Principle God cannot tempt us because
He is impervious to temptation and therefore
He doesn’t tempt anyone
Everything good is from God
God does not change
God brought us forth to be a kind of first fruit
Review – What did we cover last week and how did it relate to temptation? What did it tell us about temptation?
Putting aside what we learned last wee, why can we say that God is not tempting us? God controls everything, he can prevent us from being tempted or tested, so why is he not to blame for temptation?
James 1:13 – James records two facts about God – 1) God cannot be tempted and consequentially 2) God doesn’t tempt anyone.
What does “God cannot be tempted with evil” mean? What are the implications?
Isa 6:1-7 – God is so Holy that the unrighteous perish before His. God cannot bear the presence of sin.
God has no capacity for evil. He cannot conceive sin or be tempted by sin. The indication from the Greek is that God should not even remotely or indirectly be blamed for temptation.
If God cannot be tempted, evil has no appeal or attraction to God at all. Therefore, God cannot desire evil outcomes and cannot desire to lead people to evil
James 1:17a – Everything good comes from God
Why would the author write “good gift and perfect gift” rather than just have it written once? What are these gifts?
dosis and dorema Good gift = dosis, perfect gift = dorema (See WSNTD )
dosis - the intent of giving – the intent may be good but the outcome may not be, however with God the intent of Gods giving always reaches its goal – meaning the outcome is always what God intended it to be and is thus perfect
dorema – the outcome or result of giving is also always good with God
Lit: “every gift good and every gift perfect from above is coming down from the father” – See Translation note in NET
What is coming from God? (asking previous question in a different way)
Giving is coming (note present tense) with good intentions that are always fulfilled resulting in perfect gifts
When God gives, he only gives with good intention and he always reaches his intention meaning every gift he gives has a perfect outcome.
The author here says that every gift with good intention comes from God and that every gift that results from His giving is complete – lacking nothing
The outcome – (perfect) gift – used twice – here and Rom 5:16 – The free gift of God…
What does the phrase “Father of lights” imply
These gifts come from the Father of lights…
1 Tim 1:14-16 – Christ dwells in unapproachable light
1 Pet 2:9 – We have been called out of darkness into His light
John 1:4-5 – in him is life and this life is the light of men. The light shines in the darkness
1 John 1:5 – God is light and in Him is no darkness at all
Light is a symbol of purity and enlightenment in scripture – those in the light have true knowledge because they walk by the light of God – they have their path illuminated for them (Ps 119:105-106) by the one who is light
What is the next reason God doesn’t tempt anyone?
James 1:17b – God does not change
No variation – unchanging
No shadow – a shadow moves as things move around the object, however God is the source of light and therefore nothing acts on God at all – there are no forces that change him or cause variations related to him at all.
If God is light, he has always been light and will always be light. He cannot change – become more or less righteous, therefore, we can have assurance.
Final point – God brought us to salvation to be the firstfruit of his creatures. Two things – How he brought us forth (by His will) and Why he brought us forth (to be the firstfruits)…
How does God work with people – what is the basis of the decisions he makes?
Of His own will – God is working with people based on his will
John 1:12-13 – people born of the will of God.
Rom 9:15-18 – I will have mercy on whom I will
1 Thess 4:3 – this is the will of God – your sanctification
What is firstfruits?
What do we learn about firstfruits from the following passages?
Lev 23:10-14 – given from the land that God has given the Israelites
Deut 16:9-11 – Freewill offering, given with rejoicing, given in accordance with Gods blessing, given with remembrance that they were slaves in Egypt
Num 18:12-13 – who were the firstfruits given to? V8 – Aaron – the priests.
The firstfruits were a freewill offering given out of the promised land to the Lord as a freewill offering with rejoicing and remembrance of the slavery the Israelites.
Jer 2:3 – Israel was the firstfruits – holy to the Lord
How does this relate to us?
Rev 14:4 – the firstfruits of creation are for the Lamb – who is the great high priest (Heb 4:14)
We are the freewill offering given to Jesus Christ with rejoicing. The message we are to take from this is that God is not in the business of leading us to evil. Of creation we are those chosen – the best of the crop (not by our own doing) that we may belong to Christ.
Of the human race we are those who the Lord has willed to put aside as a freewill gift – those who are of faith, those who are holy.
God would not lead those who are holy to temptation – it defeats the purpose of the firstfruit offering
Do not be deceived (Jas 1:16) – God does not not tempt his people, nor is he capable of doing so. In fact on the contrary:
1 Cor 10:13 – God will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but always provides a way of escape.