Book Of James Chapter # 1 Notes

Vs 1 – The 12 Tribes scattered abroad                                                             James was pastor of the local church at Jerusalem.                                           It was largely made up of Christian Jews = Jewish converts to  Christ.             Acts 2:5 – Jews from the 12 Tribes of Israel were saved

 Acts 15 – Apostles & others gathered at the church at Jerusalem,    to discuss / debate a question of Bible doctrine, vs 5

James, the pastor, presided over this meeting in vs 13 etc. & sums it up.

Scattered abroad = God allowed to be “moved” into other cities & countries & areas –

Why? Ans: To get the Gospel into those other countries

Vs 2 – My brethren = brethren in Christ. These were Jews who became Christians.

              A basic outline of the Book of James could be:

             I. The Testing Of Faith

          II. The Reality Of Faith Tested By The Tongue

         III. The Rebuke Of Worldliness

         IV. The Rich Are Warned

          V. Christian Service In Relation To The 2nd Coming Of Christ

I. The Testing Of Faith

    A. Vs 2 – Count it all joy = the highest degree of patience

         1. Instead of murmuring over your troubles (trials) & temptations;  rejoice over them

         2. Why?

    B. Vs 3 – Patience is one of the fruits of such a trial

         1. The grace of patience is worth the trial

         2. The patience you gain is worth the tribulation

         3. Trials can be used to develop character. They can make us  wiser and better

         4. Here, proving has the sense of testing & patience implies a cheerfulness, believing that God will work it out for His good                         I Peter 1:7 – James 1:12 – Romans 5:3

    C. Vs 4 – LET = out of necessity

         1. Perfect = of full age

             a. growth

             b. mental and moral maturity

         2. Entire = Complete in every part

             1. Perfectly sound in Christian character    

             2. God uses afflictions as an instrument to polish & refine us; perfecting us in Christ

    D. Vs 5 – Wisdom signifies, in general:

         1. knowledge

         2. of the best ends and means of obtaining that wisdom

         3. God is the only teacher of that wisdom of a practical knowledge of God; of self &  of the Saviour

         4. upbraideth not = God won’t scold you

             a. upbraideth = revile – Matthew 5:11

             b. this term, expresses the longsuffering of God

             c. an example of “upbraideth not” Luke 15:20-22

         5. Liberally = God’s bountiful giving

    E. Vs 6 – We are to ask in faith

        1. nothing = not at all; without delay

        2. wavering = hesitation; doubt; to stagger

        3. faith = believing God is able = He can do it

            a. without doubts

            b. knowing that no man can believe too much in God

        4. A wave of the sea has no stability

            a. it is at the mercy of the wind (driven by the wind)

            b. It can get tossed every which way & that gives unsettled convictions & hopes

            c. wavering = between belief & unbelief Mark 11:24

    F. Vs 7 – “that man”    = the one whose mind is divided

         1. such wavering is a self deceiver

         2. “anything from the Lord” = the things he prays for, much less Gods wisdom

    G. Vs 8 – Double minded

         1. vacillating in opinion and purpose

         2. on the one hand, he is directed towards god

         3. on the other hand, his focus is on something else besides God

         4. “unstable” – this describes a man who tries to worship God & yet, is in love with the ungodliness of this world.

             Proverbs 3:5 & James 4:8 = a RX for this

    H. Vs 9 – Low degree = Humble

         1. the best remedy for double mindedness is to be humble

         2. this also refers to being poor

         3. one can be poor in goods or in spirit, but rejoice that God has exalted them when they were saved. Luke 14:11

    I.. Vs 10 – The rich, in worldly posessitions, are made low spiritually, when they humble themselves as a sinner, before a holy & righteous God, receiving Him as Saviour.

        1. His riches have no power to save

        2. in his lost condition, his life is as uncertain as the grass of the field – Psalms 37:1-2

     J. Vs 11 – In a nutshell, you can’t take it with you.

        1. One day, the beauty of the flowers and grass will be gone.

        2. In the same manner, all that we work for will be gone also.   

        3. “and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth:” = its beauty disappears

        4. The “rich” must humble himself as a lost sinner to be saved in the same way a poor man must humble himself as a lost sinner to be saved

    K. Vs 12 – endure temptations = not the falling into sin that the temptation brings, but the endurance & fortitude to persevere & not let the temptations win out.

         1. Blessed – not only a blessing, but it also means “well off”

         2. Tried – tested and approved

         3. Crown of life – a reward from God, a symbol of honor

    L. Vs 13 – God is not the author of sin, therefore, He cannot and will not try to get you to sin

        1. to tempt unto sin, is contrary to the holiness of God

        2. to temp us to sin is contrary to the holiness of God

        3. God cannot be drawn into sin

        4. God cannot & will not even allow Himself to be drawn into sin

        5. with this, it is inferred: since God will not tempt us, let us never tempt God

            a. we tempt God when we ask for His protection when we do something contrary to Gods Word  

            b. When one lives ungodly & asks Gods blessings

    M. Vs 14 – The source of All temptation is man himself

          1. external forces may confront us, but they have NO force unless there was something inside  you that would correspond to that temptation, therefore, allowing self to fall prey to that evil

          2. Example: If there was NO appetite for food – no desire for it or even No capacity to receive food, then setting food in front of you would not be a source for your temptation.

