The Crown of Life: James 1:12-18

Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation, for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life that He promised to those who love Him. No one experiencing temptation should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and He Himself tempts no one. Rather each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire conceives and brings forth sin and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers: all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.   James 1: 12-18

Last week, we studied and learned that “the joy that should accompany our various trials, is the joy that comes from knowing our faith is being tested. Tested to produce perseverance.”

Let us look now, at what this perseverance accomplishes.  

Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation, for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life that He promised to those who love Him.

First, we see that the man who perseveres in temptation is called “blessed” meaning he’s destined to enjoy the eternal happiness of heaven (def. American Heritage Dictionary). But this is on the provision that “he has been proved” or passed the test, that he receives the “crown of life.”

We will see as we continue this study, that James’ teaching is very practical. He’s not “a pie in the sky theology guy”; he is very down to earth!

He starts this section off with the practical steps to receive the “crown of life”, that is to persevere through our trials. Doing this shows God we truly love Him, and are worthy of His promise. There is no one to blame but ourselves when we sin. We can’t put the blame on God, for He can not be tempted by evil. We, on the other hand, can be; “enticed by our own desire.” The root of this problem of course, is selfishness and that is, of course being the “god” of our own life.

If we continue to habitually sin, we see that it brings death to a soul. It separates us from God, potentially for eternity.

Let us take the prayer that Jesus taught us, to heart. When we pray “and lead us not into temptation”, we need to realize that “we are asking God not to allow us to take the path that leads to sin. This petition implores the Spirit of discernment and strength; it requests the grace of vigilance and final perseverance.” (CCC 2863)

Preventing the possibility of sinning is much better than sinning and facing its consequences. As we avoid the occasions for sin (persons, places and situations) our virtues grow stronger.

So this week, let us avoid those things that tempt us to sin and cling to Him who wants to set us free from evil. (CCC 2846)




12 Responses

  1. People tend to view this negatively. But I think it must be viewed in the positive. Sure, it would be negative if all we did as Christians was avoid evil! But we are called to more than avoiding evil – we are called to cling to good! And this makes it worthwhile.

    Good post!

  2. Yes, Joe…they do! And I was one of those who did!
    We really need to read this [whole] letter with a different perspective. With the positive in mind, not the negitive.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. Tim,
    Thank you for your insights. It was a fresh reading this morning. The most poignant portion of the text this morning for me was, “Then desire conceives and brings forth sin and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death.”

    There seems to be a chain reaction in our course of sinning and temptation. The heart is so very easily led astray and its desires contorted to display all kinds of evil. I guess this is why Solomon said to “Guard your heart above all else for it is the well spring of life.”

    Good post. Thanks.

  4. Thank you Luke, you are an encouragement to me.
    Like most journeys, one step leads to another. We can journey toward God or away from Him.And it’s interesting that you mention “desire” and “heart”.
    If we let our emotions dictate our spirituality, we can find ourselves in a very precarious position.
    Thank you for bringing that up, it needed to be said with this post.

  5. Tim,

    Great post once again!

    I’ve always felt that the “lead us not into temptation” had a lot to do with my following God’s leading away from the things that would be temptations in my life and toward the “good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph. 2:10). I’ve found that when I am tempted and fail, it is because I’ve not surrendered control of that particular area to God — I’m trying to handle it on my own.

    I agree that James is a very practical, down to earth writer and I love the way he gets to the point quickly and effectively.


  6. Thanks, Tom.
    Just like with each study I do, I find myself appreciating God’s word more and more.
    God bless you, brother!

  7. There is no contradiction with the “Divine Praises” and the scripture’s you’ve quoted. The contradiction comes with your interpretation of those scriptures. So again I will state to you;
    “Your own statements prove that you have your own idea of what the bible says.”

  8. You have a very ignorant, bored person making blog comments here Tim. I never understood why people search for blogs that are wholesome and want to start an argument.

    As the one that SPEAKS ARAMAIC, you can tell her that comes from scripture that she would not be able to decipher from her philosophy classes at her local college. It’s called the Aramaic version of the Bible. The TRUE GOSPEL.

    Jesus even told them folks on the mountain that asked him why they should believe in him and he told people like those above, “If you do not believe in me, than believe in the work I do.” A lesson one should learn.

  9. Sorry, referred to the person above as ‘she’. It’s a man with an avatar that looks like a girl. My apologies for that only.

  10. Oh man…I am needing to pray right now. That person made me all kinds of mad.

  11. Harlequins,
    He keeps coming back because he’s being led by the Holy Spirit to seek His truth in the Catholic Church which He established. God’s truth will be revealed. And all glory will be given to God, the King of Ages, Incorruptible, Invisible, the Only God (I Tim.1:17) and His Son, begotten in the flesh by the Holy Spirit and the holy Virgin Mary (Gal.4:4)And the Catholic Church which He Himself founded (Eph.2:20, I Tim.3:15, Matt.16:18-19).

    Blessed be God forever in His angels and in His saints!

    And by the way, elman, in Holy scripture the word saint is used frequently to describe believers in Christ. The word saint means holy one. So in the sense I am a believer, I’m a saint. How much more the woman who clothed the Most Holy Son of God with flesh, who was chosen before all eternity to be the mother of Christ and allowed the will of God to rule her life like no other in salvation history.

    Yet you say “Jesus was not true man” that He “just took form of a man”. You contradict the scripture here: “This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh, belongs to God, and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus does not belong to God.” (I John 4:2) You prove your heresy by your statements and by following the tradition of Eutychianism.

    Continue to draw near to God, He will reveal His truth to you.

  12. “Mary most Holy of all women” Elman. Go back to your blog and let us enjoy the Gospel. Elman, tread carefully, you speak to the one that could actually speak to Christ and His Disciples in Aramaic.

    Pray that God open your eyes and never call me a hypocrite. I am not the one that needs to remove the beam from eye. You seek a wholesome blog and create havoc. Not of God are you, sir. Do not speak to me and do not desecrate this blog.

    Don’t worry Tim. I should have not even acknowledged his presence. To answer ignorance is ignorant. I do not have to answer to such a person. I answer to only He who is higher. I believe it upset me because he didn’t leave it on his own blog and had to QUESTION FAITH on a true Christian’s blog.

    I’m very maternal…my instincts that is.

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