Study # 31
Thesis: The believer's responsibility is to lay aside his pursuit of glory and respond to the Word by embracing it as the inner-energizing Word that puts the soul at rest.
Introduction: In our last study we considered James' requirement that we put aside our commitment to get even because the righteousness of God cannot arise out of that kind of motivation. This evening we are going to look into the alternative. There is a root to the search for vengence. In order for the believer to possess the tranquility of soul that makes life joyful, he must deal with that root. So, this evening we want to look into the exhortation to deal with the root.
April 8, 1998
- I. What is at Stake?
- A. James calls it "the salvation of the soul".
- B. But he addresses this possibility to believers who have already been justified and made brothers to Christ and all of His servants.
- C. Therefore, we must understand what aspect of salvation he is addressing.
- 1. It has to do with the issues of what real life is: joy in the soul.
- 2. Thus, it has to do with the nature of the soul as incapable of its own salvation and as a responder to its confidence in the compelling Spirit/spirit that will determine its condition.
- 3. Therefore, the salvation of which James speaks is the deliverance of the soul from all of its worries and anticipations of evil.
- II. What is the Deliverer of the Soul?
- A. It is called the "implanted Word".
- 1. As the "Word" it refers primarily to the issue of 'expressed concepts' that have to be believed or rejected.
- 2. As the "implanted Word" it has to be referring to the New Testament teaching that the Word is fundamentally a person whose presence makes a basic impact much like a seed sown into the soil.
- a. Jesus is the Word, Who is alive and powerful.
- b. Jesus taught that the words were spirit and life.
- B. It is set within the context of a theology that teaches that the soul can only be saved by a Spirit Who can govern its future.
- III. What Must Be For the Word to Deliver?
- A. First, there must be a deliberate shedding of the barriers to God's work of deliverance.
- 1. This includes all guilt--every matter that has created uncleanness.
- 2. This includes the fundamental driver: the pursuit of glory from men.
- B. Second, there must be a deliberate commitment to the humility/meekness that comes from laying down the agenda-conflicts that arise from status seeking.
- C. Third, there must be an embracing of the Word.