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James

Faith In Action

01 - Introduction: Faith In Action

Selected Scriptures • June 3, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Few letters in the New Testament are as controversial, let alone life-changing, as the epistle of JAMES. Regarded as a commentary on the Sermon on the Mount, it is the New Testament version of the Old Testament wisdom literature. From the pen of “James the Just,” the Church received its most practical and convicting manual for holing living. In this expositional study on the epistle of JAMES, Pastor Ronald H. Gann examines the theological relationship between faith and works. Rich in personal application, this sermon series promises to challenge new and mature believers alike.

02 - Faith That Perseveres

James 1:1-4 • June 10, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

The original readers of James’s epistle were Hebrew Christians, the majority of whom had been beset by affliction and adversity. James wrote to encourage them in their trials and to remind believers everywhere that Christian character is forged in the furnace of affliction. God uses persecution at times as a refining process. As we respond by trusting in God through our circumstances, we continue to mature into greater Christlikeness. In this expositional study on the epistle of JAMES, Pastor Ronald H. Gann examines the theological relationship between faith and works. Rich in personal application, this sermon series promises to challenge new and mature believers alike.

03 - Faith That Trusts

James 1:5-11 • June 24, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

All of us face times of testing when we find ourselves bankrupt in the area of practical wisdom. Whenever this happens, James encourages us to turn to the source of wisdom who generously bestows this gift upon those who ask for it. When we ask God for the wisdom to see our circumstances from an eternal perspective He is eager to answer our plea! Unlike the wisdom of this world, the wisdom from above tells us to look at the prosperity of the poor and the poverty of the prosperous. In this expositional study on the epistle of JAMES, Pastor Ronald H. Gann examines the theological relationship between faith and works. Rich in personal application, this sermon series promises to challenge new and mature believers alike.

04 - Faith That Is Tried

James 1:12-18 • July 1, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

What exactly is the difference between being tested and being tempted? James uses the metaphor of conception and birth to illustrate the pathology of sin as it moves from choice to practice. God, writes James, never tempts us to do evil (Jas. 1:13) but He does indeed test us at times in order to prove our faithfulness and godliness. In other words, while it is true that God places us in situations where we can sin, He never puts us in a position where we can’t help but sin. In this expositional study on the epistle of JAMES, Pastor Ronald H. Gann examines the theological relationship between faith and works. Rich in personal application, this sermon series promises to challenge new and mature believers alike.

05 - Faith That Behaves

James 1:19-27 • July 29, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Our tongues and our tempers are a barometer of whether or not we are living a righteous life. James is concerned about Christians who blurt out words thoughtlessly in the face of hardship (cf. Matt. 12:37). God's desire is that we will not be rash in our speech, but will speak only after we have carefully and thoughtfully weighed our words. "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue" (Prov. 17:28). In this expositional study on the epistle of JAMES, Pastor Ronald H. Gann examines the theological relationship between faith and works. Rich in personal application, this sermon series promises to challenge new and mature believers alike.

06 - Faith That Is Impartial

James 2:1-4 • August 5, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Scripture teaches us that, as believers, we are to examine ourselves in all things (1 Cor. 11:28;13:5), including whether or not we are guilty of showing favoritism. Do we favor the worldly wealthy over the humble and poor? Are our heroes in life the great athletes, the rich entrepreneurs, the glamorous actors? James cautions us against such an attitude. To show favoritism to one while discriminating against another is to sin against God. In this expositional study on the epistle of JAMES, Pastor Ronald H. Gann examines the theological relationship between faith and works. Rich in personal application, this sermon series promises to challenge new and mature believers alike.

07 - Faith That Is Merciful

James 2:5-13 • August 12, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

In the same way that we naturally love ourselves, Scripture tells us we should love others. And when we determine to occupy ourselves with such love for others, thus fulfilling God's sovereign Law, we will have no problem with partiality (cf. Php. 2:3-4). Recognizing that we are all lawbreakers, it is imperative that we exercise mercy toward one another—to both the rich and the poor and to saint and sinner alike. We must treat others as we treat ourselves. In this expositional study on the epistle of JAMES, Pastor Ronald H. Gann examines the theological relationship between faith and works. Rich in personal application, this sermon series promises to challenge new and mature believers alike.

