Summary: This is a survey of the book of James. It is an encouragement to make your faith a VERB and put God’s Word in Action.
VERB: Word in Action – A study of James
Our theme verse for summer is found in James 1:22
Let’s read it together
James 1:22 " Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."
We are going to explore this wonderful letter written by a man named James.
Traditionally it’s believed that the James that wrote this letter was the brother of Jesus Christ - tho he does not identify himself in these terms in the opening of the first chapter
Take a look at James 1:1 (READ)
➢In the New Testament there are actually 5 men listed with the name James. 2 were disciples of Jesus and 1 is Jesus’ brother.
➢We do know that Jesus’ brother James did become the leader of the Christian Church in Jerusalem. He is mentioned in the book of Acts and the book of Galatians.
➢Whether he’s the brother of Jesus or not, this writer identifies himself as a servant (“bond servant” “slave”) of Jesus Christ.
➢His authority doesn’t come from his position in the church or family ties.
•He considers his greatest honor being a servant of God.
➢James’ message to the church of his day is relevant to us today.
•It is practical, ethical and applicable to everyday life.
➢It can be summed up by his statement found in ch 2 verse 26 "...Faith without works is dead."
-One thing I miss about Colorado is the summer storms.
-I was reminded as I drove our kids to & from camp this week
-During the month of July we would run youth camps in the beautiful & majestic Colorado Rockies.
-Our camp was in a little community called Wondervu just above Golden Colorado.
-Some of the most spectacular natural sites I have ever seen.
-We used to climb to the top of our rock climbing area and sit and stare out over the continental divide. It seemed to be the place where the earth and the sky met.
-We could see as clouds gathered and begin to form a storm.
-When that happened we knew we had about 1 hour before we had to take cover. - The reason was because of God’s spectacular light show.
-Almost every day between 3-5:00 pm a storm would blow in and cause the most amazing lightning I have ever experienced.
-Each day when the storm warning went off we would move to shelter and watch as lightning would strike all over the place.
-At times the air was so electrified that people with hair would look like rock this. [PICTURE OF HAIR]
-Lightning is an amazing phenomenon.
-It is defined as an atmospheric discharge of electricity.
-A bolt can reach temperatures of 50,000 degrees F. (Fusing sand into glass)
-A 1000 ft lighting bolt has enough electrical energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for 2 months.
-Scientists estimate that on average, lightning strikes the earth about 100 times every second.
-The Empire State Building is struck by lightning on average 23 times each year, and was once struck 8 times in 24 minutes.
Funny Lightning story
-Probably the most popular story of lightning involves old Ben Franklin.
-Benjamin Franklin is credited with testing and discovering the effects of electricity through his historic kite flying experiment in Philadelphia in 1752.
-The problem he and others had with lightning was capturing that energy and putting it to practical work.
-It wasn’t until the 19th century when guys like Teslua, Edison & Westinghouse were able to take the power in lightning bolt called electricity and put it into practical use. That is they made electricity work.
-These guys took the powerful potential of lightning and changed the world.
-Today we are dependant on the work of electricity.
JAMES WAS THE SPIRITUAL VERSION OF EDISON & WESTINGHOUSE
➢ He saw the power of faith as the potential to change the world.
➢ It wasn’t simply an end in itself but was intended to cause life change in the individual and the community.
➢He said it like this:
James 2:18 "But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." "Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do."
➢ Faith was not a noun in James terms - it was verb
Active not passive
Dynamic not docile
Doing not being,
James was making a course correction to the church because it was doing what the church has continued to do over the centuries…end up in a ditch on one side of the road
One side is theological faith – it is separation from the world. It is how we developed monasteries and communes and an attitude that says let the world go to hell – I am safe.