By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. Wreaths are put at the entrances to houses. When Creon comes back crowned after consulting the oracle he is hailed as a messenger of joy. Crowns also serve as a means of power and protection in the invocation of gods or demons in magic. The Dionysus cult uses ivy, oak, and acanthus, Neptune and Pan wear wreaths of fig leaves, and Zeus of laurel. That happiness is a divine pronouncement, the assured benefit of those who meet the conditions God requires. Why do we far too often grovel in the pig sties of this passing evil age when we could be continually dining at the Father's table, Whose banner over us is love. From the perspective of the NT, in every respect life is the counterpart of death. Or as another has said Christians are a lot like tea bags. By trial brought to purest health of mind. A Sign of Salvation and Protection. In cultic acts priests wear various forms of crowns. The illustration from the flower (James 1:11a) (Brown, Colin, Editor. B. 1Jn 2:5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. Commentary on James 3:1-12. The article with "life" (tes zoes) points to that eternal life in all its fullness awaiting the attested believer. speaks of life in the sense of one who is possessed of vitality and animation. Although some theologians argue against this truth, the Biblical truth is that perseverance is one of the signs of genuine faith. After the inscription and salutation (v. 1) Christians are taught how to conduct themselves when under the cross. I think it is because love for Christ keeps us from loving the world. The goddess of victory is depicted with a crown, and there are crowns for the victors, whether of grass, oak leaves, or laurel. Commentary on Mark 8:27-38. He who, being tested, is supported in the ordeal, and comes out of the trial approved, is the blessed man. Afflictions cannot make us miserable, if it be not our own fault. Richards writes that dokimos "is used in the NT in the sense of recognition, of being officially approved and accepted. 24 "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me. Trials and wisdom. James 1:12(HCSB) Verse Thoughts. Blessedness of familiarity with God enjoyed in the affliction. 3. Crowned because appreciated by their God. 8:34; Is 56:2; Je 17:7; Ro 4:8). Faith was made perfect by his works. A large number of the Christians had left *Jerusalem and had goneto live in other countries. The Giver of all good gifts (James 1:17) It is rather the work of God the Holy Spirit in a believer's life. Impatience is a mark of immaturity. James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are of the Dispersion, greeting. B. “Afflictions are but as a dark entry into our Father’s house,” wrote Thomas Brooks. It is therefore the word for money which is genuine, or, as we would say, sterling. The proper attitude toward trials (James 1:2–4) The message of John is that since the believer is a partaker of this life, it is an absolute necessity that he show the ethical and spiritual qualities that are part of the essential nature of God, in his own life. Wreaths are also placed on the bowls and vessels and on the walls of the rooms where the feasts are held. The Mysteries. The Army. B. J C Ryle - Trials are intended to make us think, to wean us from the world, to send us to the Bible, to drive us to our knees. 2. But a trial is not the same experience as a temptation. The repudiation of a divine source (James 1:13) Love for Christ motivates us to persevere under trials. Eerdmans, Richards, L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency, Jas 1:2, 3, 4; 5:11; Job 5:17; Ps 94:12; 119:67,71,75; Pr 3:11,12; He 6:15; 10:32; 12:5; Re 3:19, Whom God chooses -Psalms 65:4; Ephesians 1:3,4, Whom God calls -Isaiah 51:2; Revelation 19:9, Who are not offended at Christ -Matthew 11:6, Whose sins are forgiven -Psalms 32:1,2; Romans 4:7, To whom God imputes righteousness without works -Romans 4:6-9, Whom God chastens -Job 5:17; Psalms 94:12, Who have the Lord for their God -Psalms 144:15, Who trust in God -Psalms 2:12; 34:8; 40:4; 84:12; Jeremiah 17:7, Who hear and keep the word of God -Ps 119:2; James 1:24; Mt 13:16; Lk 11:28; Re 1:3; 22:7, Who delight in the commandments of God -Psalms 112:1, Who keep the commandments of God -Revelation 22:14, Whose strength is in the Lord -Psalms 84:5, Who hunger and thirst after righteousness -Matthew 5:6, Who frequent the house of God -Psalms 65:4; 84:5, Who have part in the first resurrection -Revelation 20:6, Who favour saints -Genesis 12:3; Ruth 2:10, The generation of the upright -Psalms 112:2, The bountiful -Deuteronomy 15:10; Psalms 41:1; Pr 22:9; Lk 14:13,14, Saints at the judgment day -Matthew 25:34, Deuteronomy 8:2; 13:3; Proverbs 17:3; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:2,3; Hebrews 11:17; 1Peter 1:6,7; 1Peter 5:10, James 2:5; Ex 20:6; Deut 7:9; Neh 1:5; Ps 5:11; Ro 8:28; 1Co 2:9; 8:3; 1Pe 1:8; 1Jn 4:19. Pressure brings out what's really on the inside! Paul often used athletic illustrations in his letters, and James does so here. It is the crown of life; and that phrase means that it is the crown which consists of life. James is teaching that faith, if it is not accompanied by good works, is not going to save anyone. It was worn by kings and by those in authority. So if any one of you lacks wisdom, 4. 