James can be considered as perhaps the most practical book in the New Testament, reading like “how to” book on living the Christian faith. It tells us how to put our faith into action everyday.
Of the four men that bear the name James in the New Testament, it is believed that James, the half-brother of Jesus,is the author. He is known as “James the Just”. He started following Jesus after His resurrection, and in time, became a leader of the church at Jerusalem. He Probably oversaw the council in Jerusalem that decided that Gentiles did not have to becomeJews before they could be Christians. He died a martyr in AD 62.
This book, believed to be one of the first written in the New Testament, is concerned with the practical aspects of Christian conduct more than being a treatise on doctrine. The major issue is faith and works. James believed that true saving faith is the one that is working, resulting in a changed life. False faith is the one that does not work, and therefore is dead. In other words, a faith that is not demonstrated by loving acts stands on shaky ground. This faith is reflected in our trials, our speech, our wisdom, our patience, our prayers and our service.
The book is not addressed to a particular congregation; instead it is addressed to all Christians. It is therefore called a General Epistle, along with 1 and 2 Peter; 1,2 and 3 John; and Jude.
This book challenges us to live out our faith daily. It compels us to show our faith by the way we live. If you need instructions on how to live the Christian life, you have found the tools in this helpful and hopeful book.
Join us as we study the book of james!
Culled from the Hope Bible by Joel Osteen.