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The LA Family

#LA130Review of the Book of James.

The book of James is brief in Chapters but filled with spiritual instructions to guide us in the faith.
The book of James tells us that God never promises us that the Christian life will be a bed of roses, He admonishes us to endure hardness as Paul also did in 2 Tim 2:3. We should know that each trial and persecution should be taken with joy. A trial or test is an experience allowed by God to enter into our lives so that can have good consequences such as measuring our progress towards living a Christ-like life and hastening the development of a Christ-like character in us. In all these trials, we need the wisdom of God (James 1:5) to be able to weather the storm and come out victorious without losing our salvation.
The book of James frowned against “partiality” God is not a respecter of persons. We must treat one another equally in the faith without necessarily giving much attention and regards to a certain group of people as a result of their education, position or achievements. There should be no discrimination between the rich and the poor. The rich should not oppress the poor with his riches in any way.
The book of James talks about faith which is a key doctrine of the Christian faith, James 2:14-26. We are saved by faith; we walk by faith; without faith it is impossible to please God. In this book, it discusses the relationship between faith and works. Faith is not some kind of vague emotion that we work up; faith is confidence that God’s word is true and that acting on that word will bring His blessing. People with dead faith substitute words for deeds.
Taming of our tongue is also what we can learn from the book of James. Talkativeness, reckless statements, abusive language, and misleading assertions are all characteristics of the uncontrolled tongue. In taming the tongue self-control is needed and this is part of the fruit of the Spirit. We need the fruit of the Spirit in waging war against the tongue which could bring serious consequences. The question is who is going to be the guard over our mouths if not us? The Bible telling us we should be slow to speak, but it has not told us to remain silent.
 
James 4:1-3 established there is conflict in the Church and describes the causes of conflicts in the Church. Selfish desires, lust, asking amiss, etc are some of the causes of conflict in the body of Christ. Verse 6: But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Humility is key to God entrusting us with His gifts. James 4:7 says, until we submit ourselves unto God that is only when we can resist the devil and he will flee. We must acknowledge God has all power; He is our Captain and therefore must obey his commands and instructions. Pride goeth before destruction. As Christians, we must have no doubt in our minds whose side we are on, and by our lives we must leave no doubt in the minds of others that we are on God’s side and unyielding opponents of Satan.
James 5:1-6, addresses the wealthy concerning the use and abuse of wealth. Verses 7 -8 talks about another fruit of the Spirit, “patience”.  Verse 13 encourages steadfastness in suffering. It also encourages prayer in suffering and song in joy. Our faith must be based on a firm belief that we have a God for all seasons; in periods of suffering and times of joy, prayer and praise alike acknowledge that God is sufficient for us. James 5:14 buttressed the fact that healing can take place in the church as a result of collective prayers of the elders and not necessarily that of a prophet or someone with the gift of healing. James 5:16b is a great revelation to me, it means we can actually be praying and our prayer doesn’t have effect, but it is saying the prayer of the righteous will definitely be effective. We can say righteousness = open heavens.  
In Summary, we can compare the sermon of James and the Sermon of Jesus on the Mount in a way.
1. Rejoicing in trials (Matthew 5:12 and James 1:2)
2. Ask and it will be given (Matthew 7:7 and James 1:5)
3. Being perfect (Matthew 5:48 and James 1:4)
4. Prohibition against swearing (Matthew 5:33-37 and James 5:12)
5. Against anger (Matthew 5:22 and James 1:20)
6. Against lip service (Matthew 7:21-23 and James 2:14-16)
7. Against divided loyalty (Matthew 6:24 and James 4:4)
8. Against slander (Matthew 5:22, 7:1-2 and James 4:11)