The Crown of Life

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

James 1:12 – Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

This one verse of Scripture contains an enormous amount of truth, yet this verse also has caused a tremendous amount of confusion for so many people. “Temptation” is in the singular because when we are tempted, the temptation most always comes one at a time.

The word “endureth” is a unique word in the Scriptures because it means to be prepared to hold your ground, to hold out through pressure when it comes. Pressure surely will come to believers from time to time, yet when we hold on to our beliefs and convictions through a temptation without succumbing to it, then we may receive the promise of receiving the crown of life.

The greatest temptation in this life is to blame God every time things go wrong in our lives, and most people do!

The word “tried” is another interestingly unique word, for it means to be approved, rather than the way it is translated ─ tried. The question that needs to be answered is: When or how are believers approved? The answer is actually quite simple once we see the truth of how greatly we are approved before our God.

II Timothy 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved {this is the same Greek word for “tried” in James 1:12} unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

“Study” takes effort, studying to correctly understand the Word of truth about how greatly we are approved before God is how we hold our own ground through a temptation.

We believers are already “approved” before our heavenly Father, God already loves us, and He always thinks the best of us. Yet man, in himself, is subject to condemnation and blaming God, and at times it is extremely difficult to raise our believing up to the point of accepting the graces of God upon our lives because society itself teaches us that God punishes us through temptations to test our faith, etcetera. Yet, this is totally untrue. When we study the Scriptures, especially the Church Epistles which are directly written to believers of today, and when we rightly divide the truth, we will begin to realize that we are approved before God, rather than being tempted by Him.

As a safeguard to prevent us from blaming God, James continues:

James 1:13 – Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.

How often are we tempted by God? NEVER! Our loving heavenly Father never, ever tempts us in any way, shape, form, or manner! If temptations were from God (which they are not), then we could never genuinely, from a spiritual point of view, love our Savor Jesus Christ completely because there would always be a fear element lurking in the shadows of our minds.

Jesus Christ gave his entire being to the point of humiliation and death on our behalf, and in our stead, so that we may present ourselves to God being made already holy and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1-2).

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I {God} know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

It is interesting to me that so many people think and believe that God is the force behind all the evil in this world, and the people who propagate this lie obviously know more than God because God specifically states that He knows emphatically what He thinks, and He thinks thoughts of peace and not evil thoughts towards us. “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 33:11); this is the real, truthful pleasure that the LORD has towards everyone, that they live to receive His eternal benefits.

This is rightly dividing the Word of truth, and the more we look (by studying), the greater we will come to understand the wonderful approval we already have before our heavenly Father.

I Corinthians 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer {allow} you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Through our life’s trials and temptations, we can look to God for His strength and His refuge (Isaiah 25:4) and be assured of God’s continuous deliverance (II Corinthians 1:10).

God never called us to incur His wrath (Romans 5:9; I Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9-10), but rather He called us to “an expected end” and the greatest expectation that we can receive for not accusing God for all the temptations we go through in life, is the crown of life!

To be continued in The Crown of Righteousness

Our Approval is by God’s Grace (And Nothing Else)

“II Timothy 2:15 encourages believers to, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Some people think that the more they study their Bibles, the more they will become approved before God, but this is wrongly dividing the word of truth, because God has already approved us in Christ. If a premise begins in error, then the conclusions will be no closer to the truth than the original error. We cannot approve ourselves by works, for we are already approved by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:410) because we are accepted in the beloved, and the beloved is Christ; To the praise of the glory of his grace {God’s grace}, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved- Ephesians 1:6. II Timothy 2:15 is saying that when we study the Scriptures we will come to know just how much approval we have before God because we are in Christ, and this is rightly dividing the word of truth.” ~LMJ~

We Have the Mind of Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Corinthians 2:16 – For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him {Isaiah 40:13-14}? But we have the mind of Christ.

Who knows the mind of the Lord (i.e., the mind of God Himself), and who has instructed Him? Well the definitive answer is that no one has ever been His teacher or completely understood everything about Him. The word mind is the Greek word nous and means the entire mind, the whole mind of God’s mental perception is known only to God (Romans 11:33-34). Then the Scriptures say, “but {in contrast to the above} we have the mind {nous} of Christ.” This means that we can understand the mind of Christ completely and intimately, for we have the God-given right to have the thoughts of Christ in our minds, and the reason that we have this ability is that we have Christ within, and Christ’s mission has always been to reveal and explain God (John 17:25-26; Hebrews 13:8).

Romans 13:14a – But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ . . .

To put on the Lord Jesus Christ is to put the thoughts of God’s Word into our minds.  The Word of God reveals Christ (John 5:39) and Christ reveals God. Christians by virtue of receiving the gift of holy spirit have Christ within, and as we go to the Scriptures and begin understanding the words within our hearts we begin systematically putting on the mind of Christ, and enjoying the glory of the Lord.

II Corinthians 1:21-22:
-21: Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
-22: Who hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

God sealed us with holy spirit, sealing us for Him for eternity, establishing every believer by a spiritual anointing to have and to know the mind of Christ who is living within our very hearts. “Christ {is} the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (I Corinthians 1:24). So as we put on Christ in our minds via the teachings of the Scriptures we will begin to realize that “Christ who is our {real source of our spiritual} life” (Colossians 3:4), is the way to manifest the power of God. We are encouraged to put on the mind of Christ, not simply the mind that Jesus had when he walked on earth, but even more emphatically the mind that Christ currently has being eternally alive from the dead. We now have the approval of God’s healing will to know the spiritual mind of Christ and as we learn the Scriptures we will begin reflecting “the glory of the Lord.”

II Timothy 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Many people believe that the more we study, the more we become approved before God, but this is wrongly dividing the Word because God has already approved us. This verse is saying that when we study the Scriptures we will begin realizing just how much approval we have before God in Christ, and this is rightly dividing the Word of truth. God does not shame us in the Scriptures, rather He encourages and builds us up because we have the God-given approval to have the mind of Christ – daily. In the Scriptures (especially in the Epistles) we learn about the mind of Christ who is spiritually dwelling within. With God’s love in our hearts we have a real premise to enjoy the renewed mind wherein God’s divine grace allows us to know His divine approval of us. When enjoying our access to the thoughts of Christ, we will begin knowing the mind of Christ and individually displaying the glory of the Lord, and this is the epitome of understanding God’s appraisal of us.