“God’s Prized Fruit”
12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
What did that say?! We are blessed when we persevere under trial? Why are we blessed? Two reasons:
- We stood the test of our faith and endurance in Christ
- We will receive the crown of life. That is, eternal life. When we pass from this life, there is a hope for us!
Also, realize this: we are always in a state of temptation. We walk in a fallen world that tempts us every time we turn around. This doesn’t mean we need to run and hide but it does mean we must be aware and must pay attention so don’t stumble.
How does God know we love Him?
John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.
“tempted” peirazo (pi-rad’-zo); to test
When God tests us, it is not to make us worse, but better (James 1:16-17). Therefore, rise to occasion and don’t sink down
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Verse 18 has this beautiful reference of “firstfruits”.
This reference goes back to the Old Covenant where all the firstfruits belonged to God. First of plants, animals, and children belonged to God. It’s the same place we read about tithing.
Jesus Himself is the ultimate “firstfruit”
1 Corinthians 15:20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Verses 19 and 20 are very straightforward, no misunderstanding this!
Verse 21 sums it all up by saying “as a result of what I’ve just told you,” get rid of the evil
“Get rid” Greek: apotithemi (ap-ot-eeth’-ay-mee); compound word: away (from something near) and to place in a different form
We are to take off the old, sinful ways—the ways of the world—and clothe ourselves in righteousness.
This is the way we honor God as a kind of firstfruits: we die to ourselves and our evil and live for Him!
How do we know what He wants us to do?
2nd part of 21: “humbly accept the word planted in you”
How does the word of God get planted in you?
er: you read and study the Word of God
God is very clear on what He expects of us. The question is not “is God clear?”. The question is “will I actually do it?”