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September 16, 2021 12:00 am
You were shows Ephesians 1.
You have been bought with a price. You do not belong yourself any longer to hear the truth whether or not the world is a slave to something soon or right serve some mastery are your own master. The question is why are sometimes compare a free society, and authoritarian dictatorship.
Or we might talk about free elections as opposed to coercion or intimidation. Whatever you think of when you hear the word freedom. There's one thing it can never me freedom is never the absence of authority.
We all serve some master whether we admit it or not. So the question today is this who are you serving today on wisdom for the heart. Stephen Beatty begins a series from the opening verses of James.
The message you're about to hear is called whose slaying are you. The Bible is made up of 66 God breathed books, scrolls at least 30 of them are short enough to read and 30 minutes or less.
The book of James is that kind of book small, easy to read very little mystery to it. It's down-to-earth.
You can read it as I have read it several times in about 20 minutes or less affect so many truths, though come out of this book. They tumble over is if they are the waters of Niagara it's hard to outline back. It's difficult for people in my position.
One particular offer catalog nearly 30 different topics that just cascade one after another. Here's why. Much of the New Testament epistles deliver to us the precepts of our faith. James is passionate about the practice of our faith is coming to the living room of our lives where we been expecting company and everything is dusted, the carpet is vacuum goes right over and opens the door to the coat closet where we stuffed everything until company leaves he's going to pry into our our private lives in a rifle range roar is even going to have the audacity to examine our checkbooks and tell us that they reveal our true priorities in life. He's going to look at our prayer request list and and inform us of what we really want from God.
James is going to take his divine examination room minis and listen to our heart's gonna look into our year in our mouths and say while he examines our tongue is going to go deeper still and sift through our motive and explore our thoughts.
The little book of James.
There are 54 imperatives was one every other verse means 54 words or phrases could end with an exclamation point she James is primarily after one thing. Turning preset into practice turning belief into behavior.
Turning acceptance into application. She's going to go beyond exegesis and deal with the ethics of life.
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism said in the late 1800s, the problem of all problems is getting Christianity into practice file you have in this little book 54 imperatives. You will have 54 prescriptions from Dr. J so that it might take your Bibles and turn to James chapter 1 and follow along as I read verse one James chapter 1 verse one James stop that we got a whole school year. Okay no need to hurry.
Actually what I want to discover really cover just a few. But I want to discover in these first few words of verse one. The key to putting into practice the entire book of Jane.
I believe that my biggest problem and perhaps yours as well. In applying the book of James is that I don't really spend enough time C until you're willing to apply the truth. In verse one.
You're not ready to dare to say what he says in verse two. You're not ready for the truth of chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 and chapter 5 until your ready and willing to say what he says doesn't cover most of this verse. Today I want to point out three things that you can hang your mental habits. First of all I want you to notice James signature is a problem for us here at the outset is that the New Testament mentions five different men named James who followed Christ which one was the author.
Now if you research each of these men which I have and I won't bore you with all the details of review what I've come up with and that is basically to potential can give you what I believe was the offer. One of the candidates could very well be the apostle James, the brother of John, the sons of Zebedee problem with this particular James being the author. However, is that he will become the first of 12 apostles to be martyred in A.D. 44 by the order of of Herod Agrippa, which rules out his potential for writing this book comes a little later centuries old view on authorship and even today the view of evangelical scholars is that the James who wrote this little book was was the leader of the church in Jerusalem. James, the half-brother of Jesus, which means something absolutely dramatic happened in this young man's life to get to that point and want to take some time showing you what that was the Matthews gospel informs us that as Jesus began his ministry. None of his siblings believed his claims. In fact it was more than unbelief. The Bible tells us that they were offended by his claim as Jesus and Eddie 13 is visiting his hometown of Nazareth.
Nazareth and preaching the Jews effectively said who is this guy claiming to be and who does he think he is back. They go on to say is not this one of the carpenter's son really clamps to be. We dad Joseph the carpenter we know, Molly was living and the text goes on. Further, they said is not his mother called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph, and Simon, and Judas or Jude and his sisters are they not all with us and they all took offense at him. In other words, the people were offended by Christ's claim to be God's son when only the people of the village, but his own brothers have brothers and sisters are saying we we think the same thing is he thinking mortified.
They are in the text offended by Mark's gospel tells us that when Christ's kinsmen a word use the blood relations is brothers and sisters in his own family heard that he launched his public ministry, and he had actually called disciples after him to follow him. Mark three tells us they is brothers have brothers went out to take custody of him, for they were saying.
He has lost his senses translator.
They thought he was out of his mind came to take custody of and they came to take away. They thought he needed help.
