A Few Thoughts about the Epistle of James

  • A Few Thoughts About the Epistle of James

 

    • Outline

      • A1 General info

B1 Author—Holy Spirit

B2 Writer—James, half-brother of Jesus Christ

B3 Time and place—~50 AD, certainly between 48-62 AD. James was martyred about 62 AD.

B4 Main topic—Christians and Christian life.

      • A2 Outline

B1 Chapter 1

C1 Salutation James 1:1

C2 The Christian life—difficulties and temptations James 1:2-18

D1 Believers Should Ask God for Wisdom James 1:2-8

D2 Believers Should Be Content in Life’s Status James 1:9-11

D3 Believers Should Remain Steadfast in Faith While in Trials James 1:12

D4 Believers Should Know That Temptation Is Not from God James 1:13-15

D5 Believers Should Know That God Is Steadfast James 1:16-18

C3 The Christian life—listening and actions James 1:19-27

D1 Believers Should Listen Quickly, Hesitate Speaking James 1:19-25

D2 Believers Should Realize Actions Speak Louder Than Words James 1:26-27

B2 Chapter 2

C1 The Christian life—no socioeconomic prejudice James 2:1-13

D1 Believers Should Treat All Christians Equally James 2:1-4

D2 Believers Should Know Why God Treats Equally James 2:5-7

D3 Believers Should Know This Was Taught in the Old Testament James 2:8-11

D4 Believers Should Know We Are Under Freedom but Will Be Judged by the Judgment We Use on Others James 2:12-13

C2 The Christian life—the relationship of faith and works James 2:14-26

D1 Believers Should Know That a Faith That Is Not Matched by Works is Fake James 2:14-17

D2 Believers Should Know Faith Alone with a Change of Life Seen Is Fake James 2:18-19

D3 Believers Should Know These Examples James 2:20-26

E1 Abraham James 2:20-24

E2 Rahab James 2:25-26

B3 Chapter 3

C1 The Christian life—speech James 3:1-12

D1 Believers Should Know That Teachers are Going to be Judged More Strictly James 3:1-2

D2 Believers Should Know That Even If the Tongue Is Small What It Says Can be Troublesome James 3:3-6

D3 Believers Should Know That Wild Animals Have Been Tamed But Not Speech James 3:7-8

D4 Believers Should Know That Good and Bad Things Come From Our Speech, Which Is Wrong James 3:9-12

C2 The Christian life—wisdom James 3:13-18

D1 Believers Should Know the Difference in Types of Wisdom James 3:13-16

D2 Believers Should Know the Definition of Godly Wisdom James 3:17-18

B4 Chapter 4

C1 The Christian life—placing ourselves under God’s authority James 4:1-12

D1 Believers Should Know the Origin of Personal Wars and Arguing James 4:1-3

D2 Believers Should Know Being Friends with World Is Enemy of God James 4:4-6

D3 Believers Should Be Humble and Resist the devil James 4:7-10

D4 Believers Should Know Not to Slander Judge Wrongly James 4:11-12

C2 The Christian life—not assuming James 4:13-17

B5 Chapter 5

C1 The Christian life—Dangers of Riches James 5:1-6

D1 Believers Should Show Low Priority to Riches James 5:1

D2 Believers Should Know That Riches Can Ruin Us James 5:2-6

C2 The Christian life—Suffering James 5:7-12

D1 Believers Should Be Patient in Suffering James 5:7-9

D2 Believers Should Know About Those Who Have Suffered Before Us James 5:10-11

D3 Believers Should Know That Yes and No Are Better Than Oaths James 5:12

C3 The Christian life—Prayer James 5:13-20

D1 Believers Should Sing If Happy and If Sick Should Pray James 5:13-16

D2 Believers Should Know of the Example of Elijah James 5:17-18

D3 Believers Should Guide Our Erring Brothers and Sisters Back to Truth James 5:19-20

 

      • A3 Translation

        • James

 

          • James Chapter 1

 

Believers Should Ask God for Wisdom

 

1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes, which are scattered abroad, greeting.

2 My brothers, consider it all joy when you find yourself surrounded by various trials.

3 Know this that the testing of your faith brings about endurance.

4 Let endurance have its full, complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

5 If any of you lack wisdom, then ask the God, who gives to all profusely and doesn’t rebuke, and it will be given to him.

