James 1:16-18 ESV
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”
Our salvation from sin is a gift from God. The faith to believe in Jesus is a gift from God. And in God there is no variation or shadow due to change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His will for humankind is the same today as it was in creation, and as it was under the Old Covenant, that we should live holy lives, pleasing unto God, and that we should worship him only as our only God and Lord, and that sin is not to be our practice.
The Lord brought us forth by the word of truth. That means that our salvation should be in line with the word of truth, that it should agree with the teachings of the Scriptures and with God’s will for our lives. And since our faith comes from God, and God is holy, righteous, upright, honest, morally pure, and faithful, etc., so should we be also. We should be those who have died with Christ to sin and who are living to his righteousness.
And this is so that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures, i.e. the cream of the crop, the best stuff, the stuff that is pleasing to him and that is pure and that is suitable as an offering to him. Our lives are to be given to the Lord as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, which is our acceptable worship of him. And we should no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world but we should be transformed of God’s Spirit.
James 1:19-21 ESV
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”
Faith in Jesus Christ is not just words we say in a prayer or in an acknowledgement of who Jesus is and to what he did for us in dying on that cross for our sins, and in being resurrected from the dead in victory over our sin. And it is not just an acceptance of his sacrifice for our sins and of his forgiveness of sins. For, faith is God’s divine persuasion of the believer as to the will of God for our lives, that we would prefer what he prefers.
So, when we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Our old self is crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin, but to God and to his righteousness, so sin should no longer reign in our earthly bodies.
Now we walk (in conduct, in practice) no longer according to the flesh but now according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God. For if our minds are still set on the flesh, then they are hostile to God, for they do not submit to God’s law, indeed they cannot, for those who are still in the flesh, living to please the flesh, cannot please God. So, if we live according to the flesh, we will die, but if by the Spirit we are putting the flesh to death, we will live.
Therefore, we are to no longer live like we did before we believed in Jesus. We are not to do the kinds of things that the ungodly do who have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. That is not how we should have learned Christ, if we were taught the truth in Christ Jesus. For the truth in Christ teaches us to put off our old self, to be renewed in our minds, and to put on the new self in true righteousness.
Therefore, we will put away falsehood, and we will speak the truth. In our anger we will not sin, for we will give no opportunity to the devil. We will stop stealing, we will work with our hands, and we will be generous to others who are in need. We will stop using crude or vulgar language and we will speak what is helpful and beneficial to others. And we will get rid of all bitterness, wrath, and slander, and we will be kind and forgiving of others.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-32; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23]
James 1:22-25 ESV
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be doers of the word of God and not hearers only. We are to put the word of God into practice in our daily lives, and not just look into the word and then walk away and forget what we read so that it never gets applied to our lives. We are not only to forsake our lives of living for sin and for self, but we are to now walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands. For Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to his righteousness.
All throughout the New Testament teachings on the gospel of our salvation and on the subject of eternal life with God we are taught the importance of walks of obedience to our Lord. Obedience is not just a recommendation. We are required to obey the Lord and to forsake our sins as part of our believing faith in Jesus Christ. For, if we do not forsake our sins, and if we do not obey the Lord, we do not have eternal life in him, but we will die in our sins.
So, we are to be those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, which is not free license to continue living in sin without guilt or punishment. It is liberty (freedom) from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin, and it is freedom to now live holy lives, pleasing to God, empowered by God’s Spirit. For the perfect law is the gospel of our salvation, and it does demand death to sin and living to God and to his righteousness, by God’s saving grace.
So, if we are those who do follow the way of freedom that our Lord provided, which is not freedom to keep sinning, but freedom to stop sinning, and if we persevere in that faith, and in obedience to our Lord, we will be blessed, and we will have eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord. But if we continue living in sin, and sin is what we practice, and we don’t walk in obedience to our Lord, and righteousness is not our practice, then we will not have eternal life.
[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:28-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:3-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23]
An Original Work / May 3, 2011
He is coming, hallelujah!
He’s our Lord God and we love Him
For He saved us from our sin.
He is with us, hallelujah,
And He loves us, hallelujah!
We adore Him; give our worship
To our Lord God, King of kings.
He’s our Savior, hallelujah!
He provided our redemption;
Paid our ransom; we’re forgiven;
In His death He bore our sin.
He is risen, hallelujah!
Conquered death, hell, sin, in vict’ry;
Sent His Spirit; lives within us;
Cleansed and purified within.
He is coming, hallelujah,
To receive us, hallelujah,
As His pure bride for our wedding
To our Lord God, priest and King!
Live in vict’ry, hallelujah,
For He freed you, hallelujah,
To obey Him; turn from your sin;
Walk in fellowship with Him.