by Jerry Vines

James 1:21-25
Jerry Vines

I have given the theme of the book of James, Behave Yourself. When you read the
book of James, it becomes apparent real soon that what James is talking about is how the
Christian life is to be lived out in our daily experience. James, the half-brother of our
Lord, is saying to us that if we have received Jesus Christ as our Savior, then we should
behave ourselves. We should live a life that is consistent with out Christian profession.

I want to point out to you that James does not just talk about behavior and behaving
ourselves on the basis of what we are able to produce in our own morality or in our own
efforts. In the 18th verse of this chapter we looked last Wednesday night and saw that
James has clearly understood and wants us to understand that you cannot live the Christian
life until you have had the Christian experience. I think this is the reason some people are
never able to live for the Lord. You cannot live the Christian life until you have had the
Christian experience. The new behavior is contingent upon the new birth. That’s why in
verse 18 he says of His own will begat he us (that is He gives us birth) with the word of

The Lord Jesus Christ preached about the new birth. Nicodemus came to the Lord
Jesus one night. He was very complimentary. It’s as if Jesus just swept away all of the
compliments and said to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the
kingdom of heaven.” He was saying to Nicodemus that it’s not enough to be religious. It’s
not enough to try to live a moral life. But you have to have a new birth experience. You
enter into the family of God, your spiritual family, just exactly the way you enter into your
physical family.

I am a Vines. I was born into the Vines family. I received my physical life on the
basis of a physical birth. I am a Christian. I am a child of God. I entered into the
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