Paige’s teaching this week on James 1:19-2:13 reminds me of what Tim Keller said about the fruit of the Spirit, those qualities that flow into our life because of our new life in Christ and abiding in Him, the True Vine.
Keller said the fruit of the Spirit is one fruit, so you must have them all if it is genuine. You can’t be selective saying, “I am patient and gentle, but I’m working on faithfulness and self-control.” Keller said you may naturally be a patient and gentle person — but that is not the fruit of the Spirit. Though it is true we are growing in all of these qualities and that we will not be perfect until we see Him face to face, yet, it is also true there should be evidence of all of them in our lives, or it is not the fruit of the Spirit being manifested.
In the same way, if you are selective in your obedience, you aren’t obeying, you are simply agreeing with God.(C. S. Lewis said, “My dog doesn’t obey me, but sometimes he agrees with me.”) I have heard it said that today’s young believers are sexual atheists. I believe James would question if they are believers at all. When we are selective in our obedience, are we not frauds?
Indeed, we may feel a weight of judgment as James takes us through many of the ways our obedience should be manifested, but then reminds us that “mercy triumphs over judgment.” Near the close Paige brings up the famous candlestick scene from Les Mis. As I watched it again, I thought about how the priest manifested so much of what James was talking about, including not showing partiality, caring for the poor, bridling his tongue, and simply responding to the model of Christ. He saw the soul of Jean Valjean and it mattered to him. If possible, turn on the captions for this clip.
Click here for Paige – will be up until Tues night.
Word Document of Questions (I know there are many. Do them all, but in discussion you may want to skip the ones without stars, do the ones with 1 star briefly, and give more time to those with 2 stars.) THIS WEEK’S QUESTIONS #2 JAMES
**1. What stood out to you from the introduction of this blog and why?
Paige’s you-tube video begins at minute 9:30. Listen for 9 minutes (up to 18:34, stopping when she says: “I was in a parent night…”
Paige reviews who James is as the brother of Jesus and leader of Jerusalem church who didn’t come to faith until the resurrection.
2. Sound Hermeneutics (hermeneutics is the interpretation of the Bible)
*A. Why should we get up and leave a Bible study if they don’t first ask what it meant to the original readers and jump to “what does it mean to you?”
*B. Why is it important to remember that James was writing to believers and not to unbelievers? How might an unbeliever misinterpret James?
3. Review of James 1:1-18 (Read it again)
A. Trials in themselves do not bring us joy, but what will trials bring that we can, as believers, count as joy?
B. What do we need to ask for in the midst of trials and what should be our heart attitude when we ask?
C. After describing the cycle of sin in 1:13-15, Paige says we are feeling helpless and ready to ask for everything, which is exactly where God wants us. What do you learn then about God and what He will do in 1:16-18?
D. She says to star verse 18, and asks: What has been made new in the new birth? (See verse 17 too)
E. If everything has been made new, why should a believer have all of the fruit of the Spirit? Why should she have consistent and not selective obedience? Comments?
**4. Did anything particular stand out to you from this review? If so, what and why?
Friday: Most Important Grade: The Lab — Being a Doer who Acts
Read James 1:19-1:26
Begin listening at 18:34 and stop at 38:30 after she defines receiving as hearing & doing.
**5. What was her point with the science teacher story? How are you doing in the lab of trials after last week’s lecture? Be specific.
*6. Paul is not addressing the rejectors but the selectors. What do James 1:22 and 1:26 tell us about selective obedience?
*7. What command are we given in James 1:21? What did Paige say was the opposite of meekness?
Paige said God’s Word has been implanted in us (the reset at the new birth) but then we are also told to receive it. She likened it to last week when we are told God gives wisdom generously, but we must receive it in faith. Though the Word has been implanted in us (1:21) we must receive it with meekness.
**8. She made an analogy to pregnancy — what happens the moment a woman realizes she has new life in her? The first stage of receiving is asking, “What has to go that attacks Your life in me?” How did you answer that early on in your Christian life and how would you answer that in your life right now?
**9. Spurgeon said: “Visit many good books but live in the Bible.” James says “Have that Bible live in you.” How are you doing this?
*10. How did she explain the dilemma of verse 21 saying the Word will save our souls — we think I thought it was trusting what Christ did at the cross that would save our souls.
*11. She emphasizes that receiving is not the same thing as hearing, or understanding, or agreeing. What matters is the lab! What matters is responding!
A. What is the point of James mirror analogy? (James 1:22-25)
B. What was her point with her cabbage soup diet story?
C. How does James define “receiving?” (It’s a phrase in James 1:25)
Saturday: Responding with Ears and Tongues
Begin at 38:30 and stop at 49:30 when she says, “I could say more but I am going to be slow to speak — we are going to move on.”
Read James 1:26-27 (Note from Dee. I find it interesting that this is the only place the word religion is used in Scripture and it is to point out the fraud of false religion and what true religion, or “the gospel” lived out would really look like. Jesus continually stood against the fraud of the Pharisees, and here James stands against the fraud of those who claim to be believers but fail the lab test.)
*12. Meditate on James 1:26-27. What comments do you have?
*13. Paul Tripp said: “Our ears listen for what our hearts crave.” What does your heart crave and how are you more in tune with that? What might you be shutting out?
*14. This is a preview of more to come about the tongue in James 3. She mentioned some proverbs and a verse in Ecclesiastes about the tongue. What do you remember?
**15. What did Paige say about the anger in the church over masks and vaccines? How are you doing with this? Why should we bridle our tongues over this?
16. How does James describe “pure and undefiled religion?”
God Hunt Sunday
**17. How have you experienced the presence of God through His Word, through answered prayer, through unusual circumstances, or another way this week?
Monday: Partiality toward Others and Partiality toward the Law
Read James 2:1-7
*18. How do you do in the “lab” regarding the above verses? (Ask God to show you.) How is your church doing?
Begin listening at 49:30 and stop at 1:12:14 when she says “Lord have mercy!)
*19. Partiality toward people. Listen to the above section from Paige and then answer:
A. What stood out to you and why?
B. What do you remember about “Father ten Boom?”
C. About “A Time to Kill?” (You can see this closing scene on you-tube.)
D. She said we go into a room full of people and are drawn toward just some. How do you do with this?
Read James 2:8-11
*20. Partiality toward the law
A. What does James 2:10 tell us? How does this show us that even a person who is relatively good compared to others, is guilty before God and deserves judgment?
*B. This is a comment from Dee. I think this passage has often been misinterpreted to mean that all sin is the same in God’s eyes. It does not say that. There are places where some sin is seen as more grievous than others. (See, for example, John 19:11) It might surprise us what sins God sees as weightier. What do you see as emphasized over and over in Scripture? (I am not suggesting selective obedience, but rather, to consider what God keeps emphasizing and looking at our lives regarding these.)
C. If James isn’t saying all sin is the same in God’s eyes, what is he saying?
D. Where are you selective in your obedience?
Tuesday: The Freedom of Submissive Obedience
Read James 2:12-13 and Listen to Paige to the end
*21. How does Jesus going to the cross show that we are both great sinners and greatly beloved? How did He fulfill both judgment and mercy at the cross?
22. What was Paige’s point with:
A. The story of the woman who was married first to an abusive husband and then to a husband who treasured her?
B. The fish flopping around on land?
*C. Les Miserables?
*23. What stood out to you from this week’s lesson that was not discussed?
**24. What is your take-a-way and why?