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James
  Date: Sunday, May 31, 2020       Teacher: Dr. Cory Gonyo    
Passage: James 2:21-26       Series James
  Description: Faith Resulting in Works James 2:21-26 Purpose: to have a faith like Abraham and Rahab, James and Paul, because good works do not save, but saved people work! 1. Abraham & Rahab, Quintessential Examples of Faith and Works James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God… 25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? “There is mutuality: Faith informs and motivates action; action matures faith. James is not rejecting one for the other but is instead insisting that the two are totally inseparable.” -Davids, p. 69 (emphasis added). 2. The Principle of Faith Leading to Works James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone… 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. 3. Faith Like Abraham & Rahab, James & Paul The OT concept of “justified/righteous[ness],” was conceived more in terms of how a person lived according the will of God. A person was considered righteous because of their open lifestyle of obedience to God’s commands, worshipping only YHWH, and living according to His covenant teachings. James is closer to Jesus in time than Paul was. James carries the nuance of faithful obedience as proof that one is a true follower of God. Paul, later on in the expansion of the NT church, had to fight against the “Judaizers” of the day who would follow after Paul and change the gospel message. The “Judaizers” would argue that a Gentile was not saved unless they also were circumcised and followed Mosaic Law, thereby adding works of the Law to the grace of God offered in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This addition would radically and fundamentally alter the message of the gospel of salvation from sin by faith in Jesus. Paul preached in Acts 13: 36-39, 36 “For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay; 37 but He whom God raised [Jesus Christ] did not undergo decay. 38 “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him [Jesus Christ] forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.” It is important to understand here that the “Judaizers” were attempting to affirm that Jesus was the Christ, and that they had no problem with the teachings about the cross and resurrection. They were not preaching someone other than Christ per se. But what they were doing was adding works to the gospel and then saying that people were not saved by faith in the gospel but also had to do certain works in order to be saved. There are still may people today who are under this kind of false teaching. This is why Paul’s language is so strong. He is guarding the true gospel of salvation by grace through faith alone (Eph. 2:8-10; Rom. 3:27, 11:6; Gal. 1:8, 3:11). For James, a claim to have faith that does not result in a life lived (“good works”) according to the teachings of God only makes that faith suspect of being inauthentic. For Paul, being made righteous before God, declared not guilty of sin, is only possible by grace through faith in Jesus Christ’s cross and resurrection, the “work” that saves is only done by Jesus, not by us! Paul’s exposition in Romans 4 of faith alone as the basis for true righteousness is distinguished as “faith apart from works” (Romans 4:3-8), “faith apart from circumcision” (vv. 9-12), “faith apart from the law” (Romans 4:13-16), and “faith apart from sight” (Romans 4:17-21). Notice that Paul chose two Old Testament examples that come from two different periods of time. Abraham was called righteous not only before his circumcision but also before God gave the Law through Moses. David is an authority for righteousness by faith after God gave the Law through Moses. Human righteousness (as Paul uses the term for “not guilty”/“acquitted” before God), then, was never achieved in relation to Law keeping but is only possible on the basis of God’s grace through our faith whether a person is in the Old Testament or in the New Testament. As Paul will say in Galatians 3:19, the Law was added because of transgressions. Righteousness by faith, then, is not a work (4:4-5) for our faith acquires for us the work of Christ which we could never achieve apart from Him. Faith is in “accordance with grace” (4:16) and therefore in no way diminishes God’s grace. A view of works that would earn salvation stands NOT “in accordance with grace.” (For further study, see the book of Galatians, especially 3:17ff which shows that the promise fulfilled in Christ came before the Law was given. For ‘works of faith’ see 1 Thess. 1:3; 2 Thess. 