v12: Blessed: A blessed man is in contrast to one who is prideful.
· Temptation: This word can mean trials. It is a period of hardship.
· Been proved: In the midst of these trials (temptations) this man proves or demonstrates that he is blessed, faithful and humble.
· Crown: A word that has a relationship to a reward. For example: if an athlete competes and is victorious a crown is placed upon him – this crown proves that this man lived a victorious life. There is a reward for living a victorious life (the blessed man endures; the prideful man fades away).
· L-rd: The blessed man (woman) recognizes the L-rdship of Yeshua in his life – this is why he endures; this is why he says ‘no’ to temptation, and why he demonstrates his faithfulness and commitment to the will of G-d.
· Those who love Him: It is our love for Yeshua that motivates us to keep His commands (John 14:15).
v13: We need to realize what the source of temptation is. This verse very clearly tells us that G-d is never the source of temptation.
· One: Although this word is written in the masculine it is inclusive. The masculine is used frequently to refer to both male and female.
· I am tempted by G-d: This is a false statement. G-d never tempts anyone – temptation is desiring to do something outside of His will. G-d is never part of something that is contrary to His will, but always works in order that His will should be fulfilled.
· Nor does He…tempt anyone: Any time one is under temptation realize G-d’s not in that, He is not part of that – it is not from Him.
v14: Drawn away: Instead of enduring, persevering, in the things of G-d this one, because of his own lusts and desires, moves away from G-d.
· Enticed: When we are moved away from G-d’s will (therefore apart from His anointing, His provision, His mindset, His perspective) the enemy is going to tempt/entice/seduce us.
Note: Moving away from G-d is a process. We need to always focus on what the will of G-d is,
and set our minds, our hearts, on those things. When we stop pursuing those things that are pleasing to G-d, related to His will, we are going to be drawn away from His anointing, where He wants us to be. When we are in that wrong state of being that is when the enemy is going to entice us, seduce us and lead us astray. The process may seem innocent to us, but it ends in death.
v15: Conceived: Conception leads to birth.
· Gives birth: Bears fruit.
· Sin: A poor fruit. An unrighteous fruit.
· Full-grown – the objective or goal of sin is to become fully developed, mature, in a person’s life.
v16: Deceived: Led astray
· Beloved brethren: This is the second time that James speaks directly to his audience – the Jewish tribes who are in the diaspora (exile i.e outside of Israel)
v17: This verse teaches us wisdom. It helps to give us a right mindset, so that we are not one of those who enter into the process of unrighteous desire. Unrighteous desire, in the end, produces death in our lives. This is not G-d’s will for our lives.
· Good: Related to the will of G-d.
· Gift: Provision
· Perfect: That which reaches its end, is fully produced or mature (opposite side of the “mature spectrum” to sin). G-d gives us gifts that are within His will and also within the objective of His “endgame”- within His plans.
· From above: Anything that does not come through G-d, or is not administered by Him, is not good, and nor does it bring about perfection. When something has no Kingdom connection it leads to sin and, ultimately, death. We should strive to make sure that everything that we bring into our lives, or possess, has its source in G-d.
· The Father of lights: The terms used for G-d are very important. When we read about “Father” we are reminded of provision. Light is for the purpose of making a distinction (Gen 1:1-5) Light allows us to come out of the darkness. We need to make a distinction between that which is of G-d and that which is not. Lights provide the illumination so that we can discern what is good and what is not.
· There is no variation: No change. This verse is telling us that G-d does not change (Heb 13:8), He remains the same. G-d does not go through any mutation. He is perfect.
· Shadow: A manifestation of something/someone. His shadow doesn’t move away. It stays constant. Anything that is from G-d is not going to change. There is consistency in those things that relate to G-d – e.g. Holiness, righteousness, purity, justice, morality etc. These never change. They are forever, because they are related to the character of G-d.
v18: Brought us forth: A word of production, of creation. Giving birth.
· By the word of truth: G-d’s word and truth are placed together in this sentence. Everything is going to hold together. Everything is going to be discernible. We know it is a perfect gift because we have the word of truth (revelation). We know it is the will of G-d because we have the word of truth. We recognise G-d by this same word of truth. Just as G-d’s word does not change so too does His truth not change. G-d’s truth is absolute, and it is truth that is applicable for all humanity.
· First fruit: One of the things that is going to characterize the congregation of the redeemed, the church (those first fruits), is that they are going to take part in the rapture and are going to have a new body. Like Thomas, having to SEE in order to believe, Israel is going to come to faith at the very end when they see Yeshua.
· Creatures: A word for ‘creation’.
v19: Beloved: James emphasising his love for these people.
· Swift to hear: Faith comes by hearing.
· Wrath: An intense human anger that usually causes one to destroy something.
v20: Produce: give birth to
· Righteousness: We seek the Kingdom of G-d by seeking His righteousness (Matt 6:33). Having been reconciled to G-d we walk in and pursue the righteousness of G-d. When we pursue the righteousness of G-d we will not be pursuing the desires of the flesh. When we are focused on the righteousness of G-d our lives are going to produce that which is G-d honouring and G-d pleasing. Being in this state brings about G-d’s provision in our lives and takes us into greater intimacy with Him. The pursuit of righteousness will bring about a G-dly change in our lives.