Hi, I’m Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries.  To sum up Philippians 3:12-14,  Paul said I have not already attained, nor am I perfect; 13 but one thing I do 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  The goal is to be like Christ here on earth, the prize is to be made like Him in Heaven.  Many have died climbing the Alps, one grave reads he died climbing. Are you continually climbing one step at a time with the goal of being like Jesus?




V8 - affection (bowels) this is a love that involves ones entire being

  1. V9-11 The Prayer

V9 - Knowledge - this is advanced knowledge

Biblical love is not empty show or sentimentalism, but it is anchored deeply in the truth of the scripture

1Peter 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

Discernment - practical application of knowledge

Rom 12:9-13 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10  Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

V10 -  approve things which are excellent  Romans 12:2

Says till the day of Christ again

V11 - fruits of righteousness  Glory and praise - ultimate end of all Paul's prayers was that God would be glorified Daily bread Oct 20, 2001

Brighten the corner where you are would have been Paul's theme song1. Today we shall see Paul's JOY, despite circumstances, which would cause most people to despairI. IN IMPRISONMENT (12-14)A. PAUL INFORMS THEM OF THE Furtherance OF THE GOSPEL (12)He had "good news" - not bad news! 2. Paul could have looked at the bad side of his situation...  a. His imprisonment, His restrictions in travelThe gospel was spreading, and it was "good news"!B. HIS CHAINS WERE IN CHRIST (13)1.         Paul was under "house arrest" 

Ac 28:30-31 30 Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.

  a. Paul wasn't there for crimes

  1. Paul was under constant guard

Ac 28:16 Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him.

Paul got to preach to those who were of Caesar's householdC. HIS EXAMPLE WAS MOTIVATING OTHERS TO ACTION (14)So the gospel was being spread, and to Paul, that's GOOD news!II. IN PERSECUTION (15-18) A. SOME WERE PREACHING TO HURT PAUL (15a,16)  1. Some were motivated by "envy”, “strife", and "selfish ambition"B. WE SEE PAUL'S JOY (15b, 17-18)   1. But he also saw those preaching out of "love" and "goodwill"Paul did not fall into the trap of "self-pity" and "despair" of Christians1) Who when persecuted, think they are the only ones who are faithful2) When persecuted, lose sight of the faithful because of the unfaithful   2. Secondly, those seeking to persecute him were spreading the gospel!

  1. Paul's main purpose in life

 1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

What applications can we make from this? III. THE "KEY" TO "MAKING GOOD OUT OF BAD"...1.            Presenting Jesus Christ was his goal and purpose in life'2.            We can experience a joy greater than any other 3John 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.   b. We can "make good out ill" in just about any circumstances1)                  Hospital confinement, situations at work, with family, and the church 2)                  Even in death and dying B. GOD CAN USE "IMPURE" TEACHERS...v16, 18  1. Don't get discouraged by "false teachers" they will be held accountable for their error;

Isaiah 55:11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

V18 God can use those who were impure in motive to proclaim Jesus b. He can also use those imperfect in "ability". It's not your ability but your availability1)               Paul certainly claimed lack of ability to some degree.

1Co 2:3-5  I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

I. Paul Magnified CHRIST BY HIS LIFEA.      WHY  Because of Christ's love for him 2Co 5:14-15 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again2. Because of the strength Christ gave him for daily living – Ph. 4:13




Hi, this is Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries.  There are many people standing in line to do the “great and mighty things” of this world, while countless “little things” for His Kingdom go undone.  What you do for “the least of these” may seem a little thing, but it will likely go undone unless you do it.  What an opportunity God has given us to make a difference for eternity.  Wow, how true that is.  Are you waiting in line, or are you willing to be like Jesus who humbled Himself and made Himself of no reputation, taking on the form of a servant.  Are you willing to do anything God asks you to do




Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace.

 Intro to the Letter it it a Prison Epistle, I, Me, my 100 times, I 52 times in whole book Christ at least 36 times, references make the total over 50.  Rejoice 8 times, joy 3 times.

Daily Bread Oct 18th, 2001

What Is Heavy When Empty?

READ: Isaiah 1:1-17

Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. --Isaiah 1:17

After reading Isaiah 1, I thought of this riddle: What is heavy for God when it's empty for me?

Nothing is too hard for God to do, of course, but that doesn't mean that nothing is a burden to Him. In fact, one thing I sometimes take lightly is actually a heavy concern to God.

In the time of the prophet Isaiah, the Jewish people followed their religious celebrations to the letter. They showed up at the right time, sacrificed the right amount, and offered many prayers. But when they left the temple, it was as if they left God there.

Nearly 3,000 years later, not much has changed. Sometimes I think my responsibility to God begins and ends with going to church and giving an offering. But this attitude makes me more of a burden to God than a blessing. I'm not accomplishing the tasks that are important to Him—doing good, seeking justice, defending the fatherless, and pleading for widows (Isaiah 1:17).

God is not impressed with a full house at religious gatherings if the people come with empty hearts. God wants worshipers with hearts so full of love for Him that they overflow in good deeds for others.

Oh, are you still wondering what is heavy for God when it's empty for me? The answer is worship.    

My heart is filled, dear Lord, with love,
So let it show in words and deeds;
And help me share, in all my ways,
The overflow for others' needs. —Hess

The heart filled with praise brings pleasure to God.

 Chapter 1 Theme is Exalting Christ or Exalting Christ in Trials - Key Verses, 1:1, 12, 21, and 27

Chapter 2 Imitating Christ or Humility and Servanthood - Key Verses, 2:3-5, 2:9-10, 14, 21

Chapter 3 Knowing Christ or Pressing On - Key Verses, 3:9, 3:12, 3:20-21

Chapter 4 Rejoicing In Christ or Joy no matter what - Key Verses, 4:6, 4:11-13, 4:19

Key Verse – Phil 1:21 To live is Christ, to Die is gain

Paul uses this occasion not only to thank them, but also to comfort them concerning his situation as a prisoner for Jesus Christ (1:12-14). 

He also writes to them to be unified Phil 2:3-5, of his plans to send Timothy soon (2:19-24), and why he considered it necessary to send Epaphroditus back to them (2:25-30). 

He warns them of false teachers 3:3-3,the danger of resting on our accomplishments 3:4-11, and the need to press on in spite of life’s difficulties 3:12-16

There may have also been a problem at Philippi involving two women, for Paul has a few words to say concerning them (4:2-3). Not to worry 4:6-9, And the need for contentment 4:11-19

 V1-2 The Letter

Sender- Paul and Timothy - bondservants- a title of dignity and humility

A Slave Thinks in Terms of Stewardship, Not Ownership (Genesis 39:4-10)

Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

  1. Recipients- Saints or set apart ones

WITH The Bishops & deacons speaks of approval of the leadership and unity by addressing all the saints, bishops and deacons.  Bishop just means overseer, elder. 

Paul was Speaking to all of them

In Christ Jesus Gal 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

  1. Greetings or Salutations

            Grace and Peace

Grant Richison says it could read like this “May you, a group of saints who have experienced the grace of God in salvation, now experience and express that grace toward one another in a corporate way. May you be gracious in your dealings with one another, especially when you disagree. May your words and actions bring grace to the rest of the church. And may the peace that you have come to experience in a personal way (through faith in Jesus Christ) now work itself out in the church corporately. May dissention and strife not be found among you, and may you be at peace, one with the other.”

V3-8 The Thankfulness and Love

V3 - thankful in all letters except to Galatians

V4 - Paul thanks God for them always _ God is always behind the god we do

V5 - fellowship A Definition of fellowship

There is, first of all, a partnership, i.e., the sharing of mutual interests, mutual resources, mutual labor together. God, other Christians and I, working together, a partnership. All that I have is put at his and their disposal.  But it is not only partnership, there is also friendship. Friendship and partnership together spell fellowship.

2Corinthians 8:1-5

v6 - He will complete it-

Gal 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

Day of Jesus Christ is not the Day of the Lord

Isaiah 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, To lay the land desolate; And He will destroy its sinners from it.

1Corinth 1:7-8 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The believers final salvation, reward, and glorification

Jim Elliott – He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he can never lose

V7 - heart is the center of thought and feelings (mind)

Prov 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

The heart or mind includes the emotions, will, thinking and reason

Rom 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.



  1. As James comes to the close of his epistle, he stresses the importance of restoring those who wander from the truth:
  2. Restoring straying saints is a responsibility given to ALL who are truly the children of God

1Th 5:14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.

Yet, it is a responsibility that is so easy to neglect, and in most cases IS neglected!

The purpose of this lesson is two-fold:

To impress upon our minds the importance of engaging in this work of restoring straying saints

To suggest how we should carry out this important work


They are in danger of physical DEATH! - Ja 5:20

1John 5:16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death.



Ga 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

  1. Unqualified personnel need not apply for this work

1) They might best work on themselves first, so they can help others Mt 7:3-5

  • If we are not careful, we can easily fall into the same fault!
  • Which involves an expense of time and energy to help the weak to overcome their faults
  • Our responsibility is not fulfilled by simply pointing out our brother's faults!

2Ti 2:24-26 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

  • We must be able to teach and apply God's Word to the situation
  • For it is important that they respond to GOD'S word, and not just to OUR views or opinions!
  • PATIENCE (longsuffering) - 2Ti 2:24
  • The same kind that we receive from God for our faults
  • And Paul showed towards the church at Corinth 2Co 1:23-2:3
  • Of course, if repentance is not forthcoming, we can wait for only so long 2Co 13:1-2 his will be the third time I am coming to you. "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established."

2  I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent I write to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare——

  • Both at the time of rebuke - cf. 2Co 2:4
  • And at the time of repentance - cf. 2Co 2:6-8
  • The proper procedure is outlined by Jesus in Mt 18:15-17

1) Go to the person first

2) Then take others, if necessary

3) Then tell it to the church, if necessary

If he won't hear the church, withdraw any association that might appear to give approval to their behavior cf. 1Co 5:1-13; 2Th 3:6-15;

Ro 16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.


  1. The work of restoring or correcting saints may be unpleasant at times, but it has the potential for great joy!
  2. Both in heaven: "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." (Lk 15:7)
  3. And in our hearts: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." (3 Jo 4)
  4. It comes down to this...
  5. Do we really love God?
  6. Do we really love our straying brethren?



James 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

 Are You Suffering?


Here we find guidance as to what to do during times of suffering and sickness


The word used refers to enduring hardness, to suffer trouble, endure affliction, to be afflicted


For the REMOVAL of the suffering, if it be the Lord's will

2Co 12:8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.

For the STRENGTH to endure the suffering, if it be the Lord's will that we bear with it

1Co 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

God may not always remove the source of our suffering; it may be for our ultimate good

Ps 119:67, 75 Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word 71, It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes. 75 I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are right, And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.

But at least He promises to help us endure it!


Certainly for ourselves

But also for those who may be the source of our suffering

Jesus taught in Lk 6:28 "bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you


THE WORD "CHEERFUL"... means pleasantness, agreeableness

It suggests a state of mind free from trouble--the opposite of affliction--happy!

Consider the attitude of David, the sweet singer of Israel -

 Ps 92:1-2 It is good to give thanks to the LORD, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;

  • To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness every night,
  • David was a man after God's own heart, shouldn't we be also?

Ep 5:18; And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,

  • Hasn't God done enough in our lives to prompt us to praise Him with all one's might in song?

Fortunately, God is not concerned with how it sounds, but that it is coming from the heart, therefore all who can speak can and should sing!

 Heaven is described in Revelation as a place where singing praises to God and Christ is an on-going activity

 Singing praises to God is just as important as praying to God!



Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you."

John 5:14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."

John 9:2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3 Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.

1Corinthians 11:29-30 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

There are two possible answers

  1. This passage refers to MIRACULOUS HEALING and the elders were called because they possessed the gift of healing

Mk 6:13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.

This passage refers to PROVIDENTIAL HEALING or God doing it through natural means

Lk 10:34 "So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

James uses an example of God PROVIDENTIALLY answering prayer to show its effectiveness

1) God was indeed answering Elijah's prayer

 2) But God did so, providentially, working through natural means


In times of physical sickness, call for the elders of the church

You want the prayers of the "righteous" working in your behalf, don't you?

Notice: You are to call for them, not wait for them to call on you!

Have the elders pray with you...

1) In faith (trusting in the Lord's power to heal, if it be His will)

2) Fervently (with all your might)

In a time where hospitals were non-existent and physicians were rare, anointing with oil was a common treatment - cf. Lk 10:34

The sick should also confess their sins

Verse 15 makes it clear that sickness is not always the consequence of sin, but

But verse 16 and others (like 1Co 11:29-32) suggests that illnesses may be God's loving chastisement for sin, in an effort to direct us back to Him


We must be careful not to underestimate:

1) The importance of praise

2) The power of prayer

The importance of confessing our sins

To truly benefit from these three spiritual exercises, we need to be in a right relationship with God

Which involves being open to God's Word: He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer [shall be] abomination. Pro 28:9

And being a doer of God's will: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Mt 7:21)






Do you feel like someone is out to get you, they are trying to take advantage of you? Are you being mistreated?

In James 5, we find James giving instructions to those who have been mistreated by the rich

Notice Ja 2:6

The rich had been holding back their wages - Ja 5:4

The rich had been oppressing the righteous - Ja 5:6

What is our response as Christians?


Notice Ja 5:4, 6


Consider Lk 6:27-36 Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

Also Ro 12:19-21 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. 20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

  1. And 1Pe 2:18-23

Human nature says if we get angry, and strike back, it is "justifiable anger"

Human wisdom calls for "standing up for one's rights"


AN AWARENESS that the Lord is coming to judge - Ja 5:7, 8, 9 3 times he is coming

This passage may refer to His judgment when Rome destroyed Jerusalem in ad 70 - Luke 21

But ultimately, it refers to the Lord's final coming on the Day of Judgment that has yet to occur

A WILLINGNESS to let Him be our avenger  Lk 18:7-8 7  "And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 "I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.



In Ja 1:3, the word is "hupomone" Which means to bear up under trials in reference to THINGS or CIRCUMSTANCES

In Ja 5:7, 8, 10, the word is "makrothumia" Which means to suffer long in reference to PEOPLE like those who oppress or mistreat you)

In verse 11, he uses the humomeno like humpomone that means to preserve: under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one’s faith in Christ


The FARMER: James 5:7

The PROPHETS: James 5:10

JOB: James 5:11

  • To place our trust in the Lord, that He will eventually reward us for our trust in Him
  • To be steadfast, in the meantime, in our service to Him


  2. Means "to fix, make fast, to set" It Is translated "strengthen" in other places
  3. It means to strengthen our heart so as to be patient and not resist the evil being done

John Gill says it means to take heart, be of good cheer, do not be dismayed, or faint, or sink under your pressures, but be of good courage, pluck up your spirits, lift up your heads: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh;


Is the Word of God - cf. 2Pe 1:12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.

Our faith in God and His eventual justice is made stronger

Patience and strength to not resist is developed - cf. Ro 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

James mentions two things that we are to avoid. 



We are likely to vent our frustrations as those closest and dearest to us

A man after a bad day at work often takes it out on his wife and family


"Lest you be condemned (judged)"

The same Lord who judges the oppressors, will judge those who murmur and grumble!

Phil 2:14-

2John 8



In other words, make rash promises

Promises, which God will hold you to, even if not serious - cf. Eccl 5:2-5 Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few. 3 For a dream comes through much activity, And a fool’s voice is known by his many words. 4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed 5 Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.


The Jews said oaths using His name were considered binding, while the others were not

  1. Jesus and James condemn this distinction between different kinds of oaths Mt 5:33-37; 23:16-22

The word condemn is the word hupokrisis which means hypocrisy.

  1. PRAY


As we learn from Ja 5:13

This is what the Christians of James' day were doing - Ja 5:4


As seen in Ja 5:4

Jesus and James promised, the Lord will avenge His righteous ones - Lk 18:7-8; Ja 5:7-8

It may not come when we want it, and the Lord may "bear long with us" -

Re 6:9-11 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

  1. But when the time is ripe, the oppressed will be avenged!


  1. Therefore, when we are being oppressed...
  • Don't resist
  • Be patient
  • Establish your hearts
  • Don't grumble
  • Don't swear
  • PRAY!
  • When we react this way to oppression...
  • We follow the example of Christ and the early disciples
  • Who committed themselves to God who judges righteously

  1) Christ - "Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judges righteously:" (1 Pe 2:23)

  2) The disciples - "Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls [to him] in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. (1 Pe 4:19)

  1. With such a righteous God on our side, it should be a lot easier to endure those who oppress us!

Is the righteous God on your side?  Or rather, are you on His side?




