The book of James (ch. 4 and 5 particularly)

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by webdog, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. webdog

    webdog
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    ...written to believers? Just finished this book through the lens of John MacArthur's study Bible and he claims that the use of sinners (4:8, 5:20) is always in reference to the unregenerate.

    Problems with this, particularly 5:20...the use of "turns them BACK...". How can this be an unregenerate, and how can he immediately in verse 7 tell these same "sinners" to submit to God and resist the devil, and then shortly thereafter in v. 11 address not judging a "brother"?

    Another part that sent up red flags is 4:5 "Or do you think that the Scripture sayss in vain 'The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously'".

    His claim is the Spirit here is not to be understood as the Holy Spirit, but the human spirit of an unbeliever :)confused:).

    Thoughts on these chapters? Brethern is used throughout and the book is addressed to believers, no?
     
    #1 webdog, Sep 6, 2011
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  2. Van

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    Yes, Webdog, James 5:20 is offered up over and over by those who do not believe in eternal security, i.e. once saved always saved. My guess, since I have not been able to find MacAuthor's study, is he was trying to defend eternal security using some half baked Calvinist argument.

    (1) The problem of asserting "My brethren" refers to born anew folks rather than Jews who may or may not be born again, is that both sides claim the phrase refers to their side. In verse 1 of Chapter 1 we see the book is addressed to the twelve tribes so we cannot rule out this phrase might include those born anew and those not born anew.

    (2) Sinners in verse 4:8 and 5:20 would seem to include both the unsaved and those saved who are not walking as they should. To make a claim for one side or the other seems ends driven.

    (3) Now if we help turn a believer who is straying, will be save the sinner's soul from death. Not if Eternal security is true. But if we turn a "professing" believer who God has not caused to be born again back, then we might indeed save that person's soul from death. So the idea seems to be we should make the effort and not assume the person is actually saved. This verse should be filed with all the verses that teach we should preach outside the church, and within the church, because tares are within the professing church.

    Bottom line, Calvinists make assumptions without solid support from the text. Non-Calvinists need to guard against copying the behavior and drumming up arguments based on what we might wish scripture would say. Rather we should avoid speculation and simply stick to what it actually says.
     
  3. beameup

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    James is written to Jews and is for Jews. Specifically, it is for the "little flock" in Jerusalem under Peter.
    Paul, as THE apostle to the Gentiles, is the author of epistles specifically for NON-Jews (the "Church"-"Bride of Christ"-Gentiles).
    The Jewish Epistles (including Hebrews) will have tremendous significance during the Tribulation when
    the "little flock" of Jews will once again be established in Jerusalem/Israel.

    The Jewish Epistles are useful reading as are the Gospels and the O.T. and are "applicable" AS LONG AS THEY
    DO NOT CONFLICT WITH PAULINE DOCTRINE of GRACE ALONE.
     
    #3 beameup, Sep 6, 2011
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  4. mandym

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    James is for everyone today.
     
  5. jbh28

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    I have MacArthur's commentary on James. I'll take a look at it(it's in my moving box right now) and see what he says in there in more detail.
     
    #5 jbh28, Sep 6, 2011
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  6. beameup

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    James is written "to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad".
    I don't know how the Holy Spirit could be more specific. James 1:1 :smilewinkgrin:
     
  7. Iconoclast

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    WD,
    James is written to all Christians.....but like the book of Hebrews there were jewish chrisitans who were unstable in their walk....some would vaisilate back and forth between judaism and christianity for fear of persecution,and being enticed by the world the flesh and the devil....

    Sometimes James is used by God to speak directly to those who were grounded in the faith. Sometimes he is writing to challenge those who were double minded and still unstable....that is why it swings back and forth....
     
  8. Van

    Van
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    I would be interested in hearing the view that says the Spirit in James 4:5 refers to the Holy Spirit. I had understood it to be referring to our human spirit.
     
  9. Amy.G

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    In the previous verses, friendship with the world is compared to adultery to God. Therefore, it is God's Spirit that dwells in us who is jealous.

    Human spirit doesn't even make sense in the context.
     
  10. webdog

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    That was my thought too. The human spirit wouldn't have been capitalized in the nkjv and would be right at home not jealous.
     
  11. mandym

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    2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
     
  12. beameup

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    The Law of Moses is "profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness"
    however, we are not to live under it.

    James mixes Law + Grace (for the original Jewish believers)
    Paul teaches Grace + nothing (for the "mystery", the church, the Bride of Christ).

    But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me [Paul],
    as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter. Galatians 2:7
     
    #12 beameup, Sep 6, 2011
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  13. mandym

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    Again it is for us.
     
  14. Iconoclast

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    This is a false and dangerous teaching
     
  15. Jerome

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    :confused:

    So which is it?

    Scattered abroad? Or in Jerusalem?
     
  16. beameup

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    Sorry, I missed your link.
    "The Law" still exists.
    From the Rapture until the end of the Millennium "The Law" will rule mankind.

    We currently (Gentiles+believing Jews) are under Grace and are saved through Faith.
    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    Not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph 2:8-9
    - "works of the Law".

    Not "dangerous", just scriptural.
     
  17. beameup

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    Both
    Wherever Jews live.
    Originating in Jerusalem.
    Then out to the diaspora.
     
    #17 beameup, Sep 6, 2011
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  18. Iconoclast

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    Belevers are and were always under grace.
     
  19. beameup

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    Depends on which "believers".
    The Jewish Believers in Jerusalem under Peter required circumcision among other things.

    But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me [Paul],
    as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter. Galatians 2:7
     
  20. convicted1

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    Noah found grace in the sight of God, and this was way before Moses was given them by God Almighty. That being said, Grace was "hovering over" them during this time, and not through and in them. By God watching over them, protecting them, feeding them, etc, His Grace was with them/"hovering over" them. Now that Jesus fulfilled the Law when He died on the cross, Grace is given to us through the "inner man", and dwells with us always.

    So, yes, Grace has everly been, but the way it was applied under, and even before, the Law, is completely different. You can not be one of His little ones, and not have His Grace.
     

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