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Summer 2024             James


The epistle of James was written by Jesus' half-brother, a leader of the church in Jerusalem. Written between about AD 40 and 50, James’s original recipients were Jewish Christians who had been dispersed from Jerusalem. A careful study of this brief letter reveals frequent references to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and the Old Testament book of Proverbs.

The structure and development of this letter differs from the Pauline pattern. It also lacks the personal references and names found in Paul’s epistles. These differences highlight God’s wisdom in inspiring different men to equip believers to live out their faith with wisdom, joy, and holiness in their varying circumstances. 


The first chapter of James introduces the great themes of the book. The remaining four chapters expound these themes. The logic of their arrangement is not always evident, but the force of each argument is undeniable. The tone is set in James’s opening charge to “Count it all joy when you meet various trials … let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” 


This letter challenges us to examine our faith. Does it conform to the wisdom of God as filtered through the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ? If not, this book calls back the wanderer to the way of wisdom. If so, let our hearts be established, “for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”


Jul 7:       James 1:1–8                  "Be perfect and complete."               (Stefan Matzal)

Jul 14:     James 1:9–18                "Blessed is the man."                         (Ram Stewart)

Jul 21:     James 1:19–27              "Blessed in his doing."                       (Sam Benjamin)

Jul 28:    James 2:1–13                “Show no partiality.”                           (Nathaniel Jackson)

Aug 4:    James 2:14–26             “Faith apart from works is dead.”      (Nathaniel Jackson)

Aug 11:    James 3:1–12                “The tongue is a fire”                         (Stefan Matzal)

Aug 18:   James 3:14 – 4:3          “The wisdom from above.”                (Stefan Matzal)

Aug 25:  James 4:4–12               “Draw near to God.”                           (Nathaniel Jackson)

Sept 1:    James 4:13 – 5:6          “What is your life?”                             (Stefan Matzal)


Sept 8:   James 5:7–12               “The Lord is at hand.”                         (Aaron Luke)

Sept 15:  James 5:13–20            “The prayer of faith.”                          (Nathaniel Jackson)

Sept 22:                                       "God's Chisel"                                     (Al Gurley)

--The Eldership: June 2024

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