James chapter 1, part 1.
“…if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.” -James 1:23
So what kind of person do we see looking back at us in this mirror? James briefly touches on a number of types of people in this chapter. I want to look at a number of them, in hopes that you will see yourself. The goal here is not to just make a diagnosis, but provide a prescription of active response.
1. James is an important book from a mission angle.
2. James tackles the practical challenges of community.
3. James arises out of the wisdom literature tradition of teaching by opposites.
4. James was a witness, disciple and apostle of Jesus.
5. James is reflective of the prophetic tradition and the best of the western philosophical tradition.
6. James calls us to a holistic faith that doesn’t divorce theory from practice.
From my Intro:
“I think the book of James is particularly relevant to the crisis of faith in America today. We are suffering from a divorce of belief and practice. There’s been a war waged in the theological courtrooms of Christendom that has its roots in evangelical’s reformation history. Unfortunately it has had dire consequences in the everyday life of the average believer whose disconnected from that once fresh headwaters of reform.
Somehow what started out as a prophetic call and epoch shifting return to the truth of the Bible and the faith of the fathers has resulted in the degeneracy of discipleship, the very plague that started the reform! The idea that one can believe in Jesus and yet live their lives as they want contradicts the claim of Jesus’s lordship. How did we move away from the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus that rooted faith and action in one’s confession?
The Superpower You Were Born With. Life & Death are in the Tongue
Steve Beck: Christ over Mammon
Christ vs Demeter: Who is the Lord of the Bread?
Sometimes we forget that the world Jesus came into and the one that the early church was raised within was very much like ours. The Gentiles were the people of a Greco-roman world. The term Gentile doesn’t always capture the Hellenistic culture of the classical world. These were the people of Plato, Socrates, Alexander the Great, Euripides and Homer.
Christians were sent out to proclaim the truth, goodness and beauty of the gospel of Jesus to a massive world of competing worldviews, ideas, values and gods. We too live in a vast world of conflicting conclusions on the nature of reality, the place and purpose of life, the truth of truth, morality and even our own understanding of self. We are called to live lives of meaning, and how we live and what we do in our day to day lives matter more than ever.
Series: Christ Against the Gods:Unmasking the true Lord of the Party
Sermon: Christ vs. Bacchus
Main Text: John 2:1-11
Christ confronts…the duality of good vs evil and liberates by life and love.
Christ conquers…slaveish servitude to flesh the world and the devil
Christ commands…us to live free, feast and liberate others.
Series: Christ Against the Gods: Finding Freedom from the Powers & Problems of this Age.
Sermon 3: Christ against Chaos
Christ Confronts…the chaos
Christ Conquers…our fears
Christ Commands…us to walk in faith, perseverance and peace
Steve Beck speaks on: Christ is Victor over: Superstition, Curses, Magic and Witchcraft
“And here, at the coming of the Son, magic began to be destroyed, and all bonds were loosed; and the ancient kingdom and the error of evil were destroyed. All things were moved together, and the destruction of death was planned, and from that, God started to bring things back to perfection.”
(Adapted from: The Second Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians)
Sermon title: Christ against Dead or Dying Religion.
Christ Confronts…dead or dying religion.
Christ Conquers…it through love, light and mercy.
Christ Commands…us to be filled with the Spirit and minister love, light and life.