Main point summary
Blessed is the man who endures temptation
Blessed is the man who endures temptation;
for when he has been approved,
he will receive the crown of life
which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
Let no one say
when he is tempted,
“I am tempted by God”;
for God cannot be tempted by evil,
nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
But each one is tempted
when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
Then, when desire has conceived,
it gives birth to sin;
and sin, when it is full-grown,
brings forth death.
Approve here means to endure temptation
Blessed is the man who endure temptation
Let no one say : "I am tempted by God"
Each is one tempted by his own desire
Explanation of the source of temptations or trials.
Temptations do not come from God. We might be tempted to think that temptations come from God, but it's clear, James clearly says the opposite. Human tendency hates to take the blame or our mistakes; and even our sinning is no exception. We might be tempted to think: "Since God is totally sovereign, then if I sin, it is His fault, not mine! How can I be faulted for something that is not my fault?" But James gives us a very clear reasoning why this cannot be true. James did it by going back to the very person of God. James said that God cannot be tempted by evil nor can God tempt anyone, therefore we cannot say that "My temptations come from God" On the other hand, we are tempted because of our fleshly desires. James gives us a progression of how the conception of our evil desires can lead to death. But here's the point, we are tempted because of ourselves, because of our desires, it is our fault, so we cannot put the blame on God. Therefore, we need to watch ourselves. Once we are drawn away by our own desires and when this desire has been conceived (give birth to a decision to act), we are on a downward spiral to death. But the main point of this passage is not so much about where temptations come from or how temptations can birth to sin. The main point of this passage is about endurance in the midst of temptations. And in this text, James provides his readers with a very glorious ground and motivation to enduring temptation. James said that "when we have been approved, we shall receive the crown of life". "When we have been approved" may seem pretty vague. Approve of what? About what? However, we can guess from the text being approved has something to do with "enduring temptation". Our receiving the crown of life is conditional on us being able to endure through temptation. This crown of life is a promise to those who love God. Therefore, look to the promised reward, the promised blessing when we have endured through temptation. When our fleshly and carnal desire starts to draw us away, look beyond that and see the great promise that God has promised to you who love God when you endure and resist the temptation. There is a great reward, the crown of life, that is promised to the approved, to the one who remains steadfast despite temptations. Therefore we conclude: blessed is the man who endures temptation.