A Synopsis of James

We have just completed a 45 day study in the book of James.  I don’t know about you, but I learned many very valuable lessons from these studies, so I thought I’d take one post to tell you what I learned.  Maybe you can take a minute to comment how this study has affected you!

James 1:2-5 tells us that we should joy when facing temptation.  Then he takes the next 3 verses to tell us why.  When I look at these verse and apply it the way James has written it, I plainly see the trials I went through were there to try my faith so that patience would be produced.  Patience in both cases brought me through as I waited upon God. And that patience is there to perfect me, to help me become mature in Christ, so that I can fulfill the call He has put on my life.  That was a real revelation to me.

Verse 6 tells us that if we ask for wisdom, we will receive it.  Verse 7 tells us that we must not waver in our faith.  Put these 2 verses together and tie them to vs 2-5 and we find the truth behind these verses.  The wisdom we ask for is to know why we are going through the trials, when they will end, and what we will learn from them.  But our faith must not waver in asking, we must have patience.  The kind of patience called for in the previous verses.

We now skip ahead to James 2.  Te beginning of this chapter tells us we should not be partial toward people, citing treating rich people better then poor as an example (vs 1-7). He says the reason we should not do this is because we will be judged by the perfect law of liberty (vs 8-12).  The perfect law is the Ten Commandments and we will be judged by that law.  Jesus said He fulfilled the law, but He did not make the law easier – He made it harder.  This is a great introduction to James’s study on the relationship between faith and works, found in verses 13-26.  In this we talked about the fact that faith through grace brings us the initial salvation from sin through Christ (Eph 2:8-9), but we still  must work our our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12).  Both are necessary for our growth in Christ.  Too many stop at the faith part thinking they have accomplished all they need to.  There is so much more for us!

James 3 is a wonderful discussion of the dangers of our tongue.  Some of the worst evils come from our mouths, and they an hurt someone far more than anything else e can do to them.  We all know people who were put down as children and the repercussions that affected their lives for decades to come.  The tongue is powerful – all of creation came forth as the Word.  The first admonition, in verse 1, cautions us about too many teachers – oh how applicable this is today.  Verses 2-12 then help us to understand how important it is to watch our tongue.  We are like ships or horses who need our tongues guided by something outside of ourselves. In verses 13-16 James says if we have wisdom, we will speak out of meekness, not it the wisdom of this world.  in conclusion, verse 17-8 tells us to use godly wisdom in our communication with others because it is gentle and brings peace.

In Chapter 4, James turns his attention to humility.  He starts out by telling us that fighting and wars between us come from our own lusts (v 1-2).  He goes on to say that we are asking God for the wrong things because ll we want to do is have things for ourselves, not for Godly purposes (v 3-5).  Verses 6 & 7  are two of the more well known verses in James, and tell us to be humble and submit to God.  He then tells us we should not speak evil of anyone, not be judgmental, and not plan on tomorrow being there.  All of these things are God’s domain (V 8-16).  Verse 17 brings us back to our works but telling us that if we know to do something good, and don’t do it, it becomes sin to us.  Powerful!

Chapter 5 comes against those who take advantage of of others, especially people they are in charge of like workers under a boss (v 1-7).    In verses 9 he calls on us to be patient and not old grudges.  Verses 9-10 patience is the goal, pointing us to the example of the prophets.  The conclusion of the book is a study in effective prayer and the value of accountability.

This study has been one I will not forget and will go back to often.  I had several people tell me when we started this study that James is their favorite book of the bible, and I can see why.  James covers a lot of very important topics that we need to observe every day.  I plan to com back to this book more often in the future.  Thanks for coming along on the journey!

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4 thoughts on “A Synopsis of James

  1. working4christtwo

    JAMES
    A Synopsis of James
    January 20, 2018Pete

    QUOTE We have just completed a 45 day study in the book of James. I don’t know about you, but I learned many very valuable lessons from these studies, so I thought I’d take one post to tell you what I learned. Maybe you can take a minute to comment how this study has affected you! End QUOTES

    Pete my friend. You’re effort is much appreciated and commendable

    [QUOTE]James 1:2-5 tells us that we should joy when facing temptation. Then he takes the next 3 verses to tell us why. When I look at these verse and apply it the way James has written it, I plainly see the trials I went through were there to try my faith so that patience would be produced. Patience in both cases brought me through as I waited upon God. And that patience is there to perfect me, to help me become mature in Christ, so that I can fulfill the call He has put on my life. That was a real revelation to me. END QUOTE

    I have for years now claimed that Life; that is our very reason to exist is what I have come to term as “THEE Life test.” We exist to Glorify our God. When we are presented freewill choices of good or evil; and we choose the Good, God is Glorified and we are Sanctified and receive the grace we have merited by our choice. When we choose the evil, God is still Glorified for having given us the Opportunity; but we lose out on the grace that we could have merited, but declined.

