Do you know the man who led my father to Christ? I could have been raised by a father who despised Christ, but someone led my father to Christ and my father led me to Christ. The man who led my father to Christ, though dead for decades, still has an impact on the world. That’s called greatness.
Is it possible to make a connection with God without a priest? If a priest is really necessary, just who are these priests; how many are in existence; where can they be found; and how is it possible to make sure that any so-called priest is the genuine article?
James addressed a congregation whose members had made a dichotomy between faith and practice – as long as a person believed right, behaving right didn’t matter. In terms that are clear, James presented his audience with this biblical truth: We are held accountable by God for what we know.
We sometimes think that we are invincible, that we are without vulnerability, that we are beyond the reaches of disaster and calamity. Then along comes an unexpected, colossal reminder that, indeed, we are exposed and unprotected, that we are susceptible, that we are without defense. Then what?
James characterized his congregation with such terms as conflicts, quarrels, fights, anger, cursing, bitter jealousy, selfish ambition, disorder, and every evil thing. The admonition we might expect to require the least emphasis in the church is the shocking reprimand that arose as a primary theme of James’ preaching. Surely, today’s church is different. No way do we need such tough confrontation in century 21, or do we?
The question is not: Do we need forgiveness? The answer to that question is obvious to any objective person. We have all sinned. The question that pricks our hearts is: Will God forgive us? This question is pondered by believers as well as non-believers. Here’s the good news. Everyone can be forgiven – everyone.