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Faith ends where worry begins, and worry ends where faith begins.


Another of the five books we have grouped together. This one particularly needs our special attention. Many Christian groups class it with Paul's teachings to the church, using it as an excuse to go back to the ritual, noticing that James speaks about Jewish customs. But we need to remember that this book was written in the very earliest days of the gospel.

Notice how James in Acts 15:13,21, was not totally rid of Judaism. Many Jews were being saved, but had not yet been called out of the old system. In the time in which James wrote, the converted Jews were still even sacrificing animals (Acts 21:20 & 26). The book of the Hebrews (written later) does tell the Jews to come out (Heb. 13:12-13). James is giving God's last call to Israel. They rejected it...James therefore is writing to all Israel, to those who were believers amongst them. His words are good for us too. They show that where there is faith, it is shown by how we live! Always remember that full Christian doctrine is learned only from Paul... the book of James is like the book of Acts, it is a bridge between Judaism and full Christianity.

Jas 1:2-15 The Jewish believers were finding it hard to realize that their new Christian life was not the end of their troubles, but rather an increase of them. These trials were the trying of their faith in Christ, but they were to let this produce results, which would be that they would become mature, lacking nothing.

Jas 1:5-8 If we don't know what to think or do on a matter, we can ask God, and He will answer, and not reproach us for asking. But with this comes responsibility - we are to ask, believing.

Jas 1:9-11 Poor people who accept Christ are lifted up in Christianity, rich are brought down. But notice they both rejoice in this.

Jas 1:12 This is the result of the work in the soul described in verses 2-4. A beautiful crown of life is the reward.

Jas 1:13-15 On the other hand, here is the fruit of bitterness and turning away from God. It ends in the very opposite to the 12th verse. Our own will leads us into temptation.

Jas 1:16-18 He warns not to make a mistake on what follows.

Jas 1:17 The two words "gift" are similar in meaning, but we could read the words like this...all good giving and every perfect gift is from above.

Jas 1:19-27 Good advice for us all. Anger does not produce good results.


You must be melted before you can be molded.


Jas 2:1-13 Having a different opinion of a person because he is rich or poor, is not from God, but a sin (verse 9). God has chosen more poor than rich, 1 Cor. 1:26 and Luke 6:20.

Jas 2:10 Many forget that this verse is in the Bible. People judge sin by how it affects others, God evaluates sin by how it affects Christ. This verse shows us that all sin is very serious. To break the unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4:3) is more serious than immorality, because it affects Christ.

Jas 2:13 Beautiful summing up of all these points. God glories in the fact that He prefers to show mercy than to punish.

Jas 2:14-26 Very instructive. If a person says that he has faith, but there is no evidence of this in his life, what is he proving? Our life shows what we are.

Jas 2:19 A good verse to give to a person who says he "believes in God".

Jas 2:21-25 Two extremely different examples of faith. Abraham, the friend of God (23) and a harlot. Does God respect persons? Clearly not. Both these acted in faith - even though the latter was a traitor to her country.

Jas 2:26 What does our life show?


The more purely God's word is preached, the more deeply it pierces and the more kindly it works.


Jas 3:1-12 Now the subject of talking. The terrible or happy results of what we say.

Jas 3:1 The word "masters" means "teachers". The more we speak, the greater the responsibility, and the greater condemnation, if our life is not consistent with what we say.

Jas 3:2 We all often offend.

Jas 3:6 The tongue is full of evil - bringing out poison.

Jas 3:13-18 It is good to remember that wisdom comes from above (verse 17) and is the opposite of self-will.

Jas 3:13 This man has three things; works in meekness - good conversation - wisdom and understanding.

Jas 3:14 The complete opposite.

Jas 3:16 Every evil thing results from the life described in verses 14 and 15.

Jas 3:17-18 Sublime! May they be more true of us.


Christ is the very essence of all delights and pleasures, the very soul and substance of them. As all the rivers are gathered into the ocean, which is the meeting-place of all the waters in the world, so Christ is that ocean in which all true delights and pleasures meet.


Jas 4:1-10 "Among you" doesn't necessarily refer to believers. But the Christians found themselves in the middle of the twelve tribes (Read chapter 1:1), and so they might find themselves implicated in these disputes. These fightings were the result of indulging in pleasures; the will was unbroken; lusts distracted them: they wanted what they didn't have. (Sounds familiar today!)

Jas 4:3 Is this why we don't get answers to our prayers?

Jas 4:4 Serious warning against being friendly with people who do not love the Lord. It is a dreadful thing to be described as an enemy of God. But Scripture here says a person is such when he is friendly with the world. We shouldn't be friends of worldly people, but we should be the best friends they have.

Jas 4:6 Grand comfort for the believer. Mercy in 2:13, 3:17, grace here. Pick up the gems in James - there are many.

Jas 4:7-17 What more important message for us... submit to God... resist the devil... draw near to God... cleanse your hands, there are ten statements here.


Those that go gold into the furnace will come out no worse.


Jas 5:1-6 Again, remember - written to all Hebrews - believers and non-believers. God knows all which is going on. The first 3 verses show what they had, the next three what they did.

Jas 5:5-6 Notice that James connects those who were ambitious to be rich with those who condemned and killed the Lord Jesus (Acts 3:14).

Jas 5:8 The Lord is coming! Waiting for Him keeps the heart from the love of riches. We are to wait in patience and live in peace.

Jas 5:10-11 Examples of patience. As in the book of Hebrews, the writer takes them back to the Old Testament writings... and to the Lord.

Jas 5:12 Exaggerated expressions are not necessary.

Jas 5:13-18 What a difference there would be in our life if we carried out what these verses say. Those that have suffered by the will of God are now blessed.

Jas 5:14-15 Sin may have brought on the sickness, so confession of the offenses and prayer were necessary. God would do His part. This is all quite different from so-called "faith-healers" of today. Again remember that this Book is not full Christian doctrine. The believing Jews hadn't yet been delivered from old practices.

Jas 5:19-20 A lovely promise to those who have a deep concern and care for the welfare of other believers. If they see a careless believer, and pray for him, and speak to him about his careless life, ...and that person is restored in his soul, then two things happen. He is saved from dying - and the sins he might have continued in, are discontinued, and therefore are not to be seen (are covered). But remember too, that if that careless believer refused correction, sometimes the Lord acts quite differently.


by Norman Berry - 1911-2001
Published by Mario Persona

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