Preached at Straightway Bible Church on January 13th, 2013. Below you will find the study notes I handed out. Everyone suffers and endures hard times. For Christians, we have joy when we endure trouble because it authenticates our faith, strengthens us and gives us security in our salvation.
Here are the study notes:
Endurance Equals Security – James 1:2
James 1:2, 12 (NKJV) 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. … 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.
- Author was James the brother of Jesus, the primary Shepherd/Pastor of the Jerusalem
- James was written to the dispersed Jewish believers; persecution was well under way
- Audience referred to as “brethren” 15 times so we know this was address to Believers
- FALSE: James doesn’t contain “theology”; James is “works oriented”
- Test of Enduring Trials – 1:2-12 (“blessed are those who endure temptation”)
- Test of Blame When Tempted – 1:13-18 (“nor does God tempt anyone”)
- Test of Doing When Hearing – 1:19-27 (“doers, not hearers only”)
- Test of Impartiality – 2:1-13 (“don’t hold the faith with partiality”)
- Test Faith with Works – 2:14-26 (“faith without works is dead”)
- Test of the Tamed Tongue – 3:1-12 (“the tongue is a world of iniquity”)
- Test of Heavenly Wisdom – 3:13-18 (“wisdom from above is pure”)
- Test of Righteousness By Humility –4:1-12 (“submit to God”)
- Test of “If God Wills” – 4:13-17 (“If the Lord wills…”)
- Test of Patient Perseverance – 5:1-11 (“therefore be patient”)
- Test of Integrity – 5:12 (“let your yes be yes”)
- Test of Prayerfulness – 5:13-18 (“prayer of faith”)
- Test of Restoring the Wayward – 5:19-20 (“he who turns a sinner from error”)
- Trials – peirasmois: test, proving examining
- Testing – dokimion: proven authenticity or genuiness
- Patience – hypomonēn; endurance, victory, perseverance, genuine faith, completion
- True love and authentic faith must be tested… testing is always passed for true believers because God promises not to test up beyond what we can pass – 1Corinthians 10:13
- Testing exposes the kind of faith you have: strong or weak, real or fake
- Trials result in and prove the “perseverance of the Saint” or “eternal security” – John 10:28–29; Philippians 1:3–6; Romans 8:31–35; John 6:37–40; John 17:24–26; 1 John 2:1–2; Luke 22:32;
2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13–14;
- Concerning “once saved always saved”: authentic Christians do not have the mindset “I’m saved, I’ll live however I want and God is stuck with me.” 1 John 2:19
SECURE? Jesus Christ died on the cross to save me so that I would be part of those “sent” to Christ as His bride, a gift from God the Father; Jesus intercedes at God’s right hand declaring me pardoned and innocent; the Holy Spirit has sealed/guaranteed my salvation with the highest authority and unbreakable seal; no person, no demon, no temptation, no trial, no event, no circumstance, no deception can snatch me from the Father’s hand or steal my salvation and Jesus has promised to complete the work He began in me until the day I stand in front of Him and hear the words “well done thou good an faithful servant”…
- Trials/Testing/Enduring exposes the quality of faith, and improves/strengthens the quality of faith
Endurance is the means by which “security of salvation” is manifested; we don’t earn security by enduring trials; Security comes to us by the enduring of trials.
Is a weak faith the same as a “not genuine” faith? What is the paradox of enduring trials concerning free will and sovereignty? What if you fail a trial? What if a trial causes you to abandon the faith ? What then for that person? Discuss all the benefits of passing a trial.