“James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ…” (James 1:1).
It is often true that “Imitation is the highest form of flattery”. However, when it comes to spiritual matters, the phony is never an acceptable substitute for the genuine.
With the very first words James wrote with his quill at the outset of his epistle, three distinctive traits are implicitly rooted therein. Each significant characteristic deserves a careful examination.
A Christian is someone who esteems the spiritual above everything else. (See yesterday’s post.)
A Christian is someone who recognizes and responds to the uniqueness of Jesus.
Though the name “Jesus” (or “Joshua”—Hebrew) was a popular name among the Jews, James’ older, half-brother was not one among many. He was one-of-a-kind, a unique person of history.
The word “Lord” recognizes the divine nature Jesus had. He is the Son of God. The word “Jesus” recognizes His human nature. He is the seed of woman and the son of David. The word “Christ” identifies His earthly mission. He is the Anointed one repeatedly prophesied of in the Old Testament. He and His gospel are the fulfillment of the prophetic Scriptures.
Jesus is God’s anointed prophet; therefore, He is God’s final spokesman (Hebrews 1:1-2; 12:25). Jesus is God’s anointed priest; therefore, He is God’s final and perfect mediator (Hebrews 7:24-27). Jesus is God’s anointed king; therefore, He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, the only Potentate (Revelation 1:5; 1 Timothy 6:15).
Recognizing the uniqueness of the Lord Jesus Christ without responding promptly and properly is insufficient. Because Jesus is God’s anointed prophet, His words are to rule my thoughts. Because Jesus is God’s anointed priest, His sacrificial love ought to rule my heart. Because Jesus is God’s anointed king, His will must rule mine. These three responses are the basic differences between a genuine Christian and the counterfeits.