FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY
Topic: James 1
James 1:3-4 (2)
by Darrel Cline
Study # 10
November 5, 1997
:The process of enduring is designed to bring us out of the condition of deficiency.
:So far we have seen that we are to respond to trials by...
- 1. Considering the future and deciding with it in mind.
- 2. Knowing that the process is working toward the realization of that future.
- 3. Permitting the process freedom to work.
- I. The Methodological Objective.
- A. There is an ultimate objective: Maximized joy in a fixed condition for eternity...realized and unthreatened.
- B. There is a methodological objective: development of the condition where it is possible for the judgment to result in maximized joy forever.
- 1. This is not to be confused with the doctrine of justification by grace through faith.
- a. This doctrine has NOTHING to do with the development of inner character in order for God to grant a status of exemption from condemnation [the doctrine in Romans of infused righteousness].
- b. This doctrine simply posits access to the basic experience of forgiveness and some basic level of peaceful relationship between man and God.
- c. The recipients of James' letter have already passed that point of understanding and faith.
- 2. This teaching is captured by James' phrase, "lacking in nothing".
- a. The basic assumption is that the more progress one makes toward this absence of lack the more joy one will have as a fixed and unthreatened commodity for eternity.
- b. The meaning of the phrase...
- 1) The contextual use of the term in the New Testament signifies that one who lacks is in danger of experiencing the pain of death. [See leipo in the New Testament].
- 2) The implications...
- a) That feeling pain is fundamental to the entire picture. [Where is the motivation to endurance if painful loss is impossible?]
- b) That pain is inevitably tied to loss/lack.
- c) That God can only suffer loss; He cannot be lacking.
- d) That only creatures can lack.
- e) That creatures only lack when they are alienated from their Supplier.
- c. The conclusions we must draw...
- 1) The condition of maturity is having the developed skill of consistently choosing according to Truth in harmony with Love.
- 2) The problem of immaturity is the problem of choosing to exalt a lesser love above a higher love, or to exalt a lesser tenet of faith above a higher one.
- a) The bottom line of facing difficulty is facing a conflict of values.
- b) The process of enduring is the process of...
- i) Refusing to take an illegitimate way out of the tension.
- ii) Continuing to refuse.