Living From Biblical Theology

Great Passage: Theology & Application. James was guided by God to write this to people he cared for, so he encourages them to think rightly about God and then act from there. James first shares biblical theology on important topics: Our Sin, God’s Essence, God’s Grace, The use of God’s Word. Then he gives us an overview of how we are to live in response to God’s Revelation. As followers of Christ this is our lifelong pursuit: Application of Scripture!

Pt. 2 James 1:12-25

12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

  • The blessings are the intimacy that happens when you trust God in faith
  • ‘Crown of Life’ = eternity with God…we can only give our life to Him out of love

13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.

  • Temptation has 3 sources as revealed in Scripture (Our Flesh / Satan / World)
  • None of the sources are God, yet HE allows them

14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. 16 So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.

  • Our desires, NOT God’s…
  • Acting on our desires is when it moves from temptation to sin
  • When that sin action is not repented of & renounced it becomes open rebellion
  • James wants everyone to be clear: Don’t let sin have a place, don’t let it grow

17 Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. 18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

  • God is Unchanging Good; Author of all Creation
  • This birth He chooses us for is ‘Eternal Birth’ a gift that is personal in Christ
  • The gift of salvation thru His True Word (Christ)

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

  • We need to understand how important what we do is (Matthew 15: 18-20)
  • The heart of who we are is reflected by our life-style
  • We must let our transformed heart lead our actions to renounce old lifestyle
  • What will save our souls is nothing short of total surrender to the Gospel

22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.

  • A difference between acknowledging Scripture & crafting a life based upon it
  • Constant reference and adjustments: Active Ownership of Your Discipleship

25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

  • James comes from a perspective of ‘The Law ‘ being God’s revelation
  • God’s revelation has now been perfected in Christ Jesus
  • The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the perfect Law that sets you free!
  • So we are to Know it well and consistently apply it to real life (ritual & habit)
  • The blessing again is the intimacy of God’s presence and communion with Him!

Application Questions:

Why is it important to know where God is in the process of temptation and sin?

How can you create a truly ‘Biblical’ view of who God is & how He interacts with you?

What influences can you reduce in your life to allow the righteousness God desires?

What are aspects of your lifestyle that enable or hinder application of God’s Word?

Seeking Wisdom in Hard Times (Intro & Ch. 1:1-11)


Jesus’ younger brother, studied as a Rabbi

Rejected Jesus: Mark (3:21; 6:2-4, 6) and John (7:5; 19:25-27)

He didn’t believe in Jesus as Christ until resurrection day visit (1 Cor. 15:3–7)

He was a leader of the Jerusalem church along with Peter & John

Executed in 62 AD


People who had come to faith in Jerusalem (Jews)

They had been forced to flee because of the Jewish Leaders’ policy of persecution


To provide guidance on Christian lifestyle based on Jewish belief and The Revelation of Christ.

Historical Context:

Book written and distributed about 14 years after Christ death & Resurrection

Christians were scattered around Judea & beyond

Written prior to the 1st Jerusalem Council (50AD)

Scriptural Context:

Written like Proverbs or Ecclesiastes (Wisdom Literature)

James stature in the Jerusalem church gave it weight at 1st (canonicity disputed)

Read without the context of the rest of Scripture it can seem based on law not grace

1 This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing to the “twelve tribes”—Jewish believers scattered abroad. Greetings!

  • ‘Bond Slave’
  • The single word ‘Greetings” is unique to James

2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

  • The addressing of ‘Brothers & Sisters’ assumes the ‘Bond of The Spirit’
  • Troubles of any kind: The kind you caused & the kind you didn’t cause
  • The only way to grow is to be tested, enduring these things transforms you
  • James encourages us to figure out how to let it grow
  • Ownership of your Discipleship is the path to development
  • Your completeness and wholeness happens when you let God shape you

5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone.

  • ‘If you need’…who is not in need?
  • The Wisdom you need is accessible, God wants to provide it…
  • God has a filter for His distribution of wisdom: His Spirit (In Us by faith in Christ)
  • We must approach Him as Who He Is: ‘My All in All’

Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

  • Divided Loyalty is a great translation rather than ‘believer without doubt’…
  • A wave cannot control where it goes.
  • If loyalty is divided between God & ANYTHING else, your relationship will suffer
  • Communion with God & HIS wisdom is for those who surrender all to God (Jesus: ‘Give up your life for me and the Gospel’)
  • We were created to be undivided in our loyalty to God…Shalom

9 ‘Believers’ who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. 10 And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field.

  • What really matters; this life or the next?
  • As ‘Believers’ they have eternal life, provided by God for His reasons
  • As Christ followers we boast only about what God has done
  • In God’s perspective it has happened…

11 The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.

  • All that is temporal (of this life) will not last…all without ‘Eternal Value’ fades
  • ‘The Rich’ are those who do everything for their self gain & glory
  • The Rich are occupied with their pursuits and reject Christ

Application Questions:

Why don’t you respond to trouble with joy?

How do you approach God to ask for wisdom in your daily life?