1:11; James 2:21-22.) Paul wrote in Galatians 6:15-16, “For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.” As Paul is teaching here, the “Israel of God” is the church of Jesus Christ made up of Jews and Gentiles from every nation who have repented of their sin and received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. A proper understanding of the passage hinges on the author’s use of the words as compared to Paul’s use of the same words. “Works” here is used by James to imply “what a man does” in terms if righteous living such as charity, kindness, virtue. This is different than Paul’s usage of the concept which is tied to the anyone’s attempt at keeping of the Law for salvation (see Rom. 3:28). Paul assumes in his teaching that James’ concept is there (see Eph. 2:10). James uses “justified” as meaning “righteous living” according to God’s royal law of love, whereas Paul uses the term to be a description of the state of the person before God (declared “not guilty” of sin before God for all who are in Christ). “Faith” in this portion of James denotes intellectual belief which James only has problems with if it is unconnected to works. Paul normally uses it to mean true commitment or Christianity itself which would include the actions about which James is so adamant. James’ teaching, then, is that of Jesus in Matthew 7:15-21, that all one’s orthodox assertions will not substitute for obedience as a proof of heart commitment when it comes to the final judgment. Paul believed the same (1 Cor. 13:2; 2 Cor. 9:8; Gal. 5:6; 6:4; Eph. 4:17ff.; Col. 3:5ff.), but James is closer in phrasing and life-setting to his master Jesus. Note: James is written in the mid-40s and James might not have met Paul before 49. We cannot read Paul’s meaning of the words back into James’ usage. That leaves us with contradictory statements. But when we understand each writer’s context, usage, and intent, they fully agree! Both know and teach that saving faith leads to the fruit of righteous living (James 2:17; Eph. 2:8-10; Titus 2:11-14). Good works do not save, but saved people work! Concluding Illustration: Deep in the culture of Nazi Germany, when the churches of the country of Germany were giving Hitler full allegiance and control, there was a man named Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a member of the “confessing church,” a group of believers who would not agree to Hitler’s control and human extermination. When other clergy were declaring that Hitler was the instrument of Christ to come and bring the master race, Bonhoeffer warned the people against the theology of “Cheap Grace.” Bonhoeffer said: Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of the church. Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheap jacks wares. Grace without price. Grace without cost. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance; Baptism without church discipline; Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship; Grace without the cross, Grace without Jesus Christ. We have gathered like ravens around the carcass of cheap grace and there we have drunk of the poison which has killed the life of following Christ. -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (New York: Touchstone, 1995), 43-45. We have no real excuses to not be obedient outside of our own sinful desire to control life. Dietrich Bonhoeffer challenged the church of his day to a “costly grace of following Christ in discipleship.” He said, Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all it is costly because it cost God the life of His Son, “ye were bought with a price.” And what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the incarnation of God. -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (New York: Touchstone, 1995), 45. James Paul Both have “Faith” First “faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ” (James 2:1) Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith [first]; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works [second], which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Both teach that “Good Works” is a necessary result of being saved by grace through faith For James, the good works he is emphasizing are based in impartial love to brothers and sisters in Christ according to the law of the king. This is not about keeping OT Law, it is about James’ presumption that a person who has faith in Jesus Christ will prove that faith by the resultant life of love in the community of Christ. He is not arguing that good works leads to salvation, but that those who are truly saved show forth good works if they are truly saved. James’ “works” are not the same as trying to keep the OT Law to earn salvation, but rather are the fruit of those who are already saved. James is affirming the “royal law” of love for one another. James 2:17 Even so faith [first], if it has no works [second], is dead, being by itself. Paul’s references to “works of the Law” are directed to people who try to use the OT works of the Law to earn salvation, something Paul clearly teaches goes against the gospel of grace. This is a false gospel, because salvation is never earned on the basis of works of the Law. However, Paul does teach that “good works” are what we were created in Christ Jesus for (Eph. 2:10). These good works are the works of