Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Book of James – Part 3: Endurance


The Book of James – Part 3:
Endurance
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

This Document is a Sermon Outline, you may hear the full audio of the actual sermon by following the link Online Audio Files located above for this, and other Full Sermon Audios.  For a complete list of Sermon Outlines, visit TruthDigest.org, or Truth Digest on facebook; for our Official Church website, visit PS127.org, or find us on facebook at House of Faith Church

SERMON INTRODUCTION

We have been looking at the book of James over the last few weeks, and today we are going to talk about Endurance.

Paul speaks of endurance, and running the race which has a great prize at the end.  The prize is called the Crown of Life!  In addition, ALL who finish the race will receive it!

Today I ask, are you qualified to receive it?  If so, are you running the race?

You will never reach your destination standing still.


LAST WEEKS SERMON
Part 1 - Faith and Wisdom
Part 2 - Poverty and Riches

TODAY’S SERMON
Part 3 - Endurance

 SCRIPTURE READING
James 1:12-18

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.


I.                   THE CROWN OF LIFE
a.      How to be Blessed
                                                             i.      Persevere under trial

                                                          ii.      James 1:2-42 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

1.      How many are tested in their faith, and surrender?

2.      How many give in before allowing perseverance to finish its work?

3.      This is why so many remain immature and incomplete and lack so much in their Christian walk.

                                                       iii.      When our faith is tested, we must endure the trial and resist the  temptation of our flesh and its desires.  The result is a perseverance that builds in us spiritual maturity, and completeness so that we will lack nothing in our faith...IF we allow perseverance to continue its work in us.

1.      How do we allow it to finish its work?  Like verse 12 says, enduring the temptation of our flesh and its desires.



b.     How to Receive the Crown of Life
                                                             i.      When our faith is tested, we persevere, standing strong against it, creating perseverance in those who let it finish its work.

                                                          ii.      A pot of noodles continuously removed from the burner will never boil, and the result you are working for (cooked noodles), will take a very, very long time, if it happens at all!

                                                       iii.      So it is with our Spiritual  maturity... without testing and perseverance our faith and spiritual walk remain immature.


c.      Who is Qualified to Receive the Crown of Life?
                                                             i.      Not everyone who perseveres receives the Crown of Life from our Father in Heaven.

1.      Verse 12 states the Lord has promised this crown to those who love Him.

2.      Remember that love has nothing to do with feelings or emotions. God is talking about ACTION.

3.      Jesus says, “If you love me, you will obey my commands.” John 14:15
a.      Commands such as; “love your neighbor, love your brother in Christ, love your enemy.”

b.     These are all commands of Christ, and “love” they mention is I Corinthians 13!



II.               GOD IS NOT TEMPTING YOU
a.      God cannot be Tempted by Evil
                                                             i.      Temptation is an offer of something that you do not (or should not) have, or cannot obtain in a timely manner.  What does God lack?  Nothing, therefore, there is nothing you can tempt or bargain with God for. He literally cannot be tempted.


b.     God does not Tempt Anyone
                                                             i.      Some have said God is tempting them, but this is not true.  According to scripture, God cannot be tempted, nor does He tempt anyone!

                                                          ii.      Temptation is an offer of something you shouldn’t have, or isn’t good for you... This is against God’s nature and Character, therefore it is impossible for God to tempt you...

                                                       iii.      God may test you, but that is different that temptation.

1.      Temptations goal is for you to sin against God.

2.      The goal of testing is through perseverance you mature spiritually, and recognize the need for God in your life drawing you closer to Him.


ILLUSTRATION
God tested Abraham’s faith when He commanded him to sacrifice his son Isaac.

This was NOT because God wanted to know if Abraham would obey...God already knew that, that is why He had a ram waiting to be a substitution for Abraham’s son.

God did this for a couple reasons.

1.  God wanted to give us foreshadowing of the coming Christ, God’s only begotten, who would be sacrificed for our sin, and would be provided by God (the ram).

2.  God wanted Abraham to see that his faith in God was complete, and he would do anything God asked of him.

So, God does NOT tempt you with sin, but He may test your faith for your own benefit.  This is to grow you, and strengthen you for things in your life, and to make you whole and complete so that you may better serve Him!

So if God is not testing you, where is this temptation coming from?

Satan gets FAR TOO MUCH credit... Evil desires come from the desires of OUR flesh... if we surrender to them, they give birth to sin (because desire and temptation is not the sin, giving in to them is).

If you continue in the sin you gave in to, (called living in sin) the sin you gave birth to will continue until it is full grown, leading to Spiritual Death and eternal damnation.



III.            THE LIFE CYCLE OF SIN AND DEATH
a.      When is a Person Tempted?
                                                             i.      “...each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.”

1.      Many times the temptations and trials in our lives are not the testing of God or the temptations of Satan, but we are dragged away from faith by our OWN evil desire.


2.      You see, we tempt ourselves with sin!
a.      You may ask, “How can this be?”

b.     However, it is simple...

c.      If you have a tiger kitten, and you want it to grow, you feed it.  If we continue to feed it, it thrives and grows into an unmanageable tiger!  If we stop feeding it, it withers and dies.

d.      What are you feeding in your life?