    [QUOTE]James teaches us that all of our life-choices are in some manner intended to increase and to TEST our levels of Faith is God’s care and concern for each of us as Joy. Verse 6 tells us that if we ask for wisdom, we will receive it. Verse 7 tells us that we must not waver in our faith. Put these 2 verses together and tie them to vs 2-5 and we find the truth behind these verses. The wisdom we ask for is to know why we are going through the trials, when they will end, and what we will learn from them. But our faith must not waver in asking, we must have patience. The kind of patience called for in the previous verses.[END QUOTES

    The Lessons in these verses is to have; Faith, to pray for it, to have Hope and hold on to it, to Love God and be grateful got the graces to endure trials with a firm- faith and unrelenting Hope, knowing that God is Love and that God is in charge.

    James teaches a critically import lesson in verses 11-15…..Illness, temptations to sin are NOT from God as a TEST; yet they are a test of our Faith and our Hope and Love of and for our God.

    Man’s propensity to sin is Thee; is Life’s God Test. We are asked, even expected and commanded to prove time and time again our finality and love of God. [15] “Then when concupiscence hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin. But sin, when it is completed, begetteth death” ….Before man is life and death, good and evil, that which he shall choose shall be given him:” [Ecclesiasticus 15:18]

    My Dear Friend Pete; I do recognize that this is a SUMMARY-Recap of James; bust as I was led by Divine providence to your Blog-site very late in this discourse, I am inclined by your notes to offer comments on the balance of James chapter 1; which offers some very important Faith teachings.

    In verses 18-20 we are reminded that God gives us earths to guide our mouths. It is better to hear than to speak idlely.

    [22] But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

    This teaching reminds us that Life and God’s Words do have a purpose. Life is an ongoing search for God’s Truths, which can only be singular per defined issue.We are commanded to be hearers of His Words, in order to BE doers of His Words.

    [27] Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation: and to keep one’s self unspotted from this world.

    In other words WORKS of charity are expected; even commanded.

    [QUOTE] We now skip ahead to James 2. The beginning of this chapter tells us we should not be partial toward people, citing treating rich people better then poor as an example (vs 1-7). He says the reason we should not do this is because we will be judged by the perfect law of liberty (vs 8-12). The perfect law is the Ten Commandments and we will be judged by that law.END QUOTES

    It is infrequent that outward appearances are an accurate reflection of one’s inner faith. So we are to “judge not lest we to be judged.” Charity seeks the good in others, not always evident by appearances.

    The 10 Commandments are the summary categories of possible sins; not the 10 possible sins.

    More than any other thing we will be judged on how well we love.

    [QUOTE]Jesus said He fulfilled the law, but He did not make the law easier – He made it harder. This is a great introduction to James’s study on the relationship between faith and works, found in verses 13-26. In this we talked about the fact that faith through grace brings us the initial salvation from sin through Christ (Eph 2:8-9), but we still must work our our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12). Both are necessary for our growth in Christ. Too many stop at the faith part thinking they have accomplished all they need to. There is so much more for us! END QUOTES

    From my personal experience there is often a disconnect by non-Catholic-Christians on just what the Catholic teaching is on WORKS. It is refreshing to see that you do “get it.” We Catholics know that we cannot “work our way into heaven”; yet WORKS of charity are not an option; they are a command.

    [QUOTEJames 3 is a wonderful discussion of the dangers of our tongue. Some of the worst evils come from our mouths, and they can hurt someone far more than anything else we can do to them. We all know people who were put down as children and the repercussions that affected their lives for decades to come. The tongue is powerful – all of creation came forth as the Word. The first admonition, in verse 1, cautions us about too many teachers – oh how applicable this is today.END QUOTES

    FROM HAYDOCK’S COMMENTATY:
    “Ver. 1. But not many {ARE CALLED TO BE} masters, teachers, and preachers. An admonition to all those who are not called, or not qualified to undertake this high ministry, lest they incur a greater condemnation. (Witham)”

    A reminder of 1st. Cor. 12 where we are told that the Holy Spirit offers many and diverse gifts to all for the building up of His Church & His Faith; but not ALL are given the same gifts. So if we are called to be Teachers; then TEACH my truths; if not called to this Ministry; don’t pretend that you are. [Pete YOU are IMO called to Teach.]

