James 1:12-18

CPRC Men’s Bible Study


James 1:12-15

Trials and Temptations–Again

  1. Temptation in verse 12 we believe, means both trial and temptation to sin because the preceding verses concern trial and the next verse temptation to sin. Hanko in his book “Faith made perfect” teaches this.

2. Temptation in verse 13 is temptation to sin.

3. To endure has many connotations: in relation to sin it means to resist and be victorious, in times of trial it means to trust in Jehovah concerning the purpose (refining), outcome and deliverance from the trial which may be long-lasting e.g. chronic illness, it means to persevere. It may mean we can, like Paul, actually take pleasure in trials, infirmities and persecutions. That is being more than a conqueror! Biblical examples: Joseph and Potiphar’s wife, Job’s losses (physical, family, economic), Paul’s many experiences including prison (II Tim.2:10, II Cor.6 and 12), injustice (I Peter 2:19-20). The hypocrite will not endure (Mark 4:17). We are admonished to count it all joy to believe in and experience the blessing of hardship and fellowship with Christ.

4. The crown of life we believe, is eternal life and every believer is a recipient, because in principle we are seated in heaven with Christ. It is the laurel wreath of victory (athletic). All who endure trial receive it (Rev.2:10) and it cannot be lost (Rev.3:11).

5. The admonition of verse 13 is to silence the excuse that “God tempted me or made me do it” or “Satan made me do it” which is in effect blaming God for our sin as our first parents did! This is akin to antinomianism which says let us sin that grace may abound!

6/7. It is wrong to say God is the author of temptation because to tempt is wicked and he is holy. The source of temptation is either Satan directly (Gen.3, Matt.4) or Satan using our depraved old nature as in verse 14 (Gal.5:17) or the godless world system characterised by lusts (I John 2:15-16), inordinate desires to possess, to indulge or to impress.

8. Lust itself entertained in the heart is sin (Matt.5:28) and may lead to sinful acts e.g. David and Bathsheba, Amnon and Tamar and Samson. Lust grows like a conceived child.

9. The wages of sin is death-any single sin and original inherited sin brings death (physical and spiritual). Sin, lived in and not repented of, leads to eternal death. Sin also brings corruption in the form of disease physical and spiritual (Gal.6:7-8).


James 1:16-18

Perfect Gifts

  • We are admonished not to err because we may err or be deceived into thinking:
  • We are not totally depraved in our old nature
  • We attribute temptation to God
  • We deny that trials are good gifts
  • We deny or forget the consequences of sin as when Satan deceived Eve.


2. All God gives is good and perfect, perfectly fitted to our needs physical and spiritual e.g. wife, job, trials, wisdom. His will is good, acceptable and perfect. His good gifts make us joyful and glad (John 16:24, Psalm 89:16).

3. Verse 17 describes God’s immutability especially in relation to his purposes, love and mercy toward us.

4. God’s first work in the heart of the elect sinner is regeneration.

5.The word “begat” in verse 18 indicates this. We are begotten in time but Christ eternally.

6/7. God’s will is his will of decree. God’s choice of his people is the truth of sovereign election which issues in regeneration (John 1:12, 3:3), sanctification (I Thess. 4:3) and glorification (John 17:24).

  1. The feast of first-fruits coming the day after the Sabbath after Passover (our Easter Sunday) celebrates the ingathering of the barley harvest (Lev.23:10. It was the day Christ the first-fruits from the dead arose (I Cor.15:20-23) and we (all OT and NT believers) are the first-fruits in terms of the redemption of all things (Romans 8:22,23, Rev.14:4).

Next Study James 1:19-25 (DV) April 23rd


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