Discover more from Jon J. Cardwell's Daily Devotionals & Commentaries
Begotten of God
11/19 Reading Portions: 1 Chronicles 13-14; James 1; Amos 8; Luke 3
Online Bible Audio/Readings Links (ESV)
James 1:18, KJV
Of His own will begat He us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
In the early days of the Reformation, Martin Luther was so radically renewed by the truth of man’s salvation by God’s grace, he considered James an epistle which emphasized God’s law over grace. “I do not hold it to be of apostolic authorship,” he stated bluntly. Over time, his disposition upon this New Testament letter began to change, sometimes arguing it was not apostolic, and other times arguing it was indeed.
Our verse today shows us the epistle is worthy of canon, as it extols God’s grace quite highly. We are begotten of God when born again. James emphatically states that we are not to err or be deceived concerning this truth (Jas 1:16). Moreover, he states,
Every 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. James 1:17 (emphasis added)
Every good and perfect gift, including our salvation, comes from the heavenly Father by His grace alone.
James emphasized, not the law of Moses, but the perfect law of liberty (Jas 1:25). Our spiritual birth is not aloof. It results in a right relationship with God. This new relationship is not passive, but full of activity. It produces a pure, undefiled religion before God, the Father (Jas 1:27). Although it is evidenced and exhibited in many ways, as realized by all the things James writes, the born-again reality of a Christian’s life is exemplified by three basic characteristics (Jas 1:26-27) —first, by a bridled tongue; second, by a genuine care for Christian believers, especially those who cannot repay our kindnesses (to visit orphans and widows in their affliction); and third, by a holy life lived before God (to keep oneself unstained from the world).
So, how’s your religion? Is it pure and undefiled before God the Father?
Heavenly Father, strengthen me
To make my religion pure;
Provoke my heart, renew my mind,
So the world knows I am Yours.