2019-6-02 The Fount of All Good

Cornerstone EPC                                                                              Sunday morning
Franklin, NC 28734                                                                          June 2, 2019

“The Fount of All Good”
James 1:16-18

Last week we heard of the temptation plaguing some—namely, that God tempts them.  They say, when tempted, “I am tempted by God,” and that contrary to his Word.  Such a claim assigns to him both an evil nature and the capacity to do evil.  Our God, in His Word, teaches otherwise—in today’s text, among other places.  Let us hear God’s powerful Word to us from the pen of James, the half-brother of the Lord Jesus.

(HERE READ THE TEXT)

Our verses today tell us much about our triune, or three-in-one, God.  First, our triune God is the fount of every good and perfect gift.  We ourselves are not the fount—though we flatter ourselves with this notion at times.  In a scene from the 1989 movie Great Balls of Fire!, about the life of entertainer Jerry Lee Lewis, Lewis bestows upon his cousin, evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, a new car.  Swaggart cries, “Thank the Lord!”  Lewis replies, “Don’t thank Jesus.  Thank Jerry Lee Lewis.”  Few would state the matter as baldly as this, but the fact remains that sometimes we think we are the source of our blessings.  Nothing else, and no one else, is the fount of these good things.  Hence, God is not the fount of some good gifts, but not of others, but, rather, He is the fount of every good and perfect thing we enjoy.  Granted, He often uses means (people, circumstances, and the like) to accomplish His will—but if you trace the train blessing far enough, you will arrive at God Himself, and that without fail.  Therefore, James warns his readers in every age through the Spirit, “Be ye not deceived.”  God is the ultimate fount of every good and perfect gift.

Second, our triune God changes not.  The prophet Malachi, over four hundred years before Jesus’ birth, uttered this thunderous truth in the Lord’s Name, “I, the Lord, do not change” (Malachi 3:6).  The Spirit-led author of Hebrews declares rightly that Jesus Christ, God incarnate, is the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  God even uses the mouth of a questionable character, Balaam the son of Beor, to make this point, “God is not…a son of man, that He should change His mind” (Numbers 23:19).  We, and things, change—and sometimes these changed occur rapidly.  Yet our Lord, happily, never changes; He is the changeless, immutable One in the midst of apparently ever-present change.  Though God the Father be the Father of lights, and Jesus Christ be the Light of the World (John 8:12), there is no variation in Him; He is ever constant.  Moreover, there is no shadow in Him due to change.  Rather, He dispels every shadow exalting itself against Him.  Our triune God never changes.

Third, our triune God makes us the first-fruits of His creation.  He does this by bringing us forth (literally causing us to exist)—both naturally in the usual biological way and supernaturally by the Spirit’s regeneration.  God does this further by the Word of truth, namely, Scripture, as quickened by the Holy Spirit.  Recall the creation order in Genesis 1.  After God created everything else, things both animate and inanimate, He created mankind last—in His own image as the acme of His creation.  After God created mankind, male and female, He rested from His labors—there was no more creating after its kind left to do.  Now note the new creation order.  We are created for fellowship with our Maker, and this occurs by grace, through faith (Ephesians 2:8), in Jesus Christ’s Person and work.  We are made by God—unique among the creatures with capacity for relationship with Him Who made us, and unique with capacity for conscious, intentional, intelligent worship of our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer.  This makes us who are in Christ the acme of His new creation.  Indeed, we are the first-fruits of all His creatures.

I imagine that, by now, few of us would state that God tempts us to evil.  Yet we may wonder, in the midst of painful, protracted trial, if God is exhibiting some malevolence toward us.  In fact, I have known of folk—professing believers in Christ—who say, in effect, “God hates me.  That’s why this thing happened to me.”  You may rest assured from God’s Word that this is not the case.  Rather, He is the found of all good—of every good thing that you ever receive in life and in eternity.  Therefore, recall the good things with which God has done in your life.  Consider the admonition from the old hymn “Count Your Blessings”: “When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed/When you are discouraged thinking all is lost/Count your many blessings; name them one by one/And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”[1]  Indeed, count your blessings, and see what God has done.  The Lord will confirm in your experience what He states here in His Word: He is the fount of all good.  Therefore, rejoice in the Fount of all good—and worship Him forever and ever.

AMEN.

[1] “Count Your Blessings,” words by Johnson Oatman Jr. (1897), accessed at https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Count_Your_Blessings/, May 31, 2019.

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