James 01


  • James who?
    • V1:1 gives his name and little identification or claim to authority.
    • James the brother of John?  Mark 5:37  BUT Acts 12:2.  (Couldn’t be him!)
    • James Son of Alpheus
      • James the Lesser (smaller), James the Just.
      • Listed with the Apostles Matthew 10:1-4
    • Half-brother of Jesus.
      • Acts 12:17,  Acts 15:13, Matthew 13:55-56
      • Not always a believer!  John 7:1-5.  Until resurrection? In Upper Room
    • Or someone else?
  • When was it written?
    • Not sure but considered one of the earliest books.  About 34-35 AD?
    • James martyred about 66 AD
  • To whom was it written?
    • See V1:1
    • Acts 8:1-4
    • See V2:2.  “Meeting” => synagogue
  • Luther (and others) disapproved of the book.  Called it the “epistle of straw”
    • Compare Romans 3:28 with James 2:21
    • See Hebrews 11:17-19
    • See James 2:22-24
    • And yet the epistle teaches the following Christian truths:
      • the triune God has revealed Himself (chap. 1:1.27; 2:19; 4:5);
      • man can be born again by the Word of God (chap. 1:18);
      • Jesus Christ is our Lord (chap. 1:1)
      • ...in whom we believe (chap. 2:1)
      • His return is imminent (chap. 5:7-8).
      • The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is also known (chap. 4:5).
  • Purpose and theme: Meet trials with faith and wisdom
    • See James 1:2-18
      • Count it all joy…
      • Ask for wisdom
      • Learn humility
      • There is eternal reward
      • Be vigilant for sin
      • Be thankful
    • James 1:19
      • in trials, be swift to hear, be slow to speak, slow to anger 
      • Let your hearing lead to action
    • James 5:7-20
      • Endurance in trials is rewarded and gained by effective prayer; it may deliver others who are wavering.


James 1:1  

Is the book applicable to non-Jewish Christians?

How does James describe himself?

James 1:2

Should we be surprised when we encounter times of trial?  (John 16:33)

How should we respond to times of trial? “Count it all joy”?

Any suggestions how to do this?

James 1:3-4

What encouragement does James give?  See also Romans 5:3-5. 1 Peter 1:6-9.  Ephesians 4:13-16.  2 Timothy 3:17.

See Colossians 1:11.  Romans 8:28

James 1:5-8

Proverbs 3:5-7.  See James 1:16-18.

See James 4:3.  James 4:8.

Can we be sure this prayer will be answered? 1 John 5:14-15

What do these verses teach about prayer.

Where does doubt fit in?   See Luke 11:9-13. James 1:16-18, 4:8. Matthew 6:24. 1 Kings 18:21. 

“Double minded man is double souled” See Ephesians 4:22

Explain how you do this. Hebrewa 3:13

How do Vv7-8 fit into your thinking and practice?

James 1:9-12

What’s the difference between humility and humiliation? 

Jesus was humble then humiliated then what? Might this happen to us?

Where does it get you? James 1:12

See James 4:6. 1 Peter 5:5. Matthew 6:20

Matthew 5:3-12

James 1:13-15

Is Job 2:9 advice/reaction common? See Genesis 3:12. Matthew 7:21-22

Is the response in James 1:13 common? But what’s the truth?

Explain how James 1:14-15 work? What should we learn from it?

James 1:16-18

Why do we need V16?

How do verses 17-18 encourage us to go with verse 2?

See Luke 11:9-13.  Romans 8:21-39.  1 Thessalonians 5:18

James 1:19-21

Do these verses apply to us?

What’s the starting advice when meeting trials? V19. (Quick, Slow, Slow)

Where does anger get you? See Ephesians 4:26. Numbers 20:11-12

What’s the positive action to follow in V21a?  See 1 Corinthians 3:16. 2 Timothy 2:20-22. Ephesians 4:22. 1 Peter 2:11. Matthew 5:8

What advice do have to follow this?

What’s the positive action to follow in 21b?

James 1:22-25

What’s so hard about V22? What’s the result of this deception?  See Is it an old problem? See Romans 2:13.

