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James: A Manual for Maturity

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Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? ... The definition of patience. MACRO = LONG. THUMOS = HEAT. Practicing Patience. WHEN TO ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: James: A Manual for Maturity


1
James A Manual for Maturity
  • Presented by Reed Lessing, S.T.M., Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor of Exegetical
    Theology Concordia Seminary, St. Louis,
    MO lessingr_at_csl.edu

2
James and Wisdom Literature
  • Wisdom Literature in Israel
  • Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes
  • These texts assume the Pentateuchal themes of
    Exodus and Levitical Worship
  • This literature asks the question of 2 Peter
    311, How shall we then live?

3
James and Proverbs
  • James 15 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should
    ask God, who gives generously to all without
    finding fault, and it will be given to him.
  • James 126 If anyone considers himself
    religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on
    his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion
    is worthless.
  • James 31-12 ON THE TONGUE
  • James 313 Who is wise and understanding among
    you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds
    done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

4
James and Ecclesiastes
  • James 414 Why, you do not even know what will
    happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a
    mist that appears for a little while and then
    vanishes.

5
James and Job
  • James 12-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers,
    whenever you face trials of many kinds, because
    you know that the testing of your faith develops
    perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work
    so that you may be mature and complete, not
    lacking anything.
  • James 112 Blessed is the man who perseveres
    under trial, because when he has stood the test,
    he will receive the crown of life that God has
    promised to those who love him.
  • James 511 As you know, we consider blessed
    those who have persevered. You have heard of
    Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord
    finally brought about. The Lord is full of
    compassion and mercy.

6
The New Testament and Wisdom
  • The most helpful NT passage that informs wisdom
    exegesis is 1 Cor 11825. Paul writes to a
    congregation that was enamored of pagan Greek
    philosophical wisdom. From a Christian
    perspective, such philosophers are morons. It is
    the foolishness of Christ crucified that is Gods
    wisdomthe wisdom that alone has the power to
    save. Here we encounter incarnational theology
    Christ does not just impart wisdom he is wisdom.
    In him is embodied the fullness of divine
    knowledge. To know him is to know the Father.
    Only those in Christ perceive the true meaning of
    life the divine order of the world the folly of
    worldly living and the ultimate, eternal benefit
    of being truly wise.

7
Lutherans and Wisdom
  • Historically, Lutheran exegetes have excelled at
    the interpretation of the more overtly doctrinal
    biblical books, particularly the Pauline
    epistles. Lutherans have been criticized as
    neglecting sanctification because of their
    preoccupation with justification. The reformed
    tradition has given greater attention to the
    wisdom literature because of its concern with
    behavior, though in reformed commentaries there
    often is an excessive emphasis on obedience to
    the Law and mans decision-making and will, and a
    relative neglect of the Gospel.

8
Lutherans and Wisdom
  • Yet a Lutheran who rightly understands Christ as
    wisdom incarnate is perfectly positioned to
    understand wisdom literature. The third use of
    the Lawas a rule and instructive guide for the
    Christian lifeis prominent in the wisdom
    literature. But the heart of biblical wisdom is
    not Law, but a balance of Law and Gospel,
    centering in Jesus Christthe living and active
    Word made flesh, the Word who still today speaks
    to and is reflected in the lives of his saints.
    The pattern of conduct described, mandated,
    modeled, and indeed bestowed through the wisdom
    books is none other than Christs own life,
    imparted to those baptized in his name.