6 But one must ask in faith, without any doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

7 Do not let that person think that he will receive anything from the Lord.

8 A double minded person [is] unstable in every way.

 

Believers Should Be Content in Life’s Status

 

9 Let the brother of humble circumstances rejoice in that he is exalted,

10 but the rich in that he is made low, because like the flower of the grass, he will perish.

11 For the sun is no sooner risen with its burning heat, and it withers the grass, its flower falls, and its beauty perishes, so also will the rich man fade away.

 

Believers Should Remain Steadfast in Faith While in Trials

 

12 Blessed [is] the man who patiently endures temptation, for when he has passed the test, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love him.

 

Believers Should Know That Temptation Is Not From God

 

13 Let no man say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does he tempt anyone.

14 Everyone is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed.

15 Then, when lust has conceived, it produces sin, and when sin is matured, it brings forth death.

 

Believers Should Know That God Is Steadfast

 

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.

17 Every good common-gift and perfect special-gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights with whom is no variation, neither shadow from turning.

18 Having willed it he gave birth to us by the Word of Truth, so that we should be a type of first fruits among his created things.

 

Believers Should Listen Quickly, Hesitate Speaking

 

19 So too my beloved brothers, all must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger,

20 Because the anger of man does not bring about the righteousness of God.

21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filthiness and all types of wickedness. Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 Be doers of the word, not just hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at himself in a mirror.

24 He looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.

25 But whoever looks at the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, is not being a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work. This one will be blessed for what he does.

 

Believers Should Realize Actions Speak Louder Than Words

 

26 If anyone among you seems to be religious and does not control his speech, he deceives his own heart. This man’s religion [is] useless.

27 Pure and undefiled religion before God, even the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unblemished from the world.

 

          • James Chapter 2

 

Believers Should Treat All Christians Equally

 

1 My brothers, do not have the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Glory, with partiality.

2 For if a man with a gold ring and expensive clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor man with shabby clothes comes in also,

3 And you favor him who wears the impressive clothing and say to him, “Sit over in this place of honor,” but you say to the poor, “Stand over there,” or “Sit here under my feet.”

4 Are you not prejudiced in yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

 

Believers Should Know Why God Treats Equally

 

5 Listen, my beloved brothers, hasn’t God chosen the poor of this world [to be] rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?

6 But you, you despise the poor. Don’t rich people oppress you and drag you into the courts?

7 Don’t they curse that beautiful name you are named after?

 

Believers Should Know This Was Taught in the Old Testament

 

8 If, however, you fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” You do well.

9 But if you are partial, you commit sin and are exposed by that law as being lawbreakers.

10 For whosoever will obey the whole law and yet fail in one [point] is guilty of all.

11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not kill.” Now if you do not commit adultery, yet you kill, you have become a violator of the law.

 

God’s Judgment Under the Law of Freedom

 

12 So speak and act as those who will be judged under the law of liberty

13 For the judgment [is] without mercy to those who have shown no mercy, and [the law of liberty] exults mercy over judgment.

 

What We Say Must Match What We Do

 

14 What does it profit, my brothers, if a man says he has faith and not works? Can faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister becomes naked and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say to them, “Leave in peace, may you be warm and filled [with food],” yet you do not give them those things which they need for the body. What good [is it]?

17 So, if faith does not have works, it is dead in itself.

 

Works Are the Fruit of Faith

 

18 Someone may say, “You have faith, and I have works. You show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

19 You believe that God is one? You do well; the devils also believe and shudder.

 

Two Examples

 

20 But will you understand, your senseless man, that faith without works is dead?

21 Wasn’t Abraham, our father, justified by works when he had offered Isaac, his son, on the altar?

22 See how faith worked together with his works, and [how] faith was made complete by works?

23 The Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness,” and he was called the Friend of God.

24 You see then how a person is justified by works and not by faith only.

25 In the same way, wasn’t Rahab, the harlot, justified by works when she had received the messengers and sent [them] out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

 

          • James Chapter 3

 

Teachers Judged More Strictly

 

1 My brothers, not many of you should become teachers, because we know that we will receive the greater condemnation.

2 For all of us often trip up in many ways. If anyone doesn’t slip up in speech, he [is] a matured man also [able] to restrain the whole body.

 

Small Tongue Causes Big Trouble

 

3 Observe, we put bits in the horse’s’ mouth, so they may obey us and turn around their whole body.

4 Also look at the ships, which though so huge and driven by fierce winds, yet are steered with a very small rudder, wherever the pilot wishes,

5 and so the tongue is a little thing, but brags about things. Behold, how great a forest fire a little fire kindles!

