“And remember, when someone wants to do wrong it is never God who is tempting him, for God never wants to do wrong and never tempts anyone else to do it. Temptation is the pull of man’s own evil thoughts and wishes.”
James is writing to believers and, knowing myself, it is not a shock that believers of his day would be tempted to sin. Reading this I ask the question: How do we not sin when the temptation is overwhelming?” Let’s be honest, it is hard! We know our identity is in Christ (Eph. 1:3-14). God places the fullness of himself in our hearts through his Spirit, by belief in Christ. Our identity is new. In a very real sense we are brought into the Godhead through Christ……..but we sin! God gives us his very being…..and we sin. Christ dies and suffers the full wrath of his Father….yet we sin! Again and again God shows his goodness to us…..and we sin!
James is touching on a point in all of our hearts that needs to be examined. Not just the things we do–but the attitudes of our hearts. What things in our lives bend us toward sin and away from God? How can we bend our gaze heavenward, see the glory of our king and worship him as he deserves? This should be the driving question of our day as believers. We owe him our hearts, thoughts and our lives!
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us, in him, before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and will.” Eph. 1:3-5
We are children of God by the mercy of the Father shown to us in Christ. Our obedience. therefore, should be jubilant. We don’t obey to earn God’s favor but because his favor already rests on us through faith in Jesus Christ.