Hi, I’m Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries.  John 3:16 -17 says for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  Did you hear that?  Jesus did not come to condemn you, but to save you through His death on the cross.  So what would you say if God asked you why should I let you into my Heaven?  Will it be I am trusting in Jesus Christ and Him alone for salvation?


Where do you stand? Are you in Christ or lost and without Christ?




James 5:1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. 4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you. 7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.

  1.  Compared to many people in the world, we are indeed blessed; in fact, in comparison with most people who live now and who have lived in the past, we are VERY RICH!
  2. Now, it is important to stress that God does not condemn being rich...
  • Some of the godliest people in the Bible were rich
  • Job, Abraham, Joseph, David, Solomon, Barnabas, Philemon, Lydia

However, Christ does speak of the difficulty of the rich being saved Mt 19:23-26 And there are times when God is very angry at the rich, as in our text: As we consider this passage more carefully, we will ask and answer four questions:

  • Who is James addressing in this passage?
  • What is in store for these rich people?
  • Why is God so angry at them?
  • What applications can we draw from this passage?


  1. Possibly, but unlikely for several reasons...
  • There is no call to repentance in this passage as he would for Christians
    •   Here there is only condemnation.
    •   The brethren are not addressed until verse 7, in which THEY are told to be patient in light of what has just been said
  • They are not addressed as "brethren" as is often done in this epistle - Ja 1:2,19; 2:1,14; 3:1,10; 4:11


Who had been oppressing the Christians - cf. Ja 2:6

This tirade of judgment is used to comfort the brethren who were being oppressed by them -Ja 5:7

The Lord has heard their cries - Ja 5:4b

Judgment is coming upon these rich oppressors

Therefore, the Christians are told to be patient



  1. So certain are these miseries to come, that James speaks of them already occurring!
  1. Riches are corrupted
  2. Garments are moth-eaten
  3. Gold and silver are corroded
  4. When this "corrosion" of their riches occurs...
  5. It will serve as a witness against them
  6. It will eat their flesh like fire

 1) The anguish and misery of poverty usually affects the hardest those who were once rich!

 2) When poverty strikes, it will make them "weep and howl" as though they were on fire!

  2. Not long after this epistle was written, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans
  3. Many of the rich Jews who had oppressed their Christian brethren literally "wept and howled"
  4. They had failed to realize was that they had heaped up treasure "in the last days" (Ja 5:3b)
  5. Like the man in the parable of the rich fool (Lk 12:16-21), they thought they were laying up riches for their latter days
  6. When in fact, it was the "last days" of the Jewish economy when they were so busy storing up wealth!
  7. Like some today, who store up for retirement and then die before they retire!

Just as upon the rich man in the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31)!


  2. Specifically, by withholding wages from those who had worked for them
  3. Some people today get rich through dishonest schemes or unjust labor practices!
  5. They hoarded their wealth - 3b
  6. They spent it on themselves with pleasures and luxury - 5 (fattening themselves like cows for the slaughter!)
  7. They used the power that comes with wealth to oppress "the just" - 6

The manner in which they got their wealth and used it caused those who were oppressed to cry out, and the Lord heard their prayers

  1. Now, God who is just is about to bring judgment upon these rich oppressors!
  4. To do so at the expense of others will bring God's wrath upon us! Deut 24:14,15
  5. It is wrong to think that success can only come by stepping on others
  6. This might be an appropriate place to add what we learn from Paul in 1Ti 6:9-10
  7. It is not riches that are wrong, but the DESIRE TO BE RICH that is wrought with many dangers!
  8. Riches are not wrong if they are the BY-PRODUCT of our endeavors, not the GOAL of those endeavors!

  1) I.e., one may desire to be a doctor to help the sick, and receive riches as a by-product because of the value society might place on such services

  2) But to enter such professions solely because one's goal is to get rich is wrong

  1. So how do we obtain our wealth?
  2. If we do it honestly and in compensation for a job well done, then God is not displeased
  3. But if we do it by hurting others and by making wealth our primary object, then we are in danger of God's wrath!
  5. To spend it on luxurious living when others are suffering...
  6. Is exactly what James has described in this passage
  7. Is an indication of the lack of the love of God - 1 Jn 3:17
  8. According to the New Testament, the purpose of working is not to obtain wealth for our own gratification, but to help those less fortunate!
  9. As commanded by Paul - Ep 4:28; 1 Ti 6:17-19
  10. As exemplified by Paul - Ac 20:34-35


  1. Living in the country and society in which we do, we have much for which to be thankful
  2. But we also have much of which we need to beware:
  3. We live in a society where it is quite easy to become wealthy
  4. We live in a society where covetousness or the desire to be rich are not considered sins
  5. We live in a society where heaping up treasures for our own gratification is considered an inalienable right!

   -- It is easy to be influenced by these values!

  • Perhaps we need to ask ourselves constantly: Are we laying up treasure in heaven, or on earth?
  • Those who lay up treasure in heaven are those who use their wealth to do good and help the poor and less fortunate - cf. Mt 19:21; 1 Ti 6:18-19
  • Those who lay up treasure on earth are actually storing up for themselves miseries and wrath!

   1) Miseries...when their wealth fails them in their time of true need

   2) Wrath...from God in the Day of wrath that is yet to come

Have you begun to lay up treasure in heaven by obeying the gospel of Christ?





Read Ps 90 by Moses

  1. James discusses the subject of making plans, something very relevant for us
  2. Making plans, in of itself, is not wrong...
  3. Paul often made plans in regard to his travels - Ac 15:36; 18: 20-21; 1 Co 16:5-9
  4. Making plans or setting goals is a key to success in life
  5. But there is a right way to plan, and a wrong way;

[First, let's consider the "right" way

  2. We can make our plans, but we should make them conditional to God's approval - "if the Lord wills" (15)

Ps 39:5 Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah 6 Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches, And does not know who will gather them. 11 When with rebukes You correct man for iniquity, You make his beauty melt away like a moth; Surely every man is vapor. Selah

  1. This is what Paul did
  2. "God willing" - Ac 18:21 but took leave of them, saying, "I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing." And he sailed from Ephesus

Ro 1:7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.

 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, 10 making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established--

  1. "if the Lord permits" - 1Co 16:7 For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits.

Nu 14:8 "If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, 'a land which flows with milk and honey.'

De 19:8 "Now if the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as He swore to your fathers, and gives you the land which He promised to give to your fathers,

 1Co 4:19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power.

 1Co 16:7 For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits.

 Jas 4:15 Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."

  1. Saying "if the Lord wills" assumes our faith in two things:
  2. That God does have a will for us

Ec 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

  1. That God can intervene (by divine guidance) to carry out His will
  3. To a great degree, this is possible, for God wants us to:
  4. Understand His Will - Ep 5:17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is
  5. Be filled with His Will - Co 1:9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
  6. Prove His Will - Ro 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
  7. When we know God's "revealed" will from our study of the Bible, then we can act or plan accordingly
  8. The right way to plan is to show our submission to God by leaving our plans subject to His will – Do we pray, God will this bring you Glory

  Mt 7:7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

  1. There is also God's "permissive" will

Now let's look at the "wrong" way in "Making Our Plans"

  1. WE CAN IGNORE GOD'S WILL – What are our motivations
  3. Because life is COMPLEX (v13)
  4. So many decisions to make, so many mistakes might be made

If it's possible to know God's will on any matter, that would increase the likelihood that our decisions and plans will be correct

  1. Because life is UNCERTAIN (v14a)
  2. No one has a guarantee of tomorrow

Luke 12:16-26 – Parable of the rich man – your soul will be required

Pr 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth.

Gal 1:6-7 Sow you reap

  1. Only God can bring about what He wills for the future without fail
  2. Because life is FRAGILE (14b)
  3. It is like a "vapor"
  4. How quickly we can succumb to sickness or an accident illustrates how frail we really are
  5. Because life is BRIEF (14c) About 18 different descriptions in the Bible for how brief life is.
  6. "appears for a little time “Job 9:25-26 Now my days are swifter than a runner; They flee away, they see no good. 26 They pass by like swift ships, Like an eagle swooping on its prey.

Job 14:1 "Man who is born of woman Is of few days and full of trouble. 2 He comes forth like a flower and fades away; He flees like a shadow and does not continue.

  1. v15 Life is short, so it is important that we do God's will and not our own - cf. 1Jn 2:17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
  2. v16 TO PLAN THIS WAY IS BOASTFUL ARROGANCE and Sin – Wrong Priorities

The word arrogance comes from the word wanderer, the person who wanders around like those who sell cure alls for everything. A person who mounted a platform or soapbox to sell phony things.

  1. To plan without taking into consideration God's will is to set ourselves up above God Himself!
  2. How could one be more arrogant than that?

Ps 37:4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.

Mt 6:33 Seek ye first

  1. TO PLAN THIS WAY IS SIN (v16-17)
  2. v16 It is sin because it involves arrogance and boasting which is evil
  3. v17 It is sin because we who are Christians know better
  4. We know what is good: to plan with God's Will in mind
  5. To do otherwise is to sin!


  1. How do we make our plans? – deo Volente – Means If God Wills was found on the letters of people who wrote them 100 years ago.
  2. If we plan without considering the will of God, then we are foolish, arrogant, and sinful!
  3. If we make our plans subject to the approval of God, then we are wise, submissive, and righteous in God's sight!
  4. What about your "plans" for eternity?
  5. There is no doubt what the Lord's will is on his subject - cf. Mt 28:19-20
  6. We can be certain if we submit to God's will He will take care of our needs

But to ignore His will is trouble

  1. Have you done "as" the Lord wills?

We need first a willingness to do God’s will when we find it

Know that His will is always in Harmony with His Word

We need to come to Him earnestly in prayer seeking His guidance in all matters

Lu 11:2 So He said to them, "When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.

Psalm 40 and verse 8 he said, "I delight to do Thy will, O my God,

 The psalmist also says in Psalm 143 verse 10, "Teach me to do Thy will for Thou art my God." It's as if he is saying in one place I want to do it, and in another place I'm not sure I know how. I delight in doing it, teach me specifically how. Basic to one's relationship to Christ then is doing the will of God.





James 4:1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously"? 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.


In chapter four and most of chapter five, James answers the question, "What happens when faith fails?" What if you do not exercise faith? What if you are a Christian, but you do not live by faith, believing continually what the Lord Jesus has said and done. What happens? First, wars and fighting break out, and the direct cause is a lack of prayer. Prayer is an example of faith. Prayer is the perfect expression of faith, because prayer is the manifestation of dependence upon God. James traces this whole matter of wars, fighting, arguments, and disagreements among us to a lack of prayer. That is the trouble. We fight with each other because we do not ask God for anything. We do not take from him the nature of love and compassion that he offers us, but we would rather lash out at one another and fight with one another. So it is a direct result of the lack of faith that wars and fighting break out.  A depending on self instead of God.

Daniel 2:21 And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding.

He gives us two reasons for worldliness in the church

Our desires and envy.

  1. War is a fact of life in spite of treaties and world peace organizations
  2. But can you believe wars between believers in Christ
  3. He describes three types of conflicts going on in the world
  4. WAR WITH EACH OTHER (v1, 11-12)

 V1Surely "brethren" ought to live together in love and harmony

Ps 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity!

  1. Yet often they do not
  2. Lot quarreled with Abraham
  3. Absalom created a war with his father David
  4. The disciples of Jesus argued over who would be greatest
  5. Paul and Barnabas had great conflict over John Mark
  6. Churches in the New Testament often had problems...
  7. At Corinth

1) Brethren were suing each other

2) They were competing in the public assemblies

  1. In Galatia - brethren were "biting and devouring" one another
  2. Even at Philippi - two women were having trouble getting along with each other
  3. In this epistle James gives several kinds of conflicts among brethren:
  4. Class wars (upper class, middle class, and lower class - 2:1-9
  5. Employment wars - 5:1-6
  6. Church fights - 1:19-20; 3:13-18
  7. Personal wars
  8. Notice 4:11-12 we are admonished not to speak evil, nor to judge one another

The consequences of worldliness -1. A lack of prayer corporately or individually with God

  2. Our desire for things to satisfy our pleasures (like power, possessions, etc.) is what makes us fight with others
  3. Putting it simply, the key problem is "SELFISHNESS"
  5. Wrong Actions (2)
  6. "you murder...you fight and war"
  7. not literally, but certainly so in God's sight – an ongoing attitude of hate towards someone

1Jn 3:15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

  1. Wrong Praying (3)
  2. The kind of praying that goes unanswered
  3. Because the prayers are for selfish motives

Man finds it hard to get what he wants, because he does not want the best; God finds it hard to give because He would give the best, and man will not take it.

George MacDonald


  1. Here is the root cause of every war!
  2. Rebellion against God!
  3. ...those at war with others are also at war within themselves...
  4. ...because they are first at war with God!
  6. By being friendly with God's enemies!
  7. James mentions three enemies we must not associate with if we want to be at peace with God:

The World (v4) That is, human society that is contrary to God

  1. a) Any conduct, belief, thought...which is anti-God, anti-Christ

   To be a friend of such...Makes one an enemy of God!

  1. Makes one a spiritual adulterer or adultereress!

Suppose that in a certain community lives a man and his wife who love each other very much. Across the street lives a man who develops a hatred for the woman’s husband. One night he invades their home and kills him. Although he is arrested, a loophole in the law allows him to escape punishment, and he is released to return to the community. Now imagine that in a few short weeks you see the widow and her husband’s murderer walking down the street together. Her hand is slipped into his arm and she looks smilingly into his face. She says to him, “I’m so happy.” What would you say about a woman like that? Surely, you would brand her as disloyal to her husband’s memory and unworthy to bear his name. We must never forget that this godless world hated Jesus enough to kill Him. One who walks hand in hand with a system headed by our Lord’s enemies and becomes friendly with them is disloyal to Jesus Christ. Only those who keep themselves “unspotted from the world” (James 1:27) have a right to bear the name Christian. Let’s avoid all unholy alliances. -P.R.V. Quoted from Our Daily Bread

2 Co 6: 17 “Therefore ‘Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 18 ‘I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty’.”

  1. The Flesh (v1,5)

   1) The unlawful desires that would lead us away from God

   2) These desires wage war within us, but we must not give in to them

1Pe 2:11-12 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

3) Such desires are in direct conflict to what the Spirit of God would have us to be and do

Ga 5:16-17 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

4) To submit to these unlawful desires (works) of the flesh sets one contrary to God and His Spirit!

  1. The Devil (v6-7) v6 parallels Romans 12.1

1) Pride is Satan's greatest temptation

2) When we give into pride, we become friends of the devil and enemies of God

  2. Submit To God (v7)
  3. Literally, "get into your proper rank"
  4. Unconditional surrender to God is the only way to victory!
  5. Submission is saying: "Not my will, but Thine be done" Luke 22:42
  6. Resist The Devil (v7)
  7. He is behind every war that we have
  8. But if we just resist, then he will flee!

James 4:7“Like many sheep ranchers in the West, Lexy Fowler has tried just about everything to stop crafty coyotes from killing her sheep. She has used odor sprays, electric fences, and ‘scare-coyotes.’ She has slept with her lambs during the summer and has placed battery-operated radios near them. She has corralled them at night, herded them at day. But the southern Montana rancher has lost scores of lambs—fifty last year alone. “Then she discovered the llama—the aggressive, funny-looking, afraid-of-nothing llama. ’Llamas don’t appear to be afraid of anything,’ she said. ‘When they see something, they put their head up and walk straight toward it. That is aggressive behavior as far as the coyote is concerned, and they won’t have anything to do with that. Coyotes are opportunists, and llamas take that opportunity away.’” Apparently llamas know the truth of what James writes: “Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you” (4:7). The moment we sense his attack through temptation is the moment we should face it and deal with it for what it is. Barry McGee, Denver Post

  1. Draw Near To God (v8)
  2. And He will draw near to us!
  3. How do we do this?

   1) "Cleanse your hands" - Get your sins forgiven!

   2) "Purify your hearts" - Be single-minded in your devotion to God! (not double-minded, like a spiritual adulterer)

Ps 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.

Pr 1:28 Then will they call upon me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they shall not find me:

 Pr 8:17 I love them that love me; And those that seek me diligently shall find me.

 Isa 58:2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways: as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God, they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near unto God.

 Jer 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

 Ho 5:15 I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me earnestly.

