DO NOT BE DECEIVED
James 1: 13-18
If you would, look at verse 16 again. James says: “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.”
It can happen can’t it?
If Satan can deceive a Christian he has taken him captive again.
And that is especially true in reference to what James speaks of here in these verses.
In these verses some of these Christians were being persuaded to believe some things about God that weren’t true.
So let’s look at this passage and learn some things that will help us NOT TO BE DECEIVED.
Look at verse 13. James says: Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
Now, let me explain what was apparently happening.
Now, with every “trial”…comes a “temptation.”
We see this several times in scripture.
During the Exodus, when Israel went into the wilderness, they faced many “tests” of their faith in God.
Job’s faith was “tested”…and with each “test” Satan “tempted” him to “curse God and die.”
When the Holy Spirit led our Lord into the wilderness His faith was “tested” and with each “test” Satan “tempted” Him to disobey God.
With every trial or hardship there is a “test or proving” of our faith; and with every hardship that “tests” our faith…comes a “temptation” to sin.
Now, the people that James is writing to knew that God sometimes “tests” our faith….and allows our faith to be “tested.”
Now, I suppose there are many ramifications (consequences) to this idea, but I want to show you just one. Look with me at Genesis 3.
And the man says in verse10, “I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself.”
And God says, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
Now, notice verse 12. “And the man said, “The woman who Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate it.”
Do you see what Adam is saying? “God, it is your fault! It’s not my fault!”
If it is God’s fault then I am not the one to blame and I am not guilty and I don’t need Christ!
“Lord, I wouldn’t have abandoned my wife and kids if you hadn’t allowed me to go through this hardship.”
If it is God’s fault…then we can excuse anything we do.
If God is the source of the temptation, we can excuse anything we want too.
And, if it is God’s fault that we commit sin; and then God turns around and punishes us for the sin we commit; that isn’t fair; and that isn’t right; and that isn’t just.
So in verse 13 James says, “Don’t you do this!”
Do you want to know where temptation comes from? Look at verse 14 and 15.
“But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”
That is where temptation comes from.
Don’t blame God…don’t undermine His good nature…don’t accuse Him of being the “bad guy.”
In fact, notice the end of verse 15 again. James says that “sin brings forth death.”
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.”
Paul says in Acts 17 that God gives to all “life, breath, and all things“…even when some people stand and curse Him.
And notice this. James says that He is the “Father of lights.”
Everything good comes from God…and it just keeps coming and coming…even when we don’t appreciate it.
Don’t tell me that God is the “bad guy”, that He is unjust, unrighteous, and unfair.
And that is not all…look at verse 18.
In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures.
Don’t tell me that God is “the bad guy”…and don’t you be telling others that God is the “bad guy.”
And we say, “I would never tell anyone that God is bad.”
Someone’s baby dies and we say, “God wanted another little angel…so He took yours.”
Do you understand what we are saying in that situation?
Let me tell you who took that baby.
Death stole them away…but it is God who can give them life again!.
Maybe that is why James says what he does in verse 19. “This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.”
When we are confronted with a situation where death has come in…maybe we need to think before we speak.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above.”
Let’s sing a song…and if you have a need that we can help you with…we want you to come as we stand and sing.