In this sermon Elder J.W. Cunningham presents the lesson taught in verses 15-18 of the first chapter of the book of James.  Here we are presented with two sides of a spectrum dealing with what the heart embraces and the product produced as a result.  Listen to this sermon and carefully consider what your heart embraces for the heart is never idle.

Products of the Heart – The Book of James – Sermon Notes


Text: James 1:15-18


Key Point: The heart will always produce something.  It can be positive or negative but the heart is never idle.  When the heart embraces lust it produces sin but when the heart embraces God and the word of God it produces good works and fruit.


  1. When Lust is Embraced

    1. James 1:15

      1. When lust is the thing that the heart embraces it brings produces sin.  When sin is finished, in other words at the end of our lives, it brings forth death.  Every person living or that has lived has experienced this truth.  Nature establishes this truth and the word of God confirms it.

        1. Romans 6:23

    2. Genesis 19:31-38

      1. The daughters of lot embrace lusts in their mind thinking that no man will give them heirs.  The embracing of this lusts makes them conceive of a plan to commit incest.

    3. Psalm 7:14-17

      1. The consequences of these sins always come back on the person themselves, but that does not mean that the consequences do not affect others around them as well.

  2. The Good Things of God

    1. James 1:17

      1. James establishes that even the heart plays a prominent role of begetting that we should not be deceived.  The heart cannot beget life, faith, or anything that is good for those things are of God.  However, the heart can embrace the things that are given and therefore beget more good things.

  3. Firstfruits

    1. James 1:18

      1. The word “begat” here does not refer to the new birth or to eternal salvation but rather to the work and act of conversion.  This good work comes through and because of the gospel.  One is not converted unless they come to believe those things taught in scripture.

        1. 1 Corinthians 4:15

          1. Paul often used this language to refer to those that were converted by his preaching.

    2. Romans 8:23

      1. In Romans the Apostle Paul makes reference to the firstfruits just as James did.  These are not firstfruits in the resurrection for that was Christ and possibly those raised with him.  Rather these are the firstfruits of those that believed.  This was the apostles and the early church members, the very people that James was writing to.  The early Jewish Christians had embraced the teachings of Jesus Christ in their heart and as a result were therefore producing belief, faith, and good works.


The Lesson for us today:  The lesson for us today is that the heart is going to always be embracing something.  If we choose to allow it to embrace the lusts of the flesh and this world it will produce sin and in turn produce chastisement from God.  However, if we choose for the heart to embrace the word of God then belief, faith, and good works are produced.  These things will bring blessings into our lives and bring hope to our walk.


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