faith in action

James 1:16-21

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. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Here seems to be a description of why we would no longer wish to sin. James is just full of practical wisdom in his book. We have covered how we should react to trials, how we should react to temptations and now we briefly discuss why NOT to sin. James gives us some great advice here.

Do not err. Are we reborn and made instantly sinless? Of course not! But the question arises concerning our motivation. Christians have been heard to say, “Since I was saved, I sin all I want to!”. The response to the no doubt surprised gasp of listeners is simply, “But, I don’t want to.”

Once we are saved, what is one our primary motivations to not sin? Well, God’s way is better; that is why. His way is better because of His gifts. Recall Adam and Eve? Satan’s basic tactic was to convince Eve that God was some cosmic killjoy, out to ruin all of Eve’s fun. It worked, and the rest is history.

God’s gifts are better than our sin. What God has planned for us is better, and the way He gives it all to us is better as well. The good gifts and the perfect gifts are from above; they are from God. There is no turning, no variableness from God; his constant is the never ending goodness of His plan for us.

God willed that, through His Word, we be saved; He has desired that we become His “Firstfruits,” or His handiwork.

Now James is going to dive in full force concerning the practical application of our receiving and accepting God’s Word, so stay tuned!