living in love and righteousness after we have been saved by grace through faith apart from “works of the Law.” So, to understand Paul, we need to see how he uses the phrase “works of the Law” differently from “good works” (Eph. 2:10). Neither of them leads to salvation. But we were “created in Christ Jesus for good works.” Works of the Law will never save you. Good works will come of your life if you are are saved by grace through faith. Justified/Righteous James is concerned about the horizontal relationships of justification/righteousness. I.e., how does any person know if another person is a true Christian? How should Christians act toward one another? Answer: we are shown to be righteous before men by living according to the “royal law” or “law of our King” by loving your neighbor, our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, without partiality (James 2:1, 8). Notice the horizontal focus: James 2:18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” Paul is concerned with the vertical understanding of justification/righteousness. I.e., how is any person made righteous before God? Only made righteous before God on the basis of faith in Him and His promises fulfilled in Christ. Notice Paul’s vertical concern, “before God”: Rom. 3:27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. Romans 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. Gal. 3:11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” Abraham Used as an example of good works flowing from trust/faith in God’s commands, focused on what Abraham did, his actions, his good works, because he first believed. James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and 1as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. Used as an example of being called “righteous” and “just” because Abraham believed God, focused on the fact that Abraham’s relationship with God was first and foremost based on his faith/belief in God and His promise. God’s New Covenant is a fulfillment of the Old Covenant in Christ, according to faith in His promise, not nationality, not our works of the Law. Gal. 3:6 1Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. The “Problem” each is addressing James was dealing with the sin of partiality in the congregation (James 2), especially regarding the rich versus the poor. Therefore, he is correcting the error of any claim to orthodoxy/right belief without orthopraxy/right living. Such an error amounts to an empty or “dead” faith that is not saving faith (James 2:14). Paul was correcting the error of the “Judaizers,” the error of trying to use orthopraxy/works of the Law to earn salvation, which, itself, is a false gospel, a false orthodoxy/belief (Gal. 1:8). The Tree Parable Jesus said, in Matthew 7:17 “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Read also John 15. Using the illustration of a tree, James might say, “no fruit, no root.” Therefore, for James, a person who is not living according to the royal law of love, without partiality, is only proving that their “faith” is not saving faith, not what it means to truly be a believer in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ (James 2:1). Faith in Jesus saves us from our sin and leads to a changed life. Using the illustration of a tree, Paul might say, “You can’t switch the roots with the fruit.” Therefore, for Paul, sin is only paid for, only forgiven, by faith in Jesus’s cross and resurrection. A person can never have their sin atoned for by any of their own works. As Isaiah described how our righteousness is as filthy rags (Is. 64:6), so Paul knows that our works of the Law can never save us from our sin. Faith in Jesus saves us from our sin and leads to a changed life. What the Evidence “Proves” For James, good works flowing from faith in Jesus Christ and shown by righteous living of impartial love for brothers and sisters in Christ is proof of one’s saving faith. For Paul, people trying to use works of the Law to earn salvation is proof of their failure to understand the gospel that we are forgiven of our sin by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, not as a result of our own works. Therefore, it is wrong to think that either of these New Testament writers is teaching: The Wrong View: Faith + Works = Salvation That is a false gospel (see generally Galatians) But what is being taught by both James and Paul is: The Right View: Saving Faith unto true Salvation results is good works/righteous living Saving Faith unto Salvation produces Righteousness between God AND others There is no such thing as a true Christian who shows no fruit of their salvation. Roots of saving faith in Jesus Christ will produce the fruit of righteous Christian living. The true Christian will have a new nature (2 Cor. 5:17), be born again (John 3), will have the Spirit in them (John 14:16-17), and so show that they are truly saved by their love for God and love for others. Good works do not save, but saved people live out good works!