9
  • The First Part in the Series
  • James A Manual for Maturity
  • Profiting From Your Problems
  • (James 11-12)

10
Profiting From Your Problems
  • THE STAGES OF CHRISTIAN GROWTH
  • Stages Statements Focus
  • Birth and Infancy Help me! Survival
  • Childhood and Discovery Tell
    me! Learning
  • Adolescence and Irresponsibility Show me!
    Challenging
  • Adulthood and Maturity Follow me!
    Serving

11
Profiting From Your Problems
  • What maturity is not
  • Age
  • Appearance
  • Achievements
  • Academics

12
Profiting From Your Problems
  • My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials
    of any kind, consider it nothing but joy. James
    12
  • PROBLEMS ARE INEVITABLE
  • PROBLEMS ARE UNPREDICTABLE
  • PROBLEMS ARE VARIABLE
  • PROBLEMS ARE PURPOSEFUL

13
Profiting From Your Problems
  • Because you know that the testing of your faith
    produces endurance and let endurance have its
    full effect, so that you may be mature and
    complete, lacking in nothing. James 13-4
  • Problems fortify my faith
  • Problems purify my patience
  • Problems maximize my maturity

14
Profiting From Your Problems
  • TRUTH OF THE DAY
  • I CAN BE BITTER OR BETTER
  • If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who
    gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it
    will be given you. James 15
  • Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a
    one has stood the test and will receive the crown
    of life that the Lord has promised to those who
    love him. James 112

15
  • The Second Part in the Series
  • James A Manual for Maturity
  • Feeding Your Faith
  • (James 119-25)

16
Feeding Your Faith
  • But he answered, "It is written, 'One does not
    live by bread alone, but by every word that comes
    from the mouth of God.'" Matthew 44
  • Your words were found, and I ate them, and your
    words became to me a joy and the delight of my
    heart. Jeremiah 1516a
  • How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter
    than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119103

17
Feeding Your Faith
  • EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
  • I WILL RECEIVE GODS WORD
  • And welcome with meekness the implanted word
    that has the power to save your souls. James
    121b

18
Feeding Your Faith
  • James teaches us to be
  • CAREFUL
  • You must understand this, my beloved let
    everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow
    to anger. James 119
  • CALM
  • For your anger does not produce God's
    righteousness. James 120

19
Feeding Your Faith
  • CLEAN
  • Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and
    rank growth of wickedness.
  • James 121a
  • COMPLIANT
  • And welcome with meekness the implanted word
    that has the power to save your souls.
  • James 121b

20
Feeding Your Faith
  • I WILL REFLECT ON GODS WORD
  • For if any are hearers of the word and not
    doers, they are like those who look at themselves
    in a mirror. James 123

21
Feeding Your Faith
  • James teaches us to
  • RESEARCH IT
  • But those who look into the perfect law
  • James 125a
  • REVIEW IT
  • and continues to do this
  • James 125b
  • REMEMBER IT
  • not forgetting what he has heard. James
    125c

22
Feeding Your Faith
  • I WILL RESPOND TO GODS WORD
  • But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers
    who deceive themselves. James 122

23
  • The Third Part in the Series
  • James A Manual for Maturity
  • Liberty and Justice for All
  • (James 21-13)

24
Liberty and Justice for All
  • My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts
    of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord
    Jesus Christ?
  • James 21
  • WE SHOW FAVORITISM BECAUSE OF PEOPLES
  • APPEARANCE
  • ANCESTORY
  • AGE
  • ACHIEVEMENT
  • AFFLUENCE

25
Liberty and Justice for All
  • For if a person with gold rings and in fine
    clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor
    person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if
    you take notice of the one wearing the fine
    clothes and say, "Have a seat here, please,"
    while to the one who is poor you say, "Stand
    there," or, "Sit at my feet," have you not made
    distinctions among yourselves, and become judges
    with evil thoughts? James 22-4

26
Liberty and Justice for All
  • FAVORITISM IS
  • UNCHRISTIAN
  • For God shows no partiality.
  • Romans 211
  • UNREASONABLE
  • Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not
    God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in
    faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has
    promised to those who love him? But you have
    dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who
    oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into
    court? Is it not they who blaspheme the
    excellent name that was invoked over you? James
    25-7

27
Liberty and Justice for All
  • UNLOVING
  • You do well if you really fulfill the royal law
    according to the scripture, "You shall love your
    neighbor as yourself." But if you show
    partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by
    the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the
    whole law but fails in one point has become
    accountable for all of it. For the one who said,
    "You shall not commit adultery," also said, "You
    shall not murder." Now if you do not commit
    adultery but if you murder, you have become a
    transgressor of the law. James 28-11
  • So speak and so act as those who are to be
    judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will
    be without mercy to anyone who has shown no
    mercy mercy triumphs over judgment. James
    212-13