Now obviously the hold of the clear statements in these verses the Jesus that have brothers and sisters that his siblings born to Mary and Joseph.
After Jesus was virgin. You got another issue in your hands onto. I give several of the Roman Catholic Church as a laborer to redefine the words of Scripture in order to uphold the belief carrying wives who they claim even to this day that she is the Virgin Mary perpetually virgin that she never had any more children so James could not be the half-brother of Christ. The second born to Mary the first born son of Joseph and Mary, the Roman church believes that Mary was, not an ordinary housewife, not an ordinary mother. She was unique among all human beings. In fact, in 1845, the Pope declared that Mary had never seen this is the papal doctrine called the immaculate conception that Mary had actually been born without original sin, and she never sinned, ever one time in her entire life.
So the Roman churches offered up a couple of answers to these problems.
One answers the James and the others were literally brothers and sisters of Jesus. They were cousin, they would point out the truth that the word can be used in a generic sense, of endearment. Just as you might say to somebody today hello brother Sam hello brother John, that would be true so I'm usually the use of the word can have can have figurative or metaphorical usage.
Problem is, the Greeks were smart enough to have a word for cousin and he never, ever, ever one time used in the Scriptures. The word cousin for a biological brother or sister always use the word Adele Fox never once used, to describe cousin there's another view that is promoted and it is neither wealth or not. Cousins what it really was.
Here is the Joseph had been married for and had six children.
He was up. He was a widower when he met Mary and took her to be his wife simply not any verse anywhere telling us that Joseph was a widower with six kids. On the other hand, but we do have in Scripture is that Mary was not a perpetual virgin, but that she had more children. By the way out. The reason I'm spending so much time on this issue is not soliciting a Roman Catholic tradition.
I was appreciative inquiry. For the most part, but to eventually get us all to the point where we understand that James life and his first recorded words in Scripture.
Following his conversion to Christ indicates something incredibly dramatic in Matthew 1355 were given the names of Jesus Christ's half brothers in the text there given in typical biblical fashion in the order of age, which is consistent in Scripture which lets us know then that James, who appears first, second, born closest to Christ in age then comes Joseph named after daddy. Evidently Simon Judas or Jude as he became known. He also wrote a little letter a study that when Matthew mentions his sisters, then tell us how many this is plural. There may be more than two could be three or four what you have is you have at least four brothers and two sisters of vitamin or enforcing vitamin A not been keeping up with Mrs. Dr. for all we know what you have, however, is this is a significant you have that when you understand this, a single mother raising for me several years, seven children if she had a child every two years when Jesus Christ died in his early 30s. The youngest child would have still been a teenager my admiration for Mary is lessened by the truth to increase while we don't slip over into false doctrine causes me to appreciate her even more. Add to this the fact that while she believe the claims of her son, without fully understanding none of the other children in John's gospel tells us they mocked Christ is brothers mocked when he when he was involved in public ministry is brothers of you know why hanger I hearing what you want to do is go make things public going straight your power. You only want to name they said you only want the world. The following is the implication there is just power and popularity with his brother James's other brother say this and I want you to understand that this home was filled with turmoil over the claims of Christ was in a moments peace especially as the older children grew and grew and their resentment against the Christ knew nothing of the closest family members understanding him or believing in him. He was ostracized from his own brothers and sisters only to understand the fact that he was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief long before the cross so more the point how you go from listening is is James box Christ as you go from that point to him following Christ how to go from him denying and refusing the claims of Christ to being sold out to the claims of Christ. How do you go from being an AAA disbeliever believer to an offer no from this point to that point from being silly is not interested in crisis of diets for Christ during the seventh year of Nero's reign, what happened to Jay one verse sensible Paul is writing to the Corinthian believers. Chapter 15 a rate of sick time stilling specific events that occur related. These occurred related to the passion of Christ. He writes verse three for I delivered to you as a first importance what I also received the Christ died for our sins according and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas that is Peter then to the 12. Rest 12 verse six and after that he appeared to more than 500 brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now that is alive but some have died verse seven. Then appeared to change. He appeared to Jay.
Can you imagine that meeting. What did Jesus say hello brother everything I told you I was. I am evidently for we know, James the believer as far as we can go back in church history. The predominant belief was that the resurrected Lord commended his brother into ministry.
He would become the leader in the church of Jerusalem during extremely difficult transitional time is James would go on to become the author of this book of the Bible were still studying 2000 years later, which he encourages us all to get real with our with our faith and by the way, one more sidebar here. For those of you that wished maybe that moment to maybe even this morning a little discouraged maybe. Maybe you've wished to come to Christ earlier.
