All the Bible, Every Book: James
Live Your Faith!
But be sure to live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. (James 1:22)
The nine General Epistles point to the person and work of the resurrected Christ. They encourage Christians to cling to Him and exhort them to serve Him faithfully because He is the only source of life. Written primarily to persecuted Jewish Christians, the truths apply to every believer from every culture and in every age of church history.
James, the half-brother of Jesus (Galatians 1:19), shepherded the church at Jerusalem. His passionate speech at the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:13-21) affirmed the gospel’s offer to Gentile nations, but warned the church against lifestyles that would undermine the message of the Son of God. His passion for godliness is evident in the letter he wrote to his Jewish brethren dispersed throughout the New Testament world. “As you receive the Good News that saved you from your sin be sure to live out that message, regardless of what it costs you!”
God would ask James to pay the ultimate cost for living out the message of Messiah. He was martyred in A.D. 62. His epistle is probably the earliest of the divinely inspired writings of the New Testament, perhaps as early as A.D. 45. Like Hebrews, James is more of a sermon in written form than a letter. “The chief aim of the Epistle is to strengthen the faith and loyalty of the Jewish Christians in the face of persecution from rich and overbearing Jews who were defrauding and oppressing them.” (A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, 6:6) It seems James reworked a series of five sermons teaching that faith in God is designed to be lived out in real life. Echoing Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, James focuses on five behaviors that demonstrate the righteousness of a Christian in daily life:
James: Don’t just study Jesus’ message, live it out in real life!
James deals with five practical issues that both immature and mature Christians face in life.