Study # 49
August 12, 1998
Harlingen, Texas

Thesis: God's judgment will be according to His purpose for man in coming to relational harmony with the Father and the children of the Truth. Introduction: Last week we attempted to establish the claim that James' third chapter is his attempt to blunt the appeal of the temptation to succumb to the pride of life. We also attempted to put James' words into a theological and historical setting because without that setting, the words can easily be turned into heresy and disobedience. Teachers of the Church are NEVER such by the will of man, and men who refuse the will of God are ALWAYS subject to enormous shame before Him at His coming. Thus, no one should seek to be a teacher who has not been summoned by God [note both Moses and Jeremiah sought to escape the summons by reason of meekness], and no one who has been summoned by God should reject the summons. But there are historical settings in which the believer's inability to possess status in the eyes of the majority of men is so severely highlighted that if they have not settled the issue at the Cross, they will seek to satisfy their cravings for accolades in the church. This is what James is demanding that they resist. In making this demand, James raised the spectre of the judgment of God. Interestingly, it is the judgment of God that will ultimately fix the issue of accolades--for in the final analysis it is His final opinion that makes or breaks the entire issue of "glory" for men. But, by the same token, it is the issue of the judgment of God that raises the question with which we are to deal this evening: by what criterion will His judgment be processed?