Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
James tells us God brings only good gifts into our lives. Gifts meant for our good given with eternity in mind. As followers of Christ, we have to remember when God looks at people, He does so with eternity in mind. The phrase James uses is “every good and perfect gift comes from God above.” Given from the “Father of Lights” which speaks of God’s sovereignty in creation and His sovereignty over the world today. The Greek word used here is “teleios” which means not just good, but perfectly complete in every way. Moreover, the word “teleios” is also used to mean bringing something to maturity. And through God’s word He brings us to maturity in our knowledge of Jesus and of His word. So if we read these verses as James wrote them, we would say, “God bestows upon us every perfectly good, perfectly complete and perfectly useful gift! Which the God of all creation has given to us!” This is such an important concept for us to understand.
Because it means the gift of grace is free, the salvation given to us by Jesus Christ our Lord is not only perfect and complete, but it’s by faith alone. There is nothing we can do to add to it and no works we can perform to make it more complete. There is nothing we as a sinful humanity can do to add to the salvation earned for us by Jesus’ death on the Cross and our faith in Him. Moreover, James anticipates our next thought. Which is God will not take away this perfect gift will He? The answer is no and that’s why James tells us there is no variation, there is not even a shadow of turning with God. Theologians call this attribute of God, His “immutability.” The word immutability means God does not change, nor does God change His mind. God will not save us one moment and condemn us the next. God will not make a promise to us, then revoke that very same promise later. And most importantly, Jesus will not give us salvation by our faith in Him only to take it away at a later time. Why? Because God does not change, and His promises are the same yesterday, today and forever, so too is His perfect gift of salvation in Jesus alone through faith alone. This means that while we ourselves can walk away from God, He will never ever leave us, nor will He forsake us.