The Epistle of James
The Epistle of James, commonly
called, James, has been traditionally ascribed to James, the brother
of Jesus, . He became the leader of the church in Jerusalem at an early date
(see references in the Book of Acts). James apparently was an unbeliever
during the ministry of Jesus; however, a post-Resurrection appearance of
Christ to him led to his conversion and ultimately being a devout leader of
the early Christian Church. Genuine faith will inevitably produce good
deeds. This is the central theme of James's letter, around which he supplies
practical advice on living the Christian life.
James begins his
letter by outlining some general characteristics of the Christian life
(1:1-27). Next, he exhorts Christians to act justly in society (2:1-13). He
follows this practical advice with a theological discourse on the
relationship between faith and action (2:14-26). The James shows the
importance of controlling one's speech (3:1-12). In 3:13-18, James
distinguishes two kinds of wisdom, earthly and heavenly. Then he encourages
his readers to turn from evil desires and obey God (4:11-12). James reproves
those who trust in their own plans and possessions (4:13-5:6). Finally, he
exhorts his readers to be patient with each other (5:7-11), to be
straightforward in their promises (5:12), to pray for each other (5:13-18),
and to help each other remain faithful to God (5:19,20).
This letter of
James could be considered a how-to book on Christian living.
Confrontation, challenge, and a call to commitment await you in its pages.
Read James and become a doer of the Word!
Living faith makes a difference. Make sure your faith is more than just a
statement--it should result in action. Seek ways of putting your faith to
resent troubles when they come. Pray for wisdom; God will supply all that
you will need to face persecution or adversity. He will give you patience
and keep your strong in times of trial.
Law of Love:
Keeping the law of love shows that our faith is vital and real. When we
show love to others, we are overcoming our own selfishness.
Accepting God's wisdom will affect your speech. Your words will convey
true humility and lead to peace. Think before you speak and allow God to
give your self-control.
Wealth: All of
us are accountable for how we use what we have. We should not hoard
wealth, but be generous toward others. In addition, we should not be
impressed by the wealthy nor look down on those who are poor.
The Epistle of James emphasizes faith in action. Right living is the
evidence and result of faith. The church must serve with compassion, speak
lovingly and truthfully, live in obedience to God's commands and love one
another. The body of believers ought to be a an example of heaven on earth,
drawing people to Christ through love for God and each other. If we truly
believe God's Word, we will live it day by day. God's Word is not merely
something we read or think about, but something we do! Belief, faith, and
trust must have hands and feet--ours!
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