Personal Spiritual Growth, Part 2 (James 1)

Personal Spiritual Growth, Part 2 (James 1)

December 10, 2023

HANDOUT FOR SERMON: Part 2 ADMONITION FOR PERSONAL SPIRITUAL GROWTH.

INTRODUCTION: Last Sunday we started studying from the Book of James. We were focusing on God’s message to believers. A message from baptized believers who had given their lives to follow Jesus. We started by reading through Chapter 1 of James and we considered five different points.

  • Point 1: You need to grow in how you see and identify yourself. James 1:1 & 27
  • Point 2: Grow in the way you look at suffering and trials. James 1:2-4
  • Point 3: Grow in faith so you automatically pray daily to God. James 1:5-8
  • Point 4: Grow in proper perspective of life with humility. James 1:9-11
  • Point 5: Grow in seeing God as a good father that is helping you. James 1:12-18

In our lesson today we will continue in James chapter 1.

LESSON:

1.GROW IN APPRECIATION FOR THE STRENTH & CHALLENGE OF SCRIPTURE. James 1:19-21

The greatest gift from God is Jesus and His word. We must value it and listen to it. Thus, we need to shut our mouth and control our anger. Yes, some teachings are demanding and hard. If you are mature you have a better attitude toward the word of God.                                                                      How do you see yourself?

2.GROW IN URGENCY IN PUTTING INTO ACTION WHAT YOU READ. James 1:22-24

Is your life different because you read the Bible? We expect the world to obey the word of God yet what about ourselves? Do we think we have done it all? Do we look at the wrongs of others in order to make ourselves feel good? This letter was written to Christians not unbelievers! How much have you sacrificed to God and for others? How do you see yourself?

3.GROW IN CONNECTING RELGION WITH THE REAL WORLD. James 1:25-27

How faithful do you think you are? How close to being like Jesus are you? We are to follow Him and to imitate Him.  God defines what “pure religion” is. Based on God’s description in James 1, how are you doing? We need to understand God has expectations. He expects us to go out there and live the message He proclaims! Be doers and the word of help change the world How do you see yourself?

4.REVIEW OF CHAPTER ONE. James 1:26-27 is laying out the outline of the rest of the book of James.

  • Bridle the tongue.
  • Help the needy.
  • Embrace being different.

We are people who are careful in what we say, are careful to use our own goods to help people in need and embracing the fact that we are not like this world.

Matthew 22:34-40 What is the greatest commandment in the Law of God? How could one be greater than all the rest? Is there any possibility of losing your soul if you observe the greatest commandment?

The 10 commandments of the Old Testament can be divided into two categories. One category is about our love for God (our view and treatment of God.) The second category is about our love for fellowman (our treatment of other people,)

5.INTRODUCTION TO JAMES CHAPTER TWO.                                                                        Just as God’s people in the Old Testament period needed God’s guidance on how to live in the world as followers of God, Christians today need guidelines for how we are to live in this world as followers of Christ.

Matthew 18 Jesus was building a kingdom of servitude. The greatest in the kingdom is the one who serves most. Are you a Christian? If so, what service are you doing? How does one show their conviction to God without works? We do so in our words and in our actions.

James 2 Overview:

  • Verse 1-13 Beware of Personal Favoritism.
  • Verse 14-26 Faith without works in dead.
  • James 2 is an application of James 1:26-27.

Personal favoritism is wrong no matter who it is. Do we look upon humanity as Christ did and does? Jesus is full of mercy and dispenses mercy constantly. God wants a people who are merciful.  Why is personal favoritism a sin? Read and consider James 2: 1,8, 12.

Proper faith is proven in our works. Faith means conviction. Works mean action. Work is doing something because of your conviction. God gives us the examples of Abraham and Rahab. What actions are in view here? Acts of mercy. We too should live the mercies of Christ in our interaction with others today.

Contrast Abraham & Rahab.

  • Abraham a great man of faith and a strong man of faith.
  • He was a wealthy man.
  • Rahab was very different.
  • A gentile person. Lowest of the low (a harlot).
  • God chose the highest in faith and the lowest in sinful behavior!

Both proved their faith in their choices and actions. We all fit somewhere between these two individuals. Abraham loved God so much he offered his only son. Rahab loved these two men to the level of endangering her own person life. These two individuals loved as Christ loved!