Faith ends where worry begins, and worry ends where faith
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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