• How does being made in the image of God motivate us to live a holy life? Question and Answer

    James 1:2-4

    That is the motivation. The motivation for us to live a holy life is that Christ is in us and we are in Christ. There’s no higher motivation than that. If we’re motivated by anything other than the honor of Christ and the glory of God, that’s a secondary or tertiary motivation. Everything should be for the love of the Lord. Everything should be for the honor of the Lord: “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). All things are by Him, all things are for Him. … View Resource

  • As a layperson, should I try to “reform” my church? Or should I leave? Question and Answer

    James 1:5

    Those are not always easy questions, so I would not draw a hard line. I think this is a James 1:5 matter where you are going to have to ask God for wisdom. I would affirm that there are times where the right thing to do is hang in there and contend for the faith. You use whatever godly influence you have to help point the church in the right direction, to be an encouragement to the leaders, and to point them to truth. There are other settings where that just won’t be possible, and it might not be healthy … View Resource

  • How can I deepen my understanding of my own sinfulness? Question and Answer

    James 1:22-25

    The two primary ways to do that are prayer and the Scriptures. I would give those same two answers for a lot of areas of spiritual growth, spiritual discipline, and spiritual development. The more I am taking in God’s Word and God’s Word is being for me a mirror that causes me to see myself as I really am before God (James 1:22–25), the more it helps me recognize my sinfulness and my need for the grace of God. Prayer, particularly prayer that includes the element of confession (which should be a regular part of Christian practice), keeps before me … View Resource

  • Are preachers and pastors more important than other Christians? Question and Answer

    James 3:1

    THOMAS: There is an important Reformation principle behind this question: the priesthood of all believers. That was a profound rediscovery at the time of the Reformation. Religion had been hidden in a language that people didn’t understand by professional people to whom they had no real access. The Reformation discovered that we are all priests before God. The individual can approach God by himself or herself through faith in Jesus Christ rather than through the intermediary of a sacerdotal system. The Bible being given into the hands of an individual was vitally important. That the individual could read and discover … View Resource