1 James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
James the half-brother of Jesus wrote the book. Apparently, he may not have believed in Jesus until His appearance to James after the resurrection. A Although James was late in believing there are numerous references in James to scripture from Matthew. B Note that James did not boast about being a half-brother but instead said he was bond-servant of Jesus.
The basic theme of this letter is maturity in the Christian life. James used the word perfect several times,– a word that means “mature, complete” [James 1:4, 17, 25; 2:22; 3:2]. By “a perfect person” James did not mean a sinless person, but one who is mature surrendered to Jesus and grown-up. Spiritual maturity is one of the greatest needs in churches today. Too many churches are playpens for babies instead of a place for growing mature Disciple-makers.
To get the most out of our study of James we begin by examining our own hearts with four questions to see where we are in our life with Jesus.
- We must be born again. C Without supernatural spiritual birth there can be no spiritual maturity.
- We must honestly examine our lives in the light of God’s Word.
- We must obey what God teaches us from the Word, no matter the cost.
- If we are serious about spiritual growth the enemy gets serious about fighting us. We must be prepared for some extra trials and testing.
Buckle up and be prepared for a life-changing study in James.
Notes: A- John 7:1-5, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, Acts 1:14;
C- How is a person “born again”? Warren Wiersbe says: “The Spirit of God takes the Word of God and generates new life within the heart of the sinner who believes in Jesus. It is a miracle. The Spirit uses the Word to convict the sinner, and then to reveal the Savior. We are saved by faith [Ephesians 2:8-9] and faith comes from the Word of God [Romans 10:17]”.