Archive of Pastor Darby's Sermon Notes, transcribed from his original typewritten documents
THE SIX TESTS OF FAITH
Jan 2, 1972 am
THE WRITINGS OF JAMES BRINGS US INTO THE PRACTICAL WORKROOM OF SHIRT SLEEVE CHRISTIANITY
- John wrote of belief and love; Paul of great doctrines - in Hebrews - throne room of God.
- But James writes of the practical, day-by-day work, ethics, practical behavior, etc.
- Who is James? Bible describes in v.4 that he was the brother of John, son of Alphaeus, Father of Judas (not Iscariot) and the half-brother of Jesus - head of the Jerusalem Council, Acts 15; words say last one.
THE PURPOSE OF TESTING
Few people can resist "Test your IQ", "Are you compatible?", or "Is your brother-in-law nuts?"
WHY IS OUR FAITH TESTED? V.4 - FOR OUR OWN FULL DEVELOPMENT, THAT WE BE MADE PERFECT
- Jesus wanted us to be perfect, entire, nothing lacking from our total development - mature.
- The purpose of trials is to develop the Christian character to full adult maturity - strong.
- Children whose muscles have never developed are crippled; so are untested Christians.
HOW IS OUR FAITH TESTED? V.3 - TRIALS, NOT ALWAYS A TEMPTATION TO EVIL, OFTEN JUST CARRY WEIGHT
- The way our muscles develop is by being used against pressure - run, life, and we call it play!
- Continued trials of strength build endurance - which is patience in action. Ability - keep on.
- We cannot grow strong without trials. Who wants a weak body? Or a weak faith?
WHAT SHOULD OUR ATTITUED BE TOWARD TESTS? V.2 - "COUNT IT ALL JOY" - NOW DO WE BELIEVE THE BIBLE?
- When our faith is tested we should rejoice - Psa 19:5 - as bridegroom, as strong man to run a race.
- Continually we see young men testing strength - Football; listen to them rejoice when the kick is good!
- If you want real spiritual strength and joy - welcome to the test! Pass it for Christ and try for greater!
The present defeatist attitude of some Christians - refusal to compete - is a trick of Satan!
THE TESTS OF FAITH
- The Textbook says there are 6, but I get excited and start digging and lose count - you count!
- The test of prayer (for wisdom) - v.5-8 - the word 'If' assumes that the statement is true! God as a loving father wants you to have the best - if you lack, ask in faith - with no doubt- accept it!
- The test of humility (rich or poor) - v.9-11 - The brother of Jesus echoes the Beatitudes. Being saved changes a person' attitude toward self; no Vanity Fair for this Pilgrim.
- The test of endurance (not yielding to temptation) - v.12 - a test to see if you love Jesus - here is a promise of a crown to one who runs a race over hurdles - test of strength - not evil.
- The test of temptation (who is to blame for enticement?) - v.13-17 - God does not entice men! Any temptation to sin comes from world, flesh, or devil - not God! Our lust brings our death.
- The test of appreciation (gifts from God) - v.17 - Father of Lights does not change - shadow? We need light on God's gifts - count your blessings - many do not appreciate God's graciousness.
- The test of the New Birth (Born of the Word) - v.18 - He wanted to beget us by the Word - new. The Bible produces the new birth - receive God's Word - have faith in it, be first fruits of it.
- The test of the New Life (from the engrafted Word) - v.19-21 - Life sure changed from the past. Wrath and naughtiness is choked out by the engrafted Word growing stronger; listen to it.
- The test of being a doer (not a forgetter) - v.22-25 - Some just listen, others obey the Word. The business of doing good is opposite of primping in front of a mirror and forgetting to be humane. v.25.
- The test of the bridled tongue (not deceiving one's self) - v.26 - If you say it enough you will believe it. This is plain truth - amplified later; Many knock a foul ball on this; real faith affects the tongue!
- The test of a pure religion (to visit, and be unspotted) - v.27 - two great measurements of self! To visit - to help; no go, no glow!! Keep unspotted from the world - Christian action faith.
DID YOU PASS THE TEST????
- You can grade yourself! I'll pass up the temptation to let your crazy brother-in-law grade you!
THE TESTING DESCRIBED IN THE BOOK OF JAMES IS PLAIN, UNDERSTADABLE, AND YOU CAN TAKE IT!
- The Amos of the New Testament speaks of social injustice with pungent sentences - easily understood - read!
THE TESTING DESCRIBED HERE IS EASY, NOT THE LIFE OR DEATH PERSECUTION THAT CAME LATER!
- These people faced social oppression - wages withheld, lawsuits, before "Bema", but not death!
- But they were not bearing trials with Christian attitude - there were worldly, with strife, dissent.
- They blamed other Christians for their inability to do better; God does not grade on a curve!
WHEN TESTING COMES YOUR WAY, THE BIBLE COMMANDS "REJOICE" - JAMES 1:2 - TO FAIL IS TO SIN!
- If you fail God's test - why not accept Jesus Christ as Saviour - believe the Word - be born again!
- If you are weak - ask God for more testing to build your strength, and do your homework.
- If you are not complete - spend time in the school of the Engrafted Word - seek completeness.