Memory Verse
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
James 1:2–4

Those who knew James called him “old camel’s knees” because of the callouses on his knees from spending so much time in prayer. Perhaps it was his prayer life that gave him the wisdom to present the power of faith in everyday life in his letter to the twelve tribes scattered abroad. Some have called James “the Proverbs of the New Testament.”

James desired that his readers understand that genuine faith will carry them through all of life and through any trial. In his letter, he declares the truth that genuine faith leads to action. 

Hymn: Faith Is the Victory
Sheet Music
Top 5 Facts to Remember
  1. The author is James, the half-brother of Jesus, also called “James the Just.”
  2. There are indications that the letter was likely written between 41–49 A.D.
  3. James regularly alludes to Jesus’ teachings as well as Old Testament instruction, thereby providing an example of how the Old and New Testaments work together.
  4. The main purpose of the book is to show how true faith results in God-honoring good works in all areas of life.
  5. James is a highly practical book with proverbial- style instruction throughout.
Theme: Faith that Works

In James, God is glorifying Himself through Christians displaying a faith that results in works, so that He might demonstrate His superior goodness in the salvation sinners, the damnation of the wicked, and for the preservation of His people, for His eternal glory, and their eternal joy.

Author: James

The author of the book is James, (Jam. 1:1) the brother of Jesus, known as “James the Just”. “James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ…” (Jam. 1:1).

Audience: The Jewish Christians Scattered Abroad

“To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad”

James 1:1

Key Verses:

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 

James 1:2–6

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

James 1:22–25

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”

James 3:13–18

  1. We should count it all joy when we fall into various trials.
  2. We should be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath.
  3. We need to make sure that our wisdom is from above: pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy, and that it is not demonic: full of bitter envy and self-seeking. 
  1. Salutation (Jam. 1:1)
  2. Enduring Trials and Temptations (Jam. 1:2–18) 
  3. Not Just Hearing, But Doing (Jam. 1:19–2:26) 
  4. True Wisdom (Jam. 3) 
  5. True Humility (Jam. 4) 
  6. Patience, Perseverance, and Prayer (Jam. 5)
Study Questions

How should Christians respond to God’s Word?
By being doers of it and not only hearers (Jam. 1:22).

What is the evidence of a true, living faith?
Good works (Jam. 2:14–26).

Why should not many Christians become teachers?
Because teachers will be judged more strictly (Jam. 3:1).

What is the result of being a friend of the world?
Becoming an enemy of God (Jam. 4:4).

What should a Christian patiently wait for?
The coming of the Lord (Jam. 5:7–8).

What is the difference between the wisdom from the world and the wisdom that is from God?
The wisdom from heaven is pure and peaceable while the wisdom from the world is earthly, sensual and demonic (Jam. 3:15–18).

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