James
  Date: Sunday, May 24, 2020       Teacher: Dr. Cory Gonyo    
Passage: James 2:18-20       Series James
  Description: “Walk the Talk” James 2:18-20 Purpose: To see the correct place of our good works after saving faith. If you claim to be a Christian, are you living what Jesus taught? If you are not living what Jesus taught, then what does that show about your claim to be a Christian? 1. Are There Two Classes of Christian? James 2:18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” Are There Two Classes of Christian? No! There’s only one true faith that also leads to living the Christian life. 2. The Wrong Way: The Faith of the Demons James 2:19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. Another statement of orthodoxy. Compare with Deut. 6 “The orthodoxy of demons was well known not only in Judaism but also in the New Testament, where the demons frequently give fuller confessions of Christ than the apostles (Mark 1:24; 5:7; Acts 16:17; 19:15). Their problem is that their response to the name of God (the reminder of their orthodox knowledge) is to shudder, because they are in rebellion against that God. All their orthodox knowledge simply makes them tremble, for their “faith” does not lead to obedient action. Likewise, those who can only claim an orthodox confession of faith are doing no better than Satan if they have not committed themselves to lives of obedience.” -Peter H. Davids, James, New International Bible Commentary (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Pub., 1989), p. 66 (emphasis added). Therefore, the right way is to see that saving faith produces the good works of Christian love and service. I.e., Walk the talk, and talk the walk!! 3. The Right Way: Saving Faith Produces Real Fruit James 2:20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? The statement is reiterated yet again (see James 2:14, 17) The Wrong View is Faith + Works of the Law = Salvation The Right View is Faith unto true Salivation => results in good works James Paul Both have “Faith” First “faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ” (James 2:1) Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith [first]; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works [second], which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Both teach “Good Works” are a necessary result of being saved by grace through faith For James, the good works he is emphasizing are based in impartial love to brothers and sisters in Christ according to the law of the king. This is not about keeping OT Law, it is about James’ presumption that a person who has faith in Jesus Christ will prove that faith by the resultant life of love in the community of Christ. He is not arguing that good works leads to salvation, but that those who are truly saved show forth good works if they are truly saved. James’ “works” are not the same as trying to keep the OT Law to earn salvation, but rather are the fruit of those who are already saved. James 2:17 Even so faith [first], if it has no works [second], is dead, being by itself. Paul’s references to “works of the Law” are directed to people who try to use the OT works of the Law to earn salvation, something Paul clearly teaches goes against the gospel of grace. This is a false gospel, because salvation is never earned on the basis of works of the Law. However, Paul does teach that “good works” are what we were created in Christ Jesus for (Eph. 2:10). These good works are the works of living in love and righteousness after we have been saved by grace through faith apart from “works of the Law.” So, to understand Paul, we need to see how he uses the phrase “works of the Law” differently from “good works” (Eph. 2:10). Neither of them leads to salvation. But we were “created in Christ Jesus for good works.” Works of the Law will never save you. Good works will come of your life if you are saved by grace through faith. Justified/Righteous James is concerned about the horizontal relationships of justification/righteousness. I.e., how does any person know if another person is a true Christian? How should Christians act toward one another? Answer: we are shown to be righteous before men by living according to the “royal law” or “law of our King” by loving your neighbor, our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, without partiality (James 2:1, 8). Notice the horizontal focus: James 2:18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” Paul is concerned with the vertical understanding of justification/righteousness. I.e., how is any person made righteous before God? Only made righteous before God on the basis of faith in Him and His promises fulfilled in Christ. Notice Paul’s vertical concern, “before God”: Rom. 3:27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. Romans 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. Gal. 3:11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” Abraham Used as an example of good works flowing from trust/faith in God’s commands, focused on what Abraham did, his actions, his good works, because he first believed. James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and 1as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. Used as an example of being called “righteous” and “just” because Abraham believed God, focused on the fact that Abraham’s relationship with God was first and foremost based on his faith/belief in God and His promise. God’s New Covenant is a fulfillment of the Old Covenant in Christ, according to faith in His promise, not nationality, not our works of the Law. Gal. 3:6 1Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.