What does Jesus say? See Luke 6:46-48.  1 John2:3

What’s the irony in James’ illustration? See also Matthew 7:26-27.

What’s the difference between “listen” in V22 and “looks intently” in V25?

What’s the effect and benefit of V 25? See Luke 11:28

James 1:26

In V6, what’s the example of failing to follow V21? And of failing to follow V22?

What does it say about people who don’t follow V26?

See Ephesians 4:29, 5:4. 1 Peter 3:10

James 1:27

What “religion” is James talking about? (Pure and faultless - faith free from presumption and hypocrisy)

How is this verse part of V21?

See Matthew 25:31-46.  Galatians 5:16


James 2:1-4

What’s the main message in these verses?

How does V2:1 emphasise this teaching is vital for Christ followers?

This title for Jesus is used in Acts 15:26.  Who composed the letter which includes it - see Acts 15:13-26

  Is it difficult to follow the teaching in these verses?

See Leviticus 19:18.  Acts 10:34. 1 Samuel 16:7. Galatians 3:26-29

James 2:5-7

John 7:24.  2 Corinthians 5:14-16.

What reasons does James give for following this teaching?  

See 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Have there been examples of James 2:6b-7? (Acts 16:25.  Genesis 39:20.)

James 2:8-13

What’s the basic command being emphasised here? (See Leviticus 19:18.  Matthew 22:37-40. Romans 13:9-10)

How significant is this teaching for Christians?

Why is this called the “royal law” in 2:8 then called the law that gives freedom (the Law of Liberty) in 2:12? See Romans 8:2. Ephesians 2:1-7

By which law will you be judged (see V12)?

If that is so, how should we judge others (V13)?

How close are we to sinlessness?

James 2:14-17

V14=> What is the fate of a Christian who does not produce deeds? See James 1:22.

Does such people have faith or only “claims to have faith”?  Are they following the “royal law”?

How is such faith described in V17? Is this the faith that saves? See Romans 8:6-8. 1 Corinthians 3:1.

Has your behaviour ever been like that described in Vv15-16?

James 2:18-19

“one good deed is worth a thousand sermons”

What can the dead (faith) produce?

Mathew 7:15-20. Can you give the answer as in V18b?

V19=> Does this person have faith in God or only belief?  Is there a difference?

James 2:20-26

V20=>  Are the deeds of V18a useless (dead)?

How do Abraham and Rahab illustrate James’ teaching about faith and deeds?

See Genesis 22, Genesis 15:6 and Hebrews 11:17-19 for Abraham. Also Romans 4:9-12.

See Joshua 2:8-11 and Joshua 7:22-25, Hebrews 11:31, Matthew 1:5 for Rahab.


James 3:1-2

“Teacher” probably better than “master”.

Teachers must be “placed” See 1 Corinthians 12:28.

Why are they judged more strictly? (Mark 12:38-40. Matthew 23:8-10,13. 1 Timothy 1:7, 4:1-2. 1 Peter 5:3.

V2=> Is this bringing comfort?

James 3:2-5a

Do the illustrations work?

“Who holds the bridle, who steers the ship?” (Who should?)

See James 1:26.

James 3:5b-8-12

V5-6=> Is it as bad as this?

Matthew 15:11-20.  Psalm 120:2-3. Colossians 3:8-9. Romans 3:13-14.

“The tongue is the varnisher of injustice”.

Can “no human being tame the tongue”?

Compare Matthew 26:33-35 with Matthew 26:74.

Mark 11:12-14,20-21.

1 Corinthians 3:3. Luke 6:43-44.  Mark 9:47.

James 3:13-18

See James 1:5 and compare to James 3:15,17.

What is the measure of a wise person? (V13).

What destroys wisdom? (V14) See Philippians 2:3. ! Corinthians 3:3.

“Wisdom is the ability to see life through God’s eyes and to live in conformity to His Word.”

Godly wisdom:

True wisdom is visible in honourable conduct.

The works of true wisdom originate in meekness, submission to God.

The wisdom from above is the fruit of the Spirit (compare v. 17 with Gal 5:22–23). God’s wisdom sows the seed of peace, the Gospel (compare Mat 5:9 with 2Co 5:19–21).

