How do we correct an attitude of elitism and contempt for those who are socially underprivileged? Alistair Begg tells us that when we comprehend the glory and wealth from which Jesus came, we will be humbled, and our insulting behavior towards others will change. Knowing that God has chosen the poor of this world to be His heirs should eliminate any smugness within us.
1My brothers,1 show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?
Wisdom isn’t a matter of age, education, or experience. It’s the product of God’s Spirit at work in a life that has been transformed by the grace of God. In Volume I of this series of messages from James, Alistair Begg examines the Christian’s call to live God’s way in God’s world. This biblical wisdom is demonstrated through patient perseverance in trials as the Christian finds joy in God’s purposes. It is seen as we endure the onslaught of temptation. It is experienced as the members of the Body of Christ learn to love one another radically and with great sacrifice. Godly wisdom is a work of God Himself expressed in every aspect of our lives.
|When Trials Come, Part One||James 1:1-3|
|When Trials Come, Part Two||James 1:2-4|
|Asking God for Wisdom||James 1:5-8|
|Rich Man, Poor Man||James 1:9-11|
|The Genuine Article||James 1:12|
|When Tempted...||James 1:13-18|
|The Word of Truth||James 1:18-21|
|Don't Kid Yourselves!||James 1:22|
|Do What It Says!||James 1:22-25|
|Religion, Part One||James 1:26-27|
|Religion, Part Two||James 1:27|
Genuine faith results in action motivated by thankfulness for all that God has done. In volume 2 of this series, Alistair Begg helps us discover what true faith looks like in the life of a Christian. True faith in the Lord Jesus Christ produces godly wisdom, which is demonstrated by how we conduct ourselves toward God and others. James gives us tremendous insight into temptations Christians often face - from showing favoritism to having an uncontrolled tongue. As God’s Spirit enables, we can learn true wisdom and find strength to serve God and each other.
|Favoritism, Part One||James 2:1-4|
|Favoritism, Part Two||James 2:1-7|
|Favoritism, Part Three||James 2:8-13|
|False Faith||James 2:14-17|
|Faith: True or False?||James 2:14-26|
|Abraham and Rahab||James 2:21-26|
|A Warning to Would-Be Teachers||James 3:1-2|
|The Power and Danger of the Tongue||James 3:3-12|
|Who is Wise?||James 3:13-18|
|The Wisdom from Heaven||James 3:13-18|
|Such "Wisdom"||James 3:14-16|
The Christian life involves a constant battle against sin. Christians are often guilty of “respectable” sins that may not seem gross by the world’s standards, but about which the Bible speaks quite strongly. As Alistair Begg continues our study in James, we see how far short we fall of God’s perfect standard. God’s law reveals that we are desperately proud, prone to controversy and slander, and often inclined to mismanage our time and money. This wonderfully practical study reminds us of our great need of a Savior and points us to the Cross, where we find complete forgiveness and peace. Having peace with God compels us to resist these sins as God draws us ever closer to Himself.
|Fights and Quarrels||James 4:1-6|
|Submitting to God, Part One||James 4:7-10|
|Submitting to God, Part Two||James 4:7-10|
|Saying No to Slander||James 4:11|
|Only One Judge||James 4:11-12|
|Planning Properly, Part One||James 4:13-17|
|Planning Properly, Part Two||James 4:13-17|
|Listen, You Rich Men||James 5:1-6|
|Ill-Gotten Gain, Part One||James 5:1-6|
|Ill-Gotten Gain, Part Two||James 5:1-6|
Alistair Begg ends this series in James by highlighting important principles that help Christians live in an unjust world. We may be prone to grow impatient toward God’s plans, which can cause us to become complacent in bearing Christian fruit. When we realize that everything in life is under the control of God and will ultimately be made right, we can live in a way that is contrary to human nature. The way we talk, worship, and pray becomes God-centered, not man-centered. Viewing the world from this perspective is a gift that can only be given to us by God’s amazing grace. When His grace captures a human heart we have a new song to sing and a loving Heavenly Father to whom we can humbly bring all of our cares.
|Be Patient, The Lord is Coming, Part One||James 5:7-11|
|Be Patient, The Lord is Coming, Part Two||James 5:7-11|
|Telling the Truth||James 5:12|
|Prayer and Praise||James 5:13|
|If Anyone is Sick..., Part One||James 5:14-18|
|If Anyone is Sick..., Part Two||James 5:15|
|Confession and Prayer||James 5:16-18|
|Bringing Back the Wanderers||James 5:19-20|