Summary: Living the Word of God (James 1:19-27) Key Center v. 22 22 Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Accept the Word of God (1:19-21) Obey the Word of God (1:22-25) Live the Word of God (1:26-27)
James Biographical Info:
• James was the pastor of the church in Jerusalem and was Jewish and this book reflects his Jewish up bring; he is mentioned first as a pillar of the church (Galatians 2:9).
• According to the historian Josephus, James was martyred in approximately A.D. 62, prior to the first council of Jerusalem in A.D. 50.
• This book was written to Hebrew Christians outside of Palestine. It was written around A.D. 46-49. Approximately fifteen years after the resurrection of Christ.
• Even before Paul went on his first missionary Journey.
• It possible that this was the first letter written in the New Testament.
• James 1:1 says "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings." These who James was writing to were Jewish Christians who were under a lot of persecution which started right after the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7:54-60; 8:1-3, which describes the scattering of the Christian.
• They had no Bible to speak of except the Old Testament. The only thing they had to hang on too was their faith in Christ. Then after ten years of suffering persecution you receive this letter that says.
The Stoning of Stephen
The death of Stephen and the scattering of the believer happen around 35 to 37 A.D. Have been scattered for about ten or twelve years.
54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. 8 1On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.
Living the Word of God
Key Center v. 22
22 Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Accept the Word of God (1:19-21)
19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
Exegesis: James is definitely moving into a new direction, the phrase, “My dear brothers,” is a clear indication of change of thought; thus, new paragraph starts. The point of the paragraph is pretty plain as James makes a direct correlation to listening as the antithesis to angry. Being quick to listen is also followed by obedience to God’s Word. Making vs. 21 the paragraph point. Verse 19 James focuses on listen rather than speaking. The book of Proverbs speaks about this as well. Proverbs 17:28, “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” James speaks of “accepting the word planted in you;” since this is the first book in written in the New Testament, there little doubt that he is referring to the Old Testaments and the oral words and teaching of Christ Himself. Verse 20, anger in its most purest form is fear, anger is more concerned about controlling the behavior of others, thoughts and feeling, not attempting to understand what others are saying. Controlling other does is not conductive to the righteousness that God wants for our lives. James redirects our thinking from our desires to what God’s desires are. It’s not our will but His will that should be our primary goal. If we are more concerned with God’s will and His desires then we are bring about “God’s desires.” The Breathe of God gave life He Breathed into man. God’s Word Breathes life into us.