Life was designed to be lived in community.

04/19/15 Bondservant!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, April 20, 2015 Under: Sermon
Life is a Test Series - Introduction (James 1:1)

Intro: Wouldn’t you know it; my last class that was required for me to graduate from Liberty University was a Math Class. Why in the world would a student of Biblical Studies need a math class to graduate? I believe it was the most intense class I experience since I started my schooling in the early 1990’s. The Book alone was over 900 hundred pages. It cost $250.00 it had within its covers; learning the art of problem solving. Numeration systems, number theory, real numbers and their representations, basics of algebra, graphs, geometry, statistics, trigonometry… It was intense. That alone was tough; however, the weekly requirements placed a lot of stress on me; before I could take the required quiz or test every week I had to do my homework which was all in a Math lab on a website, and to top that off I had to get 80% on my homework before I could get to the quiz or test. This didn’t include the lectures every week, or the discussion boards with the other students. I was truly overwhelmed; my emotions took me from an all-time low to an all-time high when I would get my 80% and move on to the quiz or test. This particular class took advantage of modern technology and being able to document everything I did no short cuts!

James is a pastor in the early church, an important leader in his community and he is bringing to the attention of the Jews; life is a test and the earlier you understand that and prepare yourself, the sooner you can equip yourself for the certain trials and tribulations that will come your way, you can pass this test and mature through the process. This will require some growing up! And no one can cheat through this! And did I tell you! You will be rewarded!

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24

Text: James 1:1 (NKJV)

“James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.”

Application: Only the Lord can hold all things together.

Priority: “James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ."

James is the bond servant of Christ, Jesus is his Lord. Jesus appeared to 500, than the apostle and then to James by himself. James saw the risen Christ! In the upper room prayer, it was the resurrection that changed James. He was confronted with the risen Christ. Truly his conversion was real. In Acts 15:13 James shows his new nature: “And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, "Men and brethren, listen to me.” James is a commanding figure. James is not like Paul, James starts off by saying hello I am James Jesus is Lord let’s get going. Here is Jesus’ half-brother who knew Jesus but didn’t really know Him until after the resurrection. James said: “I don’t look at Jesus as my brother I look to Him as my Lord! “The Lord Jesus Christ.” “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”

It must be the Lordship of Jesus, this means turn everything over to Jesus Christ. What are you willing to give over to the Lord? He is Lord, He is savior, He is Christ the anointed One!

James priority was serving His Lord Jesus! That was his test!

2. Plan: “James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

108 verses’, 54 are imperatives. Every other verse is telling you what to do. There commands. The word "servant" (doulos in the Greek) means far more than just a servant. It means a slave totally possessed by the master. It means a bond-servant bound by law to a master. A look at the slave market of James's day shows more clearly what James meant when he said he was a "slave of Jesus Christ."

  • The slave was owned by his master; he was totally possessed by his master.
  • The slave existed for his master and he had no other reason for existence.
  • The slave served his master and he existed only for the purpose of service. 
  • The slave's will belonged to his master.
“Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy.” Psalm 100:2 (NLT)

That’s the plan “Be a Bondservant!”

3. Preparation:

As you would prepare for a quiz or a test in a class, life is a test and there will always be preparation; that is if you want to mature.

Key Verse: “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” James 1:19 James is telling us: God first to what God has to say about a subject. Be slow to speak, you can’t learn while talking. The reason while God hasn’t showed up because we talk too much. Be slow to wrath.

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22

4. Prepare! Privilege: “To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.”

James notes that Jesus is Hid brother but goes on to say: “For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother." Mark 3:35

There are the believers scattered all over the world. James is writing to a specific group of believers: to the believers of the twelve tribes of Israel. How could this be when the twelve tribes had been scattered all over the world and had lost their identity? This very fact gives us the answer. James is not writing to each of the tribes of Israel; he is writing to all the tribes of Israel—to all Jews wherever they might be and no matter to what tribe they belonged. James is using the title "the twelve tribes of Israel" as a comprehensive term. He is referring to all Israel, not wanting a single Jew to feel left out of his message. As the brother of the Lord Jesus Christ and as the pastor of the great Jerusalem church, what he had to say was imperative for all Jews to hear and heed.

James loved his people with an unusual love, the love and the evangelistic heart that James had for his people. True, he is writing primarily to Jewish believers, but he is also doing what he says: sending greetings to the twelve tribes millions who are scattered all over the world. What he says is applicable to all believers of all generations.

IF we truly understand what it is to be a bondservant it should be a privilege, there is no need to whine about your current circumstance, if you’re in a mess, you’re not alone; the trial you’re going through should be a privilege. You don’t have to stay stuck in sin, buried in a trial, financial difficulty will pass. He is telling the church listen up, control your temper? Don’t be the angry person, Selfish; think only about self… jealous. Control your tongue… The individual doesn’t have to be in conflict all the time, everybody arguing: “Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!” James 5:9

Point is spiritual maturity requires faith, that’s the test, study the materials keep up on the homework. There are those who still handle problems the way they did 20 years earlier in the faith, why because they haven’t grown up!

Bondservant it is a privilege!

Conclusion: To the Bondservant!

“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Luke 24:47

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20

“And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

“So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." John 20:21

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:8

What a dynamic example in love and evangelism for us. What would happen if our hearts beat with the same degree of love and evangelism—the compassion to reach the lost and suffering people of our communities, cities, and nations? Look at the world-wide compassion of James. He was making an attempt to reach his people all over the world. Where is the heart for missions today? Where is the person who will totally give his heart to world missions and evangelism?

In : Sermon 

Tags: "life is a test series" "book of james" 
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