  1. Humble Yourselves In The Sight Of God (v9-10)
  2. It's possible to submit outwardly and not be humble inwardly
  3. True mourning for our sins is how we can humble ourselves before God
  4. The end result of such humility. God will lift you up! - v10

1 Peter 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,


  1. If we obey these four instructions, then God will draw near to us, cleanse us, and forgive us!
  3. For we will not be at war with God
  4. So we will not be at war within ourselves
  5. And we will not be at war with others!
  6. As Solomon wrote in the Book of Proverbs:

When a man's ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7)

Are we diligent in making sure our ways are pleasing to the Lord?




James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (NKJV)


 Certainly when we compare their ORIGIN, NATURE and FRUITS, the wisdom to be preferred is "HEAVENLY WISDOM"

 What kind of wisdom do we have?

  • Those who have "EARTHLY WISDOM" boast of theirs (14)
  • While those who have "HEAVENLY WISDOM" show theirs by their good conduct done in meekness (13)

 What kind of wisdom do we want?

  • If EARTHLY, then no effort is necessary
  •       1) Just do what the world tells you
  •       2) Just do what feels right
  1. But if HEAVENLY, then we must be diligent
  •       To demonstrate such wisdom by our conduct
  •     To seek such wisdom from God
  • What kind of wisdom do you have in regards to the gospel of Christ?
  • EARTHLY WISDOM makes no response to the gospel, or if any, only that which is convenient
  • HEAVENLY WISDOM receives the commands of the gospel joyfully and obediently - cf. Mk 16:15-16; Ac 2:38

 Have you demonstrated "HEAVENLY WISDOM"?





What is the wisdom of the world? You deserve the best, get all you can no matter how you get it. He who dies with the most toys wins. Use people, lie, cheat, steal use women, to get what you want. Don’t deny yourself anything. Psychiatrists can help you; the Bible is a fairy tale.  Man’s wisdom was a spiritual plague in Jerusalem and Paul addressed this in his first letter to the Corinthians

Isaiah 29:14 Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work among this people, A marvelous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden."

1Corinth 1:18- 2:9, 13-14, 16, 3:18-21

  1. In the Old Testament book of Proverbs, we are encouraged to seek after wisdom

Pr 3:13-18; 4:7-9

Pr 11:30 ¶ The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.

Ps 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.

 Pr 1:7 ¶ The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Pr 9:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Solomon in 2Ch 1:10 "Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?"11 And God said to Solomon: "Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life-but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king-12 "wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like."

Pr 4:5 Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

 Pr 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.

 Pr 16:16 ¶ How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.(NKJV)

Ps 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.

 Ps 53:1 A Contemplation of David.>> The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; There is none who does good.

De 4:5 "Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. 6 "Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'

Chapter 2

  1. Likewise, in the New Testament we are exhorted to walk with wisdom

Ep 5:15-17

  1. But in Ja 3:13-18, we learn that there is more than just one kind of wisdom (READ)
  2. Today we will take a look at what James describes as "Heavenly Wisdom Vs. Earthly Wisdom"

v13 Who is wise and understanding Let him show it by his conduct.

Jas 3:13 ¶ Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct (General Conduct) that his works (Specific acts of Conduct) are done in the meekness of wisdom. and even shown by (our attitude (Meekness)

General Conduct, Specific acts of Conduct and even shown by (our attitude (Meekness)

Meekness or power under control

v14 If you have bitter envying and strife, don’t lie against the truth

Romans 2:20-24

James does so by making several contrasts;

  1. A CONTRAST or difference IN THEIR "ORIGIN"

1john 2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world----the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life----is not of the Father but is of the world.

  2. It is EARTHLY
  3. Worldly Wisdom that is according to the world's standards
  4. But this wisdom is foolishness to God

1Co 1:20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

  1. It is SENSUAL
  2. Appealing to the senses, the emotions, the passions
  3. Wisdom according to what FEELS right (but that doesn't make it right)
  4. It is DEMONIC
  5. The kind of wisdom possessed by the devil and his angels
  6. A wisdom that often finds its origin in the influences of Satan!
  7. HEAVENLY WISDOM IS FROM ABOVE (17) Job 28:27 Then He saw wisdom and declared it; He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out. 28 And to man He said, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.'"
  8. It comes from GOD - cf. Ja 1:17
  9. It comes via PRAYER - cf. Ja 1:5-8
  11. EARTHLY WISDOM (14,16)
  12. Full of BITTER ENVY

Phil 2:3-5 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

  1. This wisdom commends as virtues such qualities as:
  2. Power or authority to force others to do whatever you want them to do
  3. Position or prominence, a standing in society
  4. Privilege or freedom from rules others are held to
  5. Prestige or fame which leads to conceit

2corinth 10:12 For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

  1. It was this kind of wisdom...
  2. That prompted Satan and his angels to rebel against God

Isaiah 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.'

  1. That prompted the disciples to argue over who would be the greatest in the kingdom Mt 18:1
  2. HEAVENLY WISDOM (17) Wisdom is always linked to good behavior and equated to salvation The fear of the Lord is wisdom, Mt 7:26 wise builder, Mt 24 wise servant, Mt 25 Wise virgins and 5 foolish, 1Co 1:22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;

 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,  24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Pr 4:13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; Keep her, for she is your life.

  1. It is first PURE or uncontaminated by worldly desires
  2. Above all else, it is true to God's Will
  3. Not one to compromise truth for the sake of peace

Ga 1:8-9 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

  1. Then it is PEACEABLE
  2. Holding firm to the truth, it makes every effort to be at peace - cf. Ro 12:18
  3. For example, speaking the truth in an attitude of love -cf. Ep 4:15
  4. GENTLE - Manner
  5. That is, kind in one's dealings with others
  6. Not harsh, even when right and dealing with those who differ

2 Ti 2:24-25 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,25  in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,

  2. Not in matters of truth
  3. But in matters of opinion - Ro 14:1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.
  4. In matters of liberty - Ro 14:19-21 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.
  6. Quick to forgive the offenses of others
  7. Wisely understanding one's own need of mercy - cf. Ja 2:13
  8. Producing GOOD FRUITS
  9. Notice verse 13, where it says we are to show by our conduct our true wisdom and understanding
  10. This wisdom takes one beyond being a HEARER to being a DOER

            Ja 1:22

  1. Understanding that "faith without works is dead" - Ja 2:26
  3. Showing no respect of persons - cf. Ja 2:1-13
  4. Rather, treating all fairly, on the same basis
  6. Indicating that all of the above is not an "act", a "show"
  7. But that it comes from a heart desiring to please God, not man In contrast, the wisdom God gives has several characteristics. It is pure, meaning free of the defilements mentioned. It is peaceable, namely, peace loving, peace-practicing, and peace-yielding. It is gentle or considerate of

others. It is reasonable, that is, open to reason and willing to yield to reasonable requests. It is full of mercy in that it is actively sympathetic to the needy, and it is full of good fruits (good works). It is unwaveringly single-minded in its devotion to God rather than double-minded. It is, finally, without hypocrisy, namely, true to appearances. "Thus 'purity' is not just one quality among others but the

key to them all."

[Certainly the superiority of "Heavenly Wisdom" over "Earthly Wisdom" is apparent in this passage.


  2. Causes CONFUSION
  4. Makes you wonder what kind of wisdom...
  5. Is behind church splits
  6. Is often manifested in some congregational meetings
  8. Produces PEACE, instead of confusion
  9. Bears the fruit of RIGHTEOUSNESS, instead of every evil thing

This list is like the fruit of the spirit (gal 5:22-23)


  1. Certainly when we compare their ORIGIN, NATURE and FRUITS, the wisdom to be preferred is "HEAVENLY WISDOM"
  2. What kind of wisdom do we have?
  3. Those who have "EARTHLY WISDOM" boast of theirs (14)
  4. While those who have "HEAVENLY WISDOM" show theirs by their good conduct done in meekness (13)
  5. What kind of wisdom do we want?
  6. If EARTHLY, then no effort is necessary

      1) Just do what the world tells you

      2) Just do what feels right

  1. But if HEAVENLY, then we must be hardworking

      1) To seek such wisdom from God

      2) To demonstrate such wisdom by our conduct

  1. What kind of wisdom do you have in regards to the gospel of Christ?
  2. EARTHLY WISDOM makes no response to the gospel, or if any, only that which is convenient
  3. HEAVENLY WISDOM receives the commands of the gospel joyfully and obediently

Mk 16:15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mt 28:19-20  "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20  "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

 Have you demonstrated "HEAVENLY WISDOM"?




James 3:2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.

 V2. Because we all "stumble in many things"

  1. Everyone has faults, and with many people the improper use of the tongue is a major one
  2. But it takes spiritual maturity ("a perfect man") not to stumble in word!

This should not discourage any from trying to find out if teaching is a gift that they might have if nurtured along, but one should proceed with humility and caution.


V3 A bit controls a horse Psalm 39:1 I said, "I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, While the wicked are before me."

V4 1. A rudder controls the ship

  1. So our tongue controls the body... Sequence is Think, say, do.
  2. If you speak a lie, it won't be long before you find yourself living a lie
  3. If you speak suggestively in an evil manner, it won't be long before you begin acting evil!
  4. The power of the tongue to direct is easily applied to the dangers of teaching...
  5. The teacher can easily set the mood or direct the crowd in an encouraging way, or just as easily direct the crowd in a discouraging way
  6. the power to direct by the tongue should humble those who teach

V5 A small fire can easily cause great destruction (Great Chicago Fire 1million acres in 3 states)

  1. A loose tongue can ruin one's reputation… boasting
  2. It can also destroy churches, families, friendships, business’s

v6 James describes an uncontrolled tongue as;

  1. A fire, Prov 26:20-26
  2. A world of evil or iniquity
  3. So set among our bodies that it defiles the whole body

Ecclesiastes 5:6 Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?

  1. That which sets on fire the course of nature, sphere of influence it destroys everything around you
  2. That which is itself set on fire by hell! 2Kings 23:10 And he defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to Molech. King Josiah removed the idols, the valley became a refuse heap which always burned

The Devil is described as an accuser of the brethren Rev 12:10,

The Devil is described as a liar and murder John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

  1. Should not this power to destroy and corrupt both ourselves and others caution us in becoming teachers?

V7 Despite being able to tame wild animals, man is unable to tame the tongue!

Gen 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. Gen 9:2 again we have control after the flood

 V8 It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison! Ps 140:3 They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; The poison of asps is under their lips.

Ps 52:1-5

Gossip -  Prov 17:9 He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends.

Pastor’s advice Woman was told to cut the hole in a pillow, the next day go back and pick them up

PG 62 poem about gossip

Flattery - Ps 55:21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But war was in his heart; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.

Ps 64:3-8

  1. By himself no MAN can tame the tongue, But with GOD'S help, we can tame it

Ps 141:3 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.

  1. And with GOD'S help, we MUST tame it

Ep 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Co 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

V9-10 As one more example of how difficult it is to tame the tongue, James uses a very common (and fitting) problem

  1. blessing God and cursing men
  2. Something we are very likely to do, even on Sundays

    1) We spend time in worship, blessing God

    2) But after church, someone may give us a hard time for going to church or irritate us somehow

  1. Racists and bigots are often guilty of "blessing God and cursing men"!

v11-12 The illustrations of a spring, a fig tree and a grapevine, James shows the inconsistency of this!

  1. What comes forth is a true indication of what is inside
  2. Just as Jesus taught in

Mk 7:20-23 And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 "thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 "All these evil things come from within and defile a man."

  1. Despite all the praises we offer God, it is the curses against man that reveals the true person inside!


  1. These examples of the misuse of the tongue should humble and caution all those who would become teachers
  2. But they should also serve as a warning for us all, whether we teach or not, that we need to seek God's help in controlling the tongue!

May David's prayer be our own:

 Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Lastly, remember v11-12

The true believer in Jesus Christ will not contradict his profession of faith by the regular use of nasty and offensive words

Mt 7:15-23

Do you know Christ? If so prove it by taming your tongue with God’s help

If not then, trust Him today:




James 3:1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.

Let Not Many Of You Become Teachers or the Test of The Tongue

This is a time where "verbal abuse" is epidemic, and where "self-proclaimed teachers" teach all sorts of wrong things and claim to be an expert. The Tongue can encourage, discourage, gossip, flatter, curse

Moses spoke rashly with his lips Psalms 106:32-33, Isaiah said he was a man of unclean lips in Isaiah 6:5, Job in 40:4 Behold I am vile, what shall I answer you. I lay my hand over my mouth, Mt 26:33 Peter, I will never be made to stumble, before he denied Christ

If you can control your tongue you should be able to control the rest of your body

4 other times in James he talks about the tongue: 1:19, 26, 2:12, 4:11, and 5:12

  1. THE "WARNING" v1-2


  1. James doesn’t say, "Let not many BE teachers", But rather, "Let not many of you BECOME teachers"
  2. This passage is not talking only of those who try to BE teachers before they are ready, but a warning that many should not even BECOME teachers in the future!
  3. Not EVERYONE should become a teacher at some point in their service to Christ!
  4. Paul illustrated time and again that the body of Christ has many members, and not all members have the same function or spiritual gift

         1) To the saints at Rome - Ro 12:3-8

         2) To the church at Corinth - 1Co 12:12-31

1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?

  1. Peter taught that that we should use our spiritual gifts to the fullest

1Pe 4:10-11 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Every believer is to teach, but not all are gifted to be in the office of teacher/preacher

He 5:12-14 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

WHY MANY SHOULD NOT BECOME TEACHERS -Always telling others what to do. I’m in charge

  1. Teachers shall receive "a stricter judgment" Mt 25:21 "His lord said to him, `Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
  2. There is great responsibility involved in teaching others, lead to truth or lead them to error
  3. Just as with elders those who teach will be held accountable if they mislead others!

He 13:17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.




  1. v20-26 DYNAMIC FAITH or Real, Living Faith, Saving Faith


  1. We know from other passages that this faith is based upon the Word of God

Ro 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

  1. Saving faith involves the WHOLE MAN

1) The MIND understands the truth about Christ

2) The HEART rejoices in the truth with sorrow over sin and joy over God’s mercy and grace(This is called repentance)

3) The WILL acts upon the truth submitting to Christ and trusts in Him alone as the only hope of salvation.

  1. True, saving faith, then, LEADS TO ACTION

It is not intellectual examination

It is not emotionalism

It is that which leads to repentance, trusting in Christ and authentic obedience in doing good works


You could not find two more different people, shows that salvation is offered to everyone

Abraham was the father of the Jews; Rahab was a Gentile!

Abraham was a godly man; Rahab had been a sinful woman, a harlot, a prostitute

Abraham was the friend of God; Rahab had belonged to the enemies of God!

What did they have in common? Both exercised saving faith in God!

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

Hebrews 11: 31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

   V 20-24 Abraham demonstrated his saving faith by his works

Ge 15:6 And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

30 years before he offered Isaac in Gen 22, believed He and Isaac would return Gen 22:5

Romans 4

Ga 3:5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? -- 6 ¶ just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed." 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.  

V 25-26 Rahab demonstrated her saving faith by her works

Jos 2:8 ¶ Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, 9 and said to the men: "I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. 10 "For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.

 11 "And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.

  1. We learn from this passage that:

 v17,20,26 Faith without works is a DEAD faith –

 v24 That "faith only" (the only time this phrase is found in the Scriptures) cannot justify one

 v22 That PERFECT faith necessitates works

CONCLUSION …..Friend of daughter only 18 in a car wreck probably will die or be paralyzed for life

  1. It is important that each professing Christian examine his or her own heart and life, and make sure that they possess true saving faith
  2. Satan is the great deceiver; one of his devices is imitation a. If he can convince a person that counterfeit faith is true faith then he has that person in his power!
  3. Here are some questions we need to ask ourselves as we examine our faith:

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? ----unless indeed you are disqualified.

      Was there a time when I honestly realized I was a sinner and admitted this to myself and to God?

   Was there a time when my heart stirred me to flee from the wrath to come?  Have I ever been seriously sorry for my sins?

   Do I truly understand the gospel, that Christ died for MY sins and then rose again?  Do I understand and confess that I cannot save myself?

   Did I sincerely repent of my sins, making the decision to turn from them?  Do I now hate sin and fear God?  Or do I secretly love sin and want to enjoy it?

   Have I trusted Christ and Him alone for my salvation by responding to the commands He has given?  Have I confessed my faith in Christ and then been baptized as Jesus and His apostles commanded? Baptism is commanded as a witness to others that you have been saved.

   Has there been a change in my life?  Do I maintain good works, or are my good works occasional and weak?  Do I seek to grow in the things of the Lord?  Can others tell that I know Jesus?

   Do I have a desire to share Christ with others?  Or am I ashamed of Him?

