Saturday, April 14, 2012
James part 4
James 1:22-27 We judge the character of man by how he acts. If he says one thing and does another we call him a hypocrite. How many of you have heard people say they don’t want anything to do with the church because it’s full of hypocrites? The teaching James covers at the end of chapter one and beginning of chapter two basically instructs believers to be constant with what they believe. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. What opportunities do we have to hear the word? There is an abundance of good preaching and teaching out there. Especially on line. You can download podcasts from some of the best teachers in the world. You can watch sermons on YouTube and God TV on demand and sermon audio.com. You can join audible.com and buy good books to listen to, or borrow books from me. There is no shortage of good teaching, especially in English. But know one can make you choose the teaching of Bill Johnson, or Charles Supergun over what is on TV. You have to go after the word, but it’s more available then ever before. But it is not enough to go to the seminars and listen to the pod casts. You need to take the time to actually apply what you hear. What kind of teaching have you heard lately and how have you applied it? For example, How would you apply what we have already learned in the book of James? Someone read vr 23-25 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. I looked up the Greek words here, and it means to be very intentional , not passive in looking at the word. It is a deep look into the word that you do not forget. “ But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” I’m afraid we are not being taught to look deeply into the word of God, and our culture accepts it if we only choose to apply part of what we learn. What do you think? When James speaks to about the perfect law of liberty, he is speaking to a Jewish audience. And remember that James is the very first book in the new Testament. So when he speaks about the law I think he means the Law of Moses. What do you think? What is the law of Moses? It is the ten commandments. Lets take a look at the 10 commandments. Read Exodus 20:2-17. 2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.3 "You shall have no other gods before me.4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand [ generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 12 "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. 13 "You shall not murder.14 "You shall not commit adultery.15 "You shall not steal.16 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." In what way do you think keeping or obeying these laws can bring “liberty” to a person? I have trouble keeping the Sabbath. Anyone else have trouble with these laws? What did Jesus teach about the law? Read Mat 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” In some ways Jesus made the laws even harder to keep. Read Mat 5 :17-24 17 ¶Think not that I am come to adestroy the blaw, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the alaw, till all be bfulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall abreak one of these least commandments, band shall cteach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and dteach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your arighteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the bscribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 21 ¶Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou ashalt not bkill; and whosoever shall kill shall be cin danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is aangry with his brother bwithout a cause shall be cin danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, dRaca, shall be ein danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be areconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. And Jesus goes on to say that the law says do not commit adultry, but Jesus says do not even look at a women in a lustful way or you are guilty. What is it about Jesus teaching here on anger for example that can bring liberty? Maybe the perfect law is what James calls the "Royal Law" in 2:8, that is, "Love your neighbor as yourself" (quoting Leviticus 19:18). It is perfect because it sums up, as Jesus had taught, "all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 22:40). It is one of the two great commandments proclaimed by Jesus: "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you" (John 15:12). It is important to note that James led the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15 to conclude that keeping the ceremonial law, such as circumcision, was not obligatory for Gentile believers (Acts 15:19-21). This decision was made in place of the position of some Christian Pharisees who contended that "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses" (Acts 15:5). So the "perfect law" is not the Mosaic Law, at least in its entirety. read vs 26 and 27 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. How hard is it to keep a tight rein on our tongues? Earlier James says to be slow to speak. Later he will address how you can control a great ship with a small rudder, and you can control your whole body by controlling your tongues. I’ve actually seen an increase in orphan ministries and compassion ministries. How would you contrast a hypocrite mentioned earlier with a person who is living out their faith in real tangible ways?