Study # 35
Thesis: Since Jesus Christ gives glory to those who operate within the faith, we must not do any less.
Introduction: Having finished with the foundation of James' argument in chapter one [that we must respond to temptation properly], we will now begin a more detailed look into the particulars of that thesis. Responding to temptation is as simple and as complicated as operating by the truth alone and being aware of the motives that drive us. Chapter two is a study of the motivation which John calls "the lust of the eyes". It is, fundamentally, a study of the drive for security through monetary acquisition, and it has very significant implications for our daily living. So, we begin in chapter two with a look into James' demand that we function like Jesus functions when it comes to how we treat one another.
May 6, 1998
- I. The Issue of the Chapter.
- A. The overall issue: succumbing to the lust of the eyes at the expense of fellow believers.
- 1. The lust of the eyes is at root a desire for security through material possessions.
- 2. The respect of persons that James addresses in the beginning and the refusal to help the poor brother at the end both indicate a level of greed and selfishness that arises out of this drive for security.
- B. The particular issue: manipulation of others for what we can get out of them.
- II. The Focus at the Beginning of the Chapter.
- A. Involves the reality of the requirement of the integration of the details of our lives into the harmony of the faith...buying the ranch.
- 1. People come into the faith with an extreme level of ignorance...often understanding very little of the Truth beyond the basic Gospel.
- 2. God has given us a lifetime so that we may bring all of the various aspects of our lives into harmony with the Truth.
- B. Involves the reality of the character of Jesus Christ as the Lord of the Glory.
- 1. Being "the Lord of the Glory" simply means that He has sovereignty over the issue of who will be exalted/glorified.
- 2. Being "the Lord of the Glory" also means that He will make His decisions based on the basic principle that glory is extended to those who accept and operate by the fundamental requirement: faith which works by love.
- 3. Being "the Lord of the Glory" also means that since there is no respect of persons with Him, glory will not be granted to anyone on the basis of "respect of persons".
- a. What IS "respect of persons"?
- 1) The term arose from the practice of giving glory to one by raising his face in your presence.
- 2) It came to mean the granting of glory on the basis of some external issue, in which there was some profit for the grantor of the glory.
- b. Why is God no respector of persons?
- 1) Because He seeks no profit of His own.
- 2) Because He seeks only life through truth and just treatment.
- c. What are the most likely areas of respect of persons for men?
- 1) Sources of physical pleasure.
- 2) Sources of relational pleasure.
- 3) Sources of spiritual pleasure.
- III. Conclusions.
- A. We are to act with absolute justice in our treatment of all men.
- B. We are to never act with injustice just because the persons involved are more or less preferred by us.