    Verses 2-12 then help us to understand how important it is to watch our tongue. We are like ships or horses who need our tongues guided by something outside of ourselves. In verses 13-16 James says if we have wisdom, we will speak out of meekness, not it the wisdom of this world. in conclusion, verse 17-8 tells us to use godly wisdom in our communication with others because it is gentle and brings peace.
    END QUOTES

    We are taught here that WORDS carry a mighty, and often cause a permanent impression; hence all have a grave responsibility to THINK {and pray} before engaging one’s tongue.

    [QUOTEIn Chapter 4, James turns his attention to humility. He starts out by telling us that fighting and wars between us come from our own lusts (v 1-2). He goes on to say that we are asking God for the wrong things because ll we want to do is have things for ourselves, not for Godly purposes (v 3-5). Verses 6 & 7 are two of the more well known verses in James, and tell us to be humble and submit to God. He then tells us we should not speak evil of anyone, not be judgmental, and not plan on tomorrow being there. All of these things are God’s domain (V 8-16). Verse 17 brings us back to our works but telling us that if we know to do something good, and don’t do it, it becomes sin to us. A Powerful! test[END QUOTES]

    James chapter 4 raises the question WHY does God [All good thIngs perfected] permit humanity to have a propensity to sin?

    It is precisely to accentuate that Life is indeed a “God Test.”. Jesus loved us with no boundaries; no limits to His love for us. Perfect love given seeks perfect love in return. For love to be perfect it has to be self-willed; it is never accidental or a second thought. God offers us ongoing opportunities; TESTS of our Faith and faithfulness; evidence of our Love for Him.

    [QUOTE]Chapter 5 comes against those who take advantage of of others, especially people they are in charge of like workers under a boss (v 1-7).END QUOTES

    James [for Jesus] is not teaching here that wealth is a bad; or even necessarily an evil thing. His message; his teaching is more subtle; more sublime; more profound. What we have is what we are “given.” What we are given is for the building up of His Church; His Faith. Our gifts are not to be miserly squandered; they are to be used and utilized for the benefit of others and hence to the benefit of our own Souls.

    [QUOTE] in verses 9 he calls on us to be patient and not hold grudges. Verses 9-10 patience is the goal, pointing us to the example of the prophets. The conclusion of the book is a study in effective prayer and the value of accountability.
    [12] But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath. But let your speech be, yea, yea: no, no: that you fall not under judgment. END QUOTE

    “Say WHAT you mean & Mean what you say”…. Don’t be cute; be factual with charity. Truth is a key to heaven.

    [QUOTE]This study has been one I will not forget and will go back to often. I had several people tell me when we started this study that James is their favorite book of the bible, and I can see why. James covers a lot of very important topics that we need to observe every day. I plan to come back to this book more often in the future. Thanks for coming along on the journey![END QUOTE]

    [14] Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. [15] And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man: and the Lord shall raise him up: and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him.

    This is the Biblical evidence for the “last& 7th Sacrament”; the Sacrament of final anointing; which as the Norm includes when possible; sacramental Confession [John 20:19-23]. [The Church through the Power of “The Key’s” presumes that this person would DESIRE Sacramental Confession if they were ABLE to do so; which is then sufficient to effect the forgiveness of all of their sins]. The CC teaches that this Sacrament has similar effects to the Sacrament of Baptism; and removes all of the sins as well as the Temporal Punishment that all sin accrue, so that Soul is made fully ready to ascend into heaven directly.

    [14] “Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. [15] And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man: and the Lord shall raise him up: and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him.”

    Pete my friend, thanks for the opportunity to read your POST and to be able to share these few comments. I am deeply touched by your ministries impact of so many Souls.

    May God continued to Bless you and guide our paths,
    Patrick

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Pete Post author

      Thank you Patrick both for your comment and the time you spent to share your thoughts with me. I am also blessed our paths have crossed. It seems we have much in common.

      Be blessed

      Like

      Reply

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