James – Genuine Faith

by frazzledmama on January 19, 2011

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The Book of James is hands down one of my favorite books of the Bible.  We are beginning a study of the book of James in a small group at church, and I thought that I would share what I am learning here, for you, my beloved readers.  This has been really good timing for me. I need to get back into the Word on a deeper and more regular basis. I’m not sure how often I will be posting, but I will always title the post “James,” and give title after that. 

First, here is an introduction to James, written by another member of the small group.

Introduction

“The Epistle of James”

  • What is an epistle? – According to The Westminster Dictionary of the Bible the name epistle was given to 21 books of the New Testament and were letters written by the apostles, or were given apostolic sanction. They were written to particular churches, individuals or Christians in general and dealt with practical or doctrinal questions.

  • Who is the author? – There are four men named James in the New Testament, but most scholars agree that the author of James was the oldest half-brother of Christ (Mark 6:3) and the brother of Jude (Matthew 13:55). “James had at first rejected Jesus as Messiah (John 7:5), but later believed (I Corinthians 15:7). He became the key leader in the Jerusalem church (Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; Galatians 2:12), being called one of the pillars of that church, along with Peter and John (Galatians 2:9). Also know as James the Just because of his devotion to righteousness, he was martyred (A.D. 62), according to the first-century Jewish historian Josephus.” (The MacArthur Bible Commentary, John MacArthur)

  • To whom was the epistle written? – According to James 1:1 the recipients of this book of the New Testament was written to Jewish believers who had been scattered. It is thought by some that this scattering was as a result of Stephen’s martyrdom (Acts 7), however more likely due to persecution of the Jews under Agrippa (Acts 12). You will note that the word “brethren” being used numerous times in this small epistle and that was a common address among the first century believers. Another note according to The MacArthur Bible Commentary is the use of the word assembly (2:2), which is the Greek word for synagogue.

  • How does this apply to us? – “James, with its devotion to direct, pungent statements on wise living, is reminiscent of the Book of Proverbs. It has a practical emphasis, not emphasizing theoretical knowledge, but godly behavior. James wrote with a passionate desire for his readers to be uncompromisingly obedient to the Word of God. He compliments Paul’s emphasis on justification by faith with his own emphasis on spiritual fruitfulness demonstrating true (genuine) faith.” (JMA)

The following is the outline I wrote, giving the basics that are covered in each chapter.

James – Genuine Faith

Chapter One

-Trials will come

-They come to all people

-How to love God during trials

-Our response to trials

Chapter Two

-Favoritism/seeing past the external

-Response – How to live beyond the external

-Faith and works are inseparable

Chapter Three

-Our speech and how to use it

-Testing wisdom to know it’s source

Chapter Four

-Pride and Our prayers

-Our response, humility

-Prideful slander

-Bragging Vs. Humble living

Chapter Five

-Use of our money

-Acquisition of money

-Our response to hard times

-Caring for those in need

-Our response to needs, prayer

I think this is going to be a very timely study for me, and I pray that you will be blessed by what I share here with you.

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