Summary: This introduction to James not only reveals who he is but that even the brother of Jesus considered himself a bondservant to Christ.
James 1:1 “JAMES: A FAITH THAT WORKS!”
INTRO: The key to James is a FAITH that works!….EXPAND! Prep for James….
I. THE AUTHOR
A. HIS RELATIONSHIP TO JESUS
1. A brother of Jesus (Mt. 13:53-58).
2. Jesus spent time with his family after the miracle at Cana (Jn.2:12).
3. At the first he did not believe in Jesus (Jn. 7:2-5).
4. He along with other members of his family followed Jesus around (Mt. 12:46-50).
B. HIS CONVERSION
1. He was one of the first individuals Jesus talked to after His resurrection (1Cor. 5:7).
2. He was in the Upper Room (Acts 1:14).
C. HIS RELATIONSHIP TO THE JERUSALEM CHURCH
1. Paul called him a pillar of the Church (Gal. 1:19; 2:9).
2. When Peter was rescued from prison, he told his friends to tell James (Acts 12:17).
3. He played an important part in the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:13-21).
4. Paul saw James when he visited Jerusalem in Acts 21:17-18.
D. HIS DEATH – He was martyred in A.D. 62, in the city of Jerusalem. Josephus notes that the martyrdom of James was one of the reasons for the destruction of Jerusalem (divine justice). In spite of his influence in the early Church, James chooses to identify himself as the servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
II. HIS ATTITUDE – "a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ."
Greek – “doulos”It was used to describe those on the lowest rung of the social ladder.
A doulos was someone who was forced to do the will of another or one who gave himself up to the will of another.
-The lowliest slaves were prisoners who worked the state owned mines and lived in the worst of conditions.
-The next notch up the ladder was the agricultural slave who hardly fared much better than those who worked the mines.
-The slaves that topped the list were the household slaves. They were often given oversight of the home and made responsible for the care and education of the family children. Many were rewarded with freedom for faithful service. Some were adopted by childless owners and became heirs to their master’s estate. Even so, Romans did not view slavery as something to be coveted and would never seek to be known as servants.
Christianity laid hold of the term doulos and used it as a term of honor. This servitude wasn’t the result of bondage, coercion, or duress, but of choice. Not all believers are called "servants" or "handmaids." These terms were used to describe those who legitimately lived to serve their MASTER.
A. A BONDSERVANT OF GOD – This choice of identity is something any God fearing Jew would have respected.
Abraham was known …
Moses was a bondservant of God.
God called Isaiah "My servant".
The prophets were called servants of God.
B. A BONDSERVANT OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST - Of God as a Jew and….
James didn’t identify himself as the brother of Jesus but the Bondservant of Jesus…
It declares the deity and superiority of Jesus. The contrasting terms are "servant" and "Lord."
James is clear about who Jesus is and who he is.
(Are YOU clear about….)
It implies devout obedience -
It implies unselfishness -
It implies humility – More than anything this title implies humility, a characteristic that is essential to servanthood and is exhibited in the fact that James calls himself a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and not the brother of Jesus.