6 The tongue [is such] a fire, a world of evil, so the tongue is among the members of our body, in that it defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of our existence. It is set on fire by Gehenna.

 

Animals Tamed Tongue Unable

 

7 For every animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature is tamed or has been tamed by mankind,

8 but the tongue can no one tame. [It is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

 

Inconsistent Speech

 

9 With it we bless God, even the Father, and with the same we curse people, who are made according to God’s likeness.

10 Out of the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things must not be so.

11 Does a spring bubble up at the same place sweet and bitter [water]?

12 Can the fig tree, my brothers, bear olive berries or a vine, figs? So, no fountain can yield both salt and freshwater.

 

Different Types of Wisdom

 

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By good behavior let him show his works with humility and wisdom.

14 If you have bitter envying and self-ambition in your heart, do not brag and lie against the truth.

15 This [kind of] wisdom does not come down from above but is earthly, sensual, [and] devilish.

16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there [is] disorder and every evil work.

 

Godly Wisdom Defined

 

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and without hypocrisy.

18 Moreover, the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace.

 

          • James Chapter 4

 

Origin of Personal Wars and Arguing

 

1 Where do fights and quarrels among you [come] from? [Don’t they come] from your lusts that are at war in your bodies.

2 You covet something and do not get [it], so you kill. You zealously desire [for things] but cannot obtain it, so you quarrel and fight. You do not get things, because you do not ask.

3 You ask, and do not receive, because you ask with wicked motives, in order to squander it on your lusts.

 

Friends with World Is Enemy of God

 

4 You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that to be a friend of the world is to be an enemy of God?

5 Or do you think that the Scripture says for no reason, “The Spirit that lives in us yearns because of envy?”

6 But He gives greater grace. That’s why he says, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

 

Be Humble and Resist the devil

 

7 Therefore, place yourselves under God’s authority. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse [your] hands, sinners, and purify [your] hearts, double minded.

9 Be in agony, moan, and wail. Let your laughter turn into sobbing and [your] joy into heartbreak.

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up.

 

Don’t Speak Evil

 

11 Do not badmouth one another, brothers. He, who badmouths and condemns his brother, condemns the law, but if you condemn the law, you are not a doer, but its judge.

12 Only one is the lawgiver, who is able to save and destroy. So, who are you to condemn another?

13 Come on, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into this city, stay there a year, buy and sell, and make money.”

14 On the contrary, you don’t even know what [will happen] tomorrow. For what [is] your life? It is just a puff of smoke that appears for a moment then disappears.

15 For you should say, “If the Lord wills, then we will live and do this or that.”

16 But now you boast in your self-confidence; all such rejoicing is evil.

17 So then, the one, who knows what is right and does not do it, is guilty of sin.  

 

          • James Chapter 5

 

Dangers of Riches

 

1 Now come you rich people, wail and howl for the miseries that will happen to you.

2 Your riches have rotted and your clothes have become moth-eaten.

3 Your gold and silver have become corroded. Its poison will be a witness against you and will eat up your flesh like fire. You have amassed riches for these final days.

4 Look, the pay of the workers who harvested your fields, from which you took a cut for yourself, calls out, and the workers’ pleas for help has entered the ears of the Lord of Heavenly Armies.

5 You have lived a soft life on this earth and [a life given to] pleasure. You have fattened your hearts as for the day of slaughter.

6 You have condemned [and] killed the righteous. He does not resist you.

 

On Suffering

 

7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the Lord comes. Look how the farmer waits for the valuable yield from the land and waits for a long time for the early and later rains.

8 Likewise be patient and steady your hearts, for the Lord’s coming draws near.

9 Do not complain about one another, brothers, lest you be condemned. Look! The judge stands at the doors.

10 My brothers, let the prophets who have spoken in the name of the Lord be your example of suffering affliction and of patience.

11 Look, we consider them happy who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and have seen the Lord’s conclusion [to it], because the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

12 But above all, my brothers, do not take a vow, not by heaven, nor by the earth, or anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes and your “No” be no, lest you fall into hypocrisy.

 

On Prayer

 

13 Is any among you experiencing troubles? You must pray. Is any happy? Then sing praise.

14 Is any among you sick? Then summon the church’s elders, and let them pray for them, anointing them with oil in the Lord’s name.

15 The prayer of faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, they will be forgiven.

16 Confess [your] sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.

17 Elijah was a man with emotions just like us, he earnestly prayed that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the ground for three years and six months.

