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Trouble Tested Faith (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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April 15, 2024 6:00 am

Trouble Tested Faith (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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April 15, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the letter of James 1:2-5

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I want you to be wise in what is good and simple concerning evil. I want you to be wise in righteousness, what is good, what comes from Christ, the conduct that He demands. You say, I want it too but I failed. Fine, face the failure, keep moving. I failed again, get up, keep moving. Christ will never tell you to stay down.

He might tell you to duck, He might tell you to low crawl, but He won't tell you to stand still and just die there. This is Cross Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of James.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. Today, Pastor Rick will continue to teach through the book of James chapter 1 and his message called Trouble Tested Faith. Haste spoils the objective. James will later write, and in preparing this, you know, there's so many verses just in James alone that I could accentuate what is being said with the Spirit's own words. But we'll just take this one, James 5-7, therefore be patient, brethren, until, remember I said He uses that word brethren 15 times throughout the letter to remind them these are faithful wounds of a friend, not kisses of an enemy.

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. Well, the farmer doesn't have any choice unless he wants to pick, you know, fruit that's not right.

What good is that? He has to wait if he is going to achieve the objective of it actually being fruit. This is one of the problems the church has with Christians who aren't ready to do certain things in ministry and they're pushed into positions, they're not ready.

They're not ripe and the problems that manifold now. Paul said to Timothy, don't put rookies of the faith into veteran positions. Not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. That's pretty strong. Timothy, if you push them too quick and you get someone, they're likable, they love your sermons, that's always, you know, an apple on the desk of the teacher. It's not.

But you would think it is until you've been there. You might think this person is just the one you're looking for for this assignment. There's only one that can tell you who's ready for this or that. He is the Holy Spirit and you must learn to be disciplined and watch out for that low hanging fruit when you know it's not ripe. And so he says not a novice in 1 Timothy 3.6 and then he says this, you know, you turn them into a devil and that's so many churches do this, they put people who shouldn't be in a position, now they got to get them out and they take so many of the church splits and all sorts of disaster.

Simple verses from the scripture. That you may be perfect, he continues. Now in English, perfect implies flawlessness. That is not the intention here.

This Greek word for perfect, teleos in the Greek, means developed, the finished process, not necessarily flawless, full of age, mature is an excellent alternative. That's what I mean, the translators, a difficult job as they have and I want to be gentle in my criticism brethren. I learned that from James. You say brethren, you let them have it. The idea again is not juvenile in the faith. You know what happens in the construction industry for example, you know all of this wood that's working, making its way into these depots. Much of it is juvenile wood, it's not matured and therefore it rots faster and it just doesn't have the properties of matured lumber.

Juvenile lumber is becoming a problem. And so we must be careful to not grow old without growing up because you can. You can grow old without growing up. You can be old and immature in the faith. That doesn't mean knowledgeable about the scripture, memorizing the Bible, it means behavior that Christ would applaud, at least the pursuit of it. And so Jesus says using that same teleos, Greek word, he says therefore you shall be perfect just as your Father in heaven is perfect. He is full, he is developed. Well of course he is God and I am not. But the picture has been painted well enough for me to look at and understand what's going on in its relation to me and God. He says complete lacking nothing.

The same word, that word complete there is teleos. Now why don't the translators translate it consistent? That's it, I'm out of here.

They don't. But we'll come to this, we'll put it all together hopefully at the end. This full of age, this developed saint. So let me translate the verse from the RGV version, Rick Gaston version of translation. But let steadfastness have its matured work that you may be matured and matured lacking nothing.

It's the same Greek word. You see now it becomes emphatic. He's forcing that word upon them. Again, let steadfastness, that patience, let steadfastness have its matured work that you may be matured and matured lacking nothing. So you read that and you come away. If you're reading the Greek and listening to the Greek as they were, they're getting this. Maturity is what we're missing in this church is what they would have said. That's why James is writing, you're missing this. Paul said it this way, you still need milk. You're not ready for meat.

What's your problem? Well, the word was applied to those fully instructed in something in contrast to those who are not. That's how that Greek word is used in Greek literature outside of scripture. 1 Corinthians 2, 6, However, we speak wisdom among those who are matured, developed. So we don't think of maturity in the faith as aging, though we see it as developed through experience and that includes an aging process.

Easy to understand, I think, but also easy to confuse you and I hope I have not done that. So we go to verse 5 and I'd like to say what you've gotten so far from this letter this morning is James' emphasis on developing in the faith in spite of trouble and trials. You are required to stop being immature no matter what. Should he have asked for less? Should he have given a pass like this and said, you know what, don't worry about the maturity, fall apart under the trial, after all, you know, we're all just human. Then everybody would take that route.

The escape hatch would be the main exit and so the Bible doesn't give us that because nothing gets done for the kingdom that way, gets done for the purposes of the enemy and there are many who do it. Verse 5, if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all liberally and without reproach and it will be given to him. Wisdom and humility are two virtues that you cannot claim.

It's advised at least. Imagine going to someone saying, hi, I'm a humble guy or hello, I am very wise. It is something others have to say about you, not in your hearing. Now there are certain times you'll go to somebody and say, listen, I respect the wisdom that God has given you and I'm asking you your take on this.