James
  Date: Sunday, May 17, 2020       Teacher: Dr. Cory Gonyo    
Passage: James 2:14-17       Series James
  Description: “Faith Without Works is Dead” James 2:14-17 Purpose: What applied mercy does not look like, urging us to do better than this! 1. The Faith That Does Not Save James 2:14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? The issue is stated in the form of a question with the anticipated answer, “No!” “There is no salvation for the person who stops short of discipleship. If faith is only intellectual, only expressed in religious practices, it will not save. The Old Testament also condemns piety without action (Amos 5:21-24, Micah 4:1-4), as do John the Baptist (Luke 3:7- 14), Jesus (Matt. 7:15-20), and Paul (Rom. 1:5; 2:6-8; 6:17-18; Gal. 6:4-6). James follows the rest of Scripture: faith without actions (discipleship) will never save.” -Peter H. Davids, James, New International Bible Commentary (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Pub., 1989), p. 64 (emphasis added). 2. Mercy Applied – A Scenario James 2:15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, 1be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? “Go in peace” is a Jewish form of farewell. “Be warmed and be filled” is an expression that could probably be a prayer. In Luke 16:19-31, the rich man’s lack of compassion on the poor lands him in hell. So, Mercy Applied would go beyond well-wishing and pray into action! 3. Without Works of Mercy, Faith is Dead James 2:17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. James repeats the statement for emphasis Dead Faith is… -a dead tree with no roots in Christ, therefore it produces no fruit for Christ -empty faith -a claim to faith that has no other life change -not born again (John 3), is not a new creation (2 Cor. 5) -focused on what I can get, not what God has given me to bless others -mental assent without change of heart, mind, soul, strength, or love for others -faith for yourself without love for fellow Christians -not alive to God but empty of Jesus Christ’s transforming power by the Holy Spirit -a lie that self-deceives, offering no true salvation from sin because it remains ununited to Jesus who died for sin and rose again for righteousness -has not died to self in order to live to Christ Dead Faith is false faith that does not save Dead Faith is religiosity Real Faith is “faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ” (James 2:1), a relationship! Real Faith causes you to be born again in Jesus Christ then to live like Him and for Him! 4. Comparing James to Paul, Which Way is it Then? They Actually Agree! Romans 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith [first]; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works [second], which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. James 2:17 Even so faith [first], if it has no works [second], is dead, being by itself. We affirm that works is powerless to save us from sin. We also affirm that good works based in loving your neighbor is a necessary and absolute result, flowing out of true saving faith. Note the concept of “on the basis of” (Rom. 11:6) and “as a result of” (Eph. 2:8-10) versus “if it has no” and “by itself” (James 2:17). That is, Paul’s argument is what must come FIRST! Faith. James’ argument is what must come SECOND. Works. Paul and James actually have the same theological framework, saving faith (first) results in good works (second). Both teach that faith is primary. Both teach that works result from saving faith. Faith is the root of the tree, works are the fruit of the tree. Christ is the vine, we are the branches (John 15). Faith in the grace of God in Christ connects the roots to the fruit through the power of the Holy Spirit so that we may be saved and live to the glory of God. Therefore, it is wrong to think that either of these New Testament writers is teaching: Faith + Works = Salvation (wrong view) That is a false gospel (see generally Galatians) But was is being taught by both James and Paul is: Faith unto true Salivation results is good works, or Faith => Salvation produces Righteousness between God AND others True Salvation changes us, causing us to love God and love the family of God!
James
  Date: Sunday, May 10, 2020       Teacher: Dr. Cory Gonyo    
Passage: James 2:12-13       Series James
  Description: Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment James 2:12-13 Purpose: Speak and act mercifully because we are all judged by the law of liberty! 1. Talk the Walk & Walk the Talk! James 2:12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. “Speak and Act” = Talk the Walk & Walk the Talk! Don’t pretend to be what you don’t intend to be! Matthew 7:15-23; Luke 6:43-45 James 1:25 “Law of Liberty” 2. Triumphant Mercy! James 2:13 For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. Meditating on Judgment and mercy, mercy and forgiveness Micah 6:8; Matthew 6:14-15; Zech. 7:9 Matthew 18:21-35; Matthew 5:7 Mercy triumphs over judgment! If we claim to be people of Jesus, we must let His law of liberty fill our being, actions, intentions, heart, and words so as to show the love of God as He loved us.
James
  Date: Sunday, May 03, 2020       Teacher: Dr. Cory Gonyo    
Passage: James 2:8-11       Series James
  Description: Being a Whole Christian James 2:8-11 Purpose: James’ Bible Lesson #2 - Being a whole Christian following the whole of God’s Word 1. Begin by Loving Your Neighbor Thus Fulfilling the Royal Law… James 2:8 If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well. Royal Law Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount Matthew 5-6 The Great Commandments upon which the whole law and prophets hang Matthew 22:36-40; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 10:25-28 2. Then Follow Through by Living the WHOLE Royal Law because it comes from God James 2:9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. 11 For He who said, “DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,” also said, “DO NOT COMMIT MURDER.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. We must forsake partiality because it is a ___________ What does lawlessness say about one’s respect for the Lawgiver? James 2:1 – this is all tied to our “faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ” So this is OT Law finding its true fulfillment in Jesus Christ
James
  Date: Sunday, April 26, 2020       Teacher: Dr. Cory Gonyo    
Passage: James 2:5-7       Series James
  Description: God Chooses the Poor James 2:5-7 Purpose: Bible Lesson Concerning Partiality #1, seeing people with God’s eyes 1. God Chooses the Poor James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? Luke 4:18; Luke 6:20; James 1:9-11; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 Because God chooses the poor, we are living in God’s will when we accept and do not discriminate against the poor brother or sister in Christ. 2. Showing Partiality Makes Us No Different Than the World James 2:6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court? 7 Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called? The “rich” are characterized as: First, exploitative Second, dragging members of the church into court Third, by blaspheming the name of Christ Because God chooses the poor, we are NOT living in God’s will when we fail to accept or discriminate against the poor brother or sister in Christ. We cannot carry the partiality of the world into the church.
