Friday, April 5, 2013

P2 - The Wonderful Book of James

James 2:26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Review from yesterday's post
Yesterday we began a two-part blog series featuring an introduction and outline to the Book of James.  The aim is to whet the reader's appetite for this important book of the New Testament.  The Book of James has been nicknamed "The Proverbs of the New Testament" due to its practical nature and contents of wisdom.  Its chief value is to introduce the reader to the seeds of thought that will mature into full blooms in the New Testament.  Issues such as the relationship between faith and works, conduct in the church and Bible prophecy are included in the Epistle.  We looked at an outline of the first chapter in yesterday's post.  Today we continue on outlining the wonderful book of James, beginning with James 2.

I. Do not show partiality to one another.  James 2:1-13
II. Living Faith Works. James 2:14-26
How does James show faith to be the root and works the necessary fruit of true saving faith?
a. Practically Saving Faith is shown to bear works. 2:14-17
b. Biblically Saving Faith is shown to bear works. 2:18-25
c. Physically Saving Faith is shown to bear forth works. 2:26

III. Tame your tongue.  James 3:1-12
a. Spirit-led Christians can tame their tongues. 3:1-4
b. Self-led non-Christians won't/can't tame their tongues. 3:5-8
c. Compromising Christians must tame their tongues. 3:9-12

IV. The Christian's Two-telephones. James 3:13-4:5
I heard an illustration once featuring the two-telephones that operate in the soul before and after salvation.  This illustration has been adapted to fit the text of James 3:13-4:5
a. Before you became a Christian, you had a rusty old telephone connected in your soul to the wisdom from below 3:14-16
b. When you became a Christian, a second telephone appeared in your soul connected to your spirit to the wisdom from above. 3:17-18
c. The Holy Spirit has moved into your human spirit to tell you daily of your need to clip the cord to the old rusty telephone 4:1-5

V. Humble Like Jesus.  James 4:6-10
VI. Right and Wrong Judgment. James 4:11-12
VII. Living in God's Will. 4:12-17
a. God's Ultimate will (includes His unrevealed, permissive and revealed wills) 4:12
b. God's Unrevealed will 4:13-14
c. God's Permissive will 4:15-16
d. God's Revealed will. 4:17

VIII. F.O.C.U.S on Christ's Return. 5:1-20
Why focus on Christ's return? What are the benefits? We can see this by noting the acrostic F.O.C.U.S.  Focusing on the second coming of Jesus enables you to...
a. Fight worldliness. 5:1-6
b. Operate in endurance. 5:7-8
c. Comfort for your heart. 5:9-11
d. Undergirds the prayer-life. 5:12-18
e. Strengthens evangelism. 5:19-20

I cannot say enough about James.  Studying it will greatly add to your practical and spiritual understanding of the Christian life.  I commend it to you and hope this short series has provided you a resource for investigating the contents of the wonderful book of James.