James 1:9-18 Enduring Temptation.
James appears to be comparing a “brother” of modest means, with the rich outside the faith (vv. 9-10. The “rich” here are not referred to as brothers, rather, they are those who seek to be rich through their many pursuits (v. 11). James then enters upon the subject of temptations, which one might regard as a species of trials. Blessing comes to those who endure temptation (v. 12). It is a sign that one is in covenant with the Lord, wherein the Lord promises life to those who love Him. The temptation which James is referring to is the temptation to sin, this is why he says that “God cannot be tempted by evil” (v. 13). Fallen human beings are drawn away by sinful desires which gives birth to sin and death (vv. 14-15). James said all this in order to warn his “beloved brethren” (v. 16). God does not change, He cannot sin, and therefore He only gives that which is good (v. 17). Finally James states categorically how one comes to be in covenant with God-it is by God’s “own will,” and not our own, and through His word alone (v. 18ab). It is through these that we are His planting, “a kind of firstfruits of His creatures” (v. 18c).