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         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!

 

 Megathemes in James                

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Living Faith: 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 work.

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Trials: Don't 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.

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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.

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Wise Speech: 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.

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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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