05/31/15 Made Alive!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Sunday, May 31, 2015 Under: Sermon
Life is a Test Series – James 1:18-20 (NKJV)

Intro: For the sports enthusiast when their team is behind or losing and they hear the announcer say wait a minute it looks like the team is alive again, it brings excitement! When the first responders and EMTs are working a code on a patient if the heart starts to beat again there is an immediate sense of Joy. When an infant leaves the Mother’s womb and enters into the world for the first time the new birth experience becomes a gift from God that has been “Made Alive!”

This is such an amazing truth; it is God’s will that the deprived man can have the opportunity to be born again, to be made alive! “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” Ephesians 2:1-3 Text: James 1:18-20 (NKJV)

“Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. 19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU HEARD SOMEONE SAY IT WOULD TAKE AN act OF God to do this, your right it DID!

1. God’s Act: “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

God wills only to see us born again: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

God's act is Regeneration. Regeneration is the act only through the sovereign will of God that man can have a source given for the basis of a New Life! For the enthusiast who is losing, you can be brought back to life, for the heart that has stopped God can give the compressions needed to restart and make alive! You can experience the new birth and be made alive! In regeneration, God gives birth to a new spiritual life. Regeneration is a miracle of God by which the principle of new life is implanted in man and the main nature of his soul is made holy. This is the new birth, being born again.

No Child has ever been born into the world by its own will or plan. It took a gift from God and the will and the action of the parents to conceive the child and bring it into this world. It is by God’s will and action (regeneration) that man can be born again. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).” Ephesians 2:4-5

The only way a spiritually dead person (all unbelievers) can have spiritual life is to receive it as a gift from God through faith in Jesus Christ. “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44

God’s Word and His regenerated gift gives man life! We can be of the first fruits, the redeemed, and the saved!

2. Man’s Act: “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”

James presents a third test of a true believer. The first was his response to trials. The second was his response to temptation. The third is his response to the truth revealed in the Word of God. When the true disciple hears God’s Word, there is affection for its truth and a desire in his heart to obey it. One of the most reliable evidences of genuine salvation is that hunger for the Word of God. “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” John 8:31

God’s act is nothing short of grace, man’s act requires obedience and the acceptance of grace and a faith that leads to a relationship with Christ. When you’re truly made alive through Christ there are requirements:

  • Swift to Hear! Be a careful listener, making sure that we pay attention in order to get the message right.

‘Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.’ Proverbs 17:28

The Word is the source of deliverance from temptations and trials. The best act man can make is read the Word, study the Word, meditate on the Word, live the Word! A real joy to continue to grow through the fellowships of the church! If you don’t hear it how can you expect to be made alive?

  • Slow to Speak!

You cannot listen carefully while you are talking, or even while you are thinking about what to say. Many discussions are fruitless for the simple reason that all parties are paying more attention to what they want to say than to what others are saying. Slow to speak includes the idea of being careful not to be thinking about one’s own thoughts and ideas while someone else is trying to express God’s. We cannot really hear God’s Word when our minds are on our own thoughts. We need to keep silent inside as well as outside. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

Many of us if not most of us need to learn two skills if we are to be successful in this act: “the first, how to hold your tongue; the second, how to use it.”

  • Slow to Wrath!

If you’re Made Alive you willingly receive the Word with submission and must be slow to anger. Anger is a very natural emotion that is an all but automatic response—even for believers who are not spiritually prepared—to anything or anyone that harms or displeases them. James seems to be speaking particularly about anger at a truth in the Word that displeases, that confronts sin or conflicts with a cherished personal belief or standard of behavior.

Let’s face it, by nature we want our own way, we desired to have our opinions confirmed, our ways approved, our likes and dislikes accepted by others. There is, of course, a just anger, a holy indignation against sin, Satan, and anything that dishonors the Lord or assaults His glory. Jesus was intensely angry when He saw His Father’s house, the holy temple in Jerusalem, turned into “a place of business,” and He expressed His anger twice by driving out those responsible for the desecration. Simple personal anger, bitterness, and resentment can never serve the cause of Christ, for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God, that is, does not accomplish what is right in God’s eyes. That is especially true when the hostility is against the truth of God’s Word, for that in reality is against God Himself.

Being Made Alive requires an act from man, an act of obedience and a focus on the WORD OF TRUTH! “The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

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