   Do I enjoy the fellowship of God's people?  Is worship a delight to me?

   Am I ready for the Lord's return?  Or will I be ashamed when He comes for me?

May our prayer be similar to that of that of David in Psalms 139:23-24

             "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties; "And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."




Christian Life has 2 dimensions:

Faith in God

Love towards Men sum of the Ten Commandments

  1. Faith is an essential element in the Christian life:
  2. Without faith, it is impossible to please God –

He 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

  1. The Christian is saved by faith - Ep 2:8-9
  2. The Christian’s faith is going to produce good works,

Ephesians 2:10 We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”

  1. The Christian is to walk (live) by faith - 2Co 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight
  2. The Christian is to show faith out of love for God

Gal 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

  1. Whatever we do apart from faith or against our conscience is described as sin

Ro 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin. Explain

  1. It is important to realize, that there are different kinds of faith, but only one that is true "saving faith"
  2. In James 2:14-26, we find James discussing the different three kinds of faith, with an emphasis upon that faith which will save the soul

v14 If someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can this faith save him? is the key verse

James deals with Liberalism – Saved and can live any way you want to

Paul Deals with Legalism – Can be saved by works

Works are the proof of Salvation, not the path of Salvation

  1. DEAD FAITH (14-17)

   V15-16 Substitutes words for deeds (consider James' example)

  1. People with this kind of faith:

            1) Know the correct vocabulary for prayer and principles

            2) Can even quote the right verses from the Bible

  1. But their "walk" does not measure up to their "talk"!
  2. Is only an INTELLECTUAL faith
  3. In one's mind, he or she knows the way to get saved
  4. But they have never really submitted themselves to God and trusted in Jesus for salvation
  5. They know the right "words", but they do not back up their words with their "works"!
  7. NO! Three times in this passage, James emphasizes that "faith without works is dead" –

 James 2:17, 20, 26 – Uses three different examples of dead faith - No works, false compassion, shallow conviction

  1. Any declaration of faith that does not result in a changed life and good works is a false

declaration:  A DEAD FAITH!

  1. Dead faith is counterfeit faith and lulls the person into a false confidence of eternal life


  1. We do, if our life does not measure up to our TALK!
  2. We do, if our WORKS do not measure up to our WORDS!

Mt 7:16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. [We need to beware of mere mental faith.

2 Timothy 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1Jo 3:17 But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.

As Warren Wiersbe said, “No one can come to Christ by faith and remain the same, any more than he can come into contact with a 220-volt wire and remain the same."

1Jn 5:12-13 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

  1. v18-19 DEMONIC FAITH shallow conviction


  1. They believe in God
  2. They even believe in the deity or divine nature of Christ

Mk 3:11-12 And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw Him, fell down before Him and cried out, saying, "You are the Son of God." 12 But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known.

  1. They also believe in the existence of hell

Lk 8:31 And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.

  1. They believe Jesus will be the Judge! - Mt 8:28-29 When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. 29 And suddenly they cried out, saying, "What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?"

V19 The demons "believe and tremble")they tremble out of fear of God, not respect

  2. NO! A person can be educated in his mind and even stirred in his heart and still be lost forever!
  3. True saving faith involves something more, something that can be seen and recognized: a changed life! (cf. Ja 2:18)
  4. Being a Christian involves repentance, trusting Christ and living for Christ!
  5. You first RECEIVE the life of Christ

Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. The Spirit of Christ is the Holy Spirit

  1. Then you REVEAL the life of Christ living in you
  2. Do we have the same kind of faith as the demons?
  3. We do, if our service to God does not go beyond...
  4. Intellectually clinging to the right beliefs
  5. Emotional experiences while attending services



James 2:8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well; 9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

  1.  Faith shows love v8-11


The “royal law” was given in Leviticus 19:18 and affirmed by Christ (Matt. 22:39): Love your neighbor as yourself. The law is royal or regal (basilikon, from basileus, “king”) because it is decreed by the King of kings, is fit for a king, and is considered the king of laws. The phrase reflects the Latin lex regia known throughout the Roman Empire. Obedience to this law, nonpreferential love, is the answer to the evident disobedience to God’s Law, prejudicial favoritism.[1]

Which is "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" is quoted from Leviticus 19:18 and is the most often quoted OT command (8 times in the NT) 3 in Mt alone

  This is one of the most fundamental laws that God has ever given!

  1. As proclaimed by Christ - Mt 22:36-40
  2. As taught by Paul - Ro 13:8-10

.Who is my neighbor: all people whom I come in contact with and have a chance to help spiritually or contribute to their well being.

Phil 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

V9 Showing partiality is sin (to miss the mark) Means if you keep on showing partiality the verb tense is a continuing action

and are convicted by the law as transgressors. A willful breaking of the law

 V10 And, as emphasized by James, by breaking one law, we become guilty of ALL the law!

The Law consists of Ten Commandments and God gave us the Law

To be a lawbreaker one does not have to violate all the laws, but he must keep all the law or be perfect to be saved

Ga 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them." 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith."

 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but "the man who does them shall live by them." 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

 V11 To show partiality is to make one as guilty as if they committed adultery or murder!

 This illustrates just how terrible any sin is!

2.  Faith will be judged v12-13

This refers to the law of Christ, or the gospel, that sets us free to obey God

But if we: Apply man-made restrictions upon others like showing partiality

Gal 5:13-14 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

  1. Or If We Don’t show mercy toward others, then NO MERCY will be shown toward us!

Mt 6:14-15 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. This is an intentional act of not forgiving.

Prov 25:21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; 22 For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, And the LORD will reward you.

Mt 5 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy

Most likely means they will end up in hell with no mercy being shown since they have never been saved.

Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

Mercy triumphs over judgment. Based on verse above.


  1. In view of all these things remember James says;

Don’t show partiality

Don’t judge others

Honor the poor and all others

Love your neighbors as yourself

Be forgiving and show mercy by doing so

Fellow brothers in Christ, we serve A GLORIOUS LORD, we serve for His glory; may we NEVER allow the sin of partiality, bias, prejudice, or racism to taint that wonderful glory in any way!

 Lewis Smedes says we put labels on people the way designers sew labels on clothes. And then we let those labels tell us what people are and what they are worth.

Lets honor Jesus Christ  this season by our actions

Now a concluding word for the NON-Christian:

   1) Notice that in our text James speaks of:

  1. The terribleness of even one sin (2:10) Sin in one point, guilty of all

DL Moody compared God’s law to a chain of 10 links. If all 10 links break the man falls to his doom, if 5 break he falls to his doom, if any one of the ten fall the man falls to his doom just the same

  1. b) The fact of judgment (2:12)

   2) Won't you accept the mercy God offers to you in the gospel of His Son Jesus Christ?

Accept His mercy in obedience to the gospel today!

Acts 3:19  "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord


In his autobiography, Mahatma Gandhi wrote that during his student days he read the Gospels seriously and considered converting to Christianity. He believed that in the teachings of Jesus he could find the solution to the caste system that was dividing the people of India.

So one Sunday he decided to attend services at a nearby church and talk to the minister about becoming a Christian. When he entered the sanctuary, however, the usher refused to give him a seat and suggested that he go worship with his own people. Gandhi left the church and never returned. “If Christians have caste differences also,” he said, “I might as well remain a Hindu.”

That usher’s prejudice not only betrayed Jesus but also turned a person away from trusting Him as Savior.

Our Daily Bread, March 6, 1994



James 2:1 My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. 2 For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, 3 and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, "You sit here in a good place," and say to the poor man, "You stand there," or, "Sit here at my footstool," 4 have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? 7 Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?


 Partiality is being intolerant, prejudiced, or racist it literally means to lay hold of one’s face or to judge by appearances

In the first century, A.D., people were either rich or poor, slaves or free, Jew or Gentile, Greek or barbarian However, part of the good news of the gospel was that in Christ Jesus social barriers were removed. As Paul wrote in.

Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

But it took a while for this truth to sink into the hearts of those who were Christians; even the apostle Peter had to be told this truth through a vision and then a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit

Ac 10:34-36 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 "But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. 36 "The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ----He is Lord of all----

From the second chapter of the epistle of James, apparently showing partiality was still being practiced and its sinfulness needed to be pointed out

It’s a lot like today, we tend to dislike anything that doesn’t look like us, dress like us, act like us or live the same way we do.

The Motion Picture Association of America gave the Billy Graham film the Prodigal a PG rating because they said no one under teen age should be exposed to Christianity without their parents’ consent.  They can get abortions without parental consent, but not learn about Christ.

Discrimination is based on two false ideas

  1. Prejudice 1-7
  2. Presumption 8-13

Presumption 1 - Discrimination is not sin

Presumption 2 - Discrimination is not significant

Presumption 3 - Discrimination is not serious

We know from other scriptures that Jewish Christians often showed partiality to the Gentiles which included the hated Samaritans

But here the problem was one of showing partiality between the rich and poor


  1. By showing partiality between rich and poor by giving preferential treatment to people based upon their clothing or money
  2. By showing partiality between people of different races
  3. By despising people because of handicaps or looks
  4. By not allowing people whose past was bad(drugs, prostitute, crimes etc.) to live that down and not having anything to do with them
  5. Kosovo – Serbs and Croatians – Rada
  6. Blacks - light skinned vs dark skinned

1 Sam 16:6 So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, "Surely the LORD'S anointed is before Him." 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Psalms 139:21-22 Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.

We need to hate the sin and love the sinner

Godly hatred is marked by a brokenhearted grieving over the condition of the sinner.

[Sadly, the sin of partiality is probably just as common if not more so than it was in the days when James wrote his epistle!


  1. Faith does not show partiality v1-3


Exodus 34:6 And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,

As Christians our goal is to imitate Christ

Lk 6:40  "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.

   people may believe this is what Christ is like or teaches

Want to trust in the false glory of riches rather than God’s true Glory

  1. Faith does not Judge v4-7
  2. v4 We become judges with evil thoughts…better translated judges with evil intentions. The real sin of this passage is the way we judge people based on appearance.

One day we will be judged by our words, our actions, and our attitudes.

God has always hated unjust judges and Jesus Himself warned about the dangers of judging

Mt 7:1 "Judge not, that you be not judged.

Mt 7:12 "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

V5 Both then and today God has chosen to honor the poor

If we judge against the poor due to our prejudice against them, we will find ourselves fighting against God!

Ps 109:31 For He shall stand at the right hand of the poor, To save him from those who condemn him.

The gospel was proclaimed to the poor

Lk 7:22 Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.

The majority of those who responded were from among the poor

1 Co 1:26-29 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.


  1. The rich were doing this to the Christians in James' day and might be the ones most likely to do it in this time since they have the resources to do it.



James 1:24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

V-24 Hearer and not a doer, You are like a man who after looking in mirror soon forgets what he looked like

"He glanced at himself and off he has gone and straightway forgot  what sort of a man he was". The tenses present a vivid and lifelike picture of the careless listener to preaching (Christ's wayside hearer).

Compare Luke 12:24, 27; Heb. 3:1. So that the contrast is not between a hasty look and a careful contemplation (ver. 25, looketh). It is not mere careless hearing of the word, which James rebukes, but the neglect to carry into practice what is heard. One may be an attentive and critical hearer of the word, yet not a doer.[1]

Lu 6:47 "Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like:

You need to apply what you heard to your life,

If God convicts you of something, you need to do it.

Ro 7:9 "I was alive without the law; that is, I took all to be right with me, and thought myself not only clean, but, compared with the generality of the world, beautiful too; but when the commandment came, when the glass of the law was set before me, then sin revived, and I died--then I saw my spots and deformities, and discovered that amiss in myself which before I was not aware of; and such was the power of the law, and of sin, that I then perceived myself in a state of death and condemnation."

2Co 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

V25 Blessed is the man – Psalm 1

One who looks into(intense examination)

 The perfect law of liberty and continues in it...

Joh 13:16 "Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

The Gospel is a law of liberty it frees us from sin and frees us to do the will of God

The saved man delights to do the will of God

John 8:36 "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

The ceremonial sacrifices a yoke of bondage

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

"Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).

The Bible is "perfect" because it is inerrant. It contains no factual errors or misrepresentations. It perfectly reveals the will of God for man. It will not allow for any distortions of reality. It will not allow us to fool ourselves into thinking that we are better than we are.

"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple" (Psalm 19:7).

Liberty and license are different. Biblical liberty is the freedom to live within the principles of God. License gives free rein to the flesh.

"For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!" (Galatians 5:13-15).

  • Is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work

It is one thing to have an extensive knowledge of the Bible but it is another to expansively apply it to experience.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24).

  • Will be blessed in what he does

I believe it Refers back to verse 12 blessed is the man who overcomes

Matthew 5:3-12 The Beatitudes

  1. Be Pure v26-27

V26 If you think you're religious, shows that it refers to the external observances of public worship, such as church attendance, almsgiving, prayer, fasting (Mt 6:1-18). It is the Pharisaic element in Christian worship

A religious person here is a pious person, someone who is devoted to or worships God. He perceives himself as a godly person.

But do not bridle your tongue Ps 34:13 Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit.

Ps 39:1 To the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun. A Psalm of David  I said, "I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, While the wicked are before me."

When we detract from others in order to make ourselves seem superior, we enter into the vanity of religion.

"Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips" (Psalm 141:3).

"But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment" (Matthew 12:36).

1Pe 3:10

Jas 3:12

you deceive only your heart, In verse 17 be not deceived, here deceive not yourself

He plays a trick on himself.

(Jeremiah 17:9) "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; who can know it?"

v27. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this... James now shows a genuine Christianity that is "pure" and "undefiled" instead of the formal religion of the previous verse.

Undefiled (ἀμίαντος). See 1 Pet. 1:4. The two adjectives, pure and undefiled, present the positive and negative sides of purity.[1]

  1. To visit orphans and widows in their trouble
  2. To visit (ἐπισκέπτεσθαι). See on Matt. 25:36. James strikes a downright blow here at ministry by proxy, or by mere gifts of money. Pure and undefiled religion demands personal contact with the world’s sorrow: to visit the afflicted, and to visit them in their affliction. [1]

The idea is to oversee orphans and widows in their trouble, "Take responsibility for them."

Helping everyone any way you can is what is meant, not just widows and orphans, although they most of the time are the most needy

Isa 1:16 "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, 17 Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.

Isa 58:6 "Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh?

Galatians 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Joh 14:18 "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Taking care of orphans and widows (conduct) is a duty that lies close to the heart of God (cf. Exod. 22:22-24; Deut. 10:18; Jer. 5:28; Ezek. 22:7; Zech. 7:10). Yet many who professed to love Him neglected it (Ps. 68:5; Eccles. 4:1; Mark 12:40)

  1. To keep oneself unspotted from the world

"to keep on keeping oneself un-specked from the world" (a world, kosmos, full of dirt and slime that dirties the best of men).

We need to stay away from things we know are wrong but the world says is okay.

  1. Stay away from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

Deut:8:3 Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord

John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

We are given Spiritual Strength and Power by trusting in Jesus Christ and feasting on His Word

We need to read, study, and memorize the Word

The Word will give you

1. Deliverance from sin

  1. Victory over Satan
  2. Spiritual prosperity
  3. Personal Guidance
  4. Help for Others


"To summarize, vv. 22-27 insist that a person's religion must consist of more than superficial acts. It is not enough to listen to the statement of spiritual truth (vv. 22-25), nor is it sufficient to engage in formal religious activity (v. 26). The person whose religious experience is genuine will put

spiritual truth into practice, and his life will be marked by love for others and holiness before God."85

 If you died today, do you know for sure you would go to heaven?

If God asked you why should I let you in My heaven what would you say

Can you say that you know your faith is real?

What are you trusting in to get you to heaven?

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Acts 3:19  "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,




James 1:19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.  21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

 James has told us in verses 1:1-12 that he is a willing slave to God and the Lord Jesus Christ. He has told us that we will fall into trials and that we should count it all joy because of the reasons for trials, the results of our trials, that we can count on God in our trials and when we have overcome trials, we will receive eternal life. Because if we depend on God in trials he will sustain us and we will not only make it through the trials but also be better people because of them. Instead of being VICTIMS, we can become VICTORS In verses 13-18 he tells us that God allows trials and Satan causes temptation, but when we are drawn away by our own desires, it causes sin and sin causes physical death. James says that God is creator and giver of every good thing and that God never changes. God saved us by his word as a promise of the future glory we will have in the new heaven and new earth. Based on these wonderful things, James says how then ought we to live our lives if we are Christians!

