James, Lesson 1: introduction
God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble
Heavenly Father, thank You for journeying with us in our Bible study. Thank You for Godly wisdom and pearls for living the Christian life. We pray for You to speak to us through the writings and words of James, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Author, Date, Recipients, Setting, Occasion, Purpose
Scholars believed that James the Just, the half-brother of Jesus Christ, and a leader of the first-century Jerusalem Church, wrote this book between 40 to 45 AD in Jerusalem. His recipients were the diasporic messianic Christian Jews, displaced from Jerusalem into the Mediterranean regions due to persecutions by the hostile unbelieving Jews in Jerusalem. James encouraged the persecuted, poverty-stricken, and worldly Christians to seek Godly wisdom through prayer and faith.
Persecutions, afflictions, sufferings, and trials are tests from God, and prayer is the correct response. Beware of the tongue because it has the power to bless and destroy. Obeying God’s words is more important than merely hearing God’s words. Faith without work is dead.
James 1: 1-27, salutation, trials, and temptations, be a doer and not a hearer of the word
James 2:1-26, the sin of favoritism, the sin of faith without work
James 3: 1-18, the untameable tongue, heavenly wisdom, and earthly wisdom.
James 4:1-17, pray and submit to God’s will, do not boast about tomorrow
James 5:1-20, sins of the rich, patience and perseverance, the prayer of faith, love covers a multitude of sins
The book of James is a book on wisdom. James encouraged us to seek heavenly wisdom from God. James encouraged us to pray if we lacked wisdom, if we faced trials and challenges, if we are sick, etc. James encouraged us to obey God’s words and do good works in response to God’s saving grace. The book of James gave us pearls and nuggets of wisdom in Christian living.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your mercy, love, grace, kindness, and compassion. Thank You for protecting us and keeping us safe from the dreadful coronavirus. We pray that You will help us stay close to You, walk close to You, and abide in You. We pray for Your word to abide in us, in Jesus’ name, Amen.