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How we use wealth or riches reveals what or whom we worship. The wise person not only uses wealth in a way that demonstrates their worship of God, but also evaluates their use of wealth so that they know whether they are truly worshiping God. Toward this end James invites us to ask three questions: 1) Does our use of wealth corrupt and condemn us? 2) Do we take advantage of others in order to indulge ourselves with wealth? 3) Do we trust in God's vindication of the righteous and vengeance against the unrighteous?
APOLOGY - the first two and a half minutes of the audio are very low...the sound is corrected/normal after that... Who am I? There is only one way for a Christian to answer that question... Jesus' Works --> Jesus' Identity --> Christ's Accomplishments --> Our Identity --> Our Works [that flow of words is from Shane Wood's "The Christian Life" class] The flow of words can also be arranged as a chiasm… Jesus’ Works Jesus’ Identity Christ’s Accomplishments Our Identity Our Works …but if we do that (which highlights “Christ’s Accomplishments” as the rightful focal point) we must make sure and realize “Our Identity” flows out of “Christ’s Accomplishments”… I.e., “Our Identity” is shaped by “Christ’s Accomplishments” – but more on that next week. This week we looked at some of what Christ's Accomplishments (i.e., the cross and empty tomb together) indicate. Together they make a powerful and compelling picture, but first we need to take another look at the cross. No first century Jew (or anyone for that matter) would have worn one on their necklace, shirt, or anywhere else. A cross meant only one thing... In 1 Corinthians Paul said the cross was a “stumbling block” for Jews and “folly” for Gentiles. We are missing the essence of the cross if we think it is no longer a “stumbling block” for God’s people (i.e., Christians) and “folly” for those who are not yet God’s people (everyone else – basically the equivalent of ‘Gentiles’ in Paul’s thoughts here). Will we take to heart the words of Jesus in Mark 8:34?