18 Then, he prayed again, the sky yielded rain, and the ground produced its crops.

19 Brothers, if any of you wanders from the truth, and someone brings him back again,

20 Then let him understand that whoever brings the sinner back again from that wandering path he was on will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

 

      • A4 Notes

        • B1 Chapter 1

C1 Salutation James 1:1

James 1:1 WEL James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes, which are scattered abroad, greeting.

James= there are 4 men named James in the Bible

  • James (Matthew 4:21)

    • Son of Zebedee

    • One of the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ

    • He is sometimes known as James the Great.

  • James (Matthew 10:3)

    • Son of Alphaeus

    • One of the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ

    • He is sometimes known as James the Less.

  • James (Mark 6:3)

    • Half-brother to Jesus

    • Jude was his brother.

  • James (Luke 6:16)

    • Father of Judas

    • Sometimes called Thaddeus

    • He is not the betrayer, Judas Iscariot). ​​ (Luke 6:16)

Author

  • Probably the half-brother of Jesus Christ, whose full brother was Jude, the writer of that epistle.

  • Still alive when Galatians was written (Galatians 1:19)

  • Leader in the Jerusalem church (Acts 12:17, Acts 15:13-21, Acts 15:22-29, and Acts 21:18-25)

  • Saw Jesus after His Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:7)

  • Was married (1 Corinthians 9:5)

Servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ

  • God is his boss (John 13:13 NIV You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am).

  • He is NOT the master of his own fate

    • We ALL are slaves to sin. We are addicted to sin. People are deceived that they are free. John 8:34 NIV Jesus replied, Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

    • After believing and placing trust into Jesus, we are now free and voluntary slaves to God.

      • John 8:36 NIV So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

      • Matthew 6:24 NLT No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

      • Matthew 11:29-30 NRSV Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

  • God’s will be done is more important than our own.

  • God= God the Father

  • Lord Jesus Christ= Lord as THE boss, Jesus as human, Christ as THE Messiah

  • God and Lord Jesus Christ= a reflection pointing to the Trinity. One God in three persons. God in one essence. As the Athanasian Creed states: Now this is the true Christian faith: We worship one God in three persons and three persons in one God, without mixing the persons or dividing the divine being. For each person—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—is distinct, but the deity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, equal in glory and co-eternal in majesty. What the Father is, so is the Son, and so is the Holy Spirit.

Twelve tribes= Jewish Christians who had been scattered from Israel due to persecution.

  • Acts 8:1 NLT Saul was one of the witnesses, and he agreed completely with the killing of Stephen. A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria.

  • Acts 8:1 NLT Saul was one of the witnesses, and he agreed completely with the killing of Stephen. A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria.

  • Acts 11:19 NLT Meanwhile, the believers who had been scattered during the persecution after Stephen's death traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch of Syria. They preached the word of God, but only to Jews.

  • All Christians can consider ourselves such, since we are not in our homeland yet. Philippians 3:20 NIV But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Summary= This James is the half-brother of Jesus Christ. He was converted after Jesus’s resurrection and became the leader in the Jerusalem church.

Questions

  • Why does Peter call himself a servant/slave of God?

  • Why is it important that we are servants/slaves of God?

  • Why would Christians want to consider themselves as servants/slaves?

  • Are you a servant/slave of Jesus Christ? Why or why not?

 

C2 The Christian life—difficulties and temptations James 1:2-18

D1 Believers Should Ask God for Wisdom James 1:2-8

James 1:2-8 WEL My brothers, consider it all joy when you find yourself surrounded by various trials. 3 Know this that the testing of your faith brings about endurance. 4 Let endurance have its full, complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, then ask the God, who gives to all profusely and doesn’t rebuke, and it will be given to him. 6 But one must ask in faith, without any doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 Do not let that person think that he will receive anything from the Lord. 8 A double minded person [is] unstable in every way.

Brothers=

  • Can be a flesh brother (Matthew 4:18)

  • Can be a flesh sister (feminine case) (Mark 6:3)

  • Can be those of the same nationality (Romans 9:3)

  • Can be a fellow believer (John 21:23, Hebrews 2:11, Romans 8:29)

  • Brothers in our passage are all those who believe and placed their trust into Jesus Christ.

Joy=

  • There is a difference between joy and happiness

  • Happiness is the Greek word μακάριος makários.

    • It is usually translated blessed, yet sometimes happy. Compare Matthew 5:3 and 1 Corinthians 7:40.