    N.  Vs 15 – “lust” = a longing / desire for what is forbidden

“when lust hath conceived” = the cause of sin is described as  that of a birth;  The sinful desire is the conception;  The sinful deed is the birth

          “death” = moral and eternal, the final result.

The sin may be small in its beginnings but when indulged, it grows to be great and multiplies out of proportion.

    O. Vs 16 – “Do not err …” = roam from safety, truth or virtue

         Do not go astray or wander or be out of the way.

SIN: Romans 7:7-14 – II Corinthians 4:4  Romans 1:27  Ephesians 4:14

Context of Vs 16 – go back to verses 13-17.  Some believed that God was the author of sin.

God is the author of goodness and holiness & not evil; this is shown in the next verse.

P.  Vs 17 – “Every good gift” = the goodness of God – God gives GOOD gifts

Father of lights:  God is light & the creation of the light of this material world & source

Of all moral light.

No variableness:  God is unchangeable, always the same.

Variableness:  Fickleness

Shadow of turning: A metaphor.  The sun, in its light, “casts shadows” as the earth turns.

          The earth constantly turns & shadows “move” and change.

          God is not like that, He NEVER changes.

          God does not “cast shadows” or shadows of doubt.

Q. Vs 18 – God “begat” –  We were born again by God with the Word of Truth = Jesus Christ.     John 1:1   John 14:6

R. Vs 19 –  Swift to hear = Talk little and work much, is an old rabbinical adage.
The righteous speak little, and do much; the wicked speak much, and do nothing.
Two ears are given to us, the rabbis observe, but only one tongue: the ears are open and exposed, whereas the tongue is walled in behind the teeth.

Primarily = listen to Gods instructions of Truth. Proverbs 15:2
Slow to wrath = The particular point here is, however, not that we should be slow to wrath as a general habit of mind, which is indeed most true, but in reference particularly to the reception of the truth:
Context, vs 18.
Don’t have heated debates over God’s word, but rather investigate it and search the Scriptures.
    S.  Vs 20 – The meaning of this passage is not that our wrath will make God either more or less righteous; but that wrath usually does not produce that upright course of life, and love of truth, which God requires.
There is such a thing as righteous indignation, but one is not
necessarily promoting the cause of God by his own personal anger.
    T.  Vs 21 – “Wherefore” = because of what the Lord has done for us (as in the above verses),
         “lay apart” = put away, cast off
         “filthiness” = disgusting, offensive, loathsome,
         “superfluity of naughtiness” = abounding of evil, depravity,
          wickedness, trouble.
         “receive … engrafted word …” engrafted = implanted.
         “meekness” = mildness, humility, have an attitude of learning.  We should allow the principles of the Gospel to be engrafted on our nature. James was writing to saved Jews in his church. They were Israelites and the Gospel was “engrafted” 
on “good stock” and that’s what saved their souls.
Remember, God originally gave the Gospel to the Jews and His perfect plan was for them to take the Gospel around the world.

    U. Vs 22 – “doer” = performer – Romans 2:13; Luke 6:46 & Luke 11:28
         Obey / do what the Word of God says, just listen to it.
         If we hear the Word of God and do not do what it tells us to do, then we have just deceived our own selves.
    V. Vs 23, 24 – A metaphor – you look in the mirror and see just who you are and how you look.
         Like a man who looks in the glass and soon forgets the impression, so the impression of the word on such a man is soon forgotten.
         The world must be impressed by the doing of it.
         The doctrines of God, faithfully preached, are such a mirror;
         The one who hears the Word, cannot help discovering his own character, and being affected with his own short comings; he is sorry for them, and plans to change;
         but when the preaching is over, the mirror is removed, and not being careful to examine himself – James 1:25 he soon forgets what manner of man he was;
         Then he reasons himself out of the need of repentance and a changed life in Christ, and thus deceives his own soul.
    W. Vs 25 – There is a blessing of God to the Christian who sees, reads, hears God Word and does what it says = lives it.
    X. Vs 26 – religious = external service or the exercise of religion
         “bridleth not his tongue” = context is referring to the Word of God = Vs 22.
         This is the one who doesn’t speak according to the Word of God. They lack Scriptural knowledge.
         REMEMBER … James pastors the church at Jerusalem; it’s made up of a lot of converted Jews – Vs 1.
         They were used to the ceremonial Law.
         The Gospel deals with the heart and what it produces outwardly: again, Vs 22.
         Vs 22 7 25 l3qd into Vs 26 = don’t just know what the Word of God says, but exercise it outwardly in your daily life.
    Y. Vs 27 – Visit = go to see; inspect; relieve.
         This is outward charity to our neighbors, especially to those who need help.
         James 2:17-20 deals with: what’s in our heart will reflect our works = outward service for the Lord
        “unspotted from the world” = charity, which is a good testimony.
        “unspotted”,  many Bible scholars have written; “is the hardest to execute.”
        “unspotted from the world” = keep oneself unchecked from the dirt and slime of the world.”
        As we go out and do our good deeds in the community, keep yourself from the filth and dirt of sin that abounds.  We are in this world but we are not to be a part of this world.

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Comment by Colleen P. O'Connell

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