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 1:18
When James says we are brought forth by the word of truth, he uses the same words that are used at the beginning of Genesis, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures..”. It’s reference is to creation through the act of being born. God created all life on this earth, and He created each one of us individually; but He doesn’t just create, He re-creates each of us when we are born again.
We know from scripture that we are born once when we physically enter existence, but we are born again when we are chosen by Christ to begin living under His law. It is an act of His will that we be saved, not our own. When we choose to surrender our lives to Jesus, to confess our sins to Him and accepts that He died on the cross so that we may live, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in our hearts and we are born again. Our lives should be forever changed at this point, and should be producing fruit as a result of being born again.
The word of truth refers to Jesus Himself. At the beginning of John, we read, 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 He was in the beginning with God.3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. Jesus is how we are all able to be born again, He is the Word.
First fruits is a reference to the harvest - it is the best first food taken at harvest time. Throughout scripture, we learn that we are to give our best and first fruits to Christ as a sacrifice. He doesn’t want what is left over, but instead wants us to give to Him our best - the first cut of our time, the first cut of our money, the first cut of our adoration and love. The saved are referred as to as the first fruits in this passage, indicating they are above others.
In summary, James reminds us in this verse that God is the one who saves, we don’t. He is the one who chose to create us and bring life to our physical bodies and then again to our spiritual bodies. Because of Jesus, we have been given new life, and are now separated from those who have not. James reminds us of this truth because it is so easy for our sinful hearts to take credit for the this perfect gift offered to us. We have been given the greatest and most perfect gift - we need to remind ourselves where the gift comes from and worship Him for that truth.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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