That's fair. But to walk up to someone or to say, you know, I have the gift of wisdom, you just demonstrated that maybe you don't. It's the same with humility. I have the gift of humility. Are you boasting about it?

You cancelled it out. But we know of wise and humble believers and we want to be in that number. We should have that view on it. James 3, cross reference, who is wise and understanding among you, let him show by good conduct that his works are done in meekness of wisdom. Meekness primarily means to hold back strength or to hold back force. The force of saying, I am wise. Meekness, brother, if you think you got to, you know, you can see what's happening and the others don't, you recognize that, don't go around boasting that you see it and they don't. Do what you can to chop wood and fetch water for the king.

Leave it to others to, you know, self-promotion is never something that we run to. But there's a catch here to this word in its context, wisdom. It's Sophia in the Greek, so that's consistent used throughout the New Testament Greek and the Old Testament, which is translated into Greek, called the Septuagint. The word wisdom would be Sophia, but he's going in a little different direction and I hope I can bring it out. The wisdom that James is talking about here is God's donation to those who are saved that we would recognize and realize that to see it and to then get it, God's rule of righteousness in our lives. See, there's the wisdom that is sort of this imparted, you know, understanding. Well, that's part of it, but imparted understanding on what? Well, you know, if somebody gets in a problem, I'm there with counsel to show them how to fix it.

Well, maybe you are, maybe you're not. What he is emphasizing here is a wisdom that says, I know how to live like Christ wants me to because he tells me and I go by that. It is much deeper than insight.

It has to do with the life. In other words, when he says if any of you lacks wisdom, he's saying if any of you lack personal conduct before Christ, that's the real wisdom you need. And if you don't have that, you're not very wise in Christ. You need to get wise in Christ. It is the wisdom of righteousness and the context of development that he's been talking about, patience and maturity, it demands that this is where he's going.

This entire letter is to the church. He's saying you need to understand what righteousness is. And again, bringing the rich up front so you can get something from them, pushing the poor to the back so they can leave you alone, that is not the wisdom of righteousness. Later he will say, the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. He has much to say about righteousness.

Don't be afraid of it. It's not an alternative for obedience. It's obedience carried out. James 3.13, here is the real, the bright part of this point. The wisdom that is from above is first pure.

We pause there. A lot of people believe peace comes before righteousness. Peace comes. You know, you just have to compromise certain principles if you're ever going to bring them into the church.

No, you're not. You're just going to leaven the church. You mean well, but you're doing the wrong thing. You're killing the church. Everybody's fussing about why so many people are leaving the church. Because they don't want the righteousness of God. That's why.

I don't need to psychoanalyze that. This is the word of God. Thus says the Lord. You believe it or you don't. It's take it or leave it in the end.

And if you say, well I was raised in a Christian church, but when I got older I left that stuff. For what? Death. Eternal death.

That's what you get in the end. If the church sticks to the word of God, Christ could use the church to bring people to God. He's going to bring who he brings. I want to be part of it. I don't want to be part of the problem. I want to be part of the labor force for the kingdom. So, in regard, this wisdom is an inward attitude of the soul because of a born again experience, because of a filling of the Holy Spirit and many subsequent fillings. Romans 16 verse 19, for your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf, but I want you to be wise in what is good and simple concerning evil.

I want you to be wise in righteousness, what is good, what comes from Christ, the conduct that he demands. You say, I want it too, but I failed. Fine. Face the failure. Keep moving. I failed again. Get up.

Keep moving. Christ will never tell you to stay down. He might tell you to duck. He might tell you to low crawl, but he won't tell you to stand still and just die there.

He will always encourage this. I have more mercy than you could ever know, but if you're going to receive it, you've got to keep moving towards me. Does anybody not get that? Is that over the head for anybody?

I think a three-year-old could get that. First Corinthians 14, 20. Brethren, do not be children in understanding. However, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.

There's that word teleos again. Be perfect. Be perfected.

Be developed. A better teacher than any other is the wisdom of God. Wisdom is the principle thing, the righteousness.

I'm not talking about insight. When we think of that word wisdom, we think, oh, this means insight. Well, that's part again, but that's not nearly all of it, because if you have insight, but you don't have righteousness with it, your talk is cheap. Principle thing is wisdom. Proverbs 4, verse 7. Wisdom is the principle thing. Therefore, get wisdom. And in all your gettings, get understanding. In other words, get it and do it.

That's what he means. What good is it? What good is having all this Bible knowledge and you can't do anything with it? So it's more than knowledge. If any man want knowledge, go to college. If any man wants wisdom, go to God.

That's what he says. If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask God. And so it's not, well, we're all going to be a bunch of wise apples if we just ask God. That is a very immature take on it. And so I think, again, the translators, humble criticism, because I am humble, and I am wise in my humility. That is funny.

I do stand up when I'm not, anyway. Let him ask God, he says, and this is the solution. It's not a criticism. He's saying if you lack this righteous understanding, ask God for it.