    • Yet, in English, there is a difference between happiness and blessed: As adjectives the difference between blessed and happy is that blessed is having divine aid, or protection, or other blessing while happy is experiencing the effect of favorable fortune; having the feeling arising from the consciousness of well-being or of enjoyment; enjoying good of any kind, as peace, tranquility, comfort; contented; joyous. (Source)

  • Joy is the Greek word χαρά chará.

    • It is translated as joy and gladness.

    • Joy is defined as

    • The difference between joy and happiness. A good article is Difference Between Joy and Happiness, which is the source of the quotes below.

      • Both joy and happiness are positive and desirable emotions where a person has a feeling of being satisfied.

      • Joy comes from the inner-self of a person, and is connecting with the source of life within you.

      • Happiness is an emotion experienced when in a state of well-being.

      • Joy is from the inside of a person, while happiness is from an external source.

      • Christian joy is a fruit, not a work of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23).

      • What God does is perfect and without error. His joy is much deeper and peaceful than any other.

Trials=

  • It is the Greek word πειρασμός peirasmós.

  • In various senses

    • A seducing to sin (1 Corinthians 10:13, Luke 4:13)

    • A test of sinners of God’s mercy and patience. (Hebrews 3:18)

    • Trials, troubles, afflictions (Luke 22:28, Acts 20:19)

    • Here it is the troubles of living and being a Christian.

  • God has a purpose. God overrides the actions of certain unbelievers. (Romans 5:3-4, 2 Corinthians 1:9)

Testing=

  • This word is different than the word trials above. It is the Greek word δοκίμιον dokímion.

  • It means to test. Did we learn what we were taught? (This passage and 1 Peter 1:7)

The results of testing=

  • God is the perfect teacher

  • We learn to a greater and greater understanding of knowing God, His beliefs, and His lifestyle in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds.

  • Faith is our commitment and response to what we have been taught.

  • Testing of our faith leads to endurance to be steadfast in our faith.

  • Endurance leads to the maturity and completeness of our faith. Even the Lord Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered. (Hebrews 5:8)

Wisdom=

  • Is it lacking? Do we not understand or know how to respond?

  • We are invited to ask Him, who is the perfection of wisdom, for wisdom. In love and wisdom, He is our helper.

  • God does not become angry or rebuke us for seeking His wisdom. Even if we ask many times each day, He will not become angry. He loves us.

Faith=

  • Believing God.

  • Expecting an answer because He has proclaimed it.

  • The warning is given us not to doubt to the extend we abandon the faith.

  • God is pleased when we believe Him. He believes us when we ask, so let us believe Him that He will answer. He doesn’t say when, but He says that He will answer.

Summary= We are to rejoice in testing and trials because we are Christians. These are not to punish but to teach. God increases our faith (our spiritual muscles, so to speak) by these difficulties. God is wonder to give us wisdom in any situation, so we can learn and help others, especially those of the church.

Questions

  • Why does God allow troubles?

  • Why do many people not like Christians?

  • What is our response to troubles and testing?

  • How does God give us help?

  • When does His help (grace) come?

 

D2 Believers Should Be Content in Life’s Status James 1:9-11

James 1:9-11 WEL Let the brother of humble circumstances rejoice in that he is exalted, 10 but the rich in that he is made low, because like the flower of the grass, he will perish. 11 For the sun is no sooner risen with its burning heat, and it withers the grass, its flower falls, and its beauty perishes, so also will the rich man fade away.

Humble circumstances=

  • The Greek word is ταπεινός tapeinós. It means low. It is applied in a number of different ways as in grief (Luke 1:52), humbleness (James 4:6), an ordinary person as opposed to a person of status and financial means (Romans 12:16), depressed (2 Corinthians 7:6), poor (James 1:9).

  • Even if we are poor, depressed, in grief, or ordinary, we are to rejoice. We have a hope that is guaranteed by God Himself (Hebrews 6:18). We have our hope in Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:16, 1 Timothy 1:1), His resurrection (1 Peter 1:3), through the Gospel (Colossians 1:23), reserved in heaven (Colossians 1:5), promised deliverance (1 Thessalonians 5:8, Titus 2:13), eternal life, instead of eternal death (Titus 1:2). We are to tell others about our hope (1 Peter 3:15). We are to be steadfast in our hope (Colossians 1:23).

Rich= materially rich. God has no bias or shows favor to them. God owns everything anyway.

Flower, etc.= an example that being beautiful, rich, high socioeconomic class, privileged, etc. has no bearing on God’s blessings or punishment.

