I’m memorizing this week’s verse along with my Protestant Women of the Chapel Bible study class. We’re working our way through the book of James. I find this particular verse quite intriguing and look forward to learning more about this passage with the group next time we meet.
In the meantime, here’s what I’ve discovered about this verse that can help you and me commit it to memory:
In the first phrase, James, writing specifically to Christians, tells us that we have been brought forth—or born again—by God’s will, by His Word. God wanted us to be born again. (He wants all people to be born again!) He made it possible for all people to be born again by His Son, Jesus Christ—the Word of Truth. Those of us who have repented of our sins and invited Jesus into our lives as Lord are assuredly born again. God is always faithful to His Word—both in Scripture and in His Son.
In the second phrase, James calls us a “kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” In the Old Testament, the firstfruits of anything belonged to God: first harvest of any food-bearing plant, firstborn of any womb. Firstborn sons of the Israelite people had to be redeemed by sacrifice, according to what the parents could afford.
When James calls us the firstfruits, he is saying that Christians are to be fully dedicated to God, set apart for His service, devoted to His will. This isn’t unlike Paul’s petition in Romans 12:1, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Paul urges us to be living sacrifices. James says this is what God intends for us to be. As the book continues, James teaches believers what exactly this means.
As always, I invite you to meditate on or memorize this verse along with me. And, if you have time, I recommend you read the book of James: just five short chapters, but packed full of spiritual meat.
Father, thank You for sending Jesus that we could be born again. We’re your children now, heirs with Christ, all thanks to Him. Help us to remember that we are “a kind of firstfruits of Your creatures”—set apart for service to You, devoted to Your will. Teach us Your ways, Lord. We exist for You. Amen.