Searchfortreasure's Blog

…a Bible student's notes…

Identifying the overall theme of the book of James

“DO NOT BE DECEIVED…”

 This sticky note is not dated.  “James presents a series of tests by which our soul salvation’s progress can be determined.  James is concerned about the development of soul salvation.”

 Soul salvation was understood by some of these early believers; but hardly understood nor taught to believers of today.  However, those who have “ears to hear and eyes to see” will seek to know this doctrine that is so plainly and simply put in 1 Peter 1:3-25:

3 ¶ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

6 ¶ In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,

7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

10 ¶ As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries,

11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.

12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things into which angels long to look.

13 ¶ Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,

15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;

16 because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;

18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,

19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you

21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,

23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

24 ¶ For, “ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS, AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF,

25 BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.” And this is the word which was preached to you. (NAS95)

 See what I underlined in verses 3 & 23 ?  “Born again” here is NOT the same as in John 3:7.  This one actually means “born again” not “born from above.”  This begetting, here in 1 Peter, is to a salvation that will be revealed at the “in the last time,” (v.5) compared to “now” in the next verse  v.6.  Hopefully, this salvation will result in “Praise and glory and honor at the revelation (appearing) of Jesus Christ” – v.7.

 In verse 9, this salvation (of the soul) will prove to be an outcome of our faith.  “Faith” is a noun and has to do with the lifestyle we are living now – after being born from above.  Read again the lifestyle of faith in verses 13-17.

 These verses are plain and simple and there are many others concerned with this salvation of the soul to be revealed at the last time.  Beware of the tradition of men.  Read these verses again and again before heading back to James; then, you will understand James 1:21 “Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.” (NAS)

 Compare the “seed” in 1 Peter 1:23 to the “word implanted” in James 1:21.  Then read about the “seeds” and “soils” in Matthew 13:1-23.  This parable is explained in verses 18-23.  Then – reread verses 10-17.

  To whom is our Lord speaking? (disciples)

What is their question? (“Why do You speak to them in parables?”)

Our Lord’s answer to the disciples?  (“…to you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them (the multitudes v.2) it has not been granted.”)

 In a nutshell:  The salvation of the soul will be revealed in the last time – the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.  It is NOT the salvation that we commonly have at this present time (See Jude 3).  Soul salvation has to do with our present possession of faith that lives in the “things to come” and is “pleasing to God.”

 James deals with how we work the faith now and warns of impediments to this faith that could lead to dire consequences in the “age to come.”

 1:16 – “DO NOT BE DECEIVED…”

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August 5, 2009 - Posted by | "Born Again" / "Born from Above", 1 Peter 1:3-25, James, on faith, Soul Salvation, Sticky notes

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