Men's Workout #28 - December 16, 2017

We sang the hymn "Angels, from the Realms of Glory" (hymn #222).
We recited James 1:1-21 as a group and spent some time discussing the passage and developing propositions.

  • Eternal life is the topic that runs through this section.
  • The epitome of the good things that the Father has given us is spiritual birth.
  • One's religion can actually be proven completely worthless.
    • If you are truly saved, you will have faith that is active, produces good works, and acts upon what you confess to believe.
  • If you don't check your sin and let it fester, it will eventually take over your life and lead to demise.
    • Sin hardens peoples' hearts.
    • A true believer will not let sin overtake their life.
    • The death mentioned in 1:15 refers to eternal death, not just bodily death.
    • A genuine believer does not willfully continue walking in sin
      • Refer to book of 1 John.
  • Be quick to hear.
    • This leads us to practice thoughtful responses without anger.
    • Those who practice rationality, calmness, and patience are wise. 


  • Ephesians 4 is a similar passage that speaks to the slowness of anger.
    • Ephesians 4:26 - "Be angry and yet do not sin"
    • Ephesians 4:31 - "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice."
      • When we put aside all of these evil things, what are we to replace them with? What should our demeanor and attitude be?
        • Be kind and tenderhearted, forgiving one other.
  • It is very rare that we can practice righteous indignation like Christ did. Our anger is not going to establish any form of justice. Instead, we ought to strive for wisdom, so that we can be people who are quick to hear and slow to anger.

Question: James is writing to Jews who seem to have embraced Jesus as Messiah. Why is James so full of urgent warnings?

  • Although they professed faith, the audience that James addresses are still discriminating against the poor. Their actions did not exhibit genuine saving faith, so James writes with forcefulness, aiming to correct their understanding and actions.
    • James is filled with imperatives for Christians to adopt and follow. There are over 50 - that means almost half of the verses in this book are imperatives!
  • The accomplishment of sin
    • We need to have a healthy fear of sin and its potential to afflict our lives.
      • If you uproot sin and deal with it at its inception, then you can be safeguarded against it. Up until sin reaches its completion, there is hope to fight and kill it.
    • Sin is accomplished when it has fulfilled its goal or purpose, which is to drag us away from God and into hell, the place of eternal damnation.

Question: How should we be motivated to fight sin? How should we think about our fight against sin?

  • God has chosen us for salvation through sanctification; He's saved us to live truly sanctified lives. Sanctification is a necessary component of salvation. 
  • We must deal with sin at its roots, or at its beginning.
    • When tempted with sin, we should ask ourselves:
      • "Why do I want the outcome of what will be accomplished if I sin?"
      • "If I do not sin and do not obtain the resulting temporary gain, will Christ be honored?"
      • "Am I acting in a way that honors Christ above and before all?"
  • We must consider the severe costs of sin.
    • If we gain temporary victories but lose the eternal prize, will it have been worth it? We should sobered by Christ's words when He spoke of those who "gain the world but forfeit the soul" (Matthew 16:26, Mark 8:36, Luke 9:25).
    • Sin deceives us and continues to harden the heart and the soul. A pattern of sin and compromise only snowballs and distances us from God.
    • A mind separate from the gospel justifies sinful behavior, lifestyle, and patterns.

We concluded our workout with a preview discussion of James 1:22-25.

  • "The word"
    • James is writing as someone who is not just a servant of God, but as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is an important distinction because James is writing to Jews who believe in Christ as their Messiah and Lord.
    • When James talks about "the word", He is referring to the Law of Christ, not the OT law. If James was referring to the OT law, then he would be saying that we must obey everything that is contained in the OT laws, which is not his intent.
  • "Be doers and not just hearers"
    • Reminds us of Christ's words in the Sermon on the Mount: "everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them…" (Matthew 7:24, Luke 6:47)
    • We should assess ourselves and consider what have we actually done with what the knowledge of the truth we have received.
    • God's will is for believers to hear, think, and do.
  • "Look intently at the word of God"
    • Pay very careful attention to the word of God and practice it.
    • Respond to the Word in action.