Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on October 8, 2021 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: James 3:13-18 (NKJV)
3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Do you believe in gravity? Gravity works whether you believe it or not. Likewise, what if someone told you “I believe in gravity!” and then threw himself off the Empire State Building? What would you think of that person? That person is either unstable, or lying about his belief in gravity.
This is the same when people say they believe in Christ and yet seek after things that are sensual and demonic. Envy and self-seeking betray the true intentions and beliefs of the one doing the actions. In other words, you will try to live the way you believe.
Some attempt to use the epistle of St. James to contradict the Biblical teaching of justification by faith. However, St. James is simply explaining that if one truly has faith then one will do what he believes. Just like the gravity analogy, one who proclaims his belief in Jesus and yet does contrary to it acts foolishly and wickedly. Those who participate in such wickedness need to be called to repentance and faith in Christ. When people engage in sin against their conscience and claim to be a Christian, they lie against the truth. May God continue to send His Spirit and wisdom so that sinners may repent and be forgiven.
Prayer: O God, forasmuch as without Thee we are not able to please Thee: Mercifully grant, that Thy Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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