1:17-18. The solution for temptation is to be found in a close relationship with the Father and a constant response to His Word. One must rest in the unchangeable Lord of light and rely on His life-giving “Word of truth” (cf. Eph. 1:13; Col. 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:15).[1]. In stark contrast with the morbid scene of death that descends from unbridled lust is the bright scene of new life that emanates from the Word of truth (v. 18; of Eph. 1:13; Col. 1:5). The father of darkness—Satan (Acts 26:18; Col. 1:13)—generates the offspring of sin and death. The Father of the heavenly lights (i.e., God, who created the starry universe) gives salvation and life and is unchanging. [1] V18 - Ac 17:28 "for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.'

What do I have - v17-18, What do I need - v19-20, and how do I get there - v21-27

It is implanted; divinely given, in contrast with something acquired by study-Compare Matt. 13:19, “the word of the kingdom — sown in his heart.” Grafted or graffed is expressed by a peculiar word, employed by Paul only, ἐγκεντορίζω, from κέντρον, a sharp point, thus emphasizing the fact of the incision required in grafting. See Rom. 11:17, 19, 23, 24.[1]

V-19 So then my beloved brethren

  1. Be Disciplined v19-21

Go back to verse 4- let patience have it’s perfect work

Be patient not letting passions control you

An angry and hasty spirit is soon provoked to wrong things

be ready to hear and consider what God's word teaches

We should be swift to hear reason and truth on all sides, and be slow to speak any thing that should prevent this: and, when we do speak, there should be nothing of wrath; for a soft answer turns away wrath. 

We need to learn to be more disciplined and we will if we belong to Jesus Christ

  1. v-19 Let everyone be swift to hear

They did not have the whole word of God written down like we do today, where it is available to everyone. It was not until the 14th century John Wycliffe in England had the whole Bible translated into English for the common man, but copies were still made by hand. Then Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1440 so that Bibles were able to be mass produced for the common man to have and read for the first time in 1456. It was actually declared illegal by the council of Toulouse in 1229 AD for anyone but a church leader to have a copy of the Bible.

We need to be swift to

  • Hear the word of truth and apply it to our lives

1 Peter 2:1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

"Whereas men often pretend zeal for God and his glory, in their heat and passion, let them know that God needs not the passions of any man; his cause is better served by mildness and meekness than by wrath and fury."

Solomon says, The words of the wise are heard in quiet, more than the cry of him that rules among fools, Ec 9:17.

  • What God says about trials and temptations.. don’t blame him

James1:13 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.

  • In relationship to Christian disputes

Open our hearts and our ears to hear what God says to us

  • Slow to speak..Hear others out, meditate on the word before you decide that you know everything the word says

Pr 10:19; 14:7; 16:32; 17:27; Ec 5:1-2; 7:9

Mark 4 soils, had no root in themselves – Implanted word

  • Slow to wrath

Don’t get angry with others when they treat you bad, admonish you or especially when they preach the word. They are only speaking what God has laid on their heart and what is in the bible

Luke 4:28 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff.

Don’t get angry with God

V20 For the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God

Romans 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.

"Give room for the wrath" of God instead of taking vengeance in your own hands.

V21. What to lay aside, and what to receive

  • Lay aside all filthiness (pride, vanity, wrath, and evil speaking) and overflow of wickedness (malice is ill will towards someone or the desire to injure them) malicious disposition toward one’s neighbor.
  • filthiness speaks of taking off a filthy garment

metaphor of removing clothing as in Ro 13:12; Col 3:8; Eph 4:22,25; 1Pe 2:1

We are called upon to suppress other corrupt affections, as well as rash anger: Lay aside all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, Jas 1:21. The word here translated filthiness signifies those lusts which have the greatest wickedness and sensuality in them; and the words rendered superfluity of naughtiness may be understood of the overflowings of malice or any other spiritual wickedness. Hereby we are taught, as Christians, to watch against, and lay aside, not only those more gross and fleshly dispositions and affections which denominate a person filthy, but all the disorders of a corrupt heart, which would prejudice it against the word and ways of God.


  1. Sin is a defiling thing; it is called filthiness itself.
  2. There is abundance of that which is evil in us, to be watched against; there is superfluity of naughtiness.
  3. It is not enough to restrain evil affections, but they must be cast from us, or laid apart. Isa 30:22, Thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say, Get you hence.
  4. This must extend not only to outward sins, and greater abominations, but to all sin of thought and affection as well as speech and practice; --all filthiness, every thing that is corrupt and sinful.
  5. Observe, from the foregoing parts of this chapter, the laying aside of all filthiness is what a time of temptation and affliction calls for, and is necessary to the avoiding of error, and the right receiving and improving of the word of truth: for,
  • Receive or welcome with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls

We need to be meek and mild

Psalms 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Mt 15:13 But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.

Which is able to save (τὸν δυνάμενον σῶσαι) Compare Rom. 1:16, “the power of God unto salvation.”[1]

  1. Be Doers (22-25) Rather, "But keep on becoming

v22 Be doers of the word, and not hearers only

Jas 4:11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.

Mt 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

1Jo 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.

Ro 2:13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified

  • Otherwise you deceive yourselves

Our Faith is shown by how we treat others

An unknown author captured eloquently the way in which we so religiously fall short of Christ’s demand of service for others:

I was hungry and you formed a humanities club and discussed my hunger.
I was imprisoned and you crept off quietly to your chapel and prayed for my release.
I was naked and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance.
I was sick and you knelt and thanked God for your health.
I was homeless and you preached to me of the spiritual shelter of the love of God.
I was lonely and you left me alone to pray for me.
You seem so holy, so close to God.
But I’m still very hungry and lonely and cold.




God allows trials in order to strengthen our faith and mature us

Temptation comes from satan to cause us to sin

God tests us to bring out the good

Luke 22:31-32  And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32  "But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."

Satan tempts us to bring out the bad and embarrass God

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

The mission of satan is to Kill, steal, and destroy

Read 1 Whatever Happened to Sin by Karl Menninger

  1. V-13 Who is the author of temptation

Temptation is Desire + Opportunity

God cannot be tempted because he is Holy

  • .. look at Job. He lost his children, livestock, servants and his health
  • God allowed this to happen, he even brought the subject up of Job and his uprightness
  • This was a trial from God and a temptation from satan

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.

6-12 Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. 7 And the LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it." 8 then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" 9 So Satan answered the LORD and said, "Does Job fear God for nothing? 10  "Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11  "But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!" 12 And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

  1. What causes us to sin v 14-16

v-14 His own desires

Who is tempted? Every man......Noah's drunkeness, Abraham lied, David's sin, Peter's denial

Benjamin Franklin said It is easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow it.

A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:

  1. Materialism.
  2. 2. Pride.
  3. Self-centeredness.
  4. Laziness.
  5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness.
  6. (Tie) Sexual lust.
  7. Envy.
  8. Gluttony.
  9. Lying.

Survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when they had neglected their time with God (81 percent) and when they were physically tired (57 percent). Resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84 percent), avoiding compromising situations (76 percent), Bible study (66 percent), and being accountable to someone (52 percent).

Discipleship Journal, November / December, 1992.

Why is he tempted?

Holiness consists of two parts:

Romans 12:9 Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

So sin consists of two parts: we are drawn away and enticed

Sin is Desire + Opportunity + Action

  • Drawn away by his own desires or craving.
  • Drawn away pictures fishing.. the word means to be hooked like a fish
  • Enticed is to catch fish by bait or to hunt with snares
  • Sin is the union of the will with lust
  • Believe me satan and his demons watch us every minute and they know all our weaknesses and exactly when and how to tempt us

1Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

  • Who' s fault is it when we sin...ours

2corinth 2:11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

  • God told Cain that sin crouches at your door

Adam- Gen 3:12 Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." Blamed the woman and ultimately God

Eve - Gen 3:13 And the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." And the serpent did not have a leg to stand on.

Job's response     Job 1:20-22, Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD." 22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

Job 2:10 But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

V-15 Satan gives us a thought, then we act on it if we dwell on it

  • The desire gets the best of us when we continue to think about the thing which we are tempted by
  • John Gill says of this: instead of resisting and rejecting the motion made, he admits of it, and receives it,  and cherishes it in his mind; he dallies and plays with it; he dwells upon it in his thoughts,  and hides it under his tongue,  and in his heart,  as a sweet morsel,  and forsakes it not,  but contrives ways and means how to bring it about; and this is lust's conceiving.
  • 2Co 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

When desire has conceived it gives birth to sin.. this is the picture of childbirth

  • Sin exists just as an egg in the woman, when it is dwelt on then it grows and grows until fullgrown or complete
  • Sin must be stopped at the beginning, the first thought we have about doing something we know is wrong must be stopped. Replace that thought with a good one or ask God to remove that thought

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy----meditate on these things.

  • Then once we have done it, satan says now you've done it God will never forgive you or want anything to do with you again
  • Then you are get caught in a pattern of habitual sin and become enslaved by the devil
  • V-12 when we overcome we receive eternal life
  • V-15 when it is full grown-- we habitually sin we receive death, premature death-- physical not spiritual

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • God won't let us embarrass Him

1John 5:16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that.

1corinth 11:30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

Read 3 How Sin Silences the Conscience by Chuck Colson

  1. Who is the author of every good thing v-16-17

v-16 Do not be deceived.    Don’t blame God, it is your fault

Mt 7:9-11 "Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10  "Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11  "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Every good gift and every perfect gift—James uses two different Greek words here the first word gift means the act of giving and the last word means the object given

Jews called God the father or creator of lights (stars, sun, moon)

1John 1:5-7 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow

  1. Why are we tempted v-18

We belong to God and satan wants to destroy our witness

Of his own will

by the word of truth

If we can sin habitually without guilt we do not belong to God

First fruits Ex 22:29-30 "You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe produce and your juices. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me. 30  "Likewise you shall do with your oxen and your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days; on the eighth day you shall give it to Me.

Giving God the first fruit was an act of faith that he would fulfill his promise of a full harvest

So we are the promise of the new creation

2Peter 3:10-13 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

 How to avoid sin

Stay away from people who will encourage you to do wrong

Stay away from situations and places that will expose you to wrong desires

Fell in the Hole Story

Psalms 101:3 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me.

Study the Bible

Ps 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!

Ps 119:104 Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.

Have a quiet time where you read the Bible and Pray to God

Mt 6:13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Mt. 26:41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

By studying you will grow as a Christian and will want to serve the Lord and not do those things which do not please Him

Read 7 Hacking Agag to Pieces by John Owens

1Sa 15:1-33 Samuel also said to Saul, "The LORD sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the LORD.

Do you know the Lord

You can’t stay out of sin unless you know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour

Many years ago, Indian youths would go away in solitude to prepare for manhood. One such youth hiked into a beautiful valley, green with trees, bright with flowers. There he fasted. But on the third day, as he looked up at the surrounding mountains, he noticed one tall rugged peak, capped with dazzling snow. I will test myself against that mountain, he thought. He put on his buffalo-hide shirt, threw his blanket over his shoulders and set off to climb the peak. When he reached the top he stood on the rim of the world. He could see forever, and his heart swelled with pride. Then he heard a rustle at his feet, and looking down, he saw a snake. Before he could move, the snake spoke.  "I am about to die," said the snake. "It is too cold for me up here and I am freezing. There is no food and I am starving. Put me under your shirt and take me down to the valley."  "No," said the youth. "I am forewarned. I know your kind. You are a rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you will bite, and your bite will kill me."  "Not so," said the snake. "I will treat you differently. If you do this for me, you will be special. I will not harm you."  The youth resisted awhile, but this was a very persuasive snake with beautiful markings. At last the youth tucked it under his shirt and carried it down to the valley. There he laid it gently on the grass, when suddenly the snake coiled, rattled, and leapt, biting him on the leg.

"But you promised..." cried the youth.  "You knew what I was when you picked me up." said the snake as it slithered away."  Bits and Pieces, June, 1990, p. 5-7.

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten




James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. 9 Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, 10 but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. 11 For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits. 12 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.

 V5 -8 Count on God in your Trials

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling.

  • God is willing and able to help people who turn to Him no matter what their situation
  • Ask for Wisdom from God with Single mindedness
  • Wisdom is the ability to make the right decisions based on knowledge

God will give generously

He is the true source of wisdom

1 Kings 3:28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.

1 Kings 4:29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore.

Without Reproach

You can come to Him as often as you want or need no matter what the problem is and He will be there for you

  • V6 Ask in Faith believing God

Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."

V6-7 Not doubting... You will receive nothing if you do

Proverbs 24:10 If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small.

V8  Double minded an unsaved man who is a hypocrite who cannot trust God when trials come

  1. V9-11 Consider the Way You React to Trials

This section is a reminder that our eternal status, not our earthly status should be our main concern

  • V9 Let the Poor Exalt God and give Him glory

The poor can give glory to God because of their standing before God and their eternal riches in Him

Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

  • V10 Let the Rich be Humbled

Trials will bring the rich to a point that they realize that true happiness and contentment come from God, not material wealth and things

  • V11 A picture of how quickly death and judgement from God can take away wealth and possessions
  1. V12 Consider the Rewards of your Trials
  • V12 Blessed is he who endures Temptation...Shows we are truly saved 1Corinth 10:13
  • He will be approved
  • Receive the crown of life or eternal life with God in Heaven



James 1:1 James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.  2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

  1. V2 Count it all joy when you fall into Trials  Hebrews 12:2, 12:8, John 16:33

When you encounter trials not if

We need to look at trials from God's perspective

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30  Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

God is control of everything,

Look at Job 1: 12 And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

2.     Count the Results of your Trials v 3-4

3.      V3 Trials produce endurance and patience

Romans 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

  • V4 Trials produce maturity and makes you complete or whole

1John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

2Corinth 12:9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

  • God gives us the ability to overcome trials

John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world----our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

3.  Consider the Reason for your Trials V-4 Martyrs died singing           Russian guy and the KGB

  • You are Rewarded in Heaven for your Good Deeds to others for God

1 Peter 2:20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.

Mt 25:40  "And the King will answer and say to them, `Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'

  • Faith turns trials into glory for God

1Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

John 11:3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick." 4 When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it."

  • Testing reveals the genuineness of your faith - Matthew 13 soil and seeds

1Peter 1: 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith----the salvation of your souls.

Mark 4:15-20 15  "And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16  "These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17  "and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word's sake, immediately they stumble. 18  "Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19  "and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20  "But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred."

Revelation 21:7  "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

John 11:14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead. 15 "And I am glad for your sake that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him."




Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. In these verses, Paul stated the content of that message concerning faith. Confessing with the mouth that Jesus is Lord is mentioned first to conform to the order of the quotation from Deuteronomy 30:14 in Romans 10:8. The confession is an acknowledgement that God has been incarnated in Jesus (cf. v. 6), that Jesus Christ is God (Yahweh – the self-existent One). Also essential is heart-faith that God raised Him from the dead (cf. v. 7). The result is salvation. The true order is given in verse 10: For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified (lit., “it is believed unto righteousness”), and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved (lit., “it is confessed unto salvation”).

Yet these are not two separate steps to salvation. They are chronologically together. Salvation comes through acknowledging to God that Christ is God and believing in Him.

The normal chronological order is that one believes and then acknowledges his or her belief (i.e., confesses; cf. v. 10; 2 Cor. 4:13-14).

"Confess" means to say the same thing about something as someone else does (Gr. homologeo; cf. 1 John 1:9). In this context, it refers to saying the same thing about Jesus Christ as other believers in Him do. It is an acknowledgment of one's faith in Christ. Obedient Christians in the early church made this confession verbally and in water baptism, as we do today (cf. Matt. 28:19-20).

     Notice in verse 10 something that's very basic.  The word "righteousness" is equated with the word "salvation."  They are referring to the same thing.  With the heart man believes unto righteousness, with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  It doesn't take a great scholar to figure out then that righteousness equals salvation, salvation equals righteousness.  You confess unto righteousness, you believe unto salvation.  You believe unto righteousness, you confess unto salvation.  They're synonymous.

     In the early church the phrase, "Jesus is Lord" was one of the most common and simple expressions by which believers confessed their faith in Christ (cf. Acts. 2:36; 1 Cor. 8:6; 12:3; Phil. 2:11). It is a confession parallel and very similar to Israel's basic confession of faith in Yahweh: "Yahweh our God is one Lord" (Deut. 6:4, the Shema). In the Roman world, faithful citizens were increasingly being expected to acknowledge that Caesar was Lord (divine). So the original recipients of this epistle, especially, had to face the issue of who really is divine, Jesus or Caesar.

We take it that, for Paul, the confession that Jesus is Lord meant the acknowledgment that Jesus shares the name, the nature, the holiness, the authority, power, majesty and eternity of the one and only true God." Paul is speaking of the fact of the lordship of Christ, which is the very cornerstone for faith, something without which no one could be saved."

