Walking the Walk. Salvation as a source good works, not a result.

 Practice trumps Theology.


A | A.| 1:1-4. PATIENCE.
             B | 1:5-8. PRAYER.
                 B|  C|  1:9,10-. THE LOW EXALTED. THE RICH MADE LOW.
                                    D | 1: -10, 11-.  LIKENED TO GRASS.
                                E| 1: -11. END OF THE RICH.
                                    C|  1:12-16. LUST.
                                            D| 1:17. GOOD GIFTS FROM ABOVE.
                                                   E| 1:18-27. GOD’S WORD AND ITS EFFECTS.
                                                           F| 2:1-7. THE FAITH. WITHOUT PARTIALITY.
                                                                 G| 2:8.THE ROYAL LAW.
                                                                          H| 2:9, 10. MOSES’ LAW. ONE OFFENCE BREAKS IT.
                                                                          H|   2:11.  MOSES’ LAW. ONE OFFENCE BREAKS IT.
                                                                  G| 2:12, 13.THE LAW OF LIBERTY.
                                                            F| 2:14-26. FAITH. WITHOUT WORKS.
                                                 E| 3:1-14. MAN’S WORD AND ITS EFFECT.
                                          D| 3:15-18 THE WISDOM FROM ABOVE.
                                    C| 4:1-5.  LUSTS.      

               B|  C|4:6-10     THE PROUD RESISTED. THE HUMBLE EXALTED.
                                          D| 4:11-17. LIFE LIKENED TO A VAPOUR.
                                             E| 5:1-6 END OF THE RICH.
A| A|  5:7-12.  PATIENCE.
           B| 5:13-20. PRAYER.

          The Epistle of James was written by James, our Lord’s half- brother (Mt 13:55). Traditionally known as “The Man with Camel’s Knees” due to the calluses developed by constant prayer, he is also sometimes referred to as “James the Just”. He is universally recognized as a pillar of the early Christian church. The usage of “James” in the first verse with no further appellative indicates his notoriety, authority and leadership in the church and explains the acceptance of the letter by the Jewish Christians to whom it is addressed. The epistle has a decidedly authoritative and pastoral tone. James became a leader in the Church after his post-resurrection meeting with Jesus Christ (1 Co 15:7). He was also (along with Jude) present at Ac 1:14. By the time we arrive at Ac 12:17, James has already become a leader of the church and continued to reside in Jerusalem (Gal 1:18, 19) after the death of Stephen (Ac 8:1). It is this “scattering” that is referenced in James 1:1. James affords instruction for all believers, but is plainly addressed "to the twelve tribes "which are scattered abroad", literally "in the dispersion" (Gr. “diaspora”). The dispersion is referenced in 1 Peter 1:1.

          While Pauline teachings concentrate on our justification with God, James’ teachings concentrate on the works that exemplify that justification. James, rather than being in contradiction or opposition to Paul, simply takes the next logical step. James was admonishing Jews to grow in this new Christian faith by emphasizing that good actions will naturally flow from those who are filled with the Spirit and questions whether someone may or may not have a saving faith if the fruit of the Spirit  (Gal 5:22, 23) is not manifested. An overzealous interpretation of Paul’s teaching regarding faith called antinomianism, held that through faith in Christ one is completely free from all Old Testament law, all legalism, all secular law, and all the morality of a society. The epistle of James was written, at least in part, to refute such thinking.
           The distinctly Jewish character of the teaching marks the epistle as having been written at an early period of the Acts history. It was written before the Jerusalem Council of about A.D. 45 and obviously before James' death in 62 A.D. It makes no reference to “Gentile” Christians which was the subject of Acts 15. The Epistle of James is, at the latest, one of the earliest of the New Testament writings. It belongs to that period when the whole Church was Jewish, and when their meeting-places were still called “synagogues” (Jas 2:2).

Chapter 1:1 - servant = bond-servant, slave

       - “God and…” - important at the time of this writing

       - twelve - No separation between Judah and Israel.

       - “scattered abroad” = Gr. “diaspora” = “in dispersion”  Ac 8:1, 11:19

2 - “fall into” = Gr. “peripipto” = “encounter”      “temptations” = “trials”

3 - “knowing” = Gr. “ginosko” = “learning”, “perceiving”

       - “trying…faith” = “your tested faith” - The test precedes the lesson. The lesson is learned through the test.