3.      If you want to know what you are feeding in your life, here is a simple test.

a.      Matthew 12:33-3533 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.”

b.     Jesus tells us that what we say is coming from what is stored in our hearts.

                                                                                                                                     i.      Are you feeding the kitten named Sin inside your heart?
                                                                                                                                  ii.      You may think you have it under control...and you may, since it is a mere kitten after all.

c.      Matthew 15:10-1210 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
 12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”

                                                                                                                                     i.      What are you storing up in your heart?

d.     I have actually been criticized by “Christians” in the past for things I do and do not do in my life, or the way I do them.  I am not sure why they find such fascination and concern with the way I live, but they have.  However here are a few things about me;

                                                                                                                                     i.      I do not care what others think of me in regards to what I do or do not do...it is not them I have to please, but God alone. I am in no way a people pleaser.

                                                                                                                                  ii.      I also know where temptation and sin are hiding, and waiting to pounce...so I avoid them, saving my heart from evil desires.  I do not want to feed the baby tiger.

                                                                                                                               iii.      I am not so naive to think for one minute I am immune to evil desires...this sinful flesh has the exact same desires of all sinful flesh.  BUT, as long as I am feeding the Spirit of God in my life, and starving the evil desires, God’s Spirit will do a work in me.

                                                                                                                                 iv.      Therefore, I avoid certain places and things like the plague, because in essence, that is exactly what they are to my heart.

                                                          ii.      Verse 14 says, “...every man is tempted, when he is drawn away with his own lust, and enticed.” in the KJV.



b.     Evil Desire Conceives
                                                             i.      If we feed the kitten named Sin in our hearts, it will conceive in us.
1.      This is the beginning of the end!

2.      This is where a man’s evil desires (which are in all flesh) have been fed to a point that it conceives in their heart!

a.      You know when this takes place, because it is there in your heart and in your mind each time you call upon it.

b.     Your thoughts slowly becoming consumed with it.

c.      Moreover, you continue to feed it, and the kitten named sin grows in your heart.


c.      Evil Desire Gives Birth
                                                             i.      If you continue to feed it, it grows until it gives birth!
1.      What does the scripture mean?

2.      The Sin that was once hidden in your heart and mind (especially hidden from the world) is now born into the world through you!

3.      Your words and deeds start to reflect the Sin you have allowed ruling your heart and mind!

4.      Like all gestation periods, this process was slow, but encompassing.  You feel helpless and defeated by the kitten named Sin who has birthed and is now a full size tiger in your life.

a.      A tiger who is no longer satisfied with simply thinking about sinful acts, but its evil desires need feeding! It needs “action” it needs SINFUL ACTS!


d.     When it is Fully Grown...Brings Death
                                                             i.      James warns, if you feed your sinful flesh, evil desires will grow in your heart, and if you do not repent, they will give birth to sin in your life!

                                                          ii.      In addition, this sin will bring the promise of death with it.  This death is promised in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death...”
                                                       iii.      This “death” is far worse than simply dying to life as many of us think or death.  In fact, many sinners argue, “We’re all going to die anyway, so you may as well live life the way you want!”

1.      However, they do not understand the “death” of which the scriptures are speaking.

2.      If you allow sin to enter your heart;
a.      You are feeding it..it grows, and gives birth in your life...and it will bring forth DEATH

b.     This is spiritual...eternal, everlasting separation from God and heaven!


IV.            DO NOT BE DECEIVED
a.      Every good and perfect gift is from our Father in Heaven

b.     The “Father of Heavenly Lights” does not Change like Shifting Shadows

God chose to give us birth through the Word of Truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created.

CONCLUSION

When you face temptation in your life, you need to ask yourself a few questions.

a)  Am I feeding evil desires in my heart?

b)  If so, repent and endure the temptations so that you may persevere, and allow the perseverance to FINISH ITS WORK, ENDURE!  So that you may become Spiritually Mature and Complete and lack nothing in your faith!

c) If the temptation is NOT brought by your evil desires, and truly is temptation of Satan, then you must still endure the temptations so that you may persevere, and allow the perseverance to FINISH ITS WORK, ENDURE!  So that you may become Spiritually Mature and Complete and lack nothing in your faith!


James 4:6-8
 “God opposes the proud  but shows favor to the humble.”
 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

If you are resisting the devil, and it does not seem as if he is fleeing...it may be because he has nothing to do with the temptations you are facing!

It may be because YOU are feeding YOUR OWN evil desires in your life!!!!

The temptations will never leave you as long as you are feeding them!  Repent!!

It is the double minded who cry out to God one minute, and allow sin in their hearts the next minute.

James closes by telling us,

 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

If it is not good or perfect and for your growth, strengthening or building up, it is not from heaven!

Do not be deceived by the shifting shadows!

Do not feed the evil desires of your heart, or give the shifting shadows of Satan ANY ammunition to use against you in your life!

Blessed are those who persevere, they will receive the crown of LIFE which is promise to those who love Him!

Next week we will look at what the Book of James says about Christian Living.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?   

Want to hear the audio to this sermon?   



No comments: