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View Full Version : James 1:18 - Firstfruits - who are they?



Nick
Nov 4th 2013, 05:02 AM
"Of his own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures." (ESV) Firstfruits is an agricultural term that refers to the first crops that ripen before harvest. In the OT, the firstfuits were given to the priests (Lev 23:10-14). We are not the fristfruits James is referring to in 1:18 but some feel that applies to us today. I don't see how. The firstfruits of His creatures can only refer to the early pioneers or first century Christians. They were the first generation to believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah paving the way for the rest of us. What do you think? Does "firstfruits" apply equally to all believers?

Walls
Nov 4th 2013, 03:36 PM
"Of his own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures." (ESV) Firstfruits is an agricultural term that refers to the first crops that ripen before harvest. In the OT, the firstfuits were given to the priests (Lev 23:10-14). We are not the fristfruits James is referring to in 1:18 but some feel that applies to us today. I don't see how. The firstfruits of His creatures can only refer to the early pioneers or first century Christians. They were the first generation to believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah paving the way for the rest of us. What do you think? Does "firstfruits" apply equally to all believers?

When things that God made or did go wrong because of enemy activity, He never patches them up. He makes them new. That is why He stopped Adam from "also" eating from the Tree of Life. God wanted the old to die and be replaced by a new, pristine man. He does this again at the flood of Noah's time and calls the earth as it was at Noah's time "the earth that THEN existed" (2n Pet.3:6). So when we come to the "creature" there are two creations. One where God created all things and one when all the creature is pristine again.

The process of creating everything new, just like the first creation, starts with our Lord Jesus. He symbolically ends the old by being Baptized, and accomplishes the end of the old in His death. Then, because our Lord possesses life intrinsically, when He comes out of the grave He is the new life of the seed that was planted in death (Jn.12:24). Out of Him comes everything that will be renewed. And the first thing He creates new are the born-again Christians (2nd Cor.5:17). We were "in Him" just like the many seeds of a wheat ear where once in the seed that was planted. So, of all the things He is going to create new, the Christians are the first to be created and the first to be ripe.

According to Romans 8:18-23 we see that the rest of creation must wait for the Christians to get their resurrection bodies before it can be released from its bondage. And we Christians, while we wait for this momentous day, have as our guarantee, the "firstfruits of the Spirit", that is, our reborn spirit.

So in James we are called "firstfruits" that have been "brought forth". Brought forth concerns our re-birth. The Greek word means "to generate." We are, by rebirth, the firstfruits of the new creation which has its ultimate consummation in Revelation 21 & 22.