Evening Bible Study
First Missionary Baptist Church
Wednesday Night Bible Study
Jeremie Turner, Sr. Senior Pastor
Subject: The Book of James
(An Expository Study)
James Chapter 1
The Book of James
Summary of James
James and Jesus
1:6 – But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For Matt. 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with Verily I say unto you, if ye have faith, and doubt
the wind and tossed. not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the
fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it
shall be done.
1:12 – Blessed is the man that endureth temptation:
for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, Matt. 10:22 – And ye shall be hated of all men for my which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
2:14-16 – What doth it profit, my brethren, though a Matt. 7:21-23- Not every one that saith unto me,
man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in
of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in heaven. Many will say to me, Lord, Lord, have we
peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give not prophesied in they name? and in thy name have
them not those things which are needful to the body; cast out devils? And in thy name done many
what doth it profit? wonderful works? And then will I profess unto
them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that
1:22 – But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers Luke 6:49- But he that heareth, and doeth not, is
only, deceiving your own selves. like a man that without a foundation built an house
upon the earth; against the which the stream did
beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the
ruin of that house was great.
Luke 11:28 – But He said, “Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
3:10-12 – Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing Matt. 7:16-20 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do
and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so be. men gather grapes of thorns, or figs, or thistles?
Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit;
and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good
Either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a
and fresh. corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Wherefore by
their fruits ye shall know them.
2:5 – Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen Luke 6:20 – And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples,
the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom and said, “Blessed be ye poor: for your’s is the which he hath promised to them that love him? kingdom of God.
2:13 – For he shall have judgment without mercy, Matt. 5:7 – Blessed are the merciful: for they shall that hath shewed no meercy; and mercy rejoiceth obtain mercy.
4:8 – Draw nigh to God, and he will draw night to you. Matt. 5:8 – Blessed are the pure in heart:
Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, for they shall see God.
ye double minded.
3:18 – And the fruit of righteousness is sown in Matt. 5:9 – Blessed are the peacemakers:
peace of them that make peace. for they shall be called the children of God.
_______________________________________________________________________________ 4:6, 10 – But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, Matt. 23:12 – And whosoever shall exalt
God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble… himself shall be abased; and he
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
5:2-3 – Your riches are corrupted, and your garments Matt. 6:19-21 – Lay not up for yourselves
are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; treasures in heaven, where neither
and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves
and ye shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have do not break through nor steal. For
heaped treasure together for the last days. where your heart is, there will your heart be also.
5:12 – But above all things, my brethren, swear not, Matt. 5:34-37 – But this I say unto you,
neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any Swear not at all; neither by heaven;
other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth;
lest ye fall into condemnation. for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is
the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou
swear by thy head, because thou canst not make
one hair white or black. But let your communication be,
Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these
cometh of evil.
This letter is written to the Hebrew Christians. It is addressed “to the twelve tribes scattered abroad.” These were Jews of the dispersion (diaspora), in places other than Palestine.
God would use their hardship - them being scattered - to spread the Gospel. A classic example of God using for good what the enemy meant for evil.
Josephus wrote: “There is no city, no tribe, whether Greek or barbarian, in which Jewish law and Jewish custom have not taken root.”
Persecution did not shut them up or silence them – they knew that God cared enough about them to look out for them.
They had a healthy view of suffering – scattered abroad – like a farmer sows seed in his field, the Lord sows Christians throughout the fields of this world for the purpose of spreading the good news of the Gospel. God has planted you so that can spread the Gospel right where you are.
Acts 11:19 - Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen traveled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.
Structure of the Book (Overview)
Chapter 1 The Testing of Faith__________________________________________
Chapter 2 Faith and Works_____________________________________________
Chapter 3 Control of the Tongue________________________________________
Chapter 4 Submission to God___________________________________________
Chapter 5 Patient and Expectant Faith_____________________________________
The body of the letter falls into four (4) general sections:
Trials and Christian maturity (1:1-18)
He deals with Christian suffering (trials)(1:2-18)
He encourages readers to find meaning and purpose in their suffering (1:2-4)
He encourages readers to pray in faith for wisdom (1:5-8)
He encourages readers to apply a Christian worldview to poverty and wealth (1:9-11)
He addresses trials (1:12)
He moves to the issue of temptation (1:13-15)
He concludes this section with a reminder of God’s goodness in giving (1:16-18)
True Christianity seen in its works (1:19-2:26)
He warns about loose speech and anger (1:19-20)
He encourages to “accept the Word planted in you” (1:21)
He encourages that true receiving of God’s Word involves doing it (1:22-27)
He encourages to be impartial in our treatment of others - only then will we fulfill the “royal law” and escape judgment (2:1-13)
He discusses faith and works - he insists that true faith is always marked by obedience and that only such faith evidenced in works will bring salvation (2:14-26)
Dissensions within the community (3:1-4:12)
He uses a series of vivid and memorable images to warn Christians about the power and danger of the tongue (3:1-12)
He tackles the problem of dissensions head on, tracing such external unrest to the wrong kind of wisdom (3:13-18) and frustrated desires (4:1-3)
He issues a stern warning about a compromising Christianity and summons the reader to repentance. This section ends with a final exhortation about speech (4:11-12).
