“God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble”. In chapter 4:1-12, James like an expert surgeon cuts through our selfish desires to reveal that our true problem is a heart that desires other things more than God. Then graciously he points us to the cure: the grace of God. James will not let us know the sweetness of grace until we have tasted the bitterness of our own sin. In all of this James shows us that true faith is marked by humility.
When the entire world seems to say that self-interest, getting ahead, and carnivorous ambition is what wisdom is all about, James comes with a radically different picture of wisdom. Echoing the call of wisdom from the book of Proverbs, James boldy claims that true wisdom is radically other focused. True wisdom cannot be found by looking inward, but only by looking upward to Jesus, the embodiment of true wisdom.
In James 3:1-12, James makes the point, faith that works is a faith that tames the tongue. Our speech and words are powerful and often destructive, so how are we supposed to do that? Jump in and listen as we discuss that together this week.
In this sermon we see James introduce topics that that are hard and perplexing for many of us: faith, trials, and temptation. In James 1:2-18 we will see that our faith will be tested, that trials actually come from God, and yet temptation never does.
During this gathering we had the honor and privilege to welcome Shane Shaddix, a pastor at one of our fellow Acts 29 Churches in Raleigh, to preach from John 3. Join us as we explore one of the most perplexing teachings of Jesus from the Gospel of John where Jesus says, “you must be born again.”
From the very beginning, God has existed in and been a part of community with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We see in the gospel that when Jesus began his ministry, he went and found 12 guys and told them to follow him. Placing them into community. As followers of Jesus, we are brought into biblical community with God, and according to the Bible, there is no part of life that we should be doing on our own.
The Word of God is the primary means by which God changes us. It speaks liberating truth to our enslaved hearts as we read it ourselves and as we speak it to others. How does that happen and how does God reinforce our faith through this grace?
The gospel is simultaneously at work in us and through us. Inwardly, our desires and motives are being changed as we repent and believe the gospel. As we experience Christ’s love in this way, we are compelled to engage those around us with the same kind of redemptive love. God’s grace brings renewal everywhere, in us and through us.