He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.
New American Standard
In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
Had someone ask me today what the book of James is about. Told them it’s about life. Life the way Jesus sees it. Life the way He wants us to live it. It’s about the tough things in life.
Today’s verse is sort of a summary of what James has been talking about up to this point. As a little review, James says in verses 13 to 18, you cannot blame anyone but yourself for your sin. In verse 13 he says the nature of evil demonstrates that. “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. ” You can’t blame God for evil because God and evil are mutually exclusive.
And then in verse 14, the nature of man. He says man has his own problem. Man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust…and enticed. The problem is in man. It is in his sinfulness, his fallenness.
Then he talks about the nature of lust in verses 15 and 16. Lust when it conceives brings sin. Sin when it finally comes produces nothing but death. In other words, understand that is the reality of sin. So it isn’t just because God and evil are incompatible. The problem is in the nature of man. And in the nature of man, the problem is his evil desire, his lust, his passion for that which is wrong.
Then in verse 17 we saw that he goes back to discussing the nature of God and says, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. ” So you can’t blame God because His nature is to give only good things, only good comes from God. So he says we can’t blame God for our sin.
Then in verse 18, he sort of sums up his argument by saying, “The nature of regeneration itself or conversion or salvation or the new birth shows us that God does not lead us into sin.” Verse 18 says, “Of His own will,” in other words, it was His will, “to become like Him, a kind of firstfruits of His own creation.” So the purpose is to create us to do good, not evil, to give us power over sin as a part of a new creation. So God is in no way involved in our sinfulness. He cannot be mixed with evil. The problem is in man. In man the problem is bound up with his lust. The nature of God is such that He only gives good gifts. And when God touches your life, it is to produce life not death, to produce righteousness not sin, to make you a new creature.
So embrace Him. Allow Him to work in your life. Ask Him to. You’ll be surprised at what happens. And oh, by the way, God works on His timetable, not yours so don’t get discouraged. Remember who’s in charge.