This Week's Focus Passage

This Week’s Focus Passage: James 1:18 ‘Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth.’

This Week’s Focus Passage: James 1:18

‘Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth.’


    “Be not deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”—James 1:16-18.

    This one line, surely bears repeating, Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth. It is absolutely incredible how that any man, any person at all, can make the claim that they actually believe that they came to Jesus Christ to be saved from their sins, through their own free will. These ‘free-willers,’ as we might with honesty call them, have an argument, both with the meaning of words here in James, and secondly, with, I believe, any real understanding of their own hearts. To begin with, John has support for James statement that it is of God’s own will [not anyone else’s, for sure] he brought us forth {the ‘us’ being believers in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Savior sent from heaven by the Father to save elect sinners) by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. The support from eleven through thirteen, where we find the following realities about the matter. He came unto his own, and they that were his own received him not. But as many received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name; who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 

    It seems to be irrefutably clear that James and John agree with each other (and with the Word of truth) that salvation is not of the will of the flesh, but of God; that is, of His own will. It is truly impossible to understand any individual being able to read the words of James and John in these early statements of their respective books, James’ epistle and John’s gospel, and still come away with this notion that man can save himself. Where in the world did men ever come up with such a notion. Did they imagine that, after the fall of our first parents in the garden, incurring the just penalty for their sin, they were given any pathway back apart from God Himself? They had completely ruined themselves. Listen to the judgment of Jehovah over them:

And Jehovah God called unto the man, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And Jehovah God said unto the woman, What is this thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And Jehovah God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, cursed art thou above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life; and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 

    Here we have witnessed the examples of man’s free will being employed; how did they do? The woman confesses to Jehovah God that the serpent beguiled her; how did he do that? Isn’t it more honest to say that the serpent lied to her, and she willingly believed the lie? After all, she had the free will to believe the lie, did she not? What was the commandment that God had given Adam at the outset? We may read of that commandment in chapter two and verses fifteen through seventeen. And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. Adam was told; does not mayest freely eat constitute free will? And we see what was done with such a thing as free will. The sad sequel to our ‘story’ is found in chapter three.

    Now the serpent was more subtle that any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.

    Because they exercised this ‘free will’ they brought upon the entire human race, all their posterity, to be born in sin and conceived in iniquity. Is that not a terrible price to pay for ‘free will’?

David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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