Implications of a Christian worldview (4:13-5:11)
We must take God into account in all the plans we make (4:13-17).
He recognizes that God will judge the wicked rich (5:1-6)
He recognizes that God will reward the righteous at the time of the Lord’ return (5:7-11)
Concluding exhortations (5:12-20)
Prohibiting oaths (5:12)
Urging prayer, especially for physical healing (5:13-18)
Calls all believers to look after one another’s spiritual health (5:19-20)
Overview: Chapter 1 - The Testing of Faith
James wrote to the “twelve tribes scattered abroad.” (v.1)
They were scattered throughout the Roman Empire.
James knew they were undergoing trials (temptations) but they were to go through the testings and count it as joy (v.2)
When faith is put on trial, the result should be patience (v.3-5)
Romans 5:3-5: And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (4) And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (5) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
When trials come to the Christian, they can be transformed by praying and asking wisdom (v.5-8)
Christians can accept being poor and rejoice in it for Christ’s sake because with the trials and material loss, there is a reward, “the crown of life,” for enduring these things in life (v.9-12)
The origin of temptation is never from God if it pertains to evil (v.13)
Temptation comes by allowing lust and worldly desire to come into our lives. We should not stray away (v.14-16)
1 Corinthians 10:13: There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
God never send evil. His gifts are good because of “His own will He brought us forth by the Word of truth that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creation” (v.17-18)
For this reason we should be swift to hear and slow to speak, slow to anger (v.19)
The anger of a man is contrary to the will of God. The implanted Word is a preventative against the sins of the flesh (v.2o-21)
This is the safest guard we can build around us because the Word is like a mirror and reveals the natural man. It gives us liberty and a blessedness, simply by doing what God says (v.23-25)
The test of true faith is in v.26-27
James 1:1 – James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
NASB: James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings
ESV: James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings.
NKJV: James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.
CSB: James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ: To the twelve tribes dispersed abroad. Greetings.
NIV: James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
NLT: This letter is from James, a slave of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing to the “twelve tribes” – Jewish believers scattered abroad. Greetings!
MSG: I, James, am a slave of God and the Master Jesus, writing to the twelve tribes scattered to Kingdom Come: Hello!
Outline of Verse/Outline of Salutation
The servant of God, James
The believers scattered all over the world
This is a most interesting passage of Scripture. It tells us some facts about one of the brothers of the Lord Jesus, some facts about a person who lived with Jesus day by day and had an opportunity to notice what kind of life He lived. The passage is also a dynamic challenge to us.
1 (1:1) James—Slave—Jesus Christ, Deity: the author of the letter is James, a servant of God. Who is he? He was apparently so well-known among believers throughout the world that no title was needed other than his name. This points rather strongly toward his being the Lord’s brother James. Note two touching and very important facts about what James says.
1. He simply calls himself James, “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” He is a leader among God’s people. Yet his glory is not in the title of his ________, but in the fact that he is a servant of God and Christ. Despite his position and worldwide reputation, what matters most to him is the ________ of his relationship to God and his Lord. This is clearly seen when a person understands the word _______ as it is used here, for the meaning shows that James deliberately chose the word to describe his relationship to the Lord. His servitude was ___________ to the Master who freed him from slavery to sin – he knew that he had been _______ with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Corinthians 7:23).
The model of servanthood is to be lived out by those in the church and we should model ourselves after Christ, Himself. In fact, leadership in the church, should be reserved for those with no selfish agenda and those who desire to look like Christ. If being a _________ is below us then being a ___________ is above us.
Note, he is also the brother of Christ, but he takes the lowly title of “servant,” in which, no doubt, he felt the highest honor to call himself. He took delight in being a servant of God. He is named a leader in the church and does not cling to this title either. His authority does not come through his position as leader or brother, but as a “servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ;” it is his ___________ ______________ that gives him authority, not his ___________ ______________.
His __________ did not allow him to take ____________ of his relationship with Christ. He doesn’t pull rank, he doesn’t drop names he simply considers himself an humble servant. If you can be humble God can use you. Many a saints can take a page out of James’ book and choose to be called a servant rather than some other title. God blesses us when we take the low road. We, too, would be wise if we humbled ourselves. How does one look who is humbled?
He is a bond-servant – not one who is bound by force, against his will, but one who has bound himself, and made a loving surrender of his own will. Through _________ __________in Christ, we actually ______ ________________. He was proud to call himself this and did not care what anyone thought of it.
