Rev. Dr. Phil Booe, pastor at Christ Lutheran Church in Hebron, CT, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study James 1:12-18.
Christian joy in the midst of trials is founded in God’s verdict declared in Christ: “Blessed.” The tests of faith reveal what is genuine, God’s gift of His kingdom in which His people reign with His Son. These trials are not temptations from God, however. His intent is never to draw us toward base, unworthy, or evil things; He never places us into a situation where the only option is to sin. Rather, our own lustful desire baits us in this way, seeking to trap us in sin. James lays out a deadly progression. Desire leads to sin, and sin leads to death. At each point, the Holy Spirit calls us to repentance lest we continue down that deadly path. God’s way is not such deception. He is the Father of lights, more reliable than even these markers of times and seasons, for He is their Creator. He only gives His good and perfect gifts. He has already done this through His Word of truth that has made us the firstfruits, for we have received salvation in Christ and await the resurrection of the dead on the Last Day.
“Wisdom from Above” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the Epistle of St. James. Contrary to what some might claim, this short epistle does not contradict St. Paul. Instead, St. James makes different, yet complementary, points concerning the Christian life. Written in a style similar to the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, this insightful epistle comforts, confronts, and strengthens Christians to live a life of good works that flow from God’s gift of faith, even in the midst of trials.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.[a] 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
- James 1:17 Some manuscripts variation due to a shadow of turning
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.