The seed of wisdom bears the fruit of righteousness (faith in Christ).

Earthly wisdom:

It is envious and self-seeking, the true mark of the devil. (consider Isa 14:12– 15; Joh 8:44; Mat 27:18; Mar 15:10; Act 13:45).

It is arrogant, always boasting and lying against the truth.

It ascends to earth, through the flesh, originating in the demonic realm.

It loves disorder and confusion, division and strife (1Co 3:1–3, 14:33).

It is a source of every foul motive and deed imaginable.

V18=> Matthew 5:9. Galatians 6:8.


James 4:1-3

How does James 1:19 relate to James 4:1 (V1)?

What’s the source of fights and quarrels?  See 1 Peter2:11. Galatians 5:17.

Does James link these shortcomings and problems to lack of and ineffective prayer? See V2-3. 

James 4:4-10

V4=> In what way are we adulterous?  Hosea 3:1. 1 John 2:15-16. Romans 5:10. Matthew 16:4.

V5=> 1 Corinthians 6:19.  Can we do the same?

V6=> Proverbs 6:16-19, 16:18.  What is God’s provision for us?

V7=> What are we to do? 1 Peter 5:8-9. Ephesians 6:11-12.

V8=> How to get comfortable.

V9=> How often do you do this? 2 Corinthians 7:10-11. Matthew 5:4. Proverbs 14:13.

V10=> Where does comfort come from? 

James 4:11-12

1 Peter 2:1. Romans 2:1. Another problem with the tongue. 

Are you qualified to judge another?  How do you know you’ve got it right? If you haven’t then how does V11 comes in?

Are people who try to reinterpret the Bible teaching to suit themselves going against these verses?

James 4:13-17

How much planning should you do?

Proverbs 27:1.  Genesis 11:1-9.

Is this planning at fault because of the tongue, pride, boasting, being too busy to do V17? John 9:41. Romans 1:32.

D.V.: Deo Volente.  God willing. Romans 8:14-17.

1 Peter 1:24.


James 5:1-6

The impediment of property.  

See 1 Timothy 6:9-10.  Mark 10:17-25. James 2:5-6.

Matthew 6:19-20, Luke 12:33. 1 Peter 1:4.

Romans 2:5. Luke 12:13-21.

V4-5=> Leviticus 19:13. Exodus 20:15. 1 Timothy 5:6. Luke 16:25. Acts 5:1-11. Hebrews 10:30. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15.

V6=> James 4:2

James 5:7-12

Remember James 1:2. The message of chapter 1 expanded.

What’s the key word here?

What are the illustrations used?

V8=> What’s the encouragement? See Hebrews 12:1-3. Titus 2:11-14. 2 Peter 3:10. Revelation 1:7

V9=> 1 Corinthians 10:10. Numbers 14:26-30. Philippians 2:14. 

V10=> Hebrews 11:32-38. Acts 7:52.

V12=> Matthew 5:33-37.

James 5:13-18

V13=> Ephesians 5:19.

V14=> Acts records the disciples did this. Should we?

V16=> Should we also practice this? Matthew 5:21-26. Acts 19:18. Ephesians 4:29-32. Matthew 18:15.

V17=> What is encouraging about this verse? 1 Kings 17,18

James 5:19-20

See Galatians 6:1. Jude 1:22-23. Luke 22:32.

1 Peter 4:8. 2 Corinthians 5:21

More about prayer

James 4:3 Wrong motivation

1 John 5:14-15 Ask according to his will

1 John 3:21-23 Receive what we ask for because we keep his commandments and believe in Jesus

James 1:5-6 Ask without doubt. The prayer of faith.

James 5:14-16 Brings healing, forgiveness

James 4:5 He yearns … over the spirit

Romans 8:26-27 The Spirit helps us

2 Corinthians 4:6 God has enlightened us

Matthew 10:20 Holy Spirit speaks through you

Galatians 4:6 We cry Abba! Father!

Matthew 7:7-11 Ask -  Seek - Knock.

1438 Modified: 23-05-2024
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