The General Epistle of James (Part 21)

vs. 7-11. A. James here sets forth the proper reaction to the injustices of life that might provoke the believer to fret, do something foolish, or abandon faith. ECC 5:8 c/w PSA 37:1-8. 1. The Psalmist admitted that he had almost slipped when he saw the prosperity of the wicked. PSA73:1-3. a. What saved him was the “big picture” of God's rewards to the righteous and to the wicked. PSA73:17-28. b. Jesus taught that God intends to bear long with His elect before He avenges them of injustices in this world. LUK 18:1-8. 2. The “big picture” for the believers is their incorruptible, undefiled inheritance in heaven that is guaranteed them by God's faith. 1PE 1:3-7. a. Unlike gold and silver which rust, are often acquired by sin and sometimes fade in price this is incorruptible, undefiled and fade-free. b. No thief can steal it, as happened to Naboth. MAT 6:20 c/w 1KI 21:1-16. 3. The hope of the believer is to faithfully and patiently await Christ's return to deliver them and judge the wicked. ACT 17:31; 2TH 1:7-10; 1TH 1:9-10. a. We trouble ourselves by expecting perfect, timely judgment against every evil of this world prior to the ultimate Judge's appearance. b. The exhortation to patience is an exhortation to endure trials with calmness and composure. 4. Believers do well to save themselves by trusting in a just God and Judge and so “...gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1PE 1:13). 5. We are saved by hope in that which is unseen. ROM 8:24 c/w 1PE 1:8. a. The unseen realities of God, Christ, heaven and eternal glory should be so real and all-important to us that we patiently wait for them. ROM 8:25. b. Those whose hope is grounded in things seen in this world are more likely to be impatient: impatient with God, with others and with circumstances. B. James is crowning his earlier instructions concerning patient enduring of trials. JAM 1:3, 12. C. James illustrates his point with the example of a husbandman (farmer) who looks for a harvest of precious (costly) fruit of the earth. v. 7 c/w PSA 49:8; ISA 43:4; MAT 13:30. 1. The farmer sows seed and waits. 2. He knows he needs early rain for crop germination and establishment. 3. He knows time must lapse until the latter rain fills and matures the ear/head. 4. He knows he must have long patience until his expectation is realized. James 8-24-14 Page 52 5. Long patience implies that the coming of Christ was not to be immediately expected. LUK 19:11-15 c/w MAT 25:19; 2TH 2:1-2. a. Paul and Peter expected to die before Christ's return. ACT 20:29; 2PE 1:14-15. b. James does say, “...the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (v. 8). (1) The exact time of Christ's second coming is unknown (MAR 13:32) but it was closer in James' day than it was in ACT 1:11. See ROM 13:11. (2) A long wait for what one greatly anticipates need not diminish the intensity of one's love for it. GEN 29:20. (3) From God's viewpoint, Christ just left this world a couple of days ago. 2PE 3:8. c. Jesus warned against thinking that His time was nigh by any other indication than His visible appearance in power and glory. LUK 21:8-9, 27-28. d. Before Christ would come again to gather His people, a season of history called “...the times of the Gentiles...” (LUK 21:24) must be fulfilled, a great falling away (apostasy) must occur, and the man of sin (the antichrist) be revealed. 2TH 2:3-4. e. Until we see Him come as promised, we are constrained to patiently endure and wonder the same thing as the martyred saints in glory: “...How long, O Lord...?” (REV 6:10). f. It is the scoffers of the last days that consider Christ's long absence as evidence that His promise is undone or a joke and that no judgment is to be expected. 2PE 3:3-6. g. Jesus warned against exploiting His delayed coming with carnal living and beating of fellowservants. MAT 24:44-51. D. The wicked rich had condemned just brethren (v. 6) but an improper processing of such injustices and deficiencies of life may bring condemnation from God Himself. v. 9 c/w LEV 19:18. 1. grudge: To murmur; to utter complaints murmuringly; to grumble, complain; to be discontented or dissatisfied. 2. We are straitly warned against murmuring like lust-led men. PHIL 2:14 c/w JUDE 1:16. 3. This warning is in view of the fact that “...the judge standeth before the door.” a. His standing before the door implies His nearness. MAT 24:33. b. Jesus Christ visits His churches (REV 2-3) as a judge at the door. REV 3:20. c. He IS ready to judge the quick and the dead. 1PE 4:5. 4. JAM 5:9 agrees with Christ's teaching in MAT 24:44-51. a. Those who watch for Christ's coming are ministering to those in the Lord's household. b. Paul charges believers to minister to one another as they watch for the day of the Lord. 1TH 5:11-15. c. Those who lose sight of Christ's coming to harvest and judge tend to mistreat their fellowservants. d. The evil servant will be condemned at Christ's coming. E. Brethren are called to not only be patient but also to “...stablish your hearts...” (v. 8). 1. establish: To render stable or firm. 2. The certainty of Christ's return should calm the heart. JOH 14:1-4. 3. The certainty of His intermediate judgments should regulate the heart. HEB 10:30; 1PE 4:17. 4. Increasing love of brethren stablishes the heart. 1TH 3:12-13. 5. Committing one's cares to God in prayer keeps heart and mind. PHIL 4:6-7. 6. (2TH 3:5) And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient James 8-24-14 Page 53 waiting for Christ. F. James presents the prophets as examples of suffering affliction and patience. v. 10 c/w MAT 5:11-12. 1. Mind that the prophets who suffered affliction were those who spoke in the name of the Lord. a. False prophets like the prophets of Baal did not so suffer. 1KI 18:19. b. False prophets were likely to be the persecutors. JER 26:7-8. 2. Though the prophets were favored with God's word, they suffered affliction. Those who have and hold to God's word may expect the Devil's wrath. REV 12:17. 3. The persecuted prophets are examples of patience since patience is the suffering or enduring (of pain, trouble, or evil) with calmness and composure. Moses was an eminent example of suffering affliction and enduring. HEB 11:24-27. 4. We are to count them happy which endure, not evade or escape suffering. v. 11 c/w 2TI 3:11; MAT 5:10. 5. Those who only endure faithful until trouble comes lack a good root. MAT 13:20-21. G. The well-known example of Job's patience is proverbial. v. 11. 1. Consider Job's patience. JOB 1:20-22; 2:10; 13:15-16; 23:10; 42:1-6. 2. Consider Job's end: vindicated, relieved, blessed. JOB 42:7-12. a. His latter end was greater than his beginning. b. By contrast, ungodly apostates' latter end is worse than their beginning. 2PE 2:20. 3. Consider Job's hope. JOB 19:25-27. 4. We would be more patient in suffering if we kept an eye on God's great pity and tender mercy as proved in Job's case. PSA 103:13-14; ISA 63:9. 5. (PSA 119:132) Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.
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