Rev. Stephen Tong Explicates James, "Sin, Desire, and Temptation"

On Wed night at Taiwan's Lord's Grace Baptist Church, Rev. Stephen Tong delivered the explicative bible-study series on book of James.
( [email protected] ) Sep 23, 2005 10:45 AM EDT

On Wed night at Taiwan's Lord's Grace Baptist Church, Rev. Stephen Tong delivered the explicative bible-study series on book of James. In the seminar, Rev. Tong continued with the series of bible-studies from the past four-week titled, "Sin, Desire and Temptation," explicating verses in James 1:13-14.

Pastor Stephen Tong began by explaining the message through the problem stemming from "self". The Rev. said, "Being in the image of god, how do we solve the problems that could potentially become disasterous? This is how we can overcome the problem stemming from desires." There are two reasons how sin turns from existence to non-existence ¡V ¡§The Lord gave man freedom, which is potentially dangerous" and "man misuses the freedom that God gave him, which resulted in giving birth to desire." Through the combination of these two, sin is produced, which means man has become obedient to his own desire rather than becoming obedient to God.

Rev. Tong continued to preach, "Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." (James 1:15). Therefore, what kind of relationship should we have with God and with man? Especially dealing with the attitude of obedient to God or disobedient to God; at the same time, God has created the absolute self, but, on the contrary, man is opposite from self at creation. Then, how do we return to the original me at the beginning of creation? It is through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, through his life, Jesus Christ revealed absolute obedience to God and as the word becomes flesh he became the example for all generations to follow.

Tong continued to preach. What is the source of our salvation? How do we become a new creation? The answer is the same. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can also become a "New Life" seed and the light and salt of this world, which is placing the life-giving word into our lives. Besides this, the Rev. said, "Wisdom, strength, good-looks, and talents are good. There is nothing that is bad, so freedom should also be good, because all comes from God." Just as it is recorded in the bible, "Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:17)

In conclusion, Rev. Tong said, "God is perfect glory." Therefore, "glory" belongs to the God and it comes from him, "Everything comes from God, everything rely upon God, and everything belongs to God. Just as a mirror is not part of the light, similarly, the glory is not part of man but it is God. God is the source of everything, therefore glory can only belongs to God, who is all-possessing."