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Written by Grant Hayman   

          

New man of Grace and Glory.

 

¶ James in his letter is writing to the 12 tribes "scattered" depicting people just like today living in different places with different circumstances, problems and difficulties and in the first chapter having mentioned various points about patience and wisdom and trials and temptation lifts us up to glorious heights of astounding magnitude!

 James 1:16-21 (KJV)
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
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.
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 
 

The Wiley plight and fight against sin.

¶ James condenses the sin dilemma into the phrase  "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." James 1:14
The "lust" problem within our members is the stark reality of  all temptation. Paul said in another place - Galatians 5:17 
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Spiritually we are in Heavenly places and should be motivated and enthralled by what we receive from there and that is why James says in the next verse - James 1:16
Do not err, my beloved brethren. What great error we suffer when we don't - "mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth" [Colossians 3:1-5.] As we live out from the dictates of the physical realm of our "members which are upon the earth" we err greatly and suffer Heavenly loss.

 

How perfect is Heavens store!

¶ We were born again from "above" when we came to Christ and how wonderful and mighty is all the fullness of that!

Words can't describe the eternal thrill and blessing of all the riches we have as "Children of God" [Gal. 3:26.] and "joint heirs with Christ" [Romans 8:17.]

All this great spiritual wealth has taken place already "in the Spirit" from above and Paul says to the believers at Galatia - "Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" Galatians 3:3.

The flesh operating in both the realms of sin and spiritual endeavour block the "perfect" gifts that are "from above" which the Lord has for us while here on Earth and when such blessing is blocked there is major loss. 

 

An Amazing glimpse of Glory!

¶ After being quite frank about erring James then lifts the stakes way up so high we become dizzy. He says -  
James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

"Of his own will begat he us...."

¶ This matter of being "born again" when we come to Christ is the greatest God-dynamic that has ever happened to mankind and that includes the original sinless state of Adam. Adam's spirit was a "created" spirit and he could sin but now when we come to Christ our "dead" spirit is quickened by the Holy Spirit and that's why John said -  this "born of God" or "new man" "cannot sin" - "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God." [1 John 3:9.] Christians do sin, so what is John talking about with the statement that whoever is born of God "cannot sin"? Adam and Eve could and did sin! But John is saying that, that which is born of God "cannot sin". This "new man" in Christ which is in "Heavenly places" in Christ is the man that "cannot sin." Praise the Lord for such great grace in so great a salvation! If the "born again" Christian is in Heavenly places "in Christ" then there is no sin in this "new man" otherwise the awful claim could be made that there is sin in Heaven which the Bible says is God's throne. Seeing that we are "in Christ" we could ask the question - is there sin in Christ because we (who are sinners) are "in Christ"? Of course the answer is no and there is no doubt about the fact that we are sinners, as Dave Hunt would say "pitiful creatures!" How wonderful is Paul's word - "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." [Col. 3:1-4.] Lets summarise the truths contained in this wonderful position of every believer in Christ.

  • Risen from the dead "in Christ."
  • We are DEAD. (We, that is, our sinful self "old man" nature which has been "baptized into Christ's death" cannot be in Christ because he is risen from the dead! "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.") [Romans 6:11.]  
  • Our life hid with Christ in God.
  •  Christ is our Life.

¶ It is very important to note that what is spoken here by Paul is the Word of God and is emphatic, and has happened and is not something that could happen.

Indeed the wonder of this beautiful reality of the believer in Christ is as Paul said "a great mystery" [Eph. 5:32. Col. 1:27.] What a great mystery indeed that we become part of the Lord of Glory as "the body of Christ". Paul said to the believers at Corinth - "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit." [1 Cor. 6:17.] According to Strong's dictionary the spirit of man is the "vital principle" and when we are born again by the Spirit of God and joined to the Lord and become one spirit, Christ becomes the "vital principle" of our being in the spiritual realm and of our whole being at the transforming rapture when he (Christ) "shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." [Philippians 3:21.]

How can we put into words the awesome wonder of the Glory and calling of the Church which is the body of Christ and which is called "a glorious Church" [Eph 5:27.]

When a sinner by the wonder of grace is joined to Christ his spirit is raised from the dead and the "vital principle" of his spirit is all of Christ which is the "new man" that Paul instructed the Ephesian and Colossian believers to "put on". This "new man" Paul goes on to explain is "created" in righteousness and true holiness. [Eph. 4:24. Col. 3:10.] 

 

".....a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."

¶ Thedeveloping product in every believer in Christ is the very product (firstfruits) after which all of Heaven is going to be modelled!

The word firstfruits means "beginning" - beginning of what? James goes on to say "of his creatures". Strong's Greek concordance reveals that the meaning of the word "creatures" is - "an original formation (concrete), i.e. product (created thing) :- creature. The root word of "creatures" which James uses means - (ktaomai) (through the idea of the proprietorship of the manufacturer); to fabricate, i.e. found (form originally) :- create, Creator, make.