James
  Date: Sunday, April 19, 2020       Teacher: Dr. Cory Gonyo    
Passage: James 2:1-4       Series James
  Description: “No Partiality” James 2:1-4 Purpose: for us to be like God, not showing partiality or favoritism 1. The Command: Love Equally and Unconditionally James 2:1 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. Deuteronomy 10:17 Galatians 2:6 Implications for the society called the church Implications for the ministry and mission of the church Loving others unconditionally is not the same as condoning sin 2. A Test Case James 2:2 For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives? What motivates partiality? Partiality based on others’ outward appearances reveals your inward motives
Easter
  Date: Sunday, April 12, 2020       Teacher: Dr. Cory Gonyo    
Passage: John 20:1-18       Series Easter
  Description: “Jesus is Alive!” John 20:1-18 Purpose: To believe in, and follow, the resurrected Savior Jesus Christ I. Jesus is Alive! Do you understand the Scriptures? (20:1-10) Psalm 16:8-11 & Acts 2:27, 31 Psalm 49:15 Psalm 86:13 II. Jesus is Alive! Has He called you by name? (20:11-18) Isaiah 40:26 Isaiah 43:1 John 10:3 If you now understand the Scriptures, and if you now know Jesus and He knows you, then how will you follow Him the all the days of your life?
Easter
  Date: Sunday, April 05, 2020       Teacher: Dr. Cory Gonyo    
Passage: John 12:12-26       Series Easter
  Description: “Palm Sunday: The Call of Discipleship” John 12:12-26 Purpose: To Join Jesus in His Salvation Plan 1. God’s Prophecy Fulfilled In Jesus Christ (John 12:12-19) Psalm 118 approximately 1,000 B.C. Zechariah 9:9-13 prophesied between 500 and 470 B.C. When, exactly, did the disciples figure this out? (v. 16) So how should we read this today, for us? 2. Following Jesus Christ Wherever He Leads Us! (John 12:20-26) a. Jesus’s “hour” coincides with Passover! This is God’s Providential & Eternal Plan Jesus’ “hour” is "not yet" John 2:4; John 7:6, 30; John 8:20 Jesus’ “hour has come" 12:23; 13:1;16:32; 17:1 b. “The Son of Man” is from Daniel 7:13-14 Daniel is a 6th century B.C. prophet in Babylon c. “Follow Me” in John 1:43; 10:27; 12:26; 13:36; 21:19; 21:22 d. Lose yourself in Jesus Christ (John 12:25-26) Jesus is calling you today to “Follow Me”! What is your answer?
James
  Date: Sunday, March 29, 2020       Teacher: Dr. Cory Gonyo    
Passage: James 1:18-26       Series James
  Description: Good Fruit v. Bad Fruit James 1:18-26 Purpose: we are brought forth to live a life of pure (not worthless) religion 1. Good Fruit = “Pure and Undefiled Religion” James 1:18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. 19 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word… 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does…27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. What is the instrumentality of the change?______________________ (James 1:18) How are we to receive it, in what state?_____________________________ List the “good fruit” What is pure and undefiled religion? 2. Bad Fruit = “Worthless Religion” James 1:22b and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was… 26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Jesus’ teaching about good fruit versus bad fruit (Matthew 7:13-27) As yourself, “Which one of these descriptions am I most like?”

 

 
First Baptist Church - 3593 Middle Road Bettendorf, IA 52722 | Phone: 563-355-6200
  
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