James 1:12-18 | “A born-again Christian must strenuously resist desire, or he will become hooked on sin!”
“Men create various groups, according to our ancestors, the race to which we belong, intellectual training, wealth or poverty, etc., etc., but in the sight of God there are only two groups, those who believe His Word and those who disbelieve.
God is speaking in His Word,
the Word is infallible,
what we do with the Word of God will determine our eternal destiny.
'Ah,' said Martyn Lloyd-Jones, 'it came.' What the prophet uttered came to pass, and it was not long before these people were in chains marching to Babylon. The Jews said the same thing when they heard Christ's prophetic words, 'Let it come.' Indeed, they went further and flippantly, with a shuddering boldness, cried out, Let his blood be upon us', and it came upon them! In forty years their city was in the dust, and those who were left from the terrible slaughter of Titus were being marched to Rome as slaves.
So, too, will come an end of this age. Man may speak scoffingly of the second advent of Christ and of the day of judgment, saying, 'Let it come , but, oh, it will come.
John Foxe (Foxe's Book of Martyrs)
When many therefore of their chief men did believe, there was a tumult made of the Jews, Scribes and Pharisees, saying; There is danger, lest all the people should look for this Jesus, as the Christ. Therefore they gathered themselves together, and said to James, “We beseech thee restrain the people, for they believe in Jesus, as though he were Christ; we pray thee persuade all them which come unto the feast of the passover to think rightly of Jesus; for we all give heed to thee, and all the people do testify of thee that thou art just, and that thou dost not accept the person of any man. Therefore persuade the people that they be not deceived about Jesus, for all the people and we ourselves are ready to obey thee. Therefore stand upon the pinnacle of the temple, that thou mayest be seen above, and that thy words may be heard of all the people; for all the tribes with many Gentiles are come together for the passover.”
And thus the forenamed Scribes and Pharisees did set James upon the battlements of the temple, and they cried unto him, and said, “Thou just man, whom we all ought to obey, this people is going astray after Jesus which is crucified.”
And he answered with a loud voice, “Why do you ask me of Jesus the Son of Man? He sitteth on the right hand of the Most High, and shall come in the clouds of heaven.”
Whereupon many were persuaded and glorified God, upon this witness of James, and said, “Hosannah to the Son of David.”
Then the Scribes and the Pharisees said among themselves, “We have done evil, that we have caused such a testimony of Jesus; let us go up, and throw him down, that others, being moved with fear, may deny that faith.” And they cried out, saying, “Oh, oh, this just man also is seduced.” Therefore they went up to throw down the just man. Yet he was not killed by the fall, but, turning, fell upon his knees, saying, “O Lord God, Father, I beseech thee to forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they said among themselves, “Let us stone the just man, James;” and they took him to smite him with stones. But while they were smiting him with stones, a priest, said to them, “Leave off, what do ye? The just man prayeth for you.” And one of those who were present, a fuller, took an instrument, wherewith they did use to beat and purge cloth, and smote the just man on his head, and so he finished his testimony. And they buried him in the same place. He was a true witness for Christ to the Jews and the Gentiles.
The nature of man, whether pagan or Christian, is still the same; and the charges of the apostle apply more or less to the state and character of men at all times, till they are brought to full submission to the faith of Christ, and renewed by Divine power. There never yet was a man, who had not reason to lament his strong corruptions, and his secret dislike to the will of God.
In the horrid depravity of the heathen, the truth of our Lord's words was shown: "Light was come into the world, but men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil; for he that doeth evil hateth the light." The truth was not to their taste. And we all know how soon a man will contrive, against the strongest evidence, to reason himself out of the belief of what he dislikes. *But a man cannot be brought to greater slavery than to be given up to his own lusts.
If any habitually live according to corrupt lustings, they will certainly perish in their sins, whatever they profess.
Many speak peace to themselves, to whom God does not speak peace.