Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Temptation - A First Century Christian Fellowship - A.A. - and the Book of James


A Tidbit on “Temptation” in the 24 Communications, Inc. Quarterly

Dick B., April,  2014

Dr. Bob said in The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous: Biographical Sketches Their Last Major Talks that older AAs believed the answers to their problem were in the Good Book. He then said they believed that the Book of James, Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians were “absolutely essential” to their program.

In my early A.A. days, that sparked my interest in the Book of James. It caused some of our brothers across the country to form “James Clubs” which is what the old-timers wanted to call A.A. And it later prompted me to write The James Club: The Original A.A. Program’s Absolute Essentials  www.dickb.com/JamesClub.shtml

James 1:12-16 has always seemed to me to deal with “temptation” the recidivist alcoholic or addict lure—a topic Dr. Bob mentioned more than once. The James verses read:

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

            Do not err, my beloved brethren

Dr. Bob and his wife Anne frequently mentioned and cited verses from James; and I think the foregoing verses, when coupled with James 4:7, can be particularly helpful to those AAs who consider the Bible the “main source book of all” as Anne put it.

Incidentally, James 4:7 says:

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

I was drawn to this subject by an article in the Spring 2014  AAA 24 Quarterly, on page 16. It was titled “Buchman’s Advice for Handling Temptation”

Buchman had learnt that temptation, of whatever kind, was best resisted at its earliest stage. It was easier, he sometimes said, to divert a small stream than to dam a river. He defined the progression of temptation as “the look, the thought, the fascination, the fall,’ and said that the time to deal with it was at the thought—“Tackle temptation well upstream.” This was not a new idea. Thomas a Kempis, whose writings he would not likely have encountered at Mount Airy but whose Imitation of Christ went with him everywhere during his adult life, describes the same progression. “The enemy is more easily overcome,” write a Kempis, “if he be not suffered in any wise to enter the door of our hearts” but be resisted without the gate at his first knock.”

Dr. Frank N. D. Buchman was the founder of A First Century Christian Fellowship later known as the Oxford Group.

If you are looking at a challenging study topic that is really related to the Bible, the Oxford Group, the Book of James, and a subject that will provide plenty of useful discussions by alcoholics and addicts, this tidbit may be something you can use in your James Club or in any discussion meeting.

Gloria Deo

2 comments:

Linda Walker said...

What are you interested in and what we can do, all those things that related to each other. Everything good and will stabilize over time. friv 7

Steve Finnell said...

WHAT DID THE FIRST CHRISTIANS BELIEVE?

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST HAD ITS BEGINNING ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST 33 A.D.. WHAT BELIEFS AND ACTIONS DID THE THREE THOUSAND CONVERTS TO CHRIST HAVE IN COMMON? DID GOD APPROVE OF EVOLVING BELIEFS, DIFFERENT REQUIREMENTS FOR SALVATION? IF THAT WERE TRUE, THEN WOULD IT NOT BE FOUND IN THE NEW TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES?

Acts 2:41 So then, those who received his word were baptized; and there were added about three thousand souls. Acts 2:47....And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

All three thousand believed the apostle Peter's message and were baptized in water. Then they were added to the Lord's church by the Lord Himself. The Lord did not add the unsaved to His church. They had to believe and be baptized in water prior to being added to the body of Christ.

1. Acts 2:22 Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know---

All three thousand believed Jesus was a miracle worker.

2. Acts 2:31-32 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. 32 This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.

All three thousand believed in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

3. Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ---this Jesus whom you crucified."

All three thousand believed that Jesus was Lord and Christ.

4. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

All three thousand repented in order to have sins forgiven. (repentance meant that they made the commitment to turn from their unbelief and sinful lifestyle and turn toward God).

All three thousand were baptized in water in order to have their sins forgiven.

All three thousand received the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit after they believed, repented, and were baptized in water.

5. Acts 2:40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, "Be saved from this perverse generation!"

All three thousand were saved after they believed Peter's message: They believed, repented, confessed, and were baptized in water. (Mark 16:16, John 3:16, Acts 3:19, Acts 2:38, Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:35-38) THEN THEY WERE ADDED TO THE LORD'S CHURCH! (Acts 2:47)

WHAT THINGS DID PETER NOT PREACH AND WHAT THINGS DID THE THREE THOUSAND NOT BELIEVE.

1.Peter did not preach that men were saved by grace alone.

2.Peter did not preach that men were saved by faith only

3.Peter did not preach that God had selected a few to be saved and that all others would go to hell.

4. Peter did not preach that water baptism was not essential to salvation.

5. Peter did not preach that Jesus was just one of many Saviors.

6. Peter did not preach that once you were saved, that you could continue in a sinful lifestyle and still be saved.

7. Peter did not preach that God did not have the power to give us an inerrant translation of the Scriptures.

8. Peter did not preach that God would provide hundreds or thousands of different Christian denominations, and that they would teach different ways of being saved.

9. Peter did NOT preach that you had to speak in tongues as evidence that you were saved.

AS BELIEVERS IN CHRIST, MEN SHOULD USE THE BIBLE AS THEIR GUIDE FOR SALVATION. Looking to man-made creed books, Bible commentaries, denominational statements of faith, and church catechisms, is looking in all the wrong places for the absolute truth!

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