What in your life keeps you from letting God grow your faith in hard times?

What are the things that can pull your loyalty away from God? Why can they do this?

What God is Birthing

Loss / Hope / Hardship / Isolation / Faith / Seeking Good / Trust / Blessings

The Book of Ruth amplifies the story of all Scripture: Redemption by God’s Grace! What was lost in the garden, our intimacy with our creator; can be regained. Ruth is a short story that could almost be seen as a ‘Cliff Notes’ for all scripture.

We left our story at this point last week:

Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from his hometown. Today you are witnesses!”

Ruth 4:11-22

11 Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel.

  • They publicly attest to being witnesses (basically going on the record)
  • 1st Blessing: Rachel & Leah were grafted in like Ruth is
  • God builds His nation of Israel by including outsiders

May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem.

  • ‘Ephrathah’ is the revered ancestral line of Caleb, from the tribe of Judah
  • Caleb’s descendants settled what became Bethlehem: ‘House of Bread’
  • From the ‘House of Bread’ will come the ‘Bread of Life’

12 Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

  • In the story of Judah & Tamar the brother didn’t act as Guardian Redeemer
  • God preserved the lineage even through all of that sin
  • Judah’s line is where Sin and Grace collide…all the way to ‘The Cross’
  • Perez’s offspring were numerous and influential then and in the future

Nehemiah 11:6

The descendants of Perez who lived in Jerusalem totaled 468 men of standing.

13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.

  • The Lord given the credit… Miracle? Was Ruth Barren? Was Boaz too old?
  • Bottom line: It is God who conceives ALL Life

14 The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”

  • Boaz is an example of and an instrument of: God’s Redemptive Character!
  • This is all being attributed to God!
  • The Child is to be famous, and a blessing to Namoi
  • The Child would be the heir that will protect and provide for Namoi
  • ‘Better than seven sons’…

16 Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. 17 The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

  • A Son as in a way to keep the family name going
  • Obed means ‘Servant’…

18 This, then, is the family line of Perez: Perez was the father of Hezron, 19 Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, 20 Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, 21 Salmon the father of Boaz, Boaz the father of Obed, 22 Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David.

  • Why is keeping track of the lineage important?
  • God uses uncommon ways to bring forth His Messiah from His people
  • This union ultimately produces David (Foreshadow of Christ)

God in His sovereignty Provides & God by His Grace Redeems!

Application Questions:

The blessings the crowd bestows on Boaz…why so elaborate?

Why does all the attention shift to Namoi regarding the child?

What does this book say to you about follow-ship in the midst of hardship?

What does it look like for you trust God for both provision & redemption?

Ruth 4:1-10: GRACE

1 Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat down there just as the guardian-redeemer he had mentioned came along. Boaz said, “Come over here, my friend, and sit down.” So he went over and sat down. 2 Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, “Sit here,” and they did so.

  • That guy just happened to show up?
  • Why the Elders and not the smart young guys?
  • The Elders hung out there just for such matters, this was their legal system
  • Boaz has serious clout or… is God’s Grace running things

3 Then he said to the guardian-redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our relative Elimelek. 4 I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people.”

  • This guy knew he was 1st in line, that Elimelek’s estate should be redeemed…
  • Lev. 25: The system of redemption & Jubilee (preserving people over property)
  • Why had this guy not made a move to play his role of ‘Guardian-redeemer’?

If you will redeem it, do so. But if you will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line.”

  • Boaz is forthright, describing things as they are.
  • He basically put his relative on the spot

I will redeem it!” he said.

  • Boaz’s heart must have crashed…but he came prepared

5 Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the land from Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.”

  • Boaz knew all the Scripture said (Leviticus 25), seems like the other guys didn’t
  • Family name tied to property : God’s way of keeping his people rooted in land

6 At this, the guardian-redeemer said, “Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it.”

  • Contrast to Boaz: This guy is concerned about his things, not his people
  • He doesn’t see the ‘God Possibilities’ only the human ones
  • God (and Boaz as a example of Godliness) is all about people not things
  • Upon his refusal, the right / obligation to redeem passes to Boaz

7 (Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.)

  • This sealed the deal

8 So the guardian-redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it yourself.” And he removed his sandal. 9 Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon.

  • This is what Boaz wanted, but needed God to do…he could not earn it
  • Boaz makes it a matter of public record (everyone knew the story)

10 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from his hometown. Today you are witnesses!”

  • This is fulfilling God’s desire that His people would carry on in ‘The Land’
  • Family is meant to take care of each other (together in Christ we are family)
  • The Mosiac Law called for a earthly version of redemption to point to Christ

Grace: ‘Undeserved Favor’

Ruth & Namoi didn’t earn what Boaz did for them…

Just as we cannot earn what Christ does for us.

Just as Boaz bought them out of poverty and insecurity Christ buys us out of the poverty of sin and secures our eternity in HIS family

Application Questions:

Why is it important that Ruth is part of the deal?

Why does God choose to provide for and ‘Buy Back’ people like this?

Do you see God’s redemption of us all in this?