James 1:3 Teaching the text and word Knowing

James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. (NASB:)

These are the notes I used February 04 2017 at Rivers of Joy Baptist Church, Minford, Ohio


Greek: ginoskontes (PAPMPN) hoti to dokimion humon tes pisteos katergazetai (3SPMI) hupomonen;

Amplified: Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.

Barclay: for you are well aware that the testing of your faith produces unswerving constancy. (Daily Study Bible)

KJV: Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

NLT: For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

Phillips: Realise that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance.

WBC: in the knowledge that the testing of your faith produces patient endurance.

Wuest: knowing experientially that the approving of your faith, that faith having been put to the test for the purpose of being approved, and having met the test, has been approved, produces a patience which bears up and does not lose heart or courage under trials

Young’s Literal: knowing that the proof of your faith doth work endurance

KNOWING THAT THE TESTING OF YOUR FAITH PRODUCES ENDURANCE: ginoskontes hoti to dokimion humon tes pisteos katergazetai  hupomonen:

(Romans 5:3,4; 8:28; 2Co 4:17) (Ro 2:7; 8:25; 15:4; Col 1:11; 2Th 1:4; 3:5; Heb 10:36; 12:1; 2Pe 1:6)

Knowing – The Greek reads more literally “because you know”. Wuest amplifies it “knowing experientially that the approving of your faith.”

Paul records a similar truth in Romans 5…And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations knowing that tribulation brings about (same verb James uses – katergazomai) perseverance(hupomone – same word used by James); 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Ro 5:3, 4, )

Commenting on “knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” Steven Cole explains that…

We should understand a reassuring truth in trials: “Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” There are two aspects to this reassuring truth:

A. God is sovereign over every trial.

The verse implies that God is using the trials for His purpose. He is not sitting in heaven saying, “I didn’t want that to happen, but now that it has happened, let’s see how we can make the best of a bad situation!”

Scripture is clear that God is sovereign over everything,

  1. from the rain and snow that fall (Job 37:613)
  2.  to seemingly random events (the lot, Prov. 16:33),
  3. to the events of nations (Ps. 22:28; Acts 14:16; 17:26).
  4. On the personal level, He ordained all of the days of our lives before we were ever born (Ps. 139:16).
  5. He fashions our hearts (Ps. 33:14, 15)
  6. and orders our steps (Ps 37:23; Pr 16:9; 20:24).

There are some radical Arminians (“Open Theism”)

  • who try to get God off the hook when it comes to trials, saying, “This was not in His plan.”
  • They argue that God does not control (or even know in advance!) the choices we make.
  • But the Bible affirms that God is sovereign over birth defects (Ex 4:11), natural disasters (Ge 6:17; Jon 1:4), and even over the evil things that people do, although He is not responsible for their sin (Ge 50:20; Ex 4:21; 1Ki 22:23; Is 10:5; Acts 4:27, 28).
  • It robs people of comfort and creates a very scary world, where evil is out of control, to deny God’s sovereignty over trials, because it denies that He is purposefully working those trials for our ultimate good.

B. God is using the trials to test our faith to produce endurance.

Testing is like the refining of a metal: it produces a better product through the process.

“Endurance” is the better translation here. It means to stand fast or persevere. the Greek word translated “patience” is used with respect to persons, whereas “endurance” refers to things.

Thus the man is patient who is not easily provoked or angered by difficult people, whereas the man endures who does not lose heart under great trials.

We might call it “spiritual toughness” (Hughes, p. 19).

Picture an athlete who pushes himself to build up strength and endurance for an upcoming race. If it’s a 10k run, he may start with 5k and gradually extend his distance and speed. If he’s serious about winning, he will be running farther than 10k before the race, so that the race will seem easier than what he is conditioned for.

In the same way, when we endure trials by faith, our faith is stronger for the next trial. We know that we can endure, because we’ve already been through previous trials.

And when we endure trials by faith, with joy, it brings glory to our Lord and Savior.

Thus when we encounter trials, we should adopt the radical attitude of counting it all joy. We should understand the reassuring truth, that our sovereign God is using it to develop enduring faith. (Steven Cole – James 1:1-4 A Radical Approach to Trials – Excellent Resource – His Sermons are highly recommended)

As I have said many times, when in the course of our ministry that the Lord has called us, I have been fired a number of times.  Calvary Baptist Church, Connersville, In 1978 by the pastor.  We had a new car, a never before house which was built by a member of the church, two children, and the pastor just up an fired us.  We had no notice just get out of town as it were. 

Well, this had happen before,  Wooster Ohio, the pastor wanted us to leave.1971, than we were at Victory Baptist Church, West Portsmouth Ohio and the people wanted us to leave.  I almost quit the ministry there.

But in all these cases, the Lord in his providence moved us to one place and than another.  So my the time we came to Connersville, we were ready for the next step in our ministry.

From our Seminary days we were encounter trials from the first,  Dad died in February 1966 the year following High school I was going to Seminary.  The testing came.  All three years were testing. 


Knowing (1097) (ginosko [ginōskō]; English derivatives – prognosis, gnostic, Gnosticism) means to acquire information through some modality, as through sense perception (hearing). However involves experiential knowledge, not merely the accumulation of known facts.

It is one of the major verbs of the Bible and because of its numerous uses, it is not surprising that Greek lexicographers ascribe a number of nuances of meaning including

(1) to get to know,

(2) come to understand,

(3) to ascertain,

(4) to have intimate relations with another, etc.

The various meanings are outlined, discussed and illustrated in the notes that follow.

Keep in mind that the basic meaning of ginosko is to know by experience.

Thayer’s Definition

to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel to become known

to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of to understand to know

Jewish idiom for sexual intercourse between a man and a woman to become acquainted with, to know

2. to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of;


2. to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge

a. to understand: with the accusative,

b. to know

II. In particular γινώσκω, to become acquainted with, to know, is employed in the N. T. of the knowledge of God and Christ, and of the things relating to them or proceeding from them;

  1. absolutely, of the knowledge of divine things, 1 Corinthians 13:12;
  1. of the knowledge of things lawful for a Christian, 1 Corinthians 8:2
  2. a knowledge grounded in personal experience. εἰδέναι,
  3. literally, ‘to have seen with the mind’s eye,’ signifies a clear and purely mental perception,
  4. in contrast both to conjecture and to knowledge derived from others. ἐπίστασθαί primarily expresses the knowledge obtained by proximity to the thing known (cf. our understand, );
  5. the knowledge of its contents. primarily expresses the knowledge obtained by proximity to the thing known


  1. Knowledge possessed through the intellectual process of learning is one thing. Knowledge gained by experience, by an active relationship between the one who knows and the person or thing known, is far superior to the former.
  1. Knowing describes the latter quality of knowledge and is what every Christ follower should desire as their personal, permanent possession regarding the Person of Christ (e.g., see ginosko in Jn 8:32, Jn 17:3, Php 3:10).

A common definition in many references is “to know by experience or observation.” This definition of knowing is seen in James 1:4 MacArthur commenting that…

As Christians, we know from our own experience, as well as from God’s Word, that the testing of [our] faith produces endurance. We have learned that His promise is indeed true, for, after we have endured suffering, affliction, or testings, we have discovered that our trust in the Lord is not only intact but is all the stronger for the testing. (Macarthur J. James. Moody or Logos or Wordsearch)

Charles Swindoll adds that Knowing

refers to intelligent comprehension with an emphasis on the process or act of knowing. Throughout John’s literature, “knowing” and “obeying” are inseparable (as they are in Old Testament literature). In the Upper Room, Jesus placed great emphasis on His followers knowing the mind of God so they might become integral to His redemptive plan. The disciples struggled with lack of understanding until they received the Holy Spirit. (Insights on John)



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