Wow, what an awesome weekend we enjoyed this past Saturday and Sunday. My family and I traveled to Asheville for a photoshoot for my new, upcoming record. Our good friend Abby Fleming did the shoot and did an awesome job! It was beautiful day with the sun shining brightly which made for even better pictures. Saturday night we were able to spend some time with some of our best friends. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and then listened to the tracks for the CD. One of my best friends, Scott Crawford, is an awesome Bible teacher and he gave me some commentary on the book of James to read over… I want to share the first bit of that with you today.
While God desires all to be regenerated, He does not force any to believe. Mankind can either receive the “word of truth” or reject it (cf. Acts 26:28). Nonetheless, God is at work in the world via the Holy Spirit to persuade men, women, teenagers, boys and girls (cf. John 16:7-11). We do not understand nor can we fully explain the ministry of God to the lost. However, we can take Him at His word. He wants all to be saved and escape the fires of eternal death.
How does God bestow this wonderful gift upon us? How do we know of the wonderful gifts of God? How do we know anything about God or His free gift of eternal life? We know through the “word of truth” (cf. Eph. 1:13; Col. 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:15). God has declared His will for us to know – He has spoken. (cf. Hebrews 1:1-2). In His great mercy and grace, He has chosen to publish (the Bible) His will so that all men might be saved by His grace through faith (John 1:29; 3:16; 6:47; Eph. 2:8,9; 1Tim. 2:4). God has revealed His will to us! He has caused the light of the gospel to shine on us! When illuminated by this glorious light, we are persuaded by its truth – we believe. Hence, our faith is passive and a response to the truth of God. When the “word of truth” is presented to us, we become convicted and convinced that what God says is true. God reveals to us our sinful condition and the need for deliverance. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in conjuction with the “word of truth”. To believe is to be persuaded that the word of God is in fact true. Paul described Abraham’s faith as being a persuasion when he said, “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded (convinced) that, what he had promised, he was able to perform.” (Romans 4:21-22). Later in Romans, Paul declared that faith is possible because of the word of God (Rom. 10:17). Pause and think for a moment – without the “word of truth” we would not know the will of God! We would be unable to save ourselves or respond in faith for we would not know what to believe. How magnificent is the “word of truth”! As Jesus said, “Thy word is truth.” (John 17:17). Hence, it is imperitive that we uphold the “word of truth” as the absolute authority! It is not a relative truth, it is absolute truth!
These are some awesome thoughts introducing the book of James. I will continue to post more in the upcoming days. How important is your Bible to you? We must understand and grasp just how vital it is to our survival as believers! Please continue to pray for us as we seek God’s will in ministry and as we pray over and tweak lyrics for the songs on the new record.
Until next time,