James was the son of Joseph & Mary & half-brother to Jesus (God was Jesus’ Father). He wrote this letter to encourage the young church that was being tested & scattered in 45 AD. James wrote before Paul ever wrote to the churches. James writes as a “bond-slave” of Jesus (James 1). A bond-slave had no rights, & was totally obedient to & dependent on his master. James never even brings up the family relationship he had with Jesus as half-brother. – – James is writing to his “brethren”. If you are born of the Spirit, you are in the Family of God, and James is writing to you. Encouraging you & I to Keep the Right Perspective on things & count it as “Joy” when you face trials of any kind. Joy is one of the things that define God’s Love (Galatians 5). Joy is an attitude of a heart that is born of the Spirit, and not dependent on outward circumstances.
If the Christian is where he ought to be, he should be like his Master, “outside the camp.” (Hebrews 13) What then? If we are outside the camp, are we cut off from God as well as from men? Shall we fume and fret because we are not of the world? Of course not, let us more fervently pursue spiritual things, yielding our disentangled spirits to the praise & glory of God. Are we “bearing His reproach”? Shall we despair? Shall we be crushed? No! Truly, we will count it all joy that we are counted worthy to be reproached for Christ’s sake. Let our lips be even bolder to confess His name. Let us more and more earnestly make known His glory and His grace. While the Enemy accuses us continually, our only reply shall be to offer the sacrifice of praise continually unto the Lord our God. Spurgeon 1865
The beginning of faith is “looking unto Jesus.” We have to look to Christ, first, and trust in what He has done for us. “Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame.” Jesus endured the suffering and shame due us. We can never start on the road to heaven unless we first look to Christ who “endured the cross” on our behalf! Our sins would cause us to suffer the wrath of God forever, unless we look to Christ who bore our sins in His own body. We must get faith’s view of the Lamb of God, which takes away the sins of the world. Don’t look to your own righteousness! Don’t look to your feelings for they will guide you into a fog. Look unto Jesus, the Savior. He bore the cross and removed the heaviest weights; by His death He destroyed the entangling sins. If you look only to Christ you start well; but there is no other! – – Spurgeon 1865https://www.facebook.com/groups/141512580056716/?epa=SEARCH_BOX
God is pleased when we put our faith and trust in Him! (Hebrews.11) If that is true, it would seem to me that the opposite then would also be true; God is not pleased when we do not trust Him, when we doubt His promises, and when we live in fear and anxiety. We are exhorted in the Bible over and over to trust in the Lord. It pleases God when we take Him at His word. It pleases Him when we believe that He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him – When we know that He will do what He says He will do! Pastor Chuck Smith – 1927-2013
All of scripture is written about Jesus Christ! (Hebrews 10) The Old and New Testament is about Christ. They are full of prophecies concerning Jesus. They contain numerous types that foreshadowed Jesus Christ. All the sacrifices were about His Story. All the feasts and festivals portrayed Christ. The design of the tabernacle and temple was all about Jesus. Who other than Jesus Christ could say, “In the volume of The Book it is written of Me.”? – – If you’re going through a literal FIRE or a spiritual FIRE, the message is the same for all Christians: “Hold On By Faith” !
When you deal with Jesus Christ, you have to deal with eternity. There is nothing temporary about Him or His work. It is “eternal redemption” that He has obtained for us; it is an “eternal inheritance” that He has purchased for us. Do you sense the power of His shed blood now? Oh what a blessing it is to know that the conscience is at rest because of the cleansing work of the blood of Christ! It is heaven on earth! We cannot serve God rightly until we have been cleansed; we dare not stand in His presence while the consciousness of sin is upon us; but when Jesus Christ says to us; “You are clean,” then, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. – – It was absolutely necessary that guilt should be atoned for, and therefore, Jesus became our mediator. Take away the atonement, and you have robbed our Lord of His greatest reason for being a mediator at all. We love and live upon the truth of His atoning death. Charles Spurgeon 1850
In Hebrews 8 The Holy Spirit quotes from Jeremiah 31:31-34 to describe the new covenant that God has made with His Bride. God’s Law will be written on our minds and hearts. It is no longer based on our ability to keep the law, but upon what Jesus accomplished on the cross and God’s faithfulness. The wonderful thing for Christians is that now, God is working in our hearts. Christ is changing our desires from within. Rather than longing for the things of the world we are longing for the things of the Spirit; Righteousness, Peace and Joy. – The glorious result is a genuine, intimate, personal relationship with the Living God. “I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
Jesus was tempted just as I am. You have heard that many times: have you grasped it? He was tempted by the very same sins that we are. It may be a dark place you are going through, but Jesus went through it before. It is a hard fight you are waging, but Jesus stood face to face with the same enemy. Be of good courage, Christ has borne the load before us, and the blood-stained footsteps of the King of glory may be seen along the road which we travel today. But sweeter than that – Jesus was tempted, but He never sinned. Now since Jesus endured temptations, yet never sinned, so in His power His Church may also cease from sin. Some new believers think that they cannot be tempted without sinning, but there is no sin in being tempted, but there is sin in yielding to temptation. But remember that the Lord Jesus triumphed, and just as He overcame, so shall His Church, because Jesus is the Head. Perhaps we are tempted just now, in order to drive us nearer to Him. Blessed is any wind that blows us into the port of our Savior’s arms. C.H. Spurgeon
For Calvinists & others who believe you can never lose your salvation, Hebrews 6 introduces the problem of one who is saved but then falls away. Many try to bend the Word to imply that the person was never a Christian in the first place; but it is a stretch to say that someone who has “been enlightened…been a partaker of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come” is not a Christian. Hebrews 6 is also a problem for Arminians who believe people can get saved & lost as many times as they want; because it says that it is impossible for them to get saved again. Remember that Hebrews was written to Christians who were leaving Christ to go back to Judaism & the law. It says that if they go back to Judaism, there would be no hope of salvation for them. This could also be to people who leave the faith & turn against God, & lead others astray. It may be possible to sink so far in not only rejecting Jesus, but in destroying the faith of others that you get to a point of no return. But Hebrews 6 is not teaching that if you fall into sin you can never repent. That is contrary to all of the Bible & would leave us all lost. Pastor Chuck Smith
When God created the world, He rested on the 7th day. He didn’t rest because He was tired. He rested because He was through. His work was finished, so He stopped. In the same way that God stopped after finishing the work of creation, we can also enter into the rest of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. It is finished! You are forgiven of your sins. I don’t have to work to achieve my own salvation. I am saved by grace. I don’t have to ‘forgive myself’. If I could actually forgive myself I wouldn’t need Jesus Christ. As far as my salvation is concerned, He is resting and so am I.