4 - The trial must play itself out to achieve God’s purpose, i.e., that we should be “lacking in nothing” and grow through the experience. The pruning described in John 15: 1-6.

     - “patience” = Gr. “hupomone” = “steadfastness”, “endurance”. More exactly, it describes one who is not swerved from his purpose, faith and piety by trials and sufferings. Note its position in 2 Pe 1:5-7, immediately preceding “godliness”. We become aligned with the characteristics of God (1:17).

    THE PERFECT WORK OF PATIENCE IS GLORIFICATION ((“the end (final objective) of the Lord” Jas 5:11)) THROUGH SALVATION (“the end of your faith” 1 Pe 1:9).

                  See James 5:7-11      Rev 2:2, 3, 19; 3:10, 13:10; 14:12 and Jer 29:10, 11

5 - “If” = “But if”     “ask” = Gr. “aiteo” = ask a superior for something to be given, not done.

       - wisdom - to deal with the trials

6 - Wisdom promised to those who believe it will be granted.

       - “wavering” = Gr. “diakrino” = “doubting”     See Mt 7:7, 8

       - “driven” = Gr. “anemizomai” Only occ. = “tossed to and fro by wind”  See Eph 4:14

7 - “think” = “suppose”  Only here and Phil 1:16

8 - “double minded” = Gr. “dipsuchos” Here and 4:8. Having two minds, spiritual and natural, will impact “in all ways”, not selectively. Being double minded is a matter of character.

9 - The lowly should rejoice because they are adopted into the kingdom and receive crowns. See Mt 5:3-12

10, 11 - The rich should rejoice at their “humbling” (Gr. “tapeinosis) because they are stripped (unladen) of earthly goods allowing them to pass through the strait gate (Mt 7:13, 14), the needle of (Mk 10:17-25).

       - “flower” = Gr. “anthos” = Wild flowers that grow up with grass (which has no flowers). They sprout quickly in the spring and wither quickly.

       - “fade away” = Gr. “maraino” = to be extinguished like a candle.

       - “ways” = Gr. “poreia” Only occ. = “undertaking”, “journey”

12 - The only Beatitude in this epistle, but the connection between James and the Sermon on the Mount is extensive.

Comparison between Matthew 5-7 and the Epistle Of James

Rejoice in your trials.

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Mt 5:10-12

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;” James 1:2

Be perfect and complete.

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Mt 5:48

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:4

Make requests of God who loves to give good things.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Mt 7:7-11

“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.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.” James 1:5, 17

Avoid sinful anger.

“But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Mt 5:22

“For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” James 1:20

Be doers, not just hearers, of the word.

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” Mt 7:24-27

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22

God’s heart for the poor in the kingdom.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. . . . Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth..” Mt 5:3, 5

“Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” James 2:5

Mercy to the merciful.

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Mt 5:7

“For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. James 2:13

Recognize them by their fruits.

“Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” Mt 7:16

“Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.” James 3:12

Blessed are the peacemakers.

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Mt 5:9

“And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 3:18

Ask and receive.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Mt 7:7, 8

“Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” Jas 4: 2,3

You cannot serve God and be friends with the world.

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Mt 6:24

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. James 4:4

Blessed are the mourners.

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Mt 5:4

“Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:9, 10

Be slow to judge.

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” Mt 7:1-5

“Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” James 4:11-12

God’s provision for tomorrow.

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Mt 6:34

“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4, 13, 14

Do not lay up treasures on earth.

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:” Mt 6:19

“Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.” James 5:2-5

Learn from the example of the prophets.

“Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Mt 5:12

“Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.” James 5:10

Do not swear oaths.

“Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; 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.” Mt 5:33-37

“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.” James 5:12

    - “tried” = “tested”                   “crowns” - See Rev 2:10

13-15 THE SIN PROCESS - Illustrated in 2 Sa 11-12:23

   (13) - What doesn’t come from God. God is incapable of being tempted, and tempts no one.

   (14) - “every man” contrasted to “no man” in v.13

           - “enticed” = Gr. “deleazo” = “caught by bait” See 1 Jn 2:16

   (15) - Conception, Birth, Death

          - “finished” = Gr. “apoteleo” = “completely finished” Compare v.4 “perfect work”

          - “bringeth forth” = “begets”

16 - “Do not err” = “Be not deceived”

17 - What does come from God.  Only occurrences of 3 words in the verse.

     - “variableness” = Gr. “parallage” = “change”

     - “shadow” = Gr. “aposkiasma” = shade cast on one object by another.

