Brad Libolt speaking on James 1:1-4. He spoke about having steadfastness in our trials so that we may become more like Chris – that in our sinful disobedience we lack everything but in Christ we lack nothing.
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.
- James is the brother of Jesus and the leader of the church in Jerusalem.
- He is writing to the twelve tribes in the dispersion, which means Israelites scattered outside of Jerusalem.
- It is a very practical book, that gives the readers practical advice on how to live a Christian life.
- It can sometimes be a punch in the gut, and should offer conviction in our own lives of ways we can live more like Christ
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
- James begins with encouragement. He tells the readers to count it joy when they meet trials of various kinds.
- To give you some perspective, James was martyred not long after he wrote this letter.
- We have trials of various kinds as well. But when we go through these trials, we know that our faith is being tested, and when we come out on the other side we will be more steadfast.
- Steadfastness: endurance, perseverance
- Think of life like a race. We are running along, doing good, then a trial comes. Maybe its a puddle, or a hurdle, or you roll your ankle. Something comes along where you have the choice to either stop, or push through. When you push through, you get stronger, creating endurance.
- Endurance is what makes running enjoyable, so in the same way when we go through trials in life and push through them, we will become more steadfast. Steadfastness is our goal, because it makes life more enjoyable.
- That’s why we can look at trials with joy, because we know on the other side we are going to be more steadfast.
4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
- The effect of steadfastness is perfection and completeness.
- When we are gaining endurance and persevering and becoming more steadfast in our faith we are becoming more complete in Christ.
- The more complete we are, the more we realize that we lack nothing.
- When we are complete, we realize we have everything, and don’t need anything else. We are completely satisfied and fulfilled in Christ.
- And that is our goal! Our purpose is to glorify God, and God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him.
- We want to be so full of Christ and so satisfied in Christ that we realize we don’t need anything else.
- We don’t need popularity or good grades or a bunch of friends, when we have Christ we have everything, and need nothing. But this doesn’t come without sacrifice.
- In our sinfulness and disobedience, we cannot be complete. We can’t be perfect. In our sinfulness and rebellion from God, we lack everything.
- It is only by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross that we can be complete. We lack nothing because Christ gave up everything.
- Talk about a trial, think about what Jesus went through on the cross. He endured that trial and gave up everything, so you and I could lack nothing
- So if you guys are feeling like you are lacking something, look for that in Christ. Identity, purpose, security, pleasure, community, intimacy.
- Think about the gospel, and what Jesus did for you, and be filled with that truth.
- Before Christ we lacked everything. We had nothing, we were incomplete and imperfect, searching for something that would make us feel whole. Christ saved us from that by giving up everything, and now we lack nothing. We are complete, perfect, and whole in Christ.