Rev. Harrison Goodman, pastor at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study James 5:1-6.
Though mammon is not the only idol that can give false security, it poses a dangerous temptation to every person. James strips away any thought that security for the future is found in earthly wealth. Wealth brings misery, not only eternally if it leads away from Christ, but temporally in a variety of ways. The truth is that earthly wealth has already rotten. It causes us to look only at ourselves, rather than in love toward the one true God and our neighbor. In this way, worship of mammon molds us in its image, not into the image of Christ. Those who worship mammon stop seeing their neighbor as one who is worthy of mercy. Their ultimate problem, therefore, is idolatry of self, seeking after their sinful desires instead of the kingdom of God. Such idolatry did lead to Jesus’ crucifixion, yet He went to the cross willingly, precisely to save sinners, rich and poor alike. True wealth is found only in Him.
“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.
Warning to the Rich
5 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. 4 Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5 You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.
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.