The fact that Jesus is Lord (God and Savior) became clear when He arose from the dead (cf. v. 7). Jesus' resurrection was the proof that He really was the divine Messiah, God's Holy One (cf. Ps. 16:10-11). Belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ meant belief that Jesus is Lord.

Ro 1:3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

Ac 8:37 Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."

Mt 10:32 "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.

The contrast between mouth and heart needs to be observed. But we may not tone down the importance of confession with the mouth. Confession without faith would be vain (cf. Matt. 7:22, 23; Tit. 1:16). Likewise faith without confession would be shown to be fake. Our Lord and the New Testament in general bear out Paul’s coordination of faith and confession (cf. Matt. 10:22; Luke 12:8; John 9:22; 12:42; 1 Tim. 6:12; 1 John 2:23; 4:15; 2 John 7). Confession with the mouth is the evidence of the genuineness of faith and sustains to the same the relation which good works sustain (cf. 12:1, 2; 14:17; Eph. 2:8–10; 4:1, 2; James 2:17–22).

1Jo 2:23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

     10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.

Belief in Jesus Christ in one's heart results in acceptance by God (i.e., imputed righteousness, justification, and positional sanctification). Testimony to one's belief in Jesus Christ normally follows and normally is verbal. Paul was describing the normal consequence of belief. Witmer wrote that the confession is to God. One's confession that Jesus is Lord would be to God initially (i.e., expressing trust in Christ to the Father), but most interpreters have believed that the confession in view goes beyond God and includes other people as well. This seems to be a reasonable conclusion since the confession is to be made with the mouth.

Righteousness has to do with what we become.  Salvation has to do with what we don't become.  Righteousness has to do with what we receive.  Salvation has to do with what we don't receive, punishment.  Righteousness has to do with entering into blessedness.  Salvation has to do with escaping cursedness.  Two great terms describing two sides of God's saving work.

When you're saved, you receive a new kind of life.  What kind of life?  Righteous life, holy life.

Ro 4:22 And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness." 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

Ac 13:29 "Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. 30 "But God raised Him from the dead. 31 "He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people. 32 "And we declare to you glad tidings--that promise which was made to the fathers. 33 "God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus.

Verse 32 he says, "We declare unto you good news, glad tidings, the promise which was made to the fathers, God has fulfilled the same unto us their children."  How did God do it?  "In that He raised up Jesus again."  In other words, he says God's promises are all fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Acts 16:30, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, thou shalt be saved.’"  But what were they to believe?  What was the point of their faith?  What was it about Jesus Christ that they were to accept?

You say, "Well, Paul must have told them something.  What did he tell them?"  Well, what did he do to them immediately after this?  Verse 33, "He took them the same hour of the night, washed their stripes and was baptized."  The jailer took care of them and he was baptized.  What does baptism signify?  When you go down in the water and you come out, what's that an identification with?  The resurrection of Jesus Christ.  They must have gotten very clearly the message of resurrection. 

Acts 17:30, "God commands everyone everywhere to repent because He has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained concerning which He has given assurance unto all."  How did God give assurance to all that this in fact was the Messiah, that this in fact was the Lord that this in fact was the judge and the coming king?  How did He do it?  "In that He raised Him from the dead, raised Him from the dead."  That's the key.

     1 Peter 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."  And you can read the whole fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians. The resurrection was the ultimate approval, substantiation, verification of the ministry of Christ.  It showed that He indeed was God in human flesh, able to conquer death, hell, Satan.  It showed that He had lived a perfect life for death had no right to hold Him. There was no sin for which He must pay.  It showed that He conquered death, all of that, that the Father approved of His work on the cross and took Him out of the grave and set Him at His own right hand.  Philippians 2 tells us that He humbled Himself, took upon Himself the form of a man, found in fashion as a servant.  And He went through all the suffering that He went through and then it says God has Highly exalted Him, given Him a name which is above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.

     The resurrection was the Father's stamp of approval. An infinitely holy God put His stamp of approval on the work of Jesus Christ.  That is what you say when you believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead

Back to Romans 10 — that you believe in your heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, you're saying something that's far more than just believing in an isolated event.  In essence, what you're saying is that you believe that this is the incarnate God who came into the world, God in human flesh, lived a perfect life, died a substitutionary death, went into the grave and conquered death, came out the other side having purchased salvation for us, is now seated at the right hand of God the Father, and someday will come again as the Father's appointed judge and King to judge men and to rule the world forever.  That's all bound up in the resurrection.

     If Paul had picked any other event, it wouldn’t have been as significant as this.  The resurrection says He is Son of God.  The resurrection says He is Messiah, He is Savior.  He is the ultimate Lamb, the sacrifice for the sins of the world.  He is the perfect one, the sinless one, the one exalted at the right hand of God, the one to be the judge, the one to be the King. The only Savior, the judge of all men, the conqueror of death, the coming King, the eternal monarch of glory; all of that is bound up in the resurrection.  And that's what we're called to believe.

     In other words, you couldn’t say, "Well, I believe that Jesus rose from the dead. It just doesn't matter to me."  No, that's not the kind of belief we're talking about. It's when your heart affirms all that the resurrection is intended to affirm.  Affirming that the resurrection of Jesus was a historical fact won't save you.  It is when you see in the resurrection the divine verification of all that Jesus claimed to be and do, that's the issue, it's believing that. 

The Greek word in one form or another for faith and believing is 484 times in the New Testament.  That's a lot of times.  It's the key to salvation. 

John 8:30 Jesus is talking to the population there, the area around Jerusalem.  And He says things to them about Himself, about the Father. Then in verse 30, "As He spoke these words, many believed."  Well there wasn't any resurrection yet so they couldn't believe that.  What did they believe? Well they believed He was a prophet, they believed His words were true. They believed that He was a messenger from God.  They believed He was a miracle worker.  They believed He was a teacher.  Whatever.  But Jesus said to those Jews who believed, "If you continue in My Word then you're My real disciples."  Something more than believing, right?  There's continuing.  In other words, it isn't enough that you've accepted Me as a miracle worker, or that you believe I'm a teacher from God, you've got to continue to believe everything else that I have to say about Myself.  And that's what cut them out.

     There are people who believe Jesus is the Son of God.  And they may believe that He died on a cross and that He came out of the grave.  But that's not saving faith because it doesn't imply that they embrace in the deepest part of their being all that His work meant.  Do you understand that?  All that it meant.  All that it implied.  In John 2 it says some people believed but He didn't commit Himself unto them because He knew the heart of man and He knew what their thinking was.  And it wasn't adequate.  It wasn't sufficient.  James talks about the kind of faith that is dead faith. Because it has no product.  What kind of believing is this?  Well it's superficial believing.  It's shallow believing.  It doesn't encompass everything.  And that's why in Romans 10 Paul says you must believe in the fullest sense from the deepest part of your person that God raised Him from the dead.  In other words, all that that implies must be believed.

          Believes means an ongoing condition not a one-time event of belief. True faith is a way of life.

Saving faith consists of three elements:

  • Mental - The mind understands the gospel and truth about Christ
  • Emotional - one embraces the truthfulness of those facts with sorrow over sin and joyfulness over God's mercy and Grace
  • A volitional or voluntary submission of the sinners will to Christ and trusts in Christ alone as the only hope of salvation.


Jas 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

     Lu 4:33 Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, 34 saying, "Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are--the Holy One of God!"

The words of Thomas are very familiar to us, when he sees Jesus he says "My Lord and My God."  “God” has to do with deity, “Lord” has to do with sovereignty.  And if they both meant the same thing then he was repeating himself.  “Lord” is the word that indicates sovereign power, sovereign control.  “God” is the expression of deity.

The point is that the true heart that really believes, understands the fullness of who Christ is and willingly submits to His authority.

In the book of Acts, He is called “Savior” two times and “Lord” 92 times.  And in the whole New Testament the word, "Lord" appears 634 times.  “Savior,” appears 24 times, and never before “Lord,” but always after 116 times.  God and Savior twice.  Therefore, the context here of Romans 10 fits right into the standard understanding of this word kurios, that it is a word of sovereign ruler ship.

Tit 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

 2Pe 1:1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

Salvation is to believe that He is all of that and to affirm that you take your place under His sovereign ruler ship.

     Demons believe the right stuff, but have no capacity to submit to the lordship of Christ.  That's why the Bible in Romans 1 calls it the obedience of faith.  It is faith that leads to obedient submission to the lordship of Christ.




Romans 10:5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, "The man who does those things shall live by them."  6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or," 'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):


Ro 10:5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, "The man who does those things shall live by them."

That is to say, Moses speaks of the righteousness which is of the law and defines what it is and he also speaks of the righteousness of faith. For the former Leviticus 18:5 is quoted and for the latter Deuteronomy 30:12, 14

If a Jew or anyone is to receive righteousness by keeping the demands of the Law, that would be human achievement; it would not be from God. However, a Jew or anyone would need to keep the entire Law perfectly all his life—an impossible task

Jas 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

But then Paul also quoted Moses in support of his righteousness-by-faith position centered in Christ as “the end of the Law” and the means by which righteousness is available for everyone who believes. It does not seem appropriate that Paul was merely borrowing Moses’ words and applying them to something foreign in Moses’ thought. This says that righteousness by faith is not a new concept, but had been proclaimed to Israel by Moses.

Paul quoted from the Old Testament to prove to his readers that they did not even understand their own Law. He began with Leviticus 18:5 which states the purpose of the Law: if you obey it, you live.

“But we did obey it!” they would argue.

Galatians 3:10 "For as many as are of the works of the law,” as many people as want to live by the works, as many people want to live by law, want to be self-savers, “are under the curse."  They are all accursed.  "For its written, cursed is everyone that continues not in all things written in the book of the law to do them."  So if you've ever not done something you ought to do, or ever done something you should not have done, you're out, you're cursed. 

               “You may have obeyed it outwardly,” Paul would reply, “but you did not believe it from your heart.” He then quoted Deuteronomy 30:12–14 and gave the passage a deeper spiritual meaning.

               The theme of Moses’ message was “the commandment” (Deut. 30:11), referring to the Word of God. Moses argued that the Jews had no reason to disobey the Word of God because it had been clearly explained to them and it was not far from them. In fact, Moses urged them to receive the Word in their hearts

When we think of the truth expressed in Deuteronomy 30:12–14, we can see the appropriateness of the use of this passage to show that the same principles over which the Jews stumbled are the principles which verify to the fullest extent the truth of the passage from which the apostle quotes.

De 5:29 'Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever

De 6:5 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.13:3

De 30:6 "And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.). The emphasis in Deuteronomy is on the heart, the inner spiritual condition and not mere outward acts of obedience.

  1. Involves the mouth and the heart (6-8)

               Ro 10:6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or," 'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).  8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):

               The material in Deuteronomy was part of Moses’ charge to the generation of Israel about to enter the land of Canaan. This exhortation was the conclusion of Moses’ prophetic description of God’s dealing with Israel. Blessing was promised for faith and obedience, and chastisement would result from rejection and disobedience. If Israel forsook God, Moses said, she would face worldwide dispersion and affliction. When the people then finally do turn to God in faith, He will restore them to blessing, prosperity, and prominence among the nations (Deut. 30:1–10). The point of Moses’ exhortation (Deut. 30:11) is that the generation to whom he was speaking had the message (it was very near you and in your mouth, Deut. 30:14) and they could respond by faith (in your heart, Deut. 30:14) and walk with God in obedience. Since the Israelites in Moses’ day had the message, they did not need to ask that it be brought down from heaven or that someone “cross the sea to get it” (Deut. 30:13). Instead, the word (Moses’ instructions) was “near” them (Deut. 30:14).

De 30:10 "if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

The Jews were trying to do the impossible.  They were trying to ascend to heaven. That's what a works system does; save yourself, get up, and crawl up to heaven on your own.  Descend into the deep. 

               Those are two Jewish proverbs.  In fact, to be high and afar off was a Jewish way of saying something is unattainable.  Thou art high, it says of God, that art very high.  It says of the wicked, God sees them afar off, that is there's no way to reach them.  To the Jew to be high in the heavens or deep in the depths, to ascend to heaven, to go down to hell was to do what was impossible.  So he reaches back to Deuteronomy 30 and says Moses says that the righteousness of faith is not available just for those who can do the impossible.  It's available for anybody.  It's right there. 

               Paul assures us that the intent of this passage in Deuteronomy is a call to faith.  He even calls it in Romans 10:8 the word of faith.  It is a call to a heart response.  It is a call to faith.  It is the obedience of the heart that he is after, not just some external behavior.  A call to faith, a call to a true heart relationship to God in Deuteronomy, is based on the covenant of grace. Deuteronomy is not simply a call to legal externalism; it is a call to respond in faith to a covenant of grace.

De 9:4 "Do not think in your heart, after the LORD your God has cast them out before you, saying, 'Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land'; but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out from before you. 5 "It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you go in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD your God drives them out from before you, and that He may fulfill the word which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 6 "Therefore understand that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people.

It is better, therefore, to take the statement as implying that the Jews are saying Jesus never came down from heaven and the preceding question as the taunt of unbelief. What Paul is insisting on is the accessibility, the nearness of revelation. That Christ came down from heaven and tabernacled among men is the most significant proof of this fact. We dare not say: who shall ascend to heaven to find the truth? For this question discounts the incarnation and is a denial of its meaning. In Christ, the truth came to earth.

Ro 10:7 or," 'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).

The other statement: “that is, to bring Christ up from the dead” (vs. 7) should be interpreted as a denial of the resurrection. The question: “who shall descend into the abyss?” echoes the same kind of unbelief as that of verse 6. It is to the effect: who shall go down to the abyss to find the truth? The abyss as representing that which is below is contrasted with heaven as that which is above. The question, as the language of unbelief, discounts the significance of Christ’s resurrection. The second phrase means that Jesus went to the realm of the dead and returned to life again. We do not need to go down to the abyss to find the truth any more than we need to ascend to heaven for the same purpose. For as Christ came from heaven to earth so also did he come again from the lower parts of the earth and revealed himself to men.

Eph 4:8 Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men." 9 (Now this, "He ascended" --what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

               1Pe 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.

               In effect, Paul indicated that the same truth applied to his generation, with the added fact that Christ had come in the flesh (John 1:14) and had been resurrected. Therefore there was no need for anyone to ask to bring Christ down (in His Incarnation) or to bring Christ up from the dead; He had already come and had been resurrected. The message of righteousness by faith in Paul’s day was “near” his readers (available to them) and this was “the word” (rhēma, “saying”) of faith he was proclaiming (rhēma, “the spoken word” is also used in Eph. 5:26; 6:17; 1 Peter 1:25). Thus the gospel, “the word of faith,” is available and accessible

Isa 45:19 I have not spoken in secret, In a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, 'Seek Me in vain'; I, the LORD, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

Ro 10:8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach):

Verse 8 is the affirmation of what is the burden of Deuteronomy 30:12–14 and is, with slight alteration, quotation of verse 14. Paul now specifies what this word is: it is “the word of faith, which we preach”. So the word of Deuteronomy 30:14 is applied directly to the message of the gospel as preached by the apostles. “

The word of faith” is the word to which faith is directed, not the word which faith utters. It is the word preached and therefore the message that brings the gospel into our mouth and heart.

Deut 30:10 Original Context if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 11 "For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. 12 "It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?'

               Paul gave us the spiritual understanding of this admonition. He saw “the commandment” or “the Word” as meaning “Christ, God’s Word.” So, he substituted “Christ” for “the commandment.” He told us that God’s way of salvation was not difficult and complicated. We do not have to go to heaven to find Christ, or into the world of the dead. He is near to us. In other words, the Gospel of Christ—the Word of faith—is available and accessible. The sinner need not perform difficult works in order to be saved. All he has to do is trust Christ. The very Word on the lips of the religious Jews was the Word of faith. The very Law that they read and recited pointed to Christ.

               God doesn't scorn the lost soul by mocking him with an offering of salvation that is utterly unattainable and expecting him to go on an impossible quest.





Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.


 1) To see the importance of combining zeal with the right kind of knowledge

 2) To understand that Israel had plenty of opportunity to heed the gospel of Christ, but for the most part they had rejected it


 As Paul continues to explain God's dealings with the nation of Israel, he repeats his expression of love towards them (1).  Though as a nation they had plenty of zeal, unfortunately their zeal was not according to the right kind of knowledge (2).  Thus they rejected the righteousness of God while trying to establish their own righteousness through the Law of Moses.  But Paul explains that Christ is the fulfillment of the Law and has brought it to an end (3-4).

