(James 1:12) – Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (NKJV)
- IF a certain condition is met THEN
- Something specified occurs ELSE
- The other specified thing occurs.
I’m not trying to come up with some new way to interpret Scripture, it’s just an easy way to remember and explain some truths about our Christian walk.
Crowns or Death
- IF we endure temptation THEN
- We get a crown of life ELSE
- We get death.
That’s it. Logical. Absolute. If this, then that or else. It’s helpful to remember this as we walk through Christianity. Let’s take a look:
- 12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
We endure temptation, God approves and we get a crown of Life. You can bank on it, God promises it to all who love Him. God gives us all we need to endure tempation and promises that we will never have anything to endure that is TOO MUCH for us to endure. I’m really thinking hard for something deep and pithy to say here, but it’s pretty simple: endure temptation (don’t give in to it)…
You’ll be approved (commended by God), you’ll get a crown of Life (eternal reward of life in heaven with God) and it’s guaranteed because God promised it.
- 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
Don’t endure temptation, give in to it, allow your desires and lust to entice you, and it will conceive sin… the sin will grow up, and death will follow.
Death in relationships, death in peace, death in fellowship, death in joy. Notice the stages: conception (giving place to the tempation; acting on it), birth (the sin is manifested), growth (it infects, spreads, influences, grows) and finally death (consequences, destruction, shame, waste, loss).
IF we do not give in to tempation THEN we get God’s approval and a crown of life ELSE we act on the temptation and we end up with death.
Thinking in “If.. Then.. Else…” logical progression helps us to remember Bible passages, truths and principles. It is not a method of Bible interpretation, it is a memory and recall technique that helps us cement things in our mind so we can teach them and apply them.
Finding the “If… Then… Else…” in passages also helps us really dig into Scripture and follow the message. Try it. Look for the pattern in Scripture, it’s everywhere.
Lord God, help us to study Your Word in spirit and truth. Help us to understand it, apply it and then tell others what we have learned. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?