Can you imagine what James could've regretted his life. The rest of his life with grants now in his early 30s with the truth of Christ's resurrection changed everything. Just as it has for you and like James live life with that! Signature symbolizes the radical transformation of the main one selected Christ, but now lives for crystal show you something else catches the signature. Let me show you his status back in James chapter 1 verse one.
His signature reveals for us is identity. His status reveals for us is priority me.
Let me read you follow along will go a little further. James, the Lord's half-brother away.
We tried James the chairman of the Jerusalem Council directed the development of the church to embrace Gentiles from every nation, James, one of the few who received a personal visit from the resurrected all that's true everyone of the statements are true, what is he say love James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. James is you want to know my highest status in life. I'm a bondservant of God. Paul in Galatians chapter 1 verse 19 referred to to James as the Lord's brother, but James prefers to speak of himself only as servants fact the word for bondservant in this text is the word dual loss which literally can be rendered slave.
It's a little rougher is it to our ears. The Greek world and certainly our world back then. Especially this was a term of degradation. There were millions of slaves during the days of Christ to the Greeks, and certainly do any culture.
Freedom and autonomy and being your master represents the highest status of life success in life is not in the survey, but in having people alive serve you see for the genuine believer. This word says it all.
The lost slave communicates ownership, possession allegiances, dependence, subjection, loyalty to know the ingredients of salvation come out of the first century slave market. You were chosen. Ephesians 1. You have been bought with a price. You do not belong yourself any longer. Prescriptive deficit you are subject to his will and control. Philippians 2 you are called to give an account of your service to Greenwich. Five. You are regularly chastens or rewarded by him according to his own pleasure, with or without an explanation. Chapter 12 and one day you are told that you can expect and you long for the day when you will hear the words again. Dual loss is the Lord used wound on that fateful sleigh truth is we need to proclaim the freedom of the gospel from sin, to hear the truth whether or not the world knows it is a slave to something everyone is in sleigh you are either enslaved to sin or righteousness. Everyone serves him master even if they say will have free because I want them. I said well you are your own master. The question is who's sleigh are you as you move through this book. The only thing that whatever challenges to play any of that were categorically reminded in the very first verse that we are not the master of our lives. We are the slaves of God. Christians are slaves to God and his cell is that be the reason so many people in America who claim to be Christians so soon bailout because it and understand the true gospel.
James comes along and he effectively says I am sorry sleigh and I may go through my entire life as God's sleigh ignore now just who this James belong noted signature stands very quickly onto the look of the Savior little book begins. James slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. I'm not boring with all the grammatical details but let me tell you that in the Greek New Testament. James does not include in this phrase any definite articles or indefinite articles which makes it stunning.
He simply strings together titles, which means you can read them in any order you could literally translate this James, the slave of Jesus Christ God Lord following me James, the servant of God, Lord Christ Jesus. What you have here is one of the strongest texts describing the unity of the Godhead in the deity of Jesus Christ is called by James both Boulevard Yahweh, Java, and Christ Jesus back in the fourth century when Athanasius was defending the deity of Jesus Christ against the heresy of areas areas was a popular teacher was teaching the Jesus Christ was a God and not the manifestation of the God Arianism is been repackaged in recent generations in Mormonism and the Jehovah's Witnesses teaching. It was James chapter 1 verse one that Athanasius used the top of the arguments of areas and in the Council when the day and deliverable to that false teaching where James says I am a slave God who effectively is Jesus Christ the Lord stunning made it even more powerful is was written by men who could have said what I really know. I grew up with his.
He's just a man who's in like just a good man. God glorified. He's just a man made. It is a good teacher. Amanda grew up with said he is God occurring close with this Hudson Taylor was used uniquely and mightily by our Lord. Taking the gospel into the interior of China for 50 years and just finished reading his biography love the Lord. He risked his life over and over and over again. He made the comment. One time that they never established the new mission post without experiencing a right as a church planter when he was an old man in Australia was invited to speak everywhere. 1 Particular Pl.
He was fighting to speak to a large church when he arrived he was packed standing room only. The moderator introduced Hudson Taylor with eloquence, well-chosen phrases that magnify the marvelous accomplishments of this missionary field and he ended his introduction by referring to Hudson Taylor as quote our illustrious guests. Biographer Road was there. Mr. Taylor stood there quietly for a moment and then smiled and said quietly, dear friend, I am serving of an illustrious past sounds a little like Jane hope sound a little more like us go through this divine prescription by Dr. Jane how to translate faith life. Thanks for joining us today here on with him for the with this message entitled, who's slave are you Stephen Devi begins a series from the opening verses of James.
The series is called bringing faith down to earth and is filled with practical insight for your life during this series Stevens commentary on the book of James is available at a very special rate and you can learn more about email@example.com you can also call us today and we can give you information over the phone.
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