He's not going to make you the smartest guy in the class necessarily. He wants to make you righteous. Jesus said it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. And so those of you who serve in the body of Christ, you are very conscious of your inadequacies.

How could you not be? And yet you are also conscious of God's provisions, that he gives you what you need. Samuel, little Samuel, well, he wasn't that little at the time.

He is still a juvenile. And he hears God call him, but he thinks it's Eli. And so he goes to Eli, what do you want? And Eli, of course, says, and this happens three times. Finally, Eli figures it out, and he says, it's the Lord. Next time you hear him, 1 Samuel 3, verse 9, you must say, speak Yahweh, for your servant hears. Let us ask God, and let us listen to God that we can do those things that separate us from those who aren't interested in Jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit to the glory of the Father. He says, who gives to all liberally and without reproach. Well, God doesn't shame us for asking.

I mean, men may do. When I was a boy, I'd ask my father for ice cream money, 15 cents would get you, you know, a nice strawberry shortcake ice cream stick on a stick. And my father would put me through so much to get that 15 cents. He made me almost not want the ice cream, but not that much. It wasn't until long after I had children that I understand what he was doing. He simply thought I was cute, and he liked the interaction with me. Questionable method, I think, but because I find myself doing it to my children.

It's making them squirm, they're so cute. And then giving them what they wanted. I wasn't smart enough to learn to ask him when he was in a hurry and didn't have time to put me through that. But God, when we ask him for something, he doesn't criticize us.

Now, there are exceptions. There are exceptions when we have not been doing our homework, and he says, oh, you of little faith. Or how did you not know? Philip, how did you not know? You've been with me, what, three years now, and you don't know? He has seen me, has seen the father.

So there are times where there's a rebuke, but that's because we've been negligent. Philip had it easy. He wasn't connecting the dots because everything was handed to him. He could see all the miracles.

He's just enjoying this. But he never came, well, he did eventually, but at the time, he hadn't locked it down. Wait a minute, nobody can do these things but God. I mean, he walked on water.

Who can do that? And so God asks us to sometimes do the same thing. Scripture is the avenue to this wisdom of righteousness that he's been talking about. He's given to us so that we can not only know about God, but we can know him. The world knows about gods, but their understanding of God is not one who is self-existent, sovereign, loving, present.

They don't go that far. We do, but we only do because we have it written down for us. The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of God is forever. And so the world's definition of God won't suit us, and the world through their wisdom will never come to the knowledge of God. That's why we have, in this scripture, we have proverbs, not only the book, but throughout the book of the Bible. We have principles, we have precepts, we have parables. All of these are designed to teach us about God and how we should live. How shall a man live in the presence of God?

Why should God grant you righteous wisdom if you don't care to look into what he has said and recorded? Does he have to keep repeating it? Well, all right, he says, I will. I'll print it so you can reference it.

Go back to it. Jesus said, sanctify them by your music. No, he didn't say that. Sanctify them by their good deeds. He did not say that.

Sanctify them by me. He meant that, but he didn't say that because there's a process. He says, sanctify, John chapter 17, verse 17, sanctify them by your truth, and he is the truth. And then he says, your word is truth.

How do you make that a secondary statement? Well, that's not the main thing. It is the main thing.

It's everything. Psalm 119, verse 98, you, through your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. You see, that's the righteous wisdom that comes from heaven.

That is first pure, then peaceable. Through the commandments, he said that he is made wiser than his enemies. Those who trouble and try him. There was a woman called Mary. That's how the Bible introduces her, the sister of Martha. In Luke's Gospel, we read this interesting story. And she, Martha, had a sister called Mary.

That would be a good title for a book. Anyway, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard his word. But Martha was distracted by much serving, and she approached him and said, Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore, tell her to help me. You're ratting out her sister to get her to stop getting the word of Christ. And Jesus answered and said to her, Martha, Martha, you were worried and troubled about many things, but one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her.

What did she choose? The word. It is diabolical. It is revolting that churches are revolting against Scripture and saying, well, you can't trust it. And then saying, this is why people are leaving the church.

I just saw an article on this this morning, and my head is still spinning. Me and a bunch of the boys are going to go tighten him up after service. Put on our little leather jacket, CCM.

Anyway, we'll be riding tricycles instead of bikes because that's intimidating. That I may know him in the power of his resurrection, the fellowship of his suffering, being conformed to his death, that I may know him, it comes through the word. And well, and it will be given to him, he says, and he means that when he says it. He had Solomon as an example. Solomon asked for wisdom, that is the discernment, that part of perception that we all could benefit from, and he got it.

And so he says, we can ask too, verse six, but let them ask in faith with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. Thanks for joining us today as we took a deeper look into the book of James here on Cross Reference Radio. Cross Reference Radio is the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. We're blessed to bring you God's word with each broadcast. If you'd like more information or want to listen to additional teachings from Pastor Rick, please visit our website, If you've been blessed by this program, we'd love to hear from you. When you visit the website, simply click on the contact us link at the top of the page and leave us a message. That website again is Please join us again next time as we continue our study through the book of James right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-15 08:26:29 / 2024-04-15 08:35:46 / 9

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