     - “turning” = Gr. “trope” = “change in direction”

No resemblance to the double minded man. God is unchanging and cannot be changed or redirected by any outside force or creation. Phil 2:5  Rev 3:7

18 - We were created through God’s will and word to be “a certain firstfruit” (Gr. “tis aparche”) (Gen 1:26, 27). Note Ro 8:23. Humanity is the beneficiary of the “good and perfect gifts” of v.17.

19, 20 - “Wherefore” - As “firstfruits” of creation, God’s children, we should be swift to hear (God), control the tongue, and heed Eph 4:26.

      UNDERSTAND: Wrath (expression) is the manifestation of anger (emotion), not anger itself. The wrath of God is directed against unrighteousness ((See Jesus’ actions against the polluting of the temple (Mt 21:12, 13; Mk 11:15, 16)). The “wrath of man” is typically personal.

21 - “Wherefore” – still connected to vv. 17, 18

    - “lay apart…receive” - 2 step process

     - “filthiness” = Gr. “rhuparia” Only occ. = whatever defiles or dishonors

     - “superfluity” = “abundance”

     - “naughtiness” = Gr. “kakia” = attitude or propensity for wickedness. A desire to injure.

     - “engrafted” = Gr. “emphutos” = “implanted” by instruction

22 - “be” = “become”

     - “deceiving” = Gr. “paralogizomai” = “deluding” by faulty logic or reasoning. This epistle is devoted to combatting the believer’s faulty reasoning about the law, grace and the New Covenant.

23, 24 - Those who are “hearers only” have glanced at the “natural face” and ignored the spiritual weakness and sin which is only addressed by obedience. They like the way the car looks and don’t bother to check the engine.

     - “man” = Gr. “aner” = “adult male” Used for the accuracy of the image since men typically spend less time in front of a mirror than women. The application is not limited.


     - “looketh” = Gr. “parakupto” = “stoops down to look” Jn 20:5

     - “continueth” - In order not to forget. Ro 7:14-25    “the work” = “work”    “deed” = Gr. “poeisis” Only occ. = “doing”

26, 27 - “among you” - Omit.

     - “religious” = Gr. “theskos” = carefully following observances or rituals of one’s beliefs.

     - “religion” = Gr. “threskia” = worship with regard to external ceremonies and practices.

     - “Pure…” - Care for others combined with care for oneself. Note Isa 1:11-18

Chapter 2:1 - “have not” = “hold not” = do not combine, join, mix, or couple

     Faith in Jesus Christ is incompatible with respect of persons. Pr 28:21.

     - “respect of persons” = Gr. “prosopolepsia” = favoritism or partiality shown due to outward qualities or circumstances of another. This does not conflict with Gal 6:10 which is spiritually based.

     WHAT’S THE PROBLEM? Understand Gal 3:27, 28. We must not regard or treat people based on natural perspective. We are to see people spiritually, as God does. Things like age, gender, race, wealth, occupations, nationalities, etc. do not exist spiritually. If we walk by faith, not by sight, we will not exhibit respect of persons. Note Lev 19:15 and Ex 23:3 - Favoring the poor or disadvantaged is also respect of persons. It is natural, not spiritual. It is not equity. Pr 6:30, 31.

2, 3 - Most importantly, note that in the examples given, the favored one may not even be one of the brethren (saved). He just looks good.

4 - Our reasoning is evil because it is ungodly. James poses questions to drive home a point. The examples focus on wealth, but apply to all natural characteristics.

5-7 - God’s perspective is contrasted to ours. We often shame those whom God has chosen. We often honor our oppressors even if they are our spiritual enemies. See 2 Jn 9-11.

     “respecter of persons” - Something God is not. Ac 10:34, 44-48.

8 - Quoted from Lev 19:18

9 - Having respect of persons violates Lev 19:18 and results in conviction under the law. Gal 5:13, 14. See Mt 22:35-40.

10, 11 - “offend” = “stumble”. A hard saying which sheds light on Ro 3:23 and explains Gal 3:22. If showing favoritism violates the law, who is qualified to cast the first stone? We must understand why murmuring is listed with fornication and idolatry in 1 Co 10:7-10. Man deals with levels of sin. A Holy God does not. Understand 1 Pe 4:18.

12, 13 - The law of liberty requires us to say AND do (talk and walk) in submission to God expecting to reap what we sow. Mercy (which requires action) trumps judgment.