 The righteousness God now offers is based upon faith in Christ, not keeping the Law.  It involves not the accomplishment of some great feat (like ascending to heaven or descending to hell), but such things as confessing Jesus as Lord and believing that God raised Him from the dead (5-10).  As foretold by Scripture, it is offered to all, both Jew and Gentile (11-13).  And it is offered through the medium of preaching the Word (14-15).

 The problem with the nation of Israel, then, is that not all of them received the gospel message, even when they had ample opportunity (16-18).  But as Moses predicted, the day would come when God would provoke Israel to jealousy by another people, who Isaiah said did not seek God yet found Him, while Israel was constantly rebelling against Him (19-21).

 The theme of this chapter is Israel’s present rejection. Paul moved from divine sovereignty (Rom. 9) to human responsibility. He continued the theme of righteousness introduced at the end of the previous chapter (Rom. 9:30–33) and explains three aspects of Israel’s rejection


The Reasons for Their Rejection (Rom. 10:1–13)

 You would think that Israel as a nation would have been eagerly expecting the arrival of their Messiah and been prepared to receive Him. For centuries they had known the Old Testament prophecies and had practiced the Law, which was “a schoolmaster” to lead them to Christ (Gal. 3:24). God had sought to prepare the nation, but when Jesus Christ came, they rejected Him. “He came unto His own [world] and His own [people] received Him not” (John 1:11). To be sure, there was a faithful remnant in the nation that looked for His arrival, such as Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:25–38); but the majority of the people were not ready when He came.

How do we explain this tragic event? Paul gives several reasons why Israel rejected their Messiah.


  1. That Israel be saved, for they have zeal but not real knowledge (1-2)

Ro 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.

They did not feel a need for salvation (v. 1). There was a time when Paul would have agreed with his people, for he himself opposed the Gospel and considered Jesus Christ an impostor. Israel considered the Gentiles in need of salvation, but certainly not the themselves. In several of His parables, Jesus pointed out this wrong attitude: the elder brother (Luke 15:11–32) and the Pharisee (Luke 18:9–14) are two examples. Israel would have been happy for political salvation from Rome, but she did not feel she needed spiritual salvation from her own sin.

Ro 10:2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.

They were zealous for God (v. 2). Ever since Israel returned to their land from Babylonian Captivity, the nation had been cured of idolatry. In the temple and the local synagogues, only the true God was worshiped and served, and only the true Law was taught.

So zealous were the Jews that they even “improved upon God’s Law” and added their own traditions, making them equal to the Law.

Paul himself had been zealous for the Law and the traditions (Acts 26:1–11; Gal. 1:13–14).

Ac 22:3 "I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers' law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today.

Ga 1:13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers

               it was as if Paul had been considering himself a 100-watt light bulb, surrounded by people who were only 75-, 60-, and 25-watt light bulbs. But, when Jesus appeared to him, the righteousness of Jesus was like the brightness of the sun. When Paul realized that, he gave up trying to create his own righteousness and instead placed his faith in Jesus, which was the only sensible thing to do.[1]

               But their zeal was not based on the right kind of knowledge; it was heat without light. Sad to say, many religious people today are making the same mistake. They think that their good works and religious deeds will save them, when actually these practices are keeping them from being saved. Certainly many of them are sincere and devout, but sincerity and devotion will never save the soul. “Therefore by the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight” (Rom. 3:20).

  1. Through ignorance, they seek to save themselves by the Law, and do not submit to God's righteousness in Christ which brings an end to the Law (3-4)

Ro 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.

               They were proud and self-righteous (v. 3). Israel was ignorant of God’s righteousness, not because they had never been told, but because they refused to learn. There is an ignorance that comes from lack of opportunity, but Israel had had many opportunities to be saved. In their case, it was an ignorance that stemmed from willful, stubborn resistance to the truth. They would not submit to God. They were proud of their own good works and religious self-righteousness, and would not admit their sins and trust the Savior. Paul had made the same mistake before he met the Lord (Phil. 3:1–11).

The godly Presbyterian preacher, Robert Murray McCheyne, was passing out tracts one day and handed one to a well-dressed lady. She gave him a haughty look and said, “Sir, you must not know who I am!”

In his kind way, McCheyne replied, “Madam, there is coming a day of judgment, and on that day it will not make any difference who you are!”

 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

They misunderstood their own Law (vv. 4–13). Everything about the Jewish religion pointed to the coming Messiah—their sacrifices, priesthood, temple services, religious festivals, and covenants. Their Law told them they were sinners in need of a Saviour. But instead of letting the Law bring them to Christ They worshiped their Law and rejected their Saviour.

 Ga 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

               The Law was a signpost, pointing the way. But it could never take them to their destination. The Law cannot give righteousness; it only leads the sinner to the Saviour who can give righteousness.

Christ is “the end of the Law” in the sense that through His death and resurrection, He has terminated the ministry of the Law for those who believe. The Law is ended as far as Christians are concerned. The righteousness of the Law is being fulfilled in the life of the believer through the power of the Spirit (Rom. 8:4); but the reign of the Law has ended (see Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14). “For ye are not under the Law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14).

Ga 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Mt 5:17 "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,  14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

               Whether you're reading in the Old Testament passages such as 1Kings 9, Deuteronomy 28, or the NT in Luke 21, you hear these passages that promise tragedy to Israel.  And in the lifetime of the Old Testament prophets and people, these tragedies came to pass.  And in the lifetime of the New Testament writers, these tragedies also came to pass.  And it continues even to our own time that we see the devastation, the destruction, the lostness of the nation Israel.  And we ask ourselves the question, what happened?  And that's the very question that Paul is posing in this part of Romans.  How is it that the people of God have missed the blessings?  How is it that the nation Israel to whom were given the very covenants of God and promises of God and laws of God and the Holy Scriptures and the prophets, how is it that they have missed out on God's blessing?  How is it that they have been set aside for judgment and punishment?  And Romans chapter 10 is written to answer the question.  And basically it is because of Israel's ignorant unbelief.

Because of their ignorant unbelief, they forfeited God's blessings as all men and women do who live in unbelief, and bring upon themselves God's judgments. 






  1. Though they had not actively been looking for it (30a)
  2. Yet many have attained righteousness through faith (30b)

Once again Paul asked his familiar rhetorical question, What then shall we say? (cf. 4:1; 6:1; 8:31; 9:14) preparatory to his summation of this situation[1]

Ro 1:17; 4:11; 10:20

The unbelief of Israel does not violate the prerequisite of God.  And what is the prerequisite of God for a relationship to Him?  What does God require from us to be related to Him?  What's the one word?  Faith. 

This section is a welcome balance to the heavy dose of sovereignty we've been exposed to because this section talks about our responsibility, human responsibility, faith, faith.  It puts us back in the divine tension where we're more comfortable, right?  We get too heavy on the end of sovereignty and we really get confused, we really start bearing some heavy loads.  And we need another side of that tension, that human responsibility, that faith.  We need that apparent paradox, we need that balance again.

          Now these are mutually exclusive things, the absolute and utter sovereignty of God planned before the world began, all worked out according to His plan, and our faith and our responsibility.  They're mutually exclusive. They appear to us to be contradictory and opposite. They are in truth, however, not.  It's just that our minds are too limited, we can't perceive it.  In God's mind they have perfect harmony.

 Paul moves from divine sovereignty to human responsibility. Note that Paul did not say “elect” and “nonelect,” but rather emphasized faith. Here is a paradox: the Jews sought for righteousness but did not find it, while the Gentiles, who were not searching for it, found it! The reason? Israel tried to be saved by works and not by faith. They rejected “grace righteousness” and tried to please God with “Law righteousness.” The Jews thought that the Gentiles had to come up to Israel’s level to be saved; when actually the Jews had to go down to the level of the Gentiles to be saved. “For there is no difference: for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:22–23). Instead of permitting their religious privileges (Rom. 9:1–5) to lead them to Christ, they used these privileges as a substitute for Christ.[1]

Now Paul's been saying the Jews have no claim on salvation. . Only a remnant was supposed to be saved.  So we're not surprised at that.  It's no change in God's promise.  It's no violation of His person and it's no alteration of His plan.  And now he says what we've been waiting to hear. It was also their own fault.  That's right. It was also their own fault.  And if you can't figure how those two go together, just be happy that you're like every other person who ever faced this doctrine.  We can't figure it out either.  We just believe it.

       He shows that unbelief was their responsibility and due to their own unbelief and their own rejection, they were guilty and they were judged on the basis of their own guilt.  Ro 9:30 What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith;

 There's no article here, that Gentiles who followed not after righteousness, who didn't pursue it, diōkō, to run swiftly after something, to run earnestly endeavoring to acquire it.  That the people who never even chased it, who never even pursued it got it.

          "What does he mean by that?"  Just this, Gentiles are without God, without hope, without the Word of God, empty, abandoned to their sinful life.  Read Romans 1, given over to lust, given over to evil, given over to reprobate mind.  You think that the Gentiles, you think the mass of people in the world are pursuing the true God and His righteousness? 

 How to be right with God is not the main pursuit of the world, is it?  The world is not madly trying to get right with the true God.  And here is the world, all these Gentiles, who weren't pursuing it and when the gospel came, far more of them believed it than the Jews did.           

Paul says isn't that shocking that the Gentiles who never even pursued righteousness as a way of life attained it.  Galling to the Jew to hear him say this, by the way.  But when the gospel came, that's exactly what happened.

          Why?  Here's the answer to the question I gave you at the beginning.  Because the greatest obstacle to salvation is self- righteousness.  You understand that?  Because you can't get saved if you don't know you need it, right?  And that's what hung up the Jews. They thought they were already righteous.  You see, they had spent their whole life pursuing a right relationship with God through their own efforts. So when the gospel came and condemned their sin, it did not compute because they thought themselves righteous.  So the Jews rejected, except for a small remnant, small remnant.

          The Gentiles who followed not after righteousness have attained to righteousness, How did the Gentiles get saved?  How did the Gentiles come to righteousness?" Sovereign election; God chose them before the foundation of the world. That's not what it says.  It says, they attained to righteousness, watch this in verse 30, the end of the verse, even the righteousness which is by election.  Is that what it says?  No.  Which is what? Faith.  Aren't you happy to see that?  Doesn't that relieve some of the pressure?  Now you're back in balance again, aren't you?

          He says this, "Even the righteousness (should be) which is by faith."  Did they get it by works?  No.  Does he talk about sovereign election?  He's now turned a corner and he's talking about human responsibility.  He says, "Hey, the Gentiles who never even as a way of life pursued a right relationship with God got one by faith."  Believing, that's the heart of the gospel, beloved.  That's the heart of the gospel.  Go back through Romans, chapter 1 verse 17, chapter 3 verse 21, verse 22, verse 28, verse 30, chapter 4 verse 3, verse 9, verse 10, verse 11, verse 12, verse 16, 17, 18, 19, all the way to 25, chapter 5 verse 1, chapter 10 verses 3, 6, and 10, on Philippians 3:9,

How many places can you read in the Bible where the writer talks about salvation by faith?  It's the heart of the gospel. We are justified by faith. And there's the human response.  The Gentile got it not because he was elect, but because he believed.  That's the balance of human responsibility.

  1. FOR ISRAEL (31-33)
  2. Though diligent for the Law, did not have the attitude of faith (31-32a)

31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.

Ro 10:2; 11:7; Ga 5:4

Verse 31: "But Israel, who followed after the law of righteousness." 

Did they do that?  The word "law" means principle, or standard.  They pursued the principle of righteousness.  It was a way of life, we must be righteous, we must be righteous, we've got to do this and not do that and do this and not do that. And they had all this countless prescriptions pursuing the principle of righteousness, pursuing the standard of righteousness incessantly as a way of life they did that.  And they did it all by what?  By works. Proud-hearted legalists pursuing self-righteously a right relationship to God and it says they went after the law of righteousness and they did not attain it.  They didn't get it.

          32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law

You say, "They weren't elect, weren't chosen."  It's not what it says.  You say, "Why didn't they get it?"  Verse 32, that's what Paul says, why?  Why didn't they get it?  Because they sought it not by what? By faith."  That simple.  There is salvation by seeking with faith, not pursuing by works.  I'm going to get better, I'm going to do better, I'm going to act better, I'm going to think better, I'm going to talk better and God will like me better and then I'll be okay with Him. 

 No, it's saying, the only thing that you can do to be saved is to believe that you can do nothing to be saved and cast yourself on the mercy of God.

          Some of the Gentiles did that, great numbers of them.  A few Jews did.  But Israel, who all their life had pursued a standard of righteousness, never got it because they sought it not by faith. But it says, as it were, "by the works of the law."  They tried to get it by law keeping, by their own abilities.  In fact, a gracious, merciful salvation given as a free gift was an offense to a self-righteous Jew, because it said none of your works matter, none of your works count and he couldn't handle that.  That's why they rejected Jesus with such anger, such bitterness, such hatred because they were so offended that all their life-long of all these righteous deeds added up to Zero and when they looked at the cross and they were told this man is dying for your sins, the cross was to them what?  First Corinthians 1, foolishness, foolishness, it offended them, it offended them.

          Paul says, "Well, they didn't get it because they didn't believe.  And the Gentiles got it because they believed.  And that's how you get it, by believing."  And that's the perfect balance to the sovereignty of God.

          Now Paul wants to sort of affirm his point so he does what he's done through the whole chapter, he quotes two Old Testament prophetic texts.  One prophet, two texts.  He quotes from Isaiah 8:14 and Isaiah 28:16. Verse 32, the end of the verse, "For they stumbled at that stumbling stone."  That's drawn from Isaiah 8:14.  Isaiah predicted that they would stumble on a stumbling stone.  That's right.  He predicted it.  So we're not shocked.  We're not surprised that the Jew didn't believe because Isaiah said they stumbled at the stone.  And that's what they did.  Jesus came and said He was the cornerstone, didn't He?  The chief cornerstone, but for some He was a stone of what? Stumbling, a stone of stumbling.

          The Isaiah 8:14 passage directly refers to God.  God is the stone in Isaiah 8:14.  In the New Testament, Christ is the stone.  What does that tell you about Christ?  He's God.  Another affirmation of His deity.  For 1 Peter 2:8 affirms that Christ is that stone over which the Jews stumbled.

  1. And therefore stumbled over Christ, as foretold by Isaiah (32b-33)

32bFor they stumbled at that stumbling stone.

Lu 2:34; 1Co 1:23

 33 As it is written: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."

Ps 118:22; Isa 8:14; 28:16; Mt 21:42; Ro 10:11; 1Pe 2:6-8

Paul closes out the chapter with a reference to one other text in Isaiah, Isaiah 28:16, and he combines it with his Isaiah 8:14,15 passage.  He just puts them together.  "As it is written from Isaiah 28:16 and 8:14 to 15, Behold I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and a rock of offense and whosoever believes on Him shall not be ashamed."  He puts those together.  Jesus Christ for some is a stumbling stone and a rock of offense.  He offends.  He causes people to fall over.  And the stumbling stone can have, I think, the primary imagery of they trip over Him.  They don't notice His significance.  That's one element of it.

          The other one is that He gets in the way of their pursuit.  He's bothersome.  He's an irritant.  The rock of offense, He offends them.  Christ came and He caused them to stumble in their self-righteous pursuit.  He confronted them and they tripped all over the place and He offended them. 

 But whoever believed on Him shall not be ashamed. What does that mean?  Well, a better way to translate that, comparing it with Isaiah 28:16 would be "shall not be fearful."  I like that.  Shall not be fearful.  Whoever believes, whosoever believes, how did this get in Romans 9?  Whosoever believes... Did Paul convert to Methodism at the end of the chapter?  Did he get Arminian?  Whosoever?  That's the balance. Whosoever believes has no reason to fear.  He'll cause some people to stumble.  He'll cause some people to be offended.  And He will be a crushing and a smiting stone in judgment.  But for those who believe on Him, whosoever believes on Him shall not be ashamed. 

          The issue then is faith.  Do you believe or don't you believe?  That's the issue.  You must decide about Christ.  You're going to run along saying, "I'm okay, I'm okay the way I am, I'm okay."  And Christ is going to get in the middle of your road and going to say, "No you're not.  You're a vile, wretched sinner and all your righteousness adds up to is filthy rags and you can't get to God by your own works."  And He's going to make you stumble in the path.  And He's going to offend you.  And you can just be offended and call it all foolishness and try to get around it and pursue it and then He's going to be a smiting stone, the Bible says, in judgment. Or, you can say, "Hey, I believe it."  And if you believe it you have nothing to what? To fear, no judgment to fear.

