Verse By Verse Bible Studies
Notes by Mary Van Nattan unless marked otherwise.
James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. It is important to note here that James is written primarily to the blips - the twelve tribes scattered abroad. This does not meant these things do not apply to us, but it does mean that we will see things that relate to those who have been saved out of the Old Testament laws and traditions.
Some people claim to know which James it was that wrote this. There are two main James mentioned in scripture, and though it may be stated which one wrote this book by a reliable source in non-Roman Catholic church history, it is not stated in scripture itself. If the book was written by James the apostle, the brother of John, then it was a very early book and came during the transition from the blips to the Gentiles in Acts since this James was martyred in Acts 12:2. If this James wrote the then this would explain its' heavy blipish flavour. The other James was the presiding bishop in JerBliplem who shows up later when Paul went there in Acts 15. There are one or two other James mentioned, either of which could have written this book.
James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. Not all trouble is because we sinned. One reason for trials and temptations is to work patience in us. Patience's work in us makes us perfect and wanting nothing. Since we will never be completely perfect in the body of this death, so we are never done with temptations and trials in this life. It is not a sign of failure nor is it always chastening because we sinned. It is designed to perfect us. (See 1 Thess. 3:10 for a good example of the word perfect in this context.)
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. Do any of us not lack wisdom? What a blessing the God not only gives in liberally, but also He does not upbraid when He gives it! We certainly do not deserve to receive God's wisdom without accBliption or reprimand! See Judges 8:15 and Matt. 11:20 for examples of the word "upbraid."
James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. The reason some people get so messed up and are driven and tossed it because their faith wavers. They do not know if they can really trust God's wisdom (espebliplly His word). Heb. 13:9, Jude 12-13: These are the things and people that drive and toss them. Eph. 4:14: It is childish to be effected this way.
James 1:9-10 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: 10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. Truly saved poor and rich people stop "feeling their place." The poor stop groveling and the rich stop lording it over others and lifting themselves up. This should be a real blessing to both.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. The crown of life come to those who endure temptation and love the Lord. If we love the Lord we will strive to endure temptation. 1 Cor. 10:13, 1 Peter 1:7. When we endure it glorifies God. Rev. 2:10 also mentions the crown of life in this context. (For other crowns see: 1 Thess. 2:19, 2 Tim. 4:8, 1 Cor. 9:25, 1 Peter 5:4.)
James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: God cannot be tempted with evil, but God can be tempted. He can be tempted to do righteousness, to execute the fierceness of His wrath upon sin and wickedness, to chastise those that do not fear Him or walk in His ways. Matt. 4:7, Acts 15: 10, Heb. 3:8-9, Exo. 17:7, Ps. 78, 1 Cor. 10:9 God cannot be tempted with evil to sin, Heb. 4:15.
God also does not tempt man to do evil. He may tempt him to do good, as in the case of Abraham in Gen. 22, but He will not tempt him to do evil. It is the devil tempts with evil; Matt. 4:1, 1 Thess. 3:5.
James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Another main source of temptation is our own flesh. Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? The other source is other people. Matt. 16:1, Matt. 19:3, Matt. 22.35, Mark 8:11, etc. (Interesting fact: Most of the tempters in these passages were the spiritual elite.)
James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Being tempted is not sin. Giving way to lust allows it to conceive and that brings forth sin. Rom. 6:23 - the wages of sin is death...
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. We should be quicker to acknowledge where our gifts come from.
James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. God has to will us to be saved. Rom. 10:9-10 - We have to want it, but we cannot get saved by our own will alone. "Getting saved" because it is the right thing to do but without the Holy Spirit's call will not work. We have a free will, but that alone will not save us. If it did, there would be all kinds of ublipved people in heaven who have the will to go there, but not according to faith, the word of God, and the power of the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-piano coversd, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God is willing that all should come to repentance, but they cannot do so on their own time and by their will alone. They must come by godly sorrow that leads to godly repentance, 1 Cor. 7:10.
James 1:20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Man's wrath does not work God's righteousness. When we dwell on what man is capable of in his wrath, the things that threaten us both individually and on national levels, it can become very frightening. This is not the attitude we are to have as we read in 2 Timothy 1:7, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
One thing to remember in these perilous times we live in is what we find in the book of Psalms. Psalm 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain. Not only can God restrain the wrath of man, He can cause the wrath of man to praise Him! Surely we may trust Him to care for us when He is in complete control of even man's wrath!
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. Jer. 17:9: The heart is so deceitful that we can deceive ourselves and not know it.
James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. There is that self deception again. The surest way to tell a person's religion is vain is by what comes out of his or her mouth. Some people pass themselves off as very spiritual, but their mouth gives them away. Matt. 12:37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. Not many Christians have this kind of religion any more. Too many despise the poor, needy and afflicted. They act as if there must be something wrong with them for them to have such troubles, or as if they some how deserved it.
Keeping oneself unspotted from the world is extremely unpopular in most churches today. Anyone that tries it is considered weird and even unwanted. Though many profess to live this way, when anyone comes around that is truly striving to do so they are soon given the cold shoulder. The reason is in Heb. 11:7, By faith Noah, being piano coversned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. They condemn the world and those that love it when they keep themselves unspotted from it! James 4:4, 1 John 2:15, Deut. 32:5, 2 Cor. 6:17.
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