FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY
Topic: James 1
James 1:3-4 (1)
by Darrel Cline
Study # 9
October 22, 1997
:Temptation can only be effectively resisted by knowledge that is keyed to the love/faith complex.
- I. What is the Objective of Temptation/Trial?
- A. With temptation, the objective is to sidetrack a walk by the Spirit where love, joy, peace, etc. are being manifested.
- B. With trial, the objective is to reinforce the process of the walk by the Spirit to enhance the consistency of the walk.
- II. How Do We Know When We Are Being Tempted or Tried?
- A. When a noticeable level of dissatisfaction arises in our life for any cause.
- 1. This will show up immediately at the emotional level because the soul is where dissatisfaction registers and emotion is how it registers.
- 2. The assumption here is that we have not already allowed the lack of peace and gratitude to be the norm.
- B. When we are in a 'problem-solving' mode, or in a 'critical-vent' mode.
- 1. If we are in a problem-solving mode, we are already acknowledging a lack of satisfaction AND our belief that we have the answer. This can be the "mountains of arrogance" mode.
- 2. If we are in a critical-vent mode, we are already into a lack of satisfaction AND a recognition that we can do nothing about it. This can be the "valleys of despair" mode.
- III. What is Automatic to the Reality of Temptation/Trial?
- A. We begin to cast about for relief from the dissatisfaction.
- B. We begin to evaluate possible solutions for their workability from our perspective [this is the test of our faith].
- IV. What are We Supposed to Do?
- A. First, we are to insist on the biblical validity of any choice of action so that we can face Jesus at the Judgment Seat without embarrassment.
- B. Second, we are to count on the inevitable benefit of being subjected to the process.
- 1. Our knowing is supposed to be deeper than simply having heard that something is true.
- a. Sometimes our knowing means we have heard the claim and we dislike it and its implications.
- b. Sometimes our knowing means we have heard the claim, have no real problems with it, but wouldn't stake much on it.
- c. The knowing to which James referred is a knowledge in which we have workable confidence.
- 2. Our knowing is supposed to include an understanding of the process called the 'testing of our faith'.
- a. The testing of our faith includes...
- 1) Having articles of faith subjected to the tension of the absence of fulfillment.
- a) Articles of faith are supposed to be grounded in our understanding of words from God.
- b) Articles of faith are supposed to be maintained in the face of the tension of unfulfillment unless...
- i) A better understanding is put forth that harmonizes with what is understood as God's words.
- ii) The time expires without the fulfillment.
- 2) Having alternative, sub-biblical, options presented for our consideration.
- 3) Having to choose to remain committed to the articles of faith.
- b. The testing of our faith also includes...
- 1) Being validated as correct by God's in-time action of fulfillment.
- 2) Being reinforced in our confidence so that next time we have less difficulty with the process.
Let endurance work is an exhortation to refuse to take an out that is sub-biblical, and to accept the present with thankfulness and grace.