          So justification by grace through faith is true. And the unbelief of Israel doesn't in one sense violate God's promise, His person, His plan or His prerequisite.  His prerequisite has always been the same. We're saved by Faith. There is a remnant because God chose a remnant. There is a remnant because it is only a few who believe.  And that's the way God knew it would be and that's the way He planned it to be and that's the way it works out, so it doesn't do away with the truth of the gospel. 


  1.  You can pursue God, without finding God if it is done in the wrong way and not by faith, but by works.
  2.  God has not abandoned Israel even though only a remnant are saved
  3.  The church is like Israel, there are only really a few, a remnant that are truly saved




  1. Not of Jews only, as foretold by Hosea (24-26)

24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

God’s plan always was for Gentiles to be saved.

Isa 11:10, Isa 42:1, Isa 42:6, Isa 49:6 Indeed He says, 'It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.'"

Isa 60:3, Ro 3:29

25 As He says also in Hosea: "I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved."

 So here is Hosea, he marries a woman, she becomes a prostitute. She gives him three kids, one named "scattered," the other named "not pitied," and the other named "not My people."  Now what do those names have reference to?  God's attitude toward adulterous Israel.  The children of adulterous Israel are scattered and not pitied and not the people of God.  That's what it's saying.  They are not any longer My people.  They're not My people.  So Israel was not God's people.  The relationship was severed, even in the time of Hosea.  And Hosea 2:23 just simply points that out.  They're not My people, not My beloved.

 In Hosea 2 God is going to bring them back. 

Now when you read in verse 25 of Romans 9, "I will call them My people who were not My people and call her beloved who was not beloved," you know what he's talking about, don't you?  He's talking about Israel.  There's no other way to explain it.  He has to be talking about Israel because that's who Hosea is talking about. Now when you read in verse 25 of Romans 9, "I will call them My people who were not My people and call her beloved who was not beloved," He's talking about Israel.  There's no other way to explain it.  He has to be talking about Israel because that's who Hosea is talking about.

Jer 30:10 'Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,' says the LORD, 'Nor be dismayed, O Israel; For behold, I will save you from afar, And your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, And no one shall make him afraid.

Isa 41:13; 43:5; 44:2; Jer 3:18; 46:27-28

when Hosea wrote, that had an immediate historical fulfillment, didn't it?  As the people were severed from God, and carried off into captivity from which eventually God brought back the southern kingdom and a remnant of the northern kingdom.  So the prophecy was historically fulfilled in the restoration after the Babylonian captivity.  But that was only the first and historical fulfillment.  There was yet a future prophetic perspective.  And Paul here identifies it with the unbelief of the Jews during the time of Christ.  He says, "Look, we are not surprised now when we see Jewish unbelief and we see them separating themselves from God and we see them denying the gospel. We are not surprised now when they enter into unbelief and sever themselves from God.  Because Hosea said that that's the kind of people they were.  And Hosea saw it in the immediate sense and the Spirit of God saw in the very words He gave to Hosea the future sense."

 So the Holy Spirit applies through Paul what Hosea saw historically to the time of Christ.  And the Israel of Christ is also a prostitute, also a harlot who has abandoned God and forsaken God.  And the truth was in 70 A.D. what happened to them?  Scattered, not pitied and not My people. The whole historical scene took place again at the devastation of Jerusalem when the Jews were scattered.  And have they suffered?  Have they suffered?  It's as if God does not pity them, isn't it?  They're not His people for this period of time.

And so when we read the passage in Hosea then, we say yes, God anticipated the unbelief of Israel both in Hosea's time and here the Holy Spirit tells us even in the time of the apostle Paul, the time of Christ. So the unbelief of Israel doesn't violate God's plan, it does what? It fits it.  It's a tremendous thing.  It fits God's plan.  Israel is not now the people of God. They are a not pitied people.  They are a scattered people.

No it's not permanent, look back at verse 25 again and see what it says.  "I will call them My people who were not My people and her beloved who was not beloved."  It even refers to the time of restoration, doesn't it?  It even refers to the time when they'll be called back.  Israel is not now the people of God but they will be.  Look at chapter 11 verse 1.  "I say then, hath God cast away His people?"  I mean, is this permanent?  "God forbid."  Verse 2: "God hath not cast away His people."  Look at verse 26 in the same chapter.  "And so all Israel shall be (What?) saved."  And verse 27 says, "For this is My covenant unto them when I shall take away their sins."

 In other words, those who are not now a people will become a people.  Those who are not now beloved will become beloved.  But the point of the text is just to show you that for the time we are not surprised at the unbelief of Israel.  We saw it historically.  And that historical unbelief became prophetic of the unbelief that exists since the time of Christ until their belief comes during the time of the tribulation prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  So we're in the time when Israel fulfills the prophecy of Hosea.  They are a scattered, not pitied, not My people.

Now Peter refers to this same idea, this same concept in 1 Peter 2:10.  He refers to it indirectly and identifies it with the church.  And that's kind of an interesting thing.  I don't think he directly quotes Hosea, in my opinion.  I think he alludes to the same concept only in this case it's the church.  Now listen to what I say.  Because we also were a scattered, unpitied people who were not the people of God when we were saved, right?  That's right.  So Peter applies the same principle to us, for Gentiles outside the covenant are a scattered, unpitied people without a relationship to God.

How can Peter take something clearly referring to Israel and apply it to the church?"  Very simple, are you ready for this?  When Israel becomes scattered, unpitied and has no relationship to God, they're just like the Gentiles, right?  They're just like the Gentiles, no difference.  Jew and Gentile in unbelief are equally not God's people, are equally not pitied by God in a special covenantal way, are equally scattered and unsaved.  And so Peter sees the general truth of the state of Israel as a general truth also true of the Gentiles.

  So, Hosea directly applies the prophecy historically in his time.  Paul directly applies the prophecy in his time.  And Peter indirectly associates the concept with the identification of the church as a no people become the people of God.

  26 "And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people,' There they shall be called sons of the living God."

Now just notice in verse 25 that there's a beautiful set of terminologies, "My people, My people, My beloved," and the end of verse 26, "sons of the living God."  Beautiful terms.  The Lord's going to bring those people back.  Now Paul while he's in Hosea comes to another verse and quotes it in verse 26, "It shall come to pass that in the place where it was said unto them, ye are not My people, there shall they be called the sons of the living God."  Now he got that out of chapter 1 verse 9 of Hosea where it says, "Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea which cannot be measured nor numbered, it will come to pass in the place where it was said to them, You are not My people, it shall be said to them, You are the sons of the living God."

          It's kind of interesting because he simply paraphrases Hosea 2:23 but he does a direct quote of Hosea 1:9.  It's almost verbatim quote. And again this text affirms the same thing.  Look at verse 26 of Romans 9 "It will come to pass that in the place where it was said unto them, You are not My people."  Where was that place?  Where was it said to them, "You're not My people?"  Every place, they were scattered.  "In that place it will be said to them, You are the sons of the living God."  In other words, you who were scattered will be re-gathered, Hosea 1:9 says.  And that happened historically.  After the captivities God gathered His people back from the lands of the Gentiles. They were re-gathered to be called again the sons of the living God.  And that, by the way, is a title that stands in opposition to sons of idols, sons of dead gods, sons of no gods, sons of dumb gods that can't talk and deaf gods that can't hear and blind gods that can't see.  We are sons of the living God. It's such a great phrase, isn't it?  Not some dumb idol.

          So please note that the use of Hosea's prophecies is not particularly to emphasize Israel's restoration, though that appears in the prophecies that He'll call them back to be His people, His beloved sons of the living God.  The particular point in using the prophecies is to show that a future restoration of Israel demands a falling of Israel, right?  You don't have to restore what hasn't been lost.  And the point is that Paul is saying we're not shocked by Israel's unbelief, quite the contrary.  We expected it because God promised their restoration from that unbelief.  So when you look at the gospel being presented and you ask yourself the question as I have been asked by Jewish people, if your gospel is true, why didn't the Jews believe it?  I say it was planned in the prophecy...in the plan of God that the Jews would have to be restored from unbelief so we're not surprised they've entered into unbelief from which they'll be restored.

          Have they gone into that unbelief and become a scattered, not pitied people without a relationship to God except for a few?  Is that true?  Then if we've seen that come to pass, what else must we see come to pass?  Their restoration.  And I fear that many Bible students are willing to see Israel enter into the prophesied unbelief but refuse to let Israel be restored.  And you can't pick prophecy apart like that.

          But only a remnant of Israel, as foretold by Isaiah (27-29)




Romans 9:19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?" 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?" 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,

 The rightness of God’s choice

God's right to choose the objects of His mercy and His wrath (19-23)

Paul replies with a parable about the potter, borrowed from Jer. 18:1–6. God is the Potter, and the nations of the world (and their leaders) are the vessels. Some are vessels of wrath that God patiently endures until their time of destruction.

Ge 15:15 "Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16 "But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."). Others are vessels of mercy that reveal His glory. Paul then quotes Hosea 2:23 and 1:10 to show that God promised to call a “people” from among the Gentiles, a people to be called “children of the living God.” This is the church (see 1 Peter 2:9–10). He also quotes Isa. 10:22–23, showing that a remnant of Jews would also be saved (see Isa. 1:9). In other words, God’s purpose in election makes it possible for both Jews and Gentiles to be saved by grace. Neither Jew nor Gentile could be saved any way other than by the grace of God.[1]

19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?"

Paul posed the question in this verse and then answered it in the verses that follow.

John 6:37 "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.

 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?"

In other words, it is blasphemous even to question, not to mention deny, God’s right to hold men accountable when they are captives of His sovereign will.[1]

In the first place, it is presumptuous for human beings, the objects of divine judgment, to sit in judgment on their Judge. Judging is God's prerogative, not ours. Creatures have no right to complain about their Creator's behavior.

It is obvious from Paul’s wording that the ones who might be asking such questions would not be seeking God’s truth but rather self- justification. Attempting to excuse their own unbelief, sinfulness, ignorance, and spiritual rebellion, they would be apt to accuse God of injustice.

But because human understanding is so limited, even sincere questions about God’s sovereign election and predestination ultimately must go unanswered. As already noted, it is one of the many truths about God that we must accept by faith, simply because He has revealed it in His Word.[1]

  1. Man and God. The first contrast is more apparent in the Greek text than in English, for the verse begins with the words “O man” and ends with the words “the God.” Yet it is apparent enough in English. You and I are mere men and women set over against the God who made not only us but all things. It is ludicrous for creatures as small, ignorant, impotent, and sinful as we are to question the propriety of God’s moral acts. We may not understand what God is doing in any particular case. In fact, most of the time we will not, because ‘my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord” (Isa. 55:8). We can ask God to explain what He is doing, if He will. But for us to suggest that he is wrong in what he does is patently absurd.
  2. What is formed and he who formed it. The contrast between man and God, the first, stresses the insignificance of one and the greatness of the other. This second contrast brings in another matter, namely, that we are mere creatures—God is the Creator—and therefore everything we are and have comes from him, including even our ability to ask such questions.

Robert Haldane is particularly wise in the way he deals with this matter. “Any wisdom the creature possesses must have been received from the Creator; and if the Creator has the power of forming rational beings, must he not himself be infinite in wisdom? And does it not insult the Creator to pretend to find imperfection in his proceedings? … The reason and discernment between right and wrong which he [man] possesses is the gift of God; it must, then, be the greatest abuse of these faculties to employ them to question the conduct of him who gave them.”

Once again, we must stress that “Paul does not here speak of the right of God over his creatures as creatures, but as sinful creatures, as he himself clearly intimates in the next verses.”[1]

Men are not lost because they are hardened; they are hardened because they are lost; they are lost because they are sinners.

21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?

Who are we to argue with God? This is a logical argument. God is the Potter and we are the clay. God is wiser than we are and we are foolish to question His will or to resist it. (The reference here is to Isa. 45:9.) To be sure, the clay has no life and is passive in the potter’s hand. We have feelings, intellect, and willpower, and we can resist Him if we choose. (See Jer. 18 where this thought is developed.)

But it is God who determines whether a man will be a Moses or a Pharaoh. Neither Moses, nor Pharaoh, nor anyone else, could choose his parents, his genetic structure, or his time and place of birth. We have to believe that these matters are in the hands of God.

However, this does not excuse us from responsibility. Pharaoh had great opportunities to learn about the true God and trust Him, and yet he chose to rebel. Paul did not develop this aspect of truth because his theme was divine sovereignty, not human responsibility. The one does not deny the other, even though our finite minds may not fully grasp them both.

The illustration in this verse clarifies the inappropriateness of this critical attitude. Clearly Israel is in view as the vessel in the illustration (cf. Isa. 29:16; Jer. 18:6). Israel had no right to criticize God for shaping her for a particular purpose of His own choosing. Really, Israel had nothing to complain about since God had formed her for an honorable use. Obviously, the same is true of individuals.

The Reason for God’s choice

 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,

God has every right to act gloriously in such judgment, but He has, by His mercy, endured with much patience a world of sinners. He has endured their unbelief, rejection, hatred, blasphemy, and iniquity, while patiently allowing time for repentance (cf. Ps 103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

Ex 34:6-7; Nu 14:18; De 5:10; Ne 9:17; Ps 86:15; Jer 32:18; 2 Pet. 3:9).[1]

Ezekiel 18:1-6 deal with the nation Israel as do all the other passages related to this verse

Isa 29:16 Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; For shall the thing made say of him who made it, "He did not make me"? Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding"?

Isa 45:9 "Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, 'What are you making?' Or shall your handiwork say, 'He has no hands'?

Isa 64:8 But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand. 9 Do not be furious, O LORD, Nor remember iniquity forever; Indeed, please look-we all are Your people!

Eze 18:23 "Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?

People prepare themselves for destruction by pursuing sin (ch. 1; cf. Matt. 7:13; 1 Thess. 2:15-16; 2 Thess. 2:3;

Php 3:18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame--who set their mind on earthly things.).

Passive verb in 22 and active in verse 23 which means God does the action on salvation but not the lostness in verse 22

Paul had in mind those in Israel who had opposed the gospel in his day. God was patient and merciful with them (cf. 2:3-4; Acts 2:38; 3:19-20; 2 Pet. 3:9).

God has His purposes (vv. 22–24). We must never think that God enjoyed watching a tyrant like Pharaoh. He endured it. God said to Moses, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people … and have heard their cry … for I know their sorrows” (Ex. 3:7).

The fact that God was long-suffering indicates that He gave Pharaoh opportunities to be saved. The word “fitted” in Romans 9:22 does not suggest that God made Pharaoh a “vessel of wrath.” So, it should read: “fitted himself for destruction.” God prepares men for glory (Rom. 9:23), but sinners prepare themselves for judgment. In Moses and Israel God revealed the riches of His mercy; in Pharaoh and Egypt He revealed His power and wrath. Since neither deserved any mercy, God cannot be charged with injustice.

Ultimately, of course, God’s purpose was to form His church from both Jews and Gentiles (Rom. 9:24). Believers today are, by God’s grace, “vessels of mercy” which He is preparing for glory, a truth that reminds us of Romans 8:29–30.[1]

The Results from God’s Sovereign choice

23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,

Ex 14:31 Thus Israel saw the great work which the LORD had done in Egypt; so the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD and His servant Moses.

Those who believe the gospel are those in whom God will display the riches of His glory, not His wrath.

These vessels include both Jews and Gentiles (cf. 1:16; 2:10-11; 3:22).

God allowed sin to enter the world not only to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known but also to demonstrate the riches of His glory by bestowing His grace upon vessels of mercy (cf.  Eph 2:6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,).

These are people, which He prepared beforehand for glory. In this instance, the Greek verb rendered prepared is in the active voice, and the subject doing the action is specifically God (He). The great work God did in saving us puts His glory on display before all angels and all men (cf. Rev. 5:9–14).[1]

Believers are saved without any merit or work of their own, in order that God may have a means of displaying His glory, which is seen in the grace, the mercy, the compassion, and the forgiveness that He alone grants to those who come to Christ.[1]

Men fit themselves for hell; but it is God that fits men for heaven."

      2 Pet. 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.[1]


  1. Do we have a right to question God’s ways?

    1. Habakkuk is the doubting Thomas of the OT and asks God so many questions
    2. Is the question sincere or insincere? Insincere questions are sin
  2. Is man truly free if God still sovereign?
  3. What is the process whereby someone develops a hard heart?
    • Sin is the reason we harden our hearts

Rule and reign of Christ in 1Th 2:10-12 God sends a deluding influence