1. In ch.1-2 of his letter James addressed a number of important subjects, including:
a. "facing temptations" (1:2-18)
b. "hearing and doing the Word" (1:19-27)
c. "respect of persons" (2:1-13)
d. "faith and works" (2:14-26).
2. In 3:1 James issued a serious warning to "masters."
I. JAMES STATED THAT CHRISTIANS ARE NOT TO BE "MANY MASTERS"
A. The Bible uses the term "master" in different senses.
1. A master may be someone or something that receives devotion from another person
2. Christ is the Master of His followers (Matthew 23:8).
3. Those who teach publicly are referred to as masters (John 1:38; 3:10).
4. The master of a ship is mentioned in Acts 27:11.
5. Instructions are given to masters who were owners of servants (Colossians 4:1).
B. The masters under consideration in James 3:1 are public teachers.
C. There are not to be "many masters" because masters will be held under stricter judgment.
1. This passage does not teach that Christians are not to become teachers (Hebrews 5:12).
2. Rather, those who desire to teach publicly must consider their work carefully because they will
be held accountable for their teaching.
II. THE LORD'S PLAN FOR THE CHURCH INCLUDES TEACHERS
A. The apostles were devoted to the work of teaching (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 5:42; 6:4).
B. The Lord gave the ability to teach to the early church (Romans 12:6-8;1 Corinthians 12:27-28;
C. Teachers no longer teach with miraculous assistance; however, the Lord's plan for the church still
includes teachers (2 Timothy 2:2).
III. "PUBLIC TEACHERS" ARE GIVEN SERIOUS WARNINGS
A. Teachers must not teach "the commandments of men" for doctrines (Matthew 15:9).
B. Teachers must set the proper example (Matthew 23:1-4).
C. Teachers must not teach because of a desire for the praise of men (Matthew 23:5-10).
D. Teachers must teach in such a way that the faith of people will stand in the power of God and not
in the wisdom of men (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).
E. Teachers must teach so people can understand (1 Corinthians 14:9).
F. Teachers must have the right motives (Philippians 1:15-17).
G. Teachers must properly understand the things they teach (1 Timothy 1:7).
H. Teachers must "rightly divide" God's Word (2 Timothy 2:15).
I. Teachers must not teach things that are false (2 Peter 2:1-2).
1. Although the Lord wants His followers to become teachers, James warned against a multitude
of public teachers who do not fulfill their responsibilities.
2. Teachers will be held accountable; however, those who faithfully teach God's Word will be given
a great reward.
3. Two great teachers worthy of our imitation are:
a. Jesus (Acts 1:1)
b. Ezra (Ezra 7:10).