The book of James has to be one of the most celebrated and criticized books in the New Testament. A quick read shows why it appears problematic. Little is said about the Lord Jesus – or his death and resurrection. Martin Luther found issue with it regarding the question of faith and works. The book appears to lack cohesion – some see no over-arching structure.
But let us not be too quick to judge. Despite the quirks this book has persistently found its way into the hearts of millions of believers over the centuries. James is a practical, no-nonsense guy. He shoots straight. A picture is worth a-1000 words they say and James loves to use illustrations to drive home his point. The book is soaked with wisdom, after all James is the younger half-brother of Jesus. James writes about spiritual maturity, conflict and worldliness – about prayer, sickness and our speech. It is a book for us – a book for this time. James shows us what genuine faith looks like so we’ve entitled our series, “Faith That Works.”
We begin a study thru this letter next Sunday. It takes about 15 minutes to read the entire book thru from chapter 1 to the end of chapter 5. Your homework assignment this week is to read the book. Ask God to bless this series. Our method will be a tad slower than our most recent study in Luke. We have the time to learn, digest and implement the teaching of this powerful book.