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THE GENERAL EPISTLE OF JAMES - Chapter 1 - Verse 12

Verse 12. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation. The apostle seems here to use the word temptation in the most general sense, as denoting anything that will try the reality of religion, whether affliction, or persecution, or a direct inducement to sin placed before the mind. The word temptation appears in this chapter to be used in two senses; and the question may arise, why the apostle so employs it. Compare Jas 1:2,13. But, in fact, the word temptation is in itself of so general a character as to cover the whole usage, and to justify the manner in which it is employed. It denotes anything that will try or test the reality of our religion; and it may be applied, therefore, either to afflictions or to direct solicitations to sin—the latter being the sense in which it is now commonly employed. In another respect, also, essentially the same idea enters into both the ways in which the word is employed. Affliction, persecution, sickness, etc., may be regarded as, in a certain sense, temptations to sin; that is, the question comes before us whether we will adhere to the religion on account of which we are persecuted, or apostatize from it, and escape these sufferings; whether in sickness and losses we will be patient and submissive to that God who lays his hand upon us, or revolt and murmur. In each and every case, whether by affliction, or by direct allurements to do wrong, the question comes before the mind whether we have religion enough to keep us, or whether we will yield to murmuring, to rebellion, and to sin. In these respects, in a general sense, all forms of trial may be regarded as temptation. Yet in the following verse (Jas 1:13) the apostle would guard this from abuse. So far as the form of trial involved an allurement or inducement to sin, he says that no man should regard it as from God. That cannot be his design. The trial is what he aims at, not the sin. In the verse before us he says, that whatever may be the form of the trial, a Christian should rejoice in it, for it will furnish an evidence that he is a child of God.

For when he is tried. In any way—if he bears the trial.

He shall receive the crown of life. See Barnes on "2 Ti 4:8".

It is possible that James had that passage in his eye. Compare the Introduction to James 5 (See Barnes on "Jas 5:1") .

Which the Lord hath promised. The sacred writers often speak of such a crown as promised, or as in reserve for the children of God, 2 Ti 4:8; 1 Pe 5:4; Re 2:10; Re 3:11; 4:4.

 

Them that love him. A common expression to denote those who are truly pious, or who are his friends. It is sufficiently distinctive to characterize them, for the great mass of men do not love God. Compare Ro 1:30.

{+} "temptation" or, "trial" {++} "tried" or, "proved" {a} "crown of life" 2 Ti 4:8; Re 2:10 {b} "which the Lord hath promised" Isa 64:4

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