James # 2 James 1-1 thru 1-4
We’re going to continue teaching on the book of James which we started on two weeks ago.
I) Last time we began on the introduction to the book of James. 1 point that I want to make clear is the author of the book of James.
A) There is overwhelming evidence that the author to the book of James is not the disciples James, but it is the Lord’s brother who is also named James.
1) This same James becomes the pastor at the church of Jerusalem, which is spoken of as being the headquarters to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
a) James being the pastor of this church is a very influential man in the Christian realm.
b) It seems likely that James, the Lord’s brother is the author to this book.
B) Finding out the exact date that this letter was written is a hard task.
1) Flavius Josephus who is one of the 1st century historians records James dying as a martyr in the year 62 A.D.
a) It seems very likely that James wrote this book somewhere between 45 A. D. and 48 A. D..
2) It is also very likely that this book of James is one of the first written books of a Bible.
C) In James 1:1 it reads, from this we can see that James was writing to the 12 tribes, meaning to 12 tribes of Israel.
1) Some have said that this was to be taken in more of a spiritual sense, referring to the new and true Israel which would be the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, Jew and Gentile.
2) The Word of God is written for all, it is not given to any private interpretation or for any private group, but at this time in history most of the church were Jews.
a) This is written only 12 years after Jesus was raised from the dead.
D) The style that this letter was written is not really a letter at all.
1) It begins with the normal greeting, but the style in which is written is more of a lecture.
2) Apparently James wrote this letter so that it would be read in the churches as a sermon.
E) Some have said that this book of James has no definite direction to it, no central theme.
1) But as we said last time, this book of James does have a central theme and that is the “Maturing of the saints, and a walk of Holiness.”
2) James seems to deal with every aspect of the Christians life. He brings up the topics like; what a Christian is, what he does, what he says, what he feels, and what he has.
II) In the opening verse, James refers to himself as, “A servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
A) He never refers to himself as the Lord’s brother because a brother in the flesh amounts to nothing.
1) Turn with me to MARK 3:31-35.
a) Jesus very clearly said, that a brother or sister in the flesh amounts to nothing, but the true brother and sister are those who do the will of God.
b) Sometimes, even many times, our brothers and sisters in the Lord are closer to us than our brothers or sisters according to the flesh.
(i) Really we are a family, we’re the family of God.
2) Again James refers to himself as “A servant or BOND SLAVE of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
a) James does not refer to himself as the Lord’s brother, but he does refer to himself as a bond slave of the Lord Jesus Christ.
B) Let’s read James 1:2.
1) Immediately James starts off in his sermon by telling his brothers and sisters to count it all Joy when they fall into divers temptations.
a) The early church was facing many tests and trials which came by the way of persecution.
b) But James said we should face these trials with all JOY, the NIV translation says that we should face them with “PURE JOY.”
(i) The test and trials that WE face should be confronted with a joy that is full.
(ii) This joy is not a MIXED JOY; such as joy mixed with some grief or sorrow, but it is pure joy or as the King James version puts it, “Count it or consider it ALL JOY.”
2) One thing that want you notice is that James never said that we should consider it all joy FOR the trials.
a) But what he was saying is that when we are going through different tests and trials we need to continue to express the CHARACTER AND CHARACTERISTICS OF JOY.
C) James 1:3
1) The word “PATIENCE” in this verse refers to “STEADFASTNESS, or PERSEVERANCE.” But I like this one definition even a little better which is found in the Strong’s concordance and they say this word “PATIENCE” would be better translated “PATIENTLY ENDURING.”
2) James is telling us that we can count all joy when we fall into these different test and trials because these tests and trials we face builds perseverance, and steadfastness causing us to patiently endure.
a) We can count all JOY AND PERSEVERE because we know that there is “Laid up for us a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give to me at that day: and not to be only, but unto all them that love his appearing.”
b) We can count it all joy because “We press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)
D) Now in verse 3 James said, “The trying to your faith worketh patience.”
1) Faith is very similar to gold it stands the test of fire. No matter how hot the fire gets pure gold endures.
a) It is the same thing with true faith, it will endure no matter how hot the test or trials get.
b) True faith develops “PERSEVERANCE, ENDURANCE, or STAYING POWER.”
III) James 1:4.
A) James begins to explain why we can count it all joy when we fall into various of tests and trials.
1) We all ready said from verse 3 that the tests and trials will begin to develop perseverance in our lives, but that’s only the beginning.
B) The Word “PATIENCE” in verse 4 again means “PATIENTLY ENDURING.”
1) You could say that it means, “PATIENTLY CONTINUING TO STAND.”
2) This verse says that “PATIENCE” or “PATIENTLY CONTINUING TO STAND” will bring about it’s perfect work.
a) The first perfect work that it says it brings about is that you will be “PERFECT and ENTIRE.”
b) The words “PERFECT and ENTIRE” mean “MATURE and COMPLETE.”
3) Learning how to stand in faith and how to believe God for his promises without wavering; regardless how a situation looks, or how long it seems to take before we see change, is a true sign of MATURITY and COMPLETENESS.
C) What is this maturity, which is true faith and perseverance going to produce?
1) The manifestation of God’s promises in your life.
2) James says if we’re walking in perseverance and in true patience which is a byproduct of true Christian maturity we will be “LACKING NOTHING.”
a) We’ll be lacking nothing in our maturity level and we’ll be lacking nothing concerning the promises of God.
W. O. L. C. C. Thursday, Feb. 2, 1998