This message was part of the ‘For Such a Time as This’ series, preached at Christ Church Manchester’s church in Gorton in late 2017. The full series included the following sermons:
This sermon was based on James 1:12-18
Testing of Your Faith
12Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
16Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
For when he has stood the test: Test from the Greek word Dokimos can mean tested/approved and is used when talking about testing fake coins.
A common way of testing a coin was to take a chisel and cut through part of the coin to see what was in the middle.
If it was consistent all the way through then it was approved. If the inside didn’t match the outside then the coin was declared false, rejected and destroyed.
Verses 2-4 connect to 12-15: Testing produces steadfastness (v3) and testing reveals steadfastness (v12)
When the end comes and we are tested at heaven’s door it is not us that will be examined for impurity because Jesus has already taken the test for us. He has been cut open and found perfect.
God does not tempt us to Evil. God is in nature perfect and pure. For God to tempt us to evil he would have to be creating evil, this is an impossible. Because Jesus has already passed the test for us, there is no need for God to test us.
God gives us temptation to do good.
Testing leads to steadfastness. As we give in to the temptation to do good, so we grow in steadfastness wich strengthens us against the temptation to do evil.