                 Mic 6:8  Mt 6:14, 15  Gal 6:7-10

14 - To say and not do. To claim and not have. Can faith save? 1 Co 13:2 and more importantly, Eph 2:8. We are saved by grace, which is accessed through faith.

     - “though” = “if”

15, 16 - The difference between pity and mercy. Reaction vs. action.

17 - “alone” = “by itself”

18 - “by” = Gr. “ek” = “out of the midst of”

19 - Believing the existence of God, even knowing Him (Mk 1:23, 24) is not the same as believing in God.

20 - “dead” = Gr. “argos” = “barren”, i.e. producing no fruit.

21 - THE QUESTION. Gen 22:15-18 (Note “because”)

22 - THE ANSWER.  “made perfect” = Gr. “teleioo” = “consummated”

23 - See Gen 15:6. Abraham’s faith is noted long before the evidence and testimony of Gen 22. His faith in action led to the blessing.

     - “friend of God” - See Isa 41:8

24 - “see” = Gr. “horao” = “perceive”, “take heed”.

25 - “Rahab” – Story in Jos 2, 6:17, 22-23

26 - The conclusion of the matter. Faith without works is a corpse.

TEACHER’S NOTE: The eternal application is in Mt 22:11, 12. The lack of appropriate attire is a lack of works emanating from faith. Understand Rev 7:13, 14; 19:7, 8. The saints are clothed by their righteous works (note “they…washed…made”). These collective works make up the bride’s (the church’s) wedding garments. Those who have passed up every opportunity for good works are devoid of faith. Since our faith is imputed for righteousness (Ro 4:20-22) rather than works, those lacking faith lack righteousness and have no righteous works (Ro 8:8) and consequently, have no wedding garment.

Chapter 3 - TEACHING, TONGUE, TRUTH (Mt 12:34-37)

1 - “masters” = Gr. “didaskalos” = “teachers”  Jn 9:39-41 2 Pe 2:1

     Accountability as stewards and watchmen. Eze 33:1-9. A warning for pastors/teachers (to count the cost), and for students (1 Th 5:21).

       Understand Mk 1:22.

     - “greater condemnation” - Held to a higher standard by God.

2 - Everyone makes mistakes. Anyone who never says the wrong thing should have perfect control over their actions. It is easier to control action than speech. It is easier to control speech than thought.

3, 4 - Horses are controlled by small bits in their mouths. Large ships, like today’s autos, are controlled by small steering wheels.

5 - Likewise, the tongue is small, BUT “boasteth” (Gr. “aucheo” Only occ. = “exalts itself”) because of its power. Pr 18:21

     - “great a matter” = Gr. “hule” Only occ. = “much wood”. A single match can burn down a forest.

6 - “fire” - Has the ability to consume or purify (curse or bless) 1 Co 3:11-15

     - “a world” = “the world”   “iniquity” = Gr. “adikia” = “unrighteousness”

     - “that it defileth” = Gr. “spiloo” = “the one that defiles”   See Mk 7:15, 21-23

     - “hell” = Gr. “geenna” - The place of continual burning, “the world of iniquity”. The tongue can kindle (start) a fire (v.5) which is never extinguished.

7, 8 - What cannot be tamed must be kept in captivity. If the tongue cannot be tamed, what about our thoughts? 2 Co 10:5.

     - “unruly” = Gr. “akatastatos” = “unstable” (when we speak), “restless” (when we should remain silent).

     - “deadly poison” - Capable of killing, even accidentally.

9 - IMPORTANT: “God…men” - Our treatment of our fellow human beings reflects our relationship with God. Gen 9:6  1 Jn 4:20, 21

10 - The “therefore” statement. To bless God and curse people is not an option.

11, 12 - Admonition against self-delusion. A warning to avoid deception by others. Mt 12:33.

13 - “conversation”  = Gr. “anastrope” = “manner of life”, “behavior”

14 - “if ye have…” - Don’t think you’re the man of v.10. Don’t glory. Don’t deny the truth because…

15 - Your brand of wisdom is carnal and demonic.

16 - The presence of envy and strife indicates “commotion” (Lk 21:9) and unrighteousness. See 1 Co 14:33.

17 - The wisdom “from above” is contrasted.

     - “first” = “above all else”, “first and foremost”

     - “pure” – Pure wisdom is from God. It is truth. Pr 30:5.

