felt as if her body [...]
Further Study: Ellen G. White, “The Sermon on the Mount,” p. 298-314, in The Desire of Ages.
God would have his servants become acquainted with their own hearts. In order to bring to them a true knowledge of their condition, he permits the fire of affliction to assail them, so that they may be purified. The trials of life are God’s workmen to remove the impurities, infirmities, and roughness from our characters, and fit them for the society of pure, [...]
In this short letter, James shows great concern for poor people; some even consider it his major theme. But to modern ears, his diatribes against the rich and in favor of the poor seem extreme, even shocking. At the same time, however, James isn’t saying anything much different from what Jesus has said.
The word for doubt refers to one being inwardly divided; this helps us to understand its connection to double-mindedness. We see a clear example of this at Kadesh-Barnea. Israel faced a choice there: move forward in faith or rebel against the Lord. Amazingly, they chose rebellion and wanted to return to the bondage of Egypt. When God intervened and announced through Moses that they would [...]
It may seem a bit odd that James says, If any of you lacks wisdom. Who thinks he or she has enough wisdom to begin with? Solomon, for instance, recognizing his need, humbly asked for an understanding heart to . . . discern between good and bad (1 Kings 3:9). Later, he wrote: the fear of the [...]
Read James 1:2-4. Notice the progression: faith, testing, patience, perfection. James begins with faith because that is the foundation of all true Christian experience. He then says we need trials to test the genuineness of our faith. Last, James states that trials can teach us perseverance, so that eventually we will not be caught by surprise and be overcome by them. God’s goal for us is that we may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:4, NKJV). The language [...]