Looking at Biblical worship we considered Paul’s exhortation to present our bodies as living sacrifices. We saw that Paul was referring to bodies brought to life in the sense that by the Spirits power what our bodies cannot do by nature they can do by God’s power. Our bodies are temples - places where God should be honoured, worshipped and adored but this cannot be achieved in our own strength. In fact if we try to live for God without His divine enabling then we will fall back into sin and instead of enjoying the life of God we will live still dominated by our sin - Paul refers to this as death. Instead of being a temple we become a tomb!
1. Briefly discuss the passages we looked at together and make sure that you understand Paul’s point about what he meant by a ‘living sacrifice’ in Romans12v 1 (see Romans 6:11-13) and the transformation of our minds in 12 v 2 (see Romans 8:5-11)
The apostle James in the first chapter of his epistle seems to identify the same death/life issue that Paul discusses in Romans. Paul emphasises the Spirits role James’ emphasis is on the word of God. Both go together - if we are to live lives pleasing to God and access the Spirit’s power then we need to be guided by the truth as revealed in scripture. James writes in the context of facing trials but his theme is the same as Paul’s. James point is that we need to beware that when trials come they can knock us off course and lead to sin. James puts Paul’s theology into practice in the trials of life.
Read James 1:12-25
2. Can you spot James’ comparisons of life and death? v12/v14
1. What does sin lead to?
2. How does this fit with Paul’s teaching in Romans 6:1 -14?
3. Any new insights as to what Paul meant in the familiar passage in Romans 6 vv 22 and 23?
3. What does James say is the means by which God delivers us from sin? (v21)
4. What does James refer to when he uses the word ‘save’ at the end of the verse? (Clue- it’s not our justification- work out why. It’s another aspect of our salvation. Think about the ramifications of v 21)