• Articles
  • Telling a Better Story

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    Gospel preaching aims to bring about a certain ethic in life; so much so, that teaching that does otherwise may be considered different, of another kind, and out of “accordance with the glorious gospel of the happy God” which the church has been entrusted.  More specifically, the glorious aspect of what Paul speaks of in […]

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  • Creating an Atmosphere of Worship

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    Opinions vary about creating an atmosphere of worship, but usually the focus is on aesthetics and music.  While these things are certainly important, nothing sets the stage for worship like humility.  James writes “Who is wise and understanding among you?  By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom” (James […]

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  • Exposition of Sermon Illustrations

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    Illustrations should only go so far as the speaker intends his point to take them.  Even so, the use of illustrations on the part of the hearer, may become the total focus or (more predominately) the beginning of a point unintended.  Thus, hearers of preaching often ‘read into’ sermons just as we all have the […]

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  • The Tongue in Community

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    In James 3 the tongue is described like a linchpin to the life of the community of the church.  Unfortunately, James 3:1 can be misused to discourage teaching out of fear of judgment.  Even so, the point of the chapter is clear when reading as a whole, that it is important for each member of […]

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  • Giving the Angels Something to Look At

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    Douglas Moo notes in his excellent commentary on James that there are two results of “the cooperation between Abraham’s faith and works,”[1] namely: Abraham is declared righteous. Abraham is called a friend of God. The first, according to Moo served as a motto more than a prophecy.  The second result illustrates what it means to […]

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  • The Character of Faith & Communion of Fellowship

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    James in effort of showing that faith without works really doesn’t work, gives two illustrations of the character of faith, at opposite ends of the spectrum of people (James 2:20–26).  Most likely, he does this in order to argue for the character of faith over the characters of faith.  Abraham and Rahab are both examples […]

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  • How Faith Works

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    James 2:20–26 answers the question ‘How does faith work?’  Two examples are given:  (1) it works like it did in Abraham’s life; (2) it also works like it did in Rahab’s life.  These aforementioned ways must be considered in expounding the text, but also there must be an in depth look at glory. Abraham especially […]

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  • A Case for Partial Pragmatism

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    Pragmatism may be a offensive term to use among the reformed believers today, but avoiding pragmatism altogether is simply unmanageable; more than that, it is unbiblical.  James writes literally in James 1:20 “Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is not working?”[1] Even so, James certainly does not […]

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  • A Faith that is Not Good

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    James speaks of a faith that is not good (James 2:14–17); he repeatedly asks ‘What good is it?” concerning the faith that is being professed some in the early church.  His first illustration is one like of a homeless person today among the church family; this could be the case of James’ time because they […]

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  • Oh, You Have ‘That Kind’ of Faith

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    James 2:14–26 perplexes many Christians sensitive of conscious who wish to be sure they have the real thing.  Faith, for sure, is only one (Eph 4:5).  Nevertheless, very early on, the readers of James’ letter had been at least exposed to a version of faith that would not stand up on the day of judgment. […]

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  • The Glory that Changes the Mood

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    James’ speech to the dispersed and probably persecuted Christians in James 2 encourages them to remain unswayed by human appearance in regards to their Christian conduct based on divine glory.  Christ was said, even by his enemies, to remain unswayed by human appearance (Matt 22:16).  Prior to this God is described as one “who is […]

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  • Double Justification – What and Why We Should Believe It

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    Showing partiality or favoritism betrays God’s law of love toward neighbor; that is a healthy reason for not acting that way, especially in regards to God’s aforementioned electing love (James 2:5; 8–9).  Nevertheless, what may be most troubling for the reader of James is the statement that believers will be judged by the law of […]

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  • Three Tests for Any Religion Under Pressure

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    James closes the first chapter of his letter to the Christians scattered most likely by persecution with three tests to religion under pressure.  The first test is that of self-control of one’s speech; the second test is of concern for the helpless; the third test is a distancing one’s self from the world’s polluting influence.  […]

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  • Get Off the Fence

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    Prosperity preachers (I.e. false prophets of health and wealth), promote versions of naming and claiming by undoubting belief to attain their ends rather than God’s.  So, when one reads James 1:6 on no-doubting prayer, one may be tempted to believe that James is speaking about having no measure of doubt when praying lest it be […]