RCL 2021-08-29-James

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James 1:17-27 [1]

I am not sure there is a direct connection or an accidental one with James. I have not solidified connections with 'witnesses' yet. These are off-the-cuff connections (deresh)

Referencing Genesis 1 with the temptation, James continues in a subtle outline formed by it.

1. it was good. (seven times)
2. Created the lights (day 4)
3. He rested (does not change)

1. God says the things he created were good six times and summarizes that it was all very good. This pattern is reflected in the menorah, and in John's teaching that there are three in heaven and three in earth which are one testimony.

2. God is the 'Abner' the Father of lights. This reference to the fourth day creation, is patterned in the children of Abraham said to be as stars, which lights were placed in the firmament/Christ. Jesus says that we are the light of the world, in him, we are the children of Abraham in the firmament of heaven.

3. The seven days in Genesis 1 are like table of contents entries to the rest of scripture outlining God's purpose in creation and how he will fulfill it in Christ. On the seventh day, he rested. This is the culmination of the work of God in creation. He is finished. He declared his rest, which declares that his purposes are accomplished. If he ha declared it and will do it, then in him there is no variableness, and no shadow of changing. This does not argue for predestination where every detail is dictated by him, but that he will accomplish his purposes.

Jas 1:17 Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.


4. From water/word

4. On day five of Genesis 1, God brought forth fish and birds from the water. Water is a symbol of the word of God. The Hebrew word 'amar' is 'said' and 'word', but it is also 'lamb'. Jesus is the Word, and he is the Truth. By him, by the waters of day 5, we were brought forth by his word as his first fruits. We are the fish that swim in the water/word, and the birds that fly in the air/spirit.

Jas 1:18 In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.


5. Dealing with the man

As God deals with Adam we see the characteristics of which James speaks: swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath

We can see the other side of the picture in Cain. "If you do right, won't you be lifted up?" שאת. God uses a play on words. If you do right, won't you be Seth? שת [compensation or rewarded]. Seth replaces Abel after his death, and is the 'second son' who gets elevated.

"Am I my brother's keeper" are words thoughtlessly exclaimed as his anger burned. These are the very words we recite when we ignore the suffering of our neighbor. If we were swifter to hear his plight, and slower to proclaim our indifference, what would be our response?

Jas 1:19 You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger;


As the pattern for this teaching moves to Cain, we see a commentary on Cain's wrath.

Wrath is a strong word that we avoid lest we judge ourselves harshly. But the word 'aph' has the meaning of a snorting nose; the huff of indignation of being bothered.

Indignation, taking offense, is the fruit of original, or universal sin. When David repented of horrible deeds he said, "Against thee alone have I sinned". When we take offense, we make ourselves equal to God. This carnal mind produces enmity with God, not his righteousness.

Jas 1:20 for your anger does not produce God's righteousness.


The earth was filled with wickedness, but Noah found grace.

The animals, as symbols of men , came of their own will to the ark. The word had been implanted in their hearts.

Jas 1:21 Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.


Naaman is a good example, but Noah is also.

Consider the mystery. "Be doers of Christ, not hearers only" We say today, "You do you, and I'll do me." No! Let us do Christ! We are his word on earth, we are his body on earth, we are his light on earth.

Jas 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.


mirror ראי is a 'revealing ר lure אי and you see in it a 'destitute רא creation י.

מראה -

Jas 1:23 For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror;


Jas 1:24 for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like.


The Law of liberty is the jubilee. The implication is that we are in the Jubilee now. We are forgiven and we forgive. During the sabbath, they sow nor eat from their crops. This is accomplished by deeding it all over to the Lord. They can eat from his provision.

Jas 1:25 But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act--they will be blessed in their doing.


callback to 'slow to speak, slow to anger'

Jas 1:26 If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless.


Anger is from universal sin. It's opposite is Love.-

Jas 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.