1. Explanation and Commentary of James 1:12 Trial is part of life in this fallen world. Amplified: Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor’s] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him. For that is the purpose of our trials, that we should be made to love him more, and love him better. The human obligation (James 1:6–8) (Amplified Bible - Lockman). Apart from recognition of athletes and winners of various kinds of competitions, in the Greco-Roman world, the awarding of a crown or wreath signified appreciation for exceptional contributions to the state or groups within it. If that is so, it means that the Christian, if he is faithful, will be crowned with the life which belongs to God himself. Victor. People rarely stop at just one sin, however, and it is often not long before they add another and another to the chain. When we are hurting during a trial, we need to put our focus on the right place. How much more should we as believers "run with endurance the race that is set before" (see note Hebrews 12:1) us, knowing that the Olympic athletes, do it to receive a perishable wreath (stephanos) but we an imperishable." When James says that Abraham was saved by good works; he does not exclude the need for faith in Jesus Christ. He begins with bidding them to “count it all joy when they fall into divers temptations.” Towards the close of his epistle he declares this to be at least the persuasion of his own mind; “Behold, we count them happy that endure.” But in the text he does not hesitate to affirm it as an unquestionable truth, that such persons are truly blessed (James 1 - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae - Commentaries). James is explaining the reason for the beatitude associated with perseverance. The coins were comparatively soft and of course many people shaved them closely. Christians through the generations of the church have borne testimony to this experience. Don't misunderstand. Spurgeon said "By perseverance the snail reached the ark." In the present context the primary meaning is trial or test which in itself is not an enticement to evil, for he states we are not to resist (as one would if the intent were evil) but to endure (which supports the meaning of a "neutral" trial). 1. The blessed ones were beings who lived in some other world away from the cares and problems and worries of ordinary people. : Riverside Printing). 2. (Blessed). New International Dictionary of NT Theology. Ultimately, the supremely blessed man or woman is the one who finds their complete happiness in God. Life should be taken as identifying the reward—`the reward that is life. James 1:12-15 " 12 Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him. Promised (1861) (epaggello from epí = intensifies meaning + aggéllo = tell, declare) means to announce with certainty as to what one will do. Eerdmans). The source of human temptation (James 1:13–14) The payoff for being a faithful clutch player is found in James 1:12: "Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him." All rights reserved). Negative feelings, absence of feelings, or adverse conditions cannot take away the blessedness of those who exist in such a relationship with God! You’ll receive the crown of life at last. Who but God could bring blessing out of trials? It means to watch as one would some precious thing. (In comments on 1Jn 1:2 Wuest adds) here used as Thayer indicates, as “the absolute fulness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God.” Thus, this life that God is, is not to be defined as merely animation, but as definitely ethical in its content. Blessedness belongs to those who endure tests. b. James 1:12. Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? AMEN. It acknowledges excellence. Animals are also crowned or garlanded at various feasts. 2. (D Edmond Hiebert - James. Blessedness comes out of patient experience. Jesus doeth all things well. Blessedness belongs to those who are proved true by trial. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. Unless we have endurance , we can never learn many of the truths that God wants us to learn, truths that will lead us into a deeper life and a more fruitful ministry. It describes a state of being marked by fullness from God. The instructions of parents can bring a crown of grace to those who listen to them (Proverbs 1:9); Wisdom provides a man with a crown of glory (Proverbs 4:9); in a time of disaster and dishonor it can be said, "The crown has fallen from our head" (Lamentations 5:16). knowing that the outcome will be good. a. By trial developed in every part of their nature. Grand Rapids, Mich.; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos), O the friends that now are waiting, (New Testament Words in Today's Language. means to be happy, blissful. It has been said of him: "He lost himself in visions of work to be done, that always remained to be done.”, Coleridge had every poetic gift but one—the gift of sustained and concentrated effort. The ethical and spiritual qualities of this life which God is, are communicated to the sinner when the latter places his faith in the Lord Jesus as Saviour, and this becomes the new, animating, energizing, motivating principle which transforms the experience of that individual, and the saint thus lives a Christian life. The Games. Moody). These have life which bears trials, the spiritual life is blessed. To promise is to make a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified. I may have cancer, but cancer doesn't have me—God alone has me. Faith that is not tried and true is worthless. Greek used makarios to refer to their gods and thus "the blessed ones" were the gods. And their earthly course is run; Where their steps have led the way; "The trying of your faith worketh patience." a. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. By trial trained to utmost vigor of grace. “How long do we have to wait?” is the stock question of the child. The appropriation of the Word (James 1:21b) His peculiar regard to those who love him doubly ensures it. A question people around the world are asking right at this moment. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 5. (Ibid). Jn 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps (tereo - word study; present tense = not perfectly but as the general "tenor" of their life) them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him." The stephanos was literally an adornment worn around the head as a crown of victory in the Greek athletic games, this reward being given to the runner who crossed the goal first, to the disc thrower with the longest toss, etc. It is natural that there should be crownings at weddings. Love (verb) (25) (agapao-see related study of noun agape) means to love unconditionally and sacrificially as God Himself loves sinful men (John 3:16), the way He loves the Son (John 3:35, 15:9, 17:23, 24). Note that love for Christ does not exempt us from trials. Keeping our eyes on the prize can help motivate us to maintain spiritual integrity when faced with the temptations and sufferings of earthly life. The ceremony ends in their homes, which also bear wreaths. Temptation Treated as Opportunity. Samuel Johnson - Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance. And the present tense signifies that his reader's (verb is plural) have a continuing love for God. (Gingrich, R. E. The Book of James. When the Japanese invaded in 1940 she led 100 children on an epic journey that caught the imagination of Hollywood (Ed: Watch the movie about her life - The Inn of the Sixth Happiness or DVD). The only Christians who don’t face trial, even great trials, are those who suddenly die young. He began a paper called The Watchman which lived for ten numbers and then died. His life thus becomes the pattern of what our lives should be in holiness, self-sacrifice, humility, and love. When it’s o’er and you have stood unmoving, I am afraid that all the grace that I have got out of my comfortable and easy times and happy hours might almost lie on a penny. The wreaths express festal joy but also serve to cool the head during drinking. Some say "Let go and let God" but that absolves the believer of personal responsibility. Permanent wreaths are carved on gravestones and funds are set up for regular adornment with wreaths. Of being crowned. The person who delivers the oracle wears a crown. They were men of honour who put only genuine full weighted money into circulation. It commonly denotes "the distinctive religious joy which accrues to man from his share in the salvation of the kingdom of God."' We still need to make a volitional choice to bear up but even this motivation to please God is initiated by the indwelling Holy Spirit (see Php 2:12, 13, especially verse 13 - see notes Php 2:12; 13), Who also provides the power, energizing us to be able to endure as more than conquerors in Christ Jesus our Lord. James 1:1-12 The question we are tackling this morning is asked perhaps more than any other question about God. Biblical Commentary (Bible Study) James 2:1-17 EXEGESIS: THE CONTEXT: In chapter one, James dealt with the issue of temptation, saying that “the testing of your faith produces endurance” (1:3) and that the person who endures temptation “will receive the crown of life” (1:12). Various examples show that crowns are viewed as signs of protection. (b) The crown was the mark of royalty. Crowned because they have kept the conditions of the award. 9:25; Phil. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete" (James 1:3, 4). There is no "gamble" involved in this promise. He gives freely without asking questions; In 1947 failing health forced her back to England where she crusaded for missions until her death in 1970. James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings. A very little girl came out with a small fire-shovel, and began to take up a shovelful at a time, and carry it to a sort of bin in the cellar. Realizing this, she scoured up her own fare to China and sailed in 1930. John Legge - The most durable and precious metal in the ancient arts was the Corinthian bronze, which was said to have first been caused by the fusing of all the precious metals when Corinth was burned. Knowing that our sovereign God will walk with us and use trials to deepen our maturity, we can count them "all joy." Who are calling me to follow When politicians give orations in Athens they wear wreaths as a sign of immunity. The Spirit produces His joy in you - see notes Galatians 5:22), my brethren, when (implies temptations are to be expected) you encounter (fall into the midst of so as to be totally surrounded by) various (poikilos - all "shapes and sizes" of) trials (peirasmos), knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Do not let yourself yield to deception; 1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:. He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love (phileo) You." Of attaining the glory and "crown of life" by enduring trial, thus only can life be developed till its flower and crown appear. Hupomeno is in the present tense which calls for this perseverance to be one's lifestyle. But when asking, you must never falter, 4:1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? For instance, it describes gold or silver which has been purified of all alloy in the fire. Yet over time your perseverance will bring great victory, a crown of life as a reward you can enjoy today and for eternity. In the final rites they offer their wreaths to the deity. The tried Christian shall be a crowned one. Crowned because honored of their fellows. Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial - Not "Blessed is one who is never tried"! He therefore calls us to face the issue of worth. God is not the mere reason for the universe, as the Greeks thought, but a Person with the characteristics and qualities of a divine Person. Afflictions cannot make us miserable, if it be not our own fault. (See note on 1Cor 9:25). The Cultus. There's a great deal of difference between a Christian and a man of the world: his best estate is vanity (Ps. 1989. Jn 15:10 "If you keep (tereo - word study) My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love. When it’s done, you’ll be complete and perfect, In short, the Greeks felt that one had to be either a god, dead or filthy rich to be blessed (makarios)! Note that agapao is a verb and by its verbal nature calls for action. If such fierce trials do not kill them, nothing will. 1986. The crown was the sign of festive joy. I said to the child, 'Do you expect to get all that coal in with that little shovel?' Blessedness of thankfulness for being sustained. Peirasmos connotes trouble or something that breaks the pattern of peace, comfort, joy, and happiness in someone’s life. Love for Christ is the inevitable result of belief in Him. They have laid aside their armor, The IVP New Testament commentary Series. The KJV has "temptations" instead of "trials". Hiebert comments that in the NT makarios is…, always a strongly religious concept denoting an inner quality of life, a joy and happiness not dependent upon favorable external circumstances. (1) The necessary attitude (James 1:6a) b. Sometimes this was the crown of gold; sometimes it was the linen band, or fillet, worn around the brows (compare Psalms 21:3; Jeremiah 13:18). “However reluctant we may be to embrace it, we know that suffering rightly received is one of the Christian’s supreme means of grace” (Wenham 1974:79). Giving birth to sin, and sin to death. Heavenly peace, divinest comfort, God is trying to produce in us an enduring overcoming faith. 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?" 15:17; Jn. Trials (3986) (peirasmos from peirazo = to make trial of, try, tempt, prove in either a good or bad sense) describes first the idea of putting to the test and then refers to the tests or pressures that come in order to discover a person’s nature or the quality of some thing. (b) When a man had faithfully performed the work of a magistrate, at the end of his term of office he was granted a crown. St. James, who wrote to “his Jewish brethren who were scattered abroad” through the violence of persecution, frequently repeats this consolatory idea. 13 "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. b. 1. The teaching in Jas 1:2 to count their trials as joy is here completed with the assurance concerning the ultimate effect of trials bravely endured. The closed crown is used in magic. His abundance will become your share. Mystagogues bear myrtle branches in the Eleusinian mysteries, and neophytes in the Isis mysteries. The futility of activity without inner control (James 1:26) BLESSED IS A MAN WHO PERSEVERES UNDER TRIAL: Makarios aner os hupomenei (3SPAI) peirasmon: Trial > faith > obedience > To that however are we led by the voice of revelation, which teaches us to look with confidence to a future state, wherein all that we endure for God, and in meek submission to his will, shall be compensated with a weight of glory, proportioned to the trials we have here sustained for his sake, and the spiritual improvement which we have derived from them. Immediately we know its genuineness when we hear a reverberating, almost musical sound. The attitude commanded (James 1:2) Paul speaks of a similar reward in his last letter to Timothy explaining that…, in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. Blessed (3107)(makarios) is derived from a root makar, (others say from "mak" which means large or lengthy) which means to be happy, but not in the usual sense of happiness based on positive circumstances. Therefore, it is better to conclude the paragraph with Jas 1:12 or make a separate paragraph of it. Through the Word of truth that you believed. If you’re struggling with perseverance in trials, examine the quality of your love for Christ. If they have heavenly life, it will always be at its crowning point. He also said "'A poor woman had a supply of coal laid at her door by a charitable neighbor. The aorist tense records the historical fact that the promise was given and thus stated by the non-lying God, stands firm and sure regarding its consummation. (Note: The Septuagint -LXX translates siyg with the Greek word adokimos, essentially the opposite of dokimos). That which is dokimos is shown to be trustworthy and genuine. Thus Tiberius wears a laurel wreath during thunderstorms. (6) Ovalis (and that of myrtle), which was given to those captains that subdued any town or city, or that won any field easily, without blood. Therefore, a painful process that yields a desired goal can be welcomed as a friend. Comment: No one competing in the Olympic games received a crown until the race is over. Already a higher form of spiritual life and enjoyment crowns those who have safely passed through fiercest trials of faith and love. Trust your loving, sovereign Father to use the trials as faith-growing tests now and source of a reward in the future. HE WILL RECEIVE THE CROWN OF LIFE WHICH THE LORD HAS PROMISED TO THOSE WHO LOVE HIM: lempsetai (3SFMI) ton stephanon tes zoes, on epeggeilato (3SAMI) tois agaposin (PAPMPD) auton: Will receive (2983) (lambano) means to take hold of, to grasp, to seize. When all my labors and trials are o’er, It is the biblical use and meaning of zoe that most concerns us as we examine what the NT says about life. His own hand shall give it. 1. ), a consciousness of His presence and of living and acting in His sight, so as to please Him in all things. See how Peter encourages his readers to persevere: “But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? I am on the eve," he said, "of sending the press two octavo volumes." It is the word used for a stone which is fit to be fitted into its place in a building. But the good that I have received from my sorrows, and pains, and griefs, is altogether incalculable. The Roman emperor, his family, the priests, and state officials all wear crowns in processions. Mt 5:3, 4, 5, 6, 7,8, 9, 10, 11; 11:6; 13:16; 16:17; 24:46; Lk. James seems to be moving in a very different direction after his discourse on works, which concluded, “faith apart from works is dead” (2:14-26). My natural response to difficult circumstances is “Oh, no!” The Lord wants me to see what He can accomplish through them and say, “Oh, yes!” --By David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. These Johannine passages clearly teach that love is an action based on a choice, which for a disciple is first and foremost manifest by the choice to obey the good and acceptable and perfect will of the Father and the Son. These have faith, or it would not be tried; faith is blessed. James first use of peirasmos refers to "trials for good" (as in 1 Peter1:6), where he exhorted the saints to. The answer is decisively yes! The crown of life that James mentions here is often confused with eternal life. The wreaths honor the dead but also protect them against demons. But some small part of Your great plan Friedrich Hauck says that the Greek word Makarios, "refers overwhelmingly to the distinctive religious joy which accrues to man form his share in the salvation of the kingdom of God. Victor, New Testament Words in Today's Language. James 1 – A Living Faith in Trials and Temptations A. Note that it is one that we receive as a gift from a gracious God, not one that we earn by our works/merit. (a) the victor's crown in the games. 8. James 1:12 (Devotion) "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him." (Barclay's comments on 2Timothy 2:15 from The Daily Study Bible) Barclay adds that "To the man who meets trials in the right way there is joy here and hereafter. O that will be glory for me, glory for me! Their love for God is the outcome of their faith in Him, which produces willing endurance for Him (Jas 1:2, 3, 4-notes). Held in honor of the gods, sporting festivals culminate when the victors, who struggle hard to win, are crowned with wreaths of laurel, olive, or ivy. 2. The weaknesses of his character are eradicated; and he emerges strong and pure." To be blessed, you had to be a god. 7:40; 1Ti 1:11; 6:15; Titus 2:13; Jas. Downers Grove, Ill. USA: InterVarsity Press, Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Perseverance is also illustrated in nature for yoday's mighty oak is just yesterday's little nut that held its ground, Coleman Cox offered another example from nature noting that "Even the woodpecker owes his success to the fact that he uses his head and keeps pecking away until he finishes the job he starts.". (a) The crown of flowers was worn at times of joy, at weddings and at feasts (compare Isaiah 28:1-2; SS 3:11). (Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament). 1. But some money changers were men of integrity, who would accept no counterfeit money. If they have spiritual bliss, it can never die. Homer used makarios to describe a state unaffected by the world of men, who were subject to poverty, weakness, and death. —D. The Christian can win the crown of victory in the contest of life. Your faith develops when things don’t go as planned. Young's Literal: Happy the man who doth endure temptation, because, becoming approved, he shall receive the crown of the life, which the Lord did promise to those loving Him. 1:45; 6:20, 21, 22; 7:23; 10:23; 11:27, 28; 12:37, 38, 43; 14:14, 15; 23:29; Jn. (1) The negative portrayal (James 1:23–24) She seemed too dull to master Chinese and fulfill her vision of serving in China. The repetition of small efforts will effect more than the occasional use of great talents. The reaction demanded (James 1:19b) Verses 1-12 are speaking of the trials and tests that come into our lives from outside circumstances. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House). To be blessed, you had to be dead, a state many of us have felt like we would just as well experience because of the nature of our manifold troubles and afflictions at the time. Blessedness is not in our text connected with ease, freedom from trial, or absence of temptation. Trials, examine the quality of love and devotion. 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