¶ The Father wants the disposition of Heaven to be modelled after the flat out adoration and worship of Jesus Christ for the wonderful and amazing love of God and the Grace of Christ accomplished at the cross which will reach its perfection and full expressed maturity in the transformed redemption of all believers, including  "the redemption of our body" [Romans 8:23.] for when "we see Him, we shall be LIKE Him" [1 John 3:2.] 

Heaven is already spellbound at the love and grace of Heavens beauty bearing our ugliness on the cross and will be yet more spellbound with utter amazement when all saints for whom he died will be totally transformed into his likeness and glory forever!

   

The Foundation of this inherited Glory is now!

Every believer will be glorified but every believer will differ in glory like the stars. [Romans 8:30. 1 Corinthians 15:42.] 

 ¶ There is a glory though that is prepared on the basis of what is formed in us now; of how much what is "from above" operates in us now as Paul says in Romans 8:17.  "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." In other words there is a "net" glory and a "maximum" glory!

The Christian that stumbles along never bringing any "fruit to perfection" [ Luke 8:14.] and as James says "errs" not receiving "every good and perfect gift which is from above" but rather is absorbed much in the earthly scene will only inherit "Net" glory (which is mighty) but will suffer loss for all eternity of "maximum" glory which is - "with Him" NOW "glorified Together" THEN! (for all eternity).

¶ We should make no mistake (and the Lord help us to wake up!) that as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:15. our self pleasing Earthly works will be burned up and we shall suffer loss but what is gold (His will "from above") and silver (Part of his redemption plan for us) and Precious stones (that which has His stamp of beauty and preciousness) will stand for His praise and glory forever!

 

The Ongoing Measure.

¶ Following the expressed greatness of verse 18 James then says the word "wherefore" pointing us to unmovable requirements for this glorious "from above" portion to be ours.

James 1:19 "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:"

Much of this "from above" is primed and edified in the local Church and that's why Paul said "submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of God" [Eph. 5:21.] because this "from above" riches, power and suggestions are in my brothers and sisters! There is something "from above" in every believer and we can "err" if we are disposed to (in some freelance measure) discount any portion of the body of Christ.

¶ Every believer and member of the body of Christ is, and in fullness will be a pure and beautiful expression of the glory of Christ and this glory is an expression of the "excellent glory" that can be seen and demonstrated nowhere else but in the Church. For every believer the eternal prospect is "Christ in you the hope of Glory" [Col. 1:27.] How great is the truth that the beauty of Heaven is going to be decorated and fashioned and impacted with the manifest Glory of Christ in and through the body of Christ which is the Church as Paul expressed to the Ephesian believers "Unto him (God) be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." [Ephesians 3:21.] Yes world without end will be a world filled and beautified with the spectacular glory of Christ as revealed in the multi faceted and variegated beauty of the Lord seen in the Church - A  transformation from repulsive ugliness into his glorious beauty forever! Wherefore let us take stock of how we treat our brothers and sisters and with what attitude we view them because within every believer is a unique beauty of Jesus that is going to take full bloom in eternity and will be that which "every creature" will acclaim and "admire" [2 Thess. 1:10.] for the wonder of the Lord, of such grace and goodness! With one another we ought to be as James says ... "swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath".

¶ The next "wherefore" exhortation is in verse 21 - "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls." All the myriad forms of sin, naughtiness and filthiness (and spiritual filthiness [2 Cor. 7:1.] as well) must be cast off in order that the pure and glorious "from above" may be worked in us and out from us. It is all very simple as Paul said - "The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord". This death is death to what is "from above"! Death is opposite to Life and what is "from above" is in Christ and is a part of his Life and just as James says that what is "from above" is a "gift" so the "Gift of God is Eternal life (from above) through Jesus Christ our Lord". Also from this verse which we often use as a salvation text points us to the fact that this "eternal Life" which is Christ can not operate if He is not Lord!

 

Finally: The Great Resource.

¶ At the end of verse 21 James points us to the "Banqueting house" of all that is "from above" and that is the Word of God.

We cannot leave out the glorious result of the Word of God that Paul steers the Corinthian believers too as an answer to their many needs, and that is the word in 2 Corinthians 3:18. "Beholding as in a glass the Glory of the Lord we are changed into the same Image, from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord". James makes clear that "the engrafted Word" which is the life giving power of the Word cannot become a "living" part of us in Christ unless there is a receiving of his Word and work in us "with meekness". God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

James 4:6 "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble".
¶ The Lord Jesus Christ Himself become more and more exceedingly precious to you through the revelation of his Word.

                 Jesus is Reaching

for more of Your heart. God Bless.

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The Foundation of this inherited Glory is now!