Groundwork: Biblical Foundations for Life
I’ve always thought of James as the “Put your money where your mouth is” book of the Bible. As Protestants we know that our salvation comes by God’s grace alone, through faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. And that that faith itself is given to us by God Himself through the Holy Spirit. Yet, James boldly proclaims that faith without works is dead. My faith is meaningless if not accompanied by action. James exhorts us to be more than mere hearers of the Word, but to be doers of the Word. “Put up, or shut up.” In fact, some have even asked, how can this legalistic instruction about our behavior and actions fit in a New Testament professing grace and mercy? Well, Groundwork, with hosts Dave Bast and Scott Hoezee, has just completed an excellent series that discusses how James, both bluntly and pointedly, puts teeth in the faith of believers who by God's grace have trusted in Jesus Christ.
Groundwork is a half hour radio and podcast Bible-teaching program that plumbs the substantive questions of the Bible, seeking a practical understanding of God’s Word in today’s culture. Wondering where you'll find the time to listen to a half hour show? You can stream Groundwork any time you want!
Understanding Temptation. Often we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, that God “lead us not into temptation.” But James says: “Let no one say…‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.” James also examines the relationship between our faith and our actions. Do his teachings contradict those of Apostle Paul?
A Biblical Warning Against Favoritism in the Church. Often churches roll-out the carpet for distinguished visitors, celebrities, or people with money. But James sternly confronts our attitudes toward the poor or nondescript visitors.
Faith and Works. The Christians James addressed seemed to have forgotten what real faith was. They tried to practice a counterfeit faith and ended up becoming counterfeit Christians. That’s why James so furiously attacks the issue of faith in the most famous - or perhaps infamous - passage in his letter.
The Power of Words and Speech. When you open your mouth to say something: once you say it, you cannot put it back - so be very careful how you talk. That's a valuable warning for all of us, and it's biblical too.
Wisdom and Worldliness. Who wouldn't want to be considered a wise person? It's certainly a good quality to possess. Yet James gives us a strong warning to think seriously about the motivations and thoughts we harbor in our hearts and minds. He reveals the source and definition of real wisdom.
Planning for the Future. Sometimes we plan our lives out years in advance. So how do we square all that planning with Jesus’ famous words about not worrying about tomorrow, or the very direct words of caution from the Apostle James about not letting all our future planning cause us to stumble in our faith?
Wealth, Patience, and Suffering. Money is a necessity in life, right? How can something vital for living lead to spiritual death? By studying James' warning about wealth, we'll find the balance between earthly living and a healthy spiritual life.