     - “then” = “and after that”. The following list cannot override truth, which is sovereign. The truth is not sacrificed for the sake of peace.

     - “easy to be intreated” = Gr. “eupeithes” Only occ. = “willing to come to terms”

     - “without partiality” = Gr. “adiakritos” Only occ. = “without ambiguity”

18 - Ps 133:1 Mt 5:9    

Chapter 4:1 - James examines the envy and strife arising from carnal wisdom by asking “What is the source?”

     - “wars” = Gr. “polemos” = “battles”  usually physical

     - “fightings” = Gr. “mache” = “quarrels” usually verbal

     - “lusts” = Gr. “hedone” = “pleasures”  The things we covet, tangible or intangible, move us away from God. Understand Col 3:5.

     - “in your members” – The lusts of the natural man.

2 - “desire to have” = Gr. “zeloo” = “covet earnestly”

     - “ask” = Gr. “aiteo” = Ask a superior for something to be given (not done). Hence, “cannot obtain” BECAUSE 1:17.

3 - Even when we do ask the Lord…

     - “amiss” = Gr. “kakos” = with evil intent”

     - “consume” = Gr. “dapanao” = “waste”   Contrast 2 Ch 1:11, 12

4 - “Ye adulters and” - Omit. This is a specific reference to an unfaithful wife. See Jer 3:8-10   Eze Chs. 16 & 23

     - “friendship…enmity” - See  Mt 12:30  Lk 9:50  Jn 17:14-17

5 - “Do ye” = “or do ye” - Not a quotation, but the overall testimony of Scripture. See Gen 6:5

6 - “more” = “greater” - The greater grace overcomes our old nature and gives us our new nature.

     - Quote from Pr 3:34

7 - “Submit...resist” - A two-step process. The second step alone does not work.

     - “from” = Gr. “apo” = “away from”

8 - “Draw nigh…” - Illustrated in Lk 15:20.  See Heb 11:6

     - See Ps 24:3-5. We are reminded that double-mindedness is ungodly.

9 - “Be afflicted” = Gr. “Talaiporeo” Only occ. = “Be miserable”. An imperative statement.

     Honest self-examination of our nature is not pleasing. It should cause us to “cast down our eyes” (“heaviness” = Gr. “katepheia” Only occ.).  Ro 7:18

10 - Acknowledging our sinful nature leads to joy (v.6). Glorying in ourselves leads to judgment. See Miriam (Nu 12), Amaziah (2 Ki 14:9-14), Uzziah (2 Chr 26:1-21), Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar (Dan 5:17-30).

11 - Speaking evil (literally, backbiting) of the brethren is a violation of “loving thy neighbor”. To speak evil is to choose which parts of the law to obey. To do that is to judge the law. To judge the law is to place oneself above the law.

12 - “Who are you to take the place of God?” “Can you save and destroy?”

     - “Lawgiver” = Gr. “nomothetes” Only occ.

13, 14 - Not instructions to avoid planning. James uses the merchants of the church as examples of those who plan apart from God as if they are in control. Human life is like morning mist which disappears soon after sunrise.  Mt 6:33, 34   1 Co 13:12

15 - “For that” = “Instead”

     - Only God is omniscient. Our basic plan should be to trust God. We can only do what He allows.

16 - There are no “self-made” men.

     - “rejoicing” = Gr. “kauchesis” = “glorying”

     - “evil” - See Jer 9:23, 24   1 Co 1:29

17 - “Therefore” - See v.15. We are to live in submission to God. The mere absence of wrongdoing is not righteousness. For believers, the opportunity to do good is sufficient for action.

            Mt 25:31-46

Chapter 5:1 -James is writing about the rich, not to them. He’s warning believers about trusting in riches. The end is not good.

     - “howl” = Gr. “ololuzo” Only occ. = “wail”, “shriek”, “lament”

2 - “riches” = “wealth” or “abundance”

     - “corrupted” = Gr. “sepo” Only occ. = “rotten”, “overripe”, “putrid”. In this verse the sense is “overdone”, i.e., “overrated”.

     - “garments” - Spiritual in contrast to the natural raiment of  2:2, 3. Compare to Rev 7:13, 14; 19:8.