08 - Faith That Acts

James 2:14-26 • September 2, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

A perennially difficult issue in JAMES is the author's treatment of faith, works, and justification. James 2:14-26, in particular, is difficult to interpret not only because of its complexity of language but also because of the argument itself. Does James contradict Paul regarding the basis on which God justifies sinners? Does Paul contradict James? Are there two equally-valid ways of justification set forth in the New Testament? In this expositional study on the epistle of JAMES, Pastor Ronald H. Gann examines the theological relationship between faith and works. Rich in personal application, this sermon series promises to challenge new and mature believers alike.

09 - Faith That Tames

James 3:1-12 • September 9, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

In church we use our tongues to praise God. But then, in our fallen flesh, we frequently turn around and speak evil of other people. This ought not to be the case! To James’s way of thinking, insulting a person who is made in God’s image is like insulting God Himself. This duality of our tongues—i.e. contradictory words coming out of the same mouth—is a type of hypocrisy under which all Christians labor and which expose us to God’s judgment. It must be tamed! In this expositional study on the epistle of JAMES, Pastor Ronald H. Gann examines the theological relationship between faith and works. Rich in personal application, this sermon series promises to challenge new and mature believers alike.

10 - Faith That Is Wise

James 3:13-18 • September 16, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Wisdom is the ability to look at things from God’s viewpoint. To rely on self is to be foolish, but to rely on God and His Word, and to apply it daily, is to be wise. It requires of us an active prayer life— to ask for wisdom as 1:5 commands. It requires a conscious dependence on God—in the humility prescribed in 3:13. True wisdom can be had only by people who live in active reliance on God, who Himself is the very expression of wisdom. In this expositional study on the epistle of JAMES, Pastor Ronald H. Gann examines the theological relationship between faith and works. Rich in personal application, this sermon series promises to challenge new and mature believers alike.

11 - Faith That Prays (Part 1)

James 4:1-6 • September 23, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Beginning in chapter 4, James links those who provoke unnecessary conflicts in the Church with those who seek superficial gifts through prayer. The apostle says it is because of their susceptibility to sin and lack of humility that such strife exists among believers and many prayers go unanswered. Wrong motives in prayer inevitably lead to wrong conduct in practice. In this expositional study on the epistle of JAMES, Pastor Ronald H. Gann examines the theological relationship between faith and works. Rich in personal application, this sermon series promises to challenge new and mature believers alike.

12 - Faith That Submits

James 4:7-12 • October 14, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

“Submit yourself to God,” James writes, and “Resist the devil.” No doubt for many of us such an admonition is easier said than done. Even more vexing, he continues, “Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.” Was James calling on believers, who have the joy of the Lord and a peace that transcends understanding, to be manic depressants? In this expositional study on the epistle of JAMES, Pastor Ronald H. Gann examines the theological relationship between faith and works. Rich in personal application, this sermon series promises to challenge new and mature believers alike.

13 - Faith That Plans

James 4:13-17 • October 21, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Have you ever wondered why James insisted in James 4:13-17 that it is pointless to make future plans—either for leisure or for labor? Was he advocating that we exercise a careless and irresponsible attitude about tomorrow? Is investing toward a retirement plan or planning next summer’s vacation inherently sinful? Even more, is there any significance to his remarks: “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes“? In this expositional study on the epistle of JAMES, Pastor Ronald H. Gann examines the theological relationship between faith and works. Rich in personal application, this sermon series promises to challenge new and mature believers alike.

14 - Faith That Is Cautious

James 5:1-6 • October 28, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

James exposes the folly of building a fortress of wealth in life—either hoarding our riches (for security) or oppressing others with it (for power). But is money worthy of our confidence? Is financial wealth eternal? Can it truly make one spiritually secure and powerful? James is adamant with his answer—“NO!” Thus he warns believers to be on guard against the abuse of wealth, for that which we stack up on earth will eventually rust away in heaven. In this expositional study on the epistle of JAMES, Pastor Ronald H. Gann examines the theological relationship between faith and works. Rich in personal application, this sermon series promises to challenge new and mature believers alike.

15 - Faith That Waits

James 5:7-12 • November 4, 2012 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

James ends by returning to the beginning. In his opening salvo, he encouraged his readers to count their current trials as joy because the testing of their faith "produces perseverance" (1:2). Now he speaks again of our need to wait on God. Since there is no future in speaking against each other, making plans on your own, or clinging to wealth, what are we to do when we are pressed and discouraged in the midst of ongoing trials? We are to be patient, James answers, "until the coming of the Lord." In this expositional study on the epistle of JAMES, Pastor Ronald H. Gann examines the theological relationship between faith and works. Rich in personal application, this sermon series promises to challenge new and mature believers alike.

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