1. We are beginning a study of James, a practical letter that deals with some important subjects
relating to Christianity.
a. (1:1) Introduction
b. (1:2-18) Facing temptations
c. (1:19-27) Hearing and doing the Word
d. (2:1-13) Impartiality toward all
e. (2:14-26) Faith that works
f. (3:1-12) Dangers of the tongue
g. (3:13-18) True and false wisdom
h. (4:1-10) Worldliness and pride
i. (4:11-12) Consideration for brethren
j. (4:13-5:6) Unchristian conduct
k. (5:7-18) Patience in affliction
l. (5:19-20) Saving the erring brother
I. (1:1) INTRODUCTION
A. (vs.1a) The writer is identified as "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ."
1. At least 3 men in the New Testament wore this name, including:
a. James, the son of Zebedee and brother of John (Matthew 4:21-22)
1) He was an apostle (Matthew 10:2).
2) He was 1 of the 3 apostles closest to the Lord (Matthew 17:1-2).
3) He was beheaded by Herod (Acts 12:1-2).
b. James, the son of Alphaeus
1) He was an apostle (Matthew 10:3).
2) He was also called "James the less" (Mark 15:40).
c. James, the brother of Christ (Mark 6:3).
1) At one time James did not believe in Jesus (John 7:5).
2) However, James saw Jesus after His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:7).
3) (Acts 1:13-14) He and his brothers were associated with the apostles in Jerusalem.
4) James eventually became a leader in the Jerusalem church (Acts 15:13-20; 21:17-18;
2. Conservative scholars generally agree that James, the Lord's brother, wrote this letter.
B. (vs.1b) This letter is addressed "to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad."
1. Similar language is sometimes used in reference to Christians (1 Peter 1:1-2).
2. (Acts 8:4) Persecution had caused many Christians to "scatter" forth from Jerusalem.
3. James addressed his letter to Christians scattered throughout the world.
C. (vs.1c) James expressed his "greeting" to the readers of his letter.
II. (1:2-4) THE VALUE OF TRIALS
A. (vs.2) We are to count it all joy when we fall into various temptations.
1. "Temptation" may be:
a. an enticement to commit sin (vs.14)
b. a trial or test of one's faith.
2. The temptation under consideration is a trial of one's faith (vs.3).
B. (vs.3-4) James shows us why we are to count it all joy when we face various trials.
1. (vs.3) The trying of our faith produces "patience" [steadfastness, endurance].
2. (vs.4) The end result will be a child of God who is complete in every way.
C. In order to count it all joy we must remember the end result of having our faith tested (1:12;
Matthew 5:11-12; Romans 5:3-4).
D. This lesson taught by James was demonstrated by Christ (Hebrews 2:10; 5:8-9; 12:1-3).