A Study on JamesBro. David Chancellor
1/20/2008 11:00 AM
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
No matter who this James was, he was a servant of God. He was writing to people who may have been having trouble getting along. He wrote to these about their relationships and conduct.
James 4:1; 2:6; 3:1; 4:11; 5:6
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
God didn’t intend that we have wars and fightings among us. These had trouble and James was pointing them to the source.
But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
Despising others isn’t good either. Society can become stratified, but God didn’t intend for that to happen among his people.
My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
Some were apparently getting lifted up in themselves. He warns them about their relations to each other.
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.
Be careful how you talk about others. Evil speaking makes it hard to maintain a right relationship among yourselves.
Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
This wasn’t good, either.
James was addressing in all these verses why the people were scattered.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that that trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
It’s very important that we endure. It’s good to start, but we also have to finish. Endurance is a very relevant message when relationship struggles are going on. You can’t afford to give up on God and on living for him. Patience is needed to endure.
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: be hold, the judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. 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.
Keep going until the end of this life or the end of the world. Don’t let relationship issues hinder your walk with God.
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. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
We’ll make it when God is our source of strength and wisdom by faith. We need wisdom to know how to deal with what we face. God has the answers to life.
Do not err, my beloved brethren. 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. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
God is where we’ll find what we need. James wanted them to stay true. God gives the good gifts and he can be counted on. God doesn’t change, but people do.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
This is the wisdom that comes from God. Know what comes from God.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
If you’ll let God be your source, he’ll lift you up.
Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low; because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
When God gets done putting us in place, we’re all equal. God gives us what is needed to be important and useful to him. He’d have us fit into and work for his cause.
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
God has a way of keeping us in our place, either way. He works to keep us in the place designed for us.
Confess your faults one to another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Be able to recognize your inadequacies and your need for growth. We need to realize our need to pray for each other. Many of the Old Testament prayers begin with confession. They acknowledged their need and shortcomings and their reliance on God. We can recognize our need for growth and strength.
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 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. 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. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
This begins to address how the equality God gave us is destroyed. People begin to desire the approval of the world. They fail to see others as God saw them. Our trust needs to be in God. We need to have him as our source. Learn how to take your problems to God. God can provide the answer for the problem in his own way. Trying to go about it any other way can destroy relationships.
My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us, and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature: and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Trying to be masters causes men, by their tongue, to devalue the gift of God and elevate themselves. (Blessings – flattery; cursing – put downs). We want to see everyone succeed, but flattery isn’t the way to cause that. Authority carries with it responsibility.
My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? 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? But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
Do we view everyone the same? We should love everyone. We should see that there is value in every person. God has a way of giving us what makes us useful and creates equality among us. See people as God sees them. If you need something, talk to God about it; he can supply the need.
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 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 your 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. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
James addresses the exploitation of the poor. No matter what our station in life, God has a way of leveling us out. We need to consider how we treat others. If our attitudes become wrong, we’ll end up destroying the equality God has given.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Be people that take things in and get their wisdom from God. Focus on what God would have you to be. Maintain a right relationship with others.
So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy, and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
Live as one who will be judged by the law of liberty.
There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy; who art thou that judgest another?
If we walk towards God as we ought, we’ll walk towards each other as we ought.
Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Our focus should be reaching out to others and helping them find God. We want to help and bless others and cause them to draw closer to God. Can you help someone find God? This is what matters. Be faithful to do what he gives you to do. Keep your eyes on the goal. Stay true to God.