Questions

  • How do you feel about your status in society regarding finances, power, and the chance for advancement, etc.?

  • How would you encourage another believer who is facing discouragement?

  • Why should we be thankful every day?

 

D3 Believers Should Remain Steadfast in Faith While in Trials James 1:12

James 1:12 WEL Blessed [is] the man who patiently endures temptation, for when he has passed the test, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Blessed= Happiness is the Greek word μακάριος makários. We looked at that word in James 1:2.

Patiently endures=

  • This is the Greek word ὑπομένω hypoménō.

  • It means

    • To remain, stay behind (Acts 17:14)

    • To persevere, stay in faith, etc. (James 5:12)

    • To calmly endure a trying situation (1 Peter 2:20, Hebrews 12:2)

  • Note, it is to patiently endure. God gives us grace for this. Grace is the strength and ability to do God’s will.

Temptation=

  • This is the Greek word πειρασμός peirasmós that we discussed in James 1:2

  • The Lord Jesus understands for He was tempted, too, yet without sin. (Luke 22:28).

  • God is full of mercy to endure and provide a way out of the temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).

  • Those who have a desire to be rich often fall into this temptation (1 Timothy 6:9).

  • We can rejoice that our God, knows how to deliver us from temptation. He can provide a way out through His grace (2 Peter 2:9).

Crown of life=

  • Crowns

    • Crown of glory: 1 Peter 5:4

    • Crown of righteousness: 2 Timothy 4:8

    • Crown of life: James 1:12, Revelation 2:10

    • Crown of rejoicing (soul winner's crown): 1 Thessalonians 2:19

    • Often another crown is mentioned, but to me all the crowns listed above are eternal and imperishable: 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

  • God gives these rewards because

    • He is kind.

    • He says He will.

    • He recognizes our level of love and priority for God and His ways. Are we loyal? John 15:8-10

    • Those who receive crowns do so because they believed God and did His ways (with the help of His grace). Hebrews 11:6

    • We are in a race, so will we run to the goal or give up? Hebrews 12:1-2

    • God rewards faithfulness: Hebrews 3:14

    • The start is important, but so is the ending: Luke 9:62

Promised= His word is good. It will happen. He does not say when, but it will happen.

Love Him=

  • Love= This is the Greek word ἀγαπάω agapáō. It is the love of choice, not necessarily emotion.

  • We show we love God:

    • By obeying His commandments in the New Testament (Deuteronomy 5:10, John 15:10, 1 John 5:2-3)

    • Remaining steadfast and true to Him and His kingdom (Colossians 1:23, Hebrews 3:14). For Christians, this is knowing and believing the Gospel, knowing His teachings (doctrine) and why, and knowing His lifestyle that He lived and wants us to live and why.

Summary= Regardless of our financial and societal status, we can rejoice. Money will fade, but spiritual treasure can increase. The treasure in heaven is eternal, but the treasure we gather on earth will stay here when we die. The Christian might lose financially, but we gain eternally. The non-believer may gain financially here, but they will lose eternally.

Questions

  • What is the importance of testing?

  • Why does God give crowns?

  • How do we love God today?

 

D4 Believers Should Know That Temptation Is Not From God James 1:13-15

James 1:13-15 WEL Let no man say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does he tempt anyone. 14 Everyone is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then, when lust has conceived, it produces sin, and when sin is matured, it brings forth death.

Tempted=

  • This is the word πειράζω peirázō. We discussed the noun in James 1:2. The verb is similar and means a test to determine quality and an attempt to do something (Acts (9:26). Another meaning is to get someone to do something illegal, as our passage here and in Matthew 22:18, for instance.

  • The context tells us.

    • There is temptation that comes from our evil desires and lusts, as here.

    • There is temptation that comes from testing how a person will respond to God’s teaching, as Abraham, for instance. Hebrews 11:17 NLT It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God's promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac.

  • God does not tempt us, that is, seduce, to sin, that is, break His laws.

Everyone=

  • The Lord Jesus was tempted to sin, but He never had the desire or lust to sin (Hebrews 4:15).

  • We are tempted to break God’s laws, too, but it is from our inward desire. Two examples:

    • It is not wrong to eat, yet gluttony is a sin (Philippians 3:19-20, Proverbs 23:2).

    • Sex is not wrong, yet sex outside of marriage is wrong.

      • Hebrews 13:4 NRSV Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers.

      • 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 NLT Don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people--none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

Drawn away=