I ran out of time, so we’re only going to get to verses 17 and 18 of James 1 today.
Jam 1:17-18 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (18) Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Every good gift
This follows naturally after the discussion of the source of temptation. Far from enticing us to do evil, God is the source of every good gift we enjoy. While He doesn’t give most of these gifts personally and directly, He is their ultimate source.
Act. 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
God is “the Father of Lights,” physically and spiritually. This One who is light would never do anything to lead His children into the darkness of sin.
1Jo. 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
His character doesn’t change. He doesn’t vary or vacillate. Unlike fickle human beings, God’s desire for us to do right and His determination to do good for us is consistent.
Of His own will begat He us
For those who thought God was tempting them, James reminds them that God was responsible for their new birth – their transfer from the kingdom on darkness to the kingdom of light.
Col. 1:12-13 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Why did He save them, and us? To “be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” The firstfruits were that part of the harvest set apart for God. Giving the firstfruits was a way to honor God.
Pro. 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
So God saved us that we should honor Him with our lives. Sin dishonors God, and He does nothing to move us toward it.
It’s getting late (OK, early), so we’ll pick up with verses 19-21 next time. Which means you don’t have any homework for today.