by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Study # 33 April 22, 1998 Harlingen, Texas
Thesis:There is a significant danger to simply hearing the Word: the end result.
Introduction:In a multitude of ways, James has pointed us, over and over, to the fact that there is going to be a day of final judgment for believers that is designed to establish us in the greatest eternal experience of joy as it is possible for God to grant us. He has also pointed us to the fact that our perspective on that reality is inextricably bound up with our decisions in time, and that our decisions in time are the basis for the decision that God will make on that day. As he has moved through this first chapter, James has finally come to one of the most critical single issues that every believer faces: whether or not his activities are determined by the Scriptures. This evening we want to look into the issues that James raises about this key question.
I. The Bottom Line: Being Blessed in What We Do.
A. The timing of the blessedness.
1. The verb is ambiguous as a future tense.
2. The link between eternal blessedness and temporal blessedness.
a. Temporal blessedness simply means that the action has been taken with a proper motive so that the future is guaranteed. It makes little comment upon the current state of the soul directly.
b. Eternal blessedness is directly tied to temporal blessedness but is almost totally focused upon the state of the soul.
B. The fact of activity.
1. James equates "doing the Word" with "doing the work".
a. The point is that all people everywhere are heavily into action.
b. Every action is to be weighed in the day of judgment.
2. James sees the actions taken as directly related to whether a person can remember the critical issues.
a. The first is "the sort of person" one is.
b. The second is "the significance of the Perfect Law".
1) The "end" of the Law is love for the brother: 1 Timothy 1:5
2) Love is what makes one completely free: 1 John 4:18.