James Teaching

So what's the main point?

Notice how James weaves a tapestry of themes throughout his book.

Let's use James chapter 1 as the beginning point for each strand in the tapestry.

James 1:2-4 NIV

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:12 NIV

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

James 2:22 NIV

You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.

James 5:8 NIV

You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.

Theme - Persevere until Completion

Completion: wholeness, inside - outside, full integrity, belief and actions line up

Do your words, thoughts and choices line up with God's character during times of trial?

James 1:5-8 NIV

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

James 3:13-18 NIV

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

Theme - Gain Wisdom

Wisdom: Submission to God

What unlocks wisdom? Faith

Do you focus more on the accumulation of knowledge or submission to God?

James 1:9-11 NIV

The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.

James 1:17 NIV

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 2:1 NIV

My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.

James 2:5-6 NIV

Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court?

James 5:3 NIV

Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.

Theme - Don't Put Security in Riches

Don't show favoritism to rich people. Don't use riches to dominate people. Use riches to be generous (like God).

Ask God: How can I be generous today with what You've given me?

James 1:14-15 NIV

but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

James 4:1-2 NIV

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.

James 4:4 NIV

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

James 4:7-8 NIV

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

James 4:17 NIV

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

Theme - Deal with Your Own Evil Desires

Don't excuse your sin. Recognize your adultery. Deal with your sin.

Ask God: Is there any sin (area of adultery) that you are convicting me of? Will you submit, resist, come, wash, purify?

James 1:19-20 NIV

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

James 1:26 NIV

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

James 3:6 NIV

The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

James 3:10 NIV

Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

James 5:12 NIV

Above all, my brothers, do not swear–not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.

James 5:13-16 NIV

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Theme - Your Words Matter

Stay away from anger. Don't start fires with your words. Purity in your words is God's desire. Use your mouth for God's purposes: pray, sing, confess.

Is there anger in your life? At what times are you more likely to lose control with your words?

James 1:25 NIV

But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it–he will be blessed in what he does.

James 1:27 NIV

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 2:14-17 NIV

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Theme - Show Your Faith by Your Actions

God cares about his children practically obeying him. He cares about loving the poor (orphan and widow) through practical service.

Ask God how you can practically serve someone that is in need. Even specifically, ask about an orphan or widow situation that you could help out with.


Persevere Until Completion

Gain Wisdom

Don't Put Security in Riches

Deal with Your Own Evil Desires

Your Words Matter

Show Your Faith By Your Actions

What is God saying to you?

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