28
  • The Fourth Part in the Series
  • James A Manual for Maturity
  • Believing Better
  • (James 214-26)

29
Believing Better
  • FOR PAUL FOR JAMES
  • THE PROBLEM Legalism Laxity
  • THE FOCUS Root of Salvation Fruit of Salvation
  • THE ISSUE How to know you How to show you
  • are a Christian are a Christian
  • THE CENTER How to become How to behave like
  • a believer a believer

30
Believing Better
  • For by grace you have been saved through faith,
    and this is not your own doing it is the gift of
    God-- not the result of works, so that no one may
    boast. For we are what he has made us, created in
    Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared
    beforehand to be our way of life. Ephesians
    28-10

31
Believing Better
  • REAL FAITH
  • IS NOT SOMETHING YOU SAY
  • What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you
    say you have faith but do not have works? Can
    faith save you?
  • James 214
  • IS NOT SOMETHING YOU FEEL
  • If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily
    food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace
    keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not
    supply their bodily needs, what is the good of
    that? James 215-16

32
Believing Better
  • IS NOT SOMETHING YOU THINK
  • But someone will say, "You have faith and I have
    works." Show me your faith apart from your works,
    and I by my works will show you my faith. You
    believe that God is one you do well. Even the
    demons believe-- and shudder.
  • James 218-19

33
Believing Better
  • IS SOMETHING YOU DO
  • Do you want to be shown, you senseless person,
    that faith apart from works is barren? Was not
    our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he
    offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that
    faith was active along with his works, and faith
    was brought to completion by the works. Thus the
    scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham
    believed God, and it was reckoned to him as
    righteousness," and he was called the friend of
    God. You see that a person is justified by works
    and not by faith alone. Likewise, was not Rahab
    the prostitute also justified by works when she
    welcomed the messengers and sent them out by
    another road? For just as the body without the
    spirit is dead, so faith without works is also
    dead. James 220-26

34
  • The Fifth Part in the Series
  • James A Manual for Maturity
  • Taming the Tongue
  • (James 31-12)

35
Taming the Tongue
  • For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who
    makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to
    keep the whole body in check with a bridle.
    James 32
  • MY TONGUE DIRECTS WHERE I GO
  • If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make
    them obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Or
    look at ships though they are so large that it
    takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are
    guided by a very small rudder wherever the will
    of the pilot directs. James 33-4

36
Taming the Tongue
  • MY TONGUE CAN DESTROY WHAT I HAVE
  • So also the tongue is a small member, yet it
    boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is
    set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a
    fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a
    world of iniquity it stains the whole body, sets
    on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on
    fire by hell. James 35-6

37
Taming the Tongue
  • MY TONGUE DISPLAYS WHO I AM
  • With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with
    it we curse those who are made in the likeness of
    God. From the same mouth come blessing and
    cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not
    to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same
    opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig
    tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a
    grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield
    fresh. James 39-12

38
Taming the Tongue
  • I will remove from your body the heart of stone
    and give you a heart of flesh.
  • Ezekiel 3626b

39
  • The Sixth Part in the Series
  • James A Manual for Maturity
  • Addressing Anger
  • (James 412)

40
Addressing Anger
  • Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do
    they come from? James 41a
  • THE CAUSE OF ANGER
  • Do they not come from your cravings that are at
    war within you? James 41b
  • MY DESIRE TO HAVE
  • You want something and do not have it so you
    commit murder. And you covet something and cannot
    obtain it so you engage in disputes and
    conflicts. You do not have, because you do not
    ask.
  • James 42

