Effective Prayer (James 5:13–20)

The gift of speech is a marvelous blessing, if it is used to the glory of God. Prayer is certainly a high and holy privilege. As God’s children, we can come freely and boldly to His throne and share with Him our needs! The mature Christian is prayerful in the troubles of life. Instead of […]

The Power of Patience: Part 2 (James 5:7-12)

James knew his readers needed patience. They were facing persecution because of their faith. In Part 1, we saw two examples of patient endurance: the farmer and the prophets. Today, we will look at the third example. Job (James 5:11) As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of […]

The Power of Patience: Part 1 (James 5:7–12)

James is still addressing the suffering saints when he writes, “Be patient.” This is his counsel at the beginning of his letter (1:1–5) and is still his counsel at the end of his letter. He knows God is not going to right all the wrongs in this world until Jesus returns, so we must patiently […]

Money Talks (James 5:1-6)

“If money talks,” said a popular comedian, “all it ever says to me is good-bye!” But money was not saying “good-bye” to the men James addressed in this section of his letter. These men were rich and their riches were sinful. They were using their wealth for selfish purposes and were persecuting the poor in […]

3 Attitudes Toward the Will of God: Part 2 (James 4:13–17)

In Part 1, we looked at the first two attitudes toward God’s will: ignoring and disobeying. Today, we will look at the final attitude. Obeying God’s Will (James 4:15) Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do […]

3 Attitudes Toward the Will of God: Part 1 (James 4:13–17)

James began chapter 4 talking about war with God and he ends it talking about the will of God. The two themes are actually related: when a believer is out of the will of God, he becomes a troublemaker and not a peacemaker. Lot moved into Sodom and brought trouble to his family. David committed […]

At War with God (James 4:4–10)

Previously, we saw there are wars happening within ourselves and wars happening with each other. Today, we will discover the primary reason we are at war with ourselves and, consequently, with each other: we are at war with God. We will also discuss how this war can be stopped. At War with God (James 4:4–10) The root […]

At War with Ourselves and Each Other (James 4)

War is a fact of life, in spite of treaties, world peace organizations, and the threat of atomic bombs. Not only are there wars between nations, but there are wars of one kind or another on almost every level of life—even “interpersonal wars” among those in the church! James discussed this important theme of war and explained […]

Man’s Wisdom Vs. God’s Wisdom: Part 3 (James 3:13–18)

In Part 1, we learned there is a “heavenly wisdom” that comes from God and a “man-made wisdom” that comes from the world. In Part 2, we saw the contrast between the operation of God’s wisdom and the operation of the world’s wisdom. Today, we will look at the result of God’s wisdom versus the […]

Man’s Wisdom Vs. God’s Wisdom: Part 2 (James 3:13–18)

In Part 1, we saw there is a “heavenly wisdom” that comes from God and a “man-made wisdom” that comes from the world. Today, we will look at the contrast between the operation of God’s wisdom and the world’s wisdom. Contrast in Operations (James 3:13–14, 17) Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them […]

Man’s Wisdom Vs. God’s Wisdom: Part 1 (James 3:13-18)

Wisdom was an important thing to Jewish people. They realized it was not enough to have knowledge; you had to have wisdom to be able to use that knowledge correctly. All of us know people who are very intelligent, perhaps almost geniuses, and yet who seemingly are unable to carry out the simplest tasks of […]

The World’s Smallest But Largest Troublemaker: Part 2 (James 3:5–12)

In Part 1, we learned the tongue has the power to direct. Today, we will look at two more powers of the tongue. Power to Destroy: the Fire and Animal (James 3:5–8) Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on […]

The World’s Smallest But Largest Troublemaker: Part 1 (James 3:1–4)

James has explained to us two characteristics of the mature Christian: he is patient in trouble (James 1) and he practices the truth (James 2). In this section, he shares the third characteristic of the mature believer: he has power over his tongue. A pastor friend told me about a member of his church who […]

Dynamic Faith (James 2:20–26)

In our previous study, we learned there are three kinds of faith, only one of which is true saving faith. Today, we will take a closer look at this saving faith. Dynamic Faith (James 2:20–26) You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous […]

False Faith (James 2:14–19)

Faith is a key doctrine in the Christian life. The sinner is saved by faith (Eph. 2:8–9) and the believer must walk by faith (2 Cor. 5:7). Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6) and whatever we do apart from faith is sin (Rom. 14:23). Someone has said that faith is not […]

Favoritism Forbidden, Walking the Talk: Part 2 (James 2:8–13)

In Part 1, we learned James examines four basic Christian doctrines in the light of the way we treat other people. Today, we will look at the last two. The Word of God (James 2:8–11) In recent years, believers have waged battles over the inspiration and authority of the Word of God. Certainly, it is a good thing […]

Favoritism Forbidden, Walking the Talk: Part 1 (James 2:1–7)

Not only is the mature Christian patient in testing (James 1), but he also practices the truth. This is the theme of James 2. Immature people talk about their beliefs, but the mature person lives his faith. Hearing God’s Word and talking about God’s Word can never substitute for doing God’s Word. Every believer has […]

Quit Kidding Yourself: Part 2 (James 1:22–27)

There are true believers who are fooling themselves concerning their Christian walk. If a Christian sins because Satan deceives him, that is one thing; but if he deceives himself, that is a far more serious matter. In these verses, James says we have three responsibilities toward God’s Word; and if we fulfill these responsibilities, we […]

Quit Kidding Yourself: Part 1 (James 1:19–21)

The emphasis in this section is on the dangers of self-deception: “deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22); “deceives his own heart” (James 1:26). If a Christian sins because Satan deceives him, that is one thing; but if he deceives himself, that is a far more serious matter. Many people are deceiving themselves into thinking they […]

How To Handle Temptation: Part 2 (James 1:17–18)

When our circumstances are difficult, we may find ourselves complaining against God, questioning His love, and resisting His will. At this point, Satan provides us with an opportunity to escape the difficulty. This opportunity is a temptation. There are three facts we must consider if we are to overcome temptation. In Part 1, we saw […]

How To Handle Temptation: Part 1 (James 1:13–16)

The mature person is patient in trials. Sometimes the trials may be tests sent by God or they may be temptations sent by Satan, and encouraged by our own fallen nature. If we are not careful the testings on the outside may become temptations on the inside. It is this second aspect of trials—temptations on […]

Turning Trials into Triumphs: Part 2 (James 1:4–12)

In the Christian life, God tells us to expect trials. If we are going to turn trials into triumphs, we must obey four imperatives. In Part 1, we discussed the first two: a joyful attitude and an understanding mind. Today, we will be looking at the last two imperatives. Let—a Surrendered Will (James 1:4, 9–12) […]

Turning Trials into Triumphs: Part 1 (James 1:2–3)

Perhaps you have seen the bumper sticker that reads: “When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade!” It is easier to smile at that statement than to practice it, but the basic philosophy is sound. In fact, it is biblical. Throughout the Bible are people who turned defeat into victory and trial into triumph. Instead […]

Time to Grow Up

We are starting a new series in the Book of James. Beginning a study of a book of the Bible is something like preparing for a trip: you like to know where you are going and what you can expect to see. Perhaps the best way to launch into this study is to answer two […]

Hearers and Doers (James 1:22-25)

Many people think their spirituality is based on how much they know about the Bible, not on how obedient they are to the commands in Scripture. I know many people who have superior knowledge of the Bible, but it never changes them. It never impacts their lives. They are just not growing. They look into […]