Reading: James 1-2
Summary: James, likely the brother of Jesus and the one identified in Acts as an elder in the Jerusalem congregation (Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18), identifies himself only as a servant of both God and the Lord Jesus Christ. He addresses his letter to “the twelve tribes in the Dispersion” (1:1). As mentioned previously, the contents of this letter are exceedingly practical for matters of Christian living. In these two chapters it speaks to rejoicing in trials, doing—not just hearing—God’s word, favoritism in the assembly, and the relationship of faith and works.
The Birds and the Bees
No one knows for sure the origins of the euphemistic phrase that evades direct reference to the biological processes of reproduction. Maybe, as some suggest, it’s just that the natural world around us provide a more comfortable context to address the sensitive subject.
Minus the euphemism, Scripture uses the same biology to help us understand both sin and salvation. James 1 has two such occurrences. First of all, don’t blame God for the presence of sin. Because of God’s absolutely pure and holy nature, He can have nothing to do with sin, much less entice man to engage in it (Jas. 1:13). Instead, Satan uses our own desires to lure and entice us. When we act upon those temptations, that is the conception from which sin is born. To take it a bit further, if this newly birthed entity is allowed to mature, the consequence is death (Jas. 1:14-15).
Second, and in deliberate contrast to the first, the will of God results in His giving us birth (James 1:18; ESV. This the meaning of the phrase “brought us forth” NKJV, NASB).
We’ve got to understand spiritual biology. Satan uses our own desires against us, and if allowed to reach his desired end, it is death. On the other hand, it is only by the exercise of God’s divine will in my life that I am born, and that “by the word of truth.”
This language surely reminds us of other language in Scripture; the idea of being “born again” and being God’s “child.”
We cannot afford to misunderstand Bible “birds and bees”.