41
Addressing Anger
  • MY DESIRE TO FEEL
  • You ask and do not receive, because you ask
    wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your
    pleasures. James 43
  • MY DESIRE TO BE
  • Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with
    the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever
    wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an
    enemy of God. Or do you suppose that it is for
    nothing that the scripture says, "God yearns
    jealously for the spirit that he has made to
    dwell in us"? But he gives all the more grace
    therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but
    gives grace to the humble."
  • James 44-6

42
Addressing Anger
  • THE CURE TO ANGER
  • Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the
    devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to
    God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your
    hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you
    double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep. Let
    your laughter be turned into mourning and your
    joy into dejection. Humble yourselves before the
    Lord, and he will exalt you. Do not speak evil
    against one another, brothers and sisters.
    Whoever speaks evil against another or judges
    another, speaks evil against the law and judges
    the law but if you judge the law, you are not a
    doer of the law but a judge. There is one
    lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to
    destroy. So who, then, are you to judge your
    neighbor? \ James 47-12
  • GIVE IN TO JESUS GET WISE TO SATAN

43
  • The Seventh Part in the Series
  • James A Manual for Maturity
  • Facing Your Future
  • (James 413-17)

44
Ways to Face Our Future
  • 1) PLAN WITHOUT GOD
  • Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we
    will go to such and such a town and spend a year
    there, doing business and making money. James
    413
  • Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wishes,
    we will live and do this or that." James 415

45
Ways to Face Our Future
  • PRESUME ABOUT THE FUTURE
  • Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will
    bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that
    appears for a little while and then vanishes. As
    it is, you boast in your arrogance all such
    boasting is evil. James 414, 16
  • "Come," they say, "let us get wine let us fill
    ourselves with strong drink. And tomorrow will be
    like today, great beyond measure." Isaiah
    5612
  • Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know
    what a day may bring. Proverbs 271

46
Ways to Face Our Future
  • 3) PUT OFF DOING GOOD
  • Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do
    and fails to do it, commits sin. James 417
  • Pro Forward
  • Cras Tomorrow
  • Do not withhold good from those to whom it is
    due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not
    say to your neighbor, "Go, and come again,
    tomorrow I will give it"-- when you have it with
    you. Proverbs 327-28

47
Ways to Face Our Future
  • PLACE IT ALL IN HIS HANDS
  • My times are in your hands.
  • Psalm 3115a
  • I dont know what the future holds, but I know
    who holds the future.

48
  • The Eighth Part in the Series
  • James A Manual for Maturity
  • Practicing Patience
  • (James 57-11)

49
Practicing Patience
  1. I want it now!
  2. I said, Do it now!
  3. Not next week, not next month, but now!
  4. This is the now generation!

50
Practicing Patience
  • The definition of patience
  • MACRO LONG
  • THUMOS HEAT

51
Practicing Patience
  • WHEN TO BE PATIENT
  • WHEN CIRCUMSTANCES ARE UNCONTROLABLE
  • The farmer waits for the precious crop from the
    earth, being patient with it until it receives
    the early and the late rains. James 57

52
Practicing Patience
  • WHEN PEOPLE ARE UNCHANGABLE
  • As an example of suffering and patience,
    beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name
    of the Lord. James 510
  • WHEN PROBLEMS ARE UNEXPLAINABLE
  • You have heard of the endurance of Job ...
  • James 511

53
Practicing Patience
  • 2) TO PRACTICE PATIENCE I NEED TO REALIZE THAT
  • GOD IS IN CONTROL
  • Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming
    of the Lord. James 57a
  • You also must be patient. Strengthen your
    hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.
    James 58
  • See, the Judge is standing at the doors!
  • James 59b

54
Practicing Patience
  • GOD BLESSES PATIENCE
  • Indeed we call blessed those who showed
    endurance. James 511a
  • The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more
    than his beginning. Job 4212a
  • GOD IS WORKING EVERYTHING OUT
  • You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you
    have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord
    is compassionate and merciful. James 511b
  • We know that all things work together for good
    for those who love God, who are called according
    to his purpose. Romans 828

55
Practicing Patience
  • TRUTH OF THE DAY
  • GODS DELAYS ARE NOT
  • GODS DENIALS
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