3 - “cankered” = Gr. “katioo” Only occ. = “rusted”. Real gold and silver do not rust. The rust is a witness to impurity (Jer 6:28-30). Their treasure will be melted down by the fire in the last days as their bodies are consumed. Eze 22:17-22  Zec 14:12-14  2 Pe 3:10-12

4 - Illegal and immoral business practices to attain wealth are particular abominations to God. Cheating laborers out of their wages and ripping off buyers are especially egregious. Deu 24: 14, 15; 25:13-16  Pr 20:10, 23

     - “LORD of Sabaoth” = “Lord of hosts” - The LORD as administer of justice. The only use of the term by a N.T. writer.

5 - “pleasure”, “your heart” - The lustful spirit of the natural man.

     - “day of slaughter” - Dual meaning. As the rich fatten animals to be killed for their feasts, they are fattening themselves before their demise. Rev 19:17, 18.

6 - The selfish, uncaring rich have caused the deaths of innocent people and used the legal system to exploit them. James does not ask the rich to change. He articulates what will become of them as instruction for the brethren.


  (7)- The agricultural image paints patience as a product of preparation (soil), sowing (seed), pruning and trust (rain). See 1:4.

  (8) - “Be ye also” - As the husbandman.

       - “stablish…” - 1 Co 15:58  Eph 3:16-19 

  (9) - “Grudge” = “Murmur”  “condemned” = “judged”   Mt 7:1

       - “before the door” - See “draweth nigh” v.8

  (10, 11) - The prophets as examples. Heb 11:32-40

               - “suffering affliction” = Gr. “kakopatheia” Only occ. = “suffering as a result of evil”. The precise meaning here is “earthly suffering allowed by God for an eternal purpose”. See 1:2-4.

       - “count…happy” = Gr. “makarizo” = “call…blessed”. An undercover beatitude.

      - “patience...Job…end” - See  Job 23; 42:12

12 - Mt 5:33-37  Pr 10:19

13-18 - PRAYER

  (13) - “afflicted” = Gr. “kakopatheo” = “suffering hardship”, “troubled”

         - “pray” = Gr. “proseuchomai” = specifically, “pray to God”. See Phil 4:6-8.

         - “merry” = gr. “euthumeo” = “cheerful”

         - “sing psalms” = Gr. “psallo” = literally, “strike a chord”, BUT NOT restricted to instrumental music. Note the singers on 24 hour call with no other duties in 1 Ch 9:33. More importantly, see God’s response (2 Ch 5:12-14). See also  2 Ch 29: 27, 28.

  (14) - “elders” - A self-ascribed term for Peter (1 Pe 5:1) and John (2 Jn 1 and 3 Jn 1) indicative of a high level of maturity and responsibility within the body. Not a strictly defined office.

         - “anointing” = Gr. “aleipho” = “having anointed”, e.g., before prayer.

         - “oil” - representative of the Holy Spirit.

  (15) - IMPORTANT: Misunderstanding this verse has caused many to forego necessary medical treatment for themselves and regrettably, for their children. Woe to those who teach such doctrine in error (3:1).

         - “sick” = Gr. “kamno” = “wearied” (from labor), “tired”.  NOT the same word as v.14. See Heb 12:3. Illustrated Isa 40:31.

         - “raise…up” = Gr. “egeiro” = “rouse from sleep”. Used of resurrection.

         - “forgiven” - The “prayer of faith” requires submission and confession.

  (16) - “faults” = “sins”

         - “pray” = Gr. “euchomai” = “speak out”

         - “healed” = Gr. “laomai” = “cured”, i.e., “restored to health”. A reference to those believers who had wronged brethren or broken with their faith. See 1 Co 11:30.

         - “effectual fervent” = Gr. “energeo” = “inwrought”, “energized” with strength from within.

         - “righteous” = Gr. “dikaios” = “just”

         - “availeth much” = Gr. “ischuo” = “is strong for much”  Job 42:10

  (17, 18) - The story is found 1 Ki 17:1; 18:41-46 (the prayer for draught is revealed here by James)

         - “man…as we are” - The prophet as an example for us. We have the same capacity.

         - “prayed earnestly” = “prayed a prayer”. A Hebraism to show emphasis.

            TEACHER’S NOTE: The 3 ½ years corresponds to the tribulation period of Dan 9:27. See Rev 11:6.

19, 20 - “of” = “among”. If a brother or sister turns away and can be turned back, their soul has been saved. We honor the saving of a natural life yet undervalue the saving of an eternal life.

         - “the sinner” = “a sinner”

         - “hide” = “cover”  Pr 10:12  1 Pe 4:8.  See Jude 20-23.