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James 1:18 - The Word of Truth




James 1:18 "He chose to give us birth through the word of truth …”


Out of the underserved goodness of a never-changing, loving, and merciful God, we are offered a new birth. A spiritual birth conceived through the word of truth, James indicates, and is confirmed in 1 Peter 1:23, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” (NIV)

 

The living and enduring word of God is as unchanging as the author Himself, who chose to give us birth so that we may be set apart to Himself, and sanctified and made holy for His divine purposes.

 

James spends much of his time throughout his letter teaching on the word of truth. So, I thought we could take a short detour from James, especially on Easter Sunday, to accentuate some important truths found in the word.

 

1.    By “the word of truth,” we are brought to an understanding of our hopeless situation apart from God: that we are unfit for heaven and unable, on our own, to rectify our condition.

 

Romans 3:23 - “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

 

Romans 3:23 is a fundamental reminder that we are all sinners. We have all sinned. We have all done things that are displeasing to God. There is no one who is innocent or exempt. 

 

Romans 3:10-18 details a picture of what sin looks like in our lives.

 

Romans 3:10-18 – As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”[1]  “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” [2] “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” [3] “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” [4] “Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways and the way of peace they do not know.” [5]There is no fear of God before their eyes.” [6]

 

No one is righteous, and no one is good. No one is able to keep the Ten Commandments perfectly. God is holy, and no one can live up to His perfect standards.

 

Romans 6:23 shows us the consequences of our sins.

 

Romans 6:23 - “For the wages of sin is death …

 

The consequence of our sins is death, not just physical death, but eternal death.

 

Romans 6:23 cont. – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

But…we have the hope of eternal life.

 

2.    By “the word of truth,” we are brought to an awareness of who Jesus is and the hope we can find in Him because of what He has done.

 

Romans 5:8 - “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

 

Jesus Christ died for us! He died for you! And His death paid for the price of your sins.

 

He has exchanged all of his righteousness for our sins so that all of our sins may be counted against him. Through this underserved exchange, we can experience the freedom and forgiveness available to us through the cross.

 

3.    By “the word of truth,” we are shown the only way to salvation.

 

Romans 10:9 -” If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

 

Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, we can be saved by believing in Him and trusting in His death as the payment for our sins. 

 

Note that this is more than just an intellectual acceptance of His existence. It is a deliberate commitment to the unending truth and faith in who Jesus Christ says He is.

 

Romans 10:13 says it again.

 

Romans 10:13 - for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 

 

Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins and rescue us from eternal death. Salvation, the forgiveness of sins, is available to all who will trust and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

 

4.    By “the word of truth,” we are shown what salvation looks like.

 

Romans 5:1- “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

 

We can have a relationship of peace with God through Jesus Christ. 

 

Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

 

Because Jesus died on our behalf, we will never be condemned for our sins.

 

5.    By “the word of truth,” we are given the precious promises of God.

 

Romans 8:38-39: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

6.    By “the word of truth,” we know that this salvation which God gives us … he has chosen to give us. He has not asked us to earn it. It is a gift offered to us by a loving, gracious, merciful, and benevolent God.

 

The word of truth, that James will focus his attention on in the coming verses, teaches us and points us toward salvation in Jesus Christ. In fact, everything in the Bible points to Jesus Christ, and this was God’s intention from the beginning of time. God’s redemptive story, laid out in every page of the Bible, began at creation and is portrayed throughout Scripture, beginning in the very first verse of Genesis.

 

He chose to give us birth through His word, James says, the living word pointing toward salvation through a risen King. It’s God’s redemptive story! It’s a great story! Do you know it?

 

God has already begun a good work in you, He is just waiting for you to respond. You can respond right from where you are. Just start by opening the pages of Scripture. Seek Him. He is waiting for you there.

 

Happy Easter!




Footnotes:

[1] Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Eccles. 7:20

[2] Psalm 5:9

[3] Psalm 140:4

[4] Psalm 10:7

[5] Isaiah 59:7,8

[6] Psalm 36:1

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