We are going to try something a little different; we would like to do a bible study in the book of James. This will be somewhat of a departure from our normal routine although Brother Gary did do a series on the seven churches in Revelations a while back.
We would really like your feedback on this one to see if taking a book and studying through it is helpful. We want our posts to be a blessing so if you find this study on the book of James helpful let us know. If the comments section and the likes fall silent three or four lessons in then we will take the hint.
Why the book of James? The epistle of James is a very practical guide to Christian living. James, in a very clear way, gets right down to it and describes the true nature God wants all Christians to have. This is an instructional book addressing a wide range of subjects. It does get specific with regards to Jewish culture to help them understand and embrace the finished work of salvation through Jesus Christ. Even with those specific references this is a book for all people everywhere to know and understand the mind of God regarding what He expects from us. This is plain talk coming from a man who knew Jesus personally.
The Blue Collar Christian
The writer is generally considered to be James, the half-brother of Jesus. (1 Cor 15:7, Acts 1:14,Gal 1:19) What a change from our earlier brush with him in John 7 where in verse 5 it plainly states Jesus’ blood family, his half-brothers, did not believe he was God the Son. Read John 7:1-8.
As we look at the event here in John chapter 7 it was time for one of the main feasts, the Feast of Tabernacles. The Jewish leadership was trying to kill Jesus so he didn’t go to Jerusalem as often now. His half brothers, including James, taunted Jesus saying you cannot hide here; show yourself. Little did they know that a few short months from then Jesus would die on the cross for the sins of the world.
Now in chapter 1:1 James honors God the Father and God the Son and distances himself with the personal label “servant”. (I can relate to this line of thinking) Certainly many would have thought James could claim special status for being the half brother of Jesus but he chose rather to honor God the Son and focus all attention where it is due, on Jesus Christ.
James addresses the children of Israel scattered abroad. There were three events James could be referring to: The first scattering took place in Northern Israel when Assyria defeated 10 of the 12 tribes; this took place in 721BC. Afterwards the other two tribes were carried into captivity to Babylon. Judah was conquered in 605BC and some of the people were taken to Babylon; Daniel being in this number. The rest were taken into bondage 586BC. Ultimately some returned to Jerusalem during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. Also, in Acts chapter 8, a more recent dispersion took place when Saul persecuted the early church. Whether he meant the dispersions of centuries earlier or the modern day dispersion James wanted to address his countrymen, no matter where they lived.
The lessons will be a bit shorter than previous posts; the intent is to build up our Christian character one layer at a time.