Not only is he a “servant” but James teaches us that he is all in as he writes “servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.” What a change! We must remember that James did not originally believe in Christ as Lord. When he did follow Christ, he followed him with great devotion. In fact, James was such a man of prayer that his knees had large and thick calluses, making them look like the knees of a camel. He was so devoted that he would become martyred in Jerusalem by being pushed from a high point of the temple (170 feet high). Yet the fall did not kill him, and on the ground he was beaten to death (brains beaten out with a fuller club), while praying for his attackers. James was ______ _____! This scripture shows us that which can happen when God _________ ____.
Although he did not originally believe in Christ, James’ life is a testimony of the power of the Word. He was brought up with Him, he played with Him, and he saw Christ grow. He may have shared the same view that Jesus was out of His mind (Mark 3:21), but our Lord ___________ sowed the seed of the Word. That seed took ______ in the life of James and a _______ ______________ resulted. The __________ became a _________, and he wasn’t ashamed to say so! He believed so much in Christ that he puts Him on the ________ level as God: “A bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” After the Resurrection things changed (Acts 1:14); and though we cannot physically see Christ today, Him being alive within our hearts should make a difference in our lives. The Resurrected Lord should make a _________ in us as well!
He recognized the Lordship of Jesus Christ. To the Jews this was blasphemous because no human could be called “Lord,” and to the Romans it was treason against the authority of the emperor. To everyone who claimed it, however, it was a sign of giving Christ control over their life, career, and ultimate destiny. Thousands of believers eventually lost their lives in horrible ways because they would not take back their statement: “Jesus is Lord.” James, through the seeds that were planted, recognizes that Christ is not just man, but Christ is God and man. He held on to this to the very end. James is asking us tonight, “To what degree will you be a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ?” The early church took Christ with them as they were forced out.
The word “servant” (doulos) in the Greek means far more than just a person who performs duties for a person or household. It means a slave totally possessed by the master. It means a bond-servant bound by law to a master; one who was in bondage. A look at the slave market of James’s day shows more clearly what James meant when he said he was a slave of Jesus Christ.
a. The slave was owned by his master; he was totally ______________ by his master. This is what James meant. James was __________ and possessed by Christ, the Son of the living God. Christ had looked upon him and had seen his rebellious and needful condition. And when Christ looked, the most wonderful thing happened: Christ loved him and bought him; therefore, he was now the possession of Christ. What a wonderful feeling to be owned by Christ.
b. The slave existed for his master and he had no other reason for existence. He had no personal rights whatsoever. The same was true with James: he existed only for Christ. His rights were the rights of Christ only.
c. The slave served his master and he existed _______ for the purpose of service. He was at the master’s ____________ any hour of the day. So it was with James: he lived only to serve Christ— ______ ____ ______and ______ ____ ______.
d. The slave’s will belonged to his master. He was allowed no will and no ambition other than the will and ambition of the master. He was completely subservient to the master and owed total obedience to the will of the master. James belonged to Christ. In fact, he fought and struggled to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Co. 10:3–5, esp. 5).
e. There is a fifth and most precious thing that James meant by “a slave of Jesus Christ.” He meant that he had the __________ and most honored and kingly profession in all the world. Men of God, the greatest men of history, have always been called “the servants of God.” It was the highest title of honor. The believer’s slavery to Jesus Christ is no cringing, cowardly, shameful subjection. It is the position of honor—the honor that bestows upon a man the privileges and responsibilities of serving the King of kings and Lord of lords.
⇒ _________ was the slave of God (De. 34:5; Ps. 105:26; Mal. 4:4).
⇒ _________ was the slave of God (Jos. 24:29).
⇒ _________ was the slave of God (2 Sam. 3:18; Ps. 78:70).
⇒ _________ was the slave of Jesus Christ (Ro. 1:1; Ph. 1:1; Tit. 1:1).
⇒ _________ was the slave of God (Js. 1:1).
⇒ _________ was the slave of God (Jude 1).
⇒ The ____________ were the slaves of God (Am. 3:7; Je. 7:25).
⇒ Christian ___________ are said to be the slaves of Jesus Christ (Ac. 2:18; 1 Co. 7:22; Ep. 6:6; Col. 4:12; 2 Ti. 2:24).
“If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour” (Jn. 12:26; see Ro. 12:1; 1 Co. 15:58).
“[Laboring] not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men” (Ep. 6:6–7).
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Col. 3:23–24).
“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (He. 12:28).
“And ye shall serve the Lord your God” (Ex. 23:25).
“What doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (De. 10:12).
“Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling” (Ps. 2:11).
“Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing” (Ps. 100:2).
As God’s servant, it meant that James must have humility and total devotion to the Lord. Scripture gives us insight on what it means to be God’s servant:
Being His servant requires following Him and God will honor him/her:
John 12:26: If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
As His servant, we must be _______________:
Romans 1:1: Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God.
As His servant, we are _________________ unto God when we serve God properly:
Romans 14:18: For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
Being His servant means that we will not always please _______:
Galatians 1:10: For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
We must do the will of God from the ___________:
Ephesians 6:6: Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.
He will surely ____________ us if we serve God right:
Colossians 3:24: Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.