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The man who endures
James 1:12-15
Will you cling to God through trial and pass the test? No matter how difficult the test is for you, be sure about this: God tempts no one.
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Published May 18th, 2021
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Main point summary
Blessed is the man who endures trial and remains faithful to God through testing. Under no circumstance can anybody rightly say that God is tempting them.
Notes
When under trial, we are faced with two options. We can choose to remain faithful to God, entrusting ourselves to God who generously rewards our loving devotion to him according to his promise. On the other hand, we can choose to slander God's character and deliberately understate our own wayward desire. This second option is a brazen and futile attempt to shift blame to God for temptations experienced during trial. The first option leads to eternal life. The second option leads to everlasting death. Are you assured of God's character and promises in the midst of trial, assured enough to remain faithful to the end?
Arc
editing
NT
James 1:12-15
esv
mine
Blessed is the man
Greatly blessed is the believer
who remains steadfast under trial,
that is he who stays faithful and holds fast to his integrity through difficult circumstances,
ideaexplanation
for when he has stood the test
since once he has endured all of life's difficulties and has been approved by God
he will receive the crown of life,
then he will be generously given the crown of life,
which God has promised to those who love him.
that is the reward God has promised to those who treasure him and have lasting affection toward him.
temporal
ground
Let no one say
On the other hand, under no circumstance whatsoever can someone rightly say
when he is tempted,
when he is faced with temptation
“I am being tempted by God,”
"I am being tempted by God",
for God cannot be tempted with evil,
because it is impossible for God to be tempted by evil,
and he himself tempts no one.
and because God's very nature determines that he cannot tempt.
series
But each person is tempted
Yet, in stark contrast every person is tempted
when he is lured
as a result of being persuaded by his own wayward desire
and enticed by his own desire.
and as a result of being convinced by his own twisted desire.
actionresult
Then desire x when it has conceived
Accordingly, once that same desire has seized the opportunity and clings to him,
gives birth to sin,
and as a consequence that desire produces sin
and y sin when it is fully grown
then, as a matter of course, once sin reaches completion
brings forth death.
it follows that death is the final product.
progression
negativepositive
alternative
The reason for the man's blessedness is found in God himself. He is dependent on (1) God's promise to generously give the crown of life and (2) that God would be faithful to his promise.
Christ instructed believers to be faithful unto death with the promise or receiving the crown of life. True believers are those who conquer, those same people who will not be hurt by the second death (Revelation 2:10-11).
A different possibility arises from testing, when somebody accuses God rather than finding assurance in God and his promises. The significance of speech cannot be overstated: out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Doubt is cast on God's speech (i.e., his promise in the previous verse) and falsehood is spoken instead.
God is not the personal agent by which anybody is tempted.
The progression from 14a to 15d is inevitable for those without Christ, culminating in the second death. God works to provide a way out in every temptation we face as believers, in order that we remain faithful to him. He will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). At the point of temptation, sin is not the unavoidable end for the believer. Christ was in every way tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Even so, temptation should not be entertained. The Lord taught us to pray in this way: "lead us not into temptation" (Matthew 6:13).
To make it through to the end is to have stood the test. It is the condition placed on him who would receive the crown of life. This principle is found elsewhere in scripture: the one who endures to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:13). We ought to persevere through trials, running the race set before us with the aim of reaching the finishing line and receiving the prize of an imperishable crown (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).
discourse
Phrase
James 1:12-15
Blessed is the man
who remains steadfast
under trial,
Temporal
when he has stood the test
Condition
for ... he will receive the crown
Ground
of life,
Attributive
which God has promised
to those
Advantage
who love him.
Let no one say
when he is tempted,
“I am being tempted
Content
by God,”
Agency
for God cannot be tempted
Ground #1
with evil,
Means
and he himself tempts no one.
Ground #2
But each person is tempted
when he is lured
Condition #1a
[by his own desire]
and [when he is] enticed
Condition #1b
by his own desire.
Then desire ... gives birth to sin,
when it has conceived
Condition #1
and sin ... brings forth death.
Result
when it is fully grown
Condition #2
phrasing
Comments
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.