Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dear Church, _____ Love, James

    After reading the book of James through a couple times, we see that the letter is addressed, "to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations" (James 1:1). James, the author is considered to be the brother of Jesus. This being the case, the recipients would recognize James as the Head of the Jerusalem Church. First he was a brother who did not believe Jesus to be the messiah (John 7:2-5) then being one of the men whom Jesus appeared to after the resurrection (1st Corinthians 15:3-8) and ultimately becoming a devout follower of Christ and a leader of the church. James writes to the church body as a whole rather than a specific city or congregation. The church at that time was mainly, if not completely, made up of Jewish believers. Reading through James it is evident that our authors purpose is to offer encouragement as well as warning. He seems to clarify and emphasize the importance of works accompanying faith. Faith is the foundation of our walk with Christ, however what is faith without action to demonstrate the Lord's calling on our lives- that we are to be set apart? (Romans 1:1) We see here the importance of action in carrying out the gospel message as well as restraining our tongues in order to bring glory to God. The church is experiencing trials and James encourages them to keep faith in The Lord and to trust that God is working in them patience and testing that their faith in Christ is genuine. He also writes in James 4:14, "What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes," in hopes that we will remain humble. James is expressing the duality that we alone are insignificant without Christ but we must remain mindful that our spirit is also eternal.

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