Summary: Discussion of the many men called by the name James. James and his letter.
Introduction to James – The Perfect Man
I. The Writer ? James Chapter 1:1 Who is James?
Matthew 10:12 In the inner circle, one of the twelve.
Acts 12:2 Killed
Roman Catholic favor to preserve the perpetual virginity of Mary
--C. James the Lord’s Brother, probably the oldest because he is listed first
Had sister; probably as many as 7-9 sibling to Jesus
2. John 7:5 unbeliever
3. Matthew 27:56 at the cross
4. I Cor. 15:4-7 saw the risen Lord
6. Acts 12:17 Go show James these things
7. Acts 15:13-21 Leader at Jerusalem, maybe bishop. The Lord’s brother.
8 Galations 1:19, 2:9-12
9. Acts 21:15-18 Paul reports to James
10. Jude v.1 James and Jude were brothers, authority to the letter
11. Tradition – James a man of large influence, impressive character and
His knees were said to be as hard as a camel’s because he was so
constant in prayer and entreaty to God for pardon for his people.
12. Death –Stoned for Christian doctrines around A. D. 62
II. The Letter
A. Jewish flavor
1. Only two or three reference to Christ
2. Gospel, redemption, incarnation, and resurrection not mentioned.
3. Scarcely anything in the letter that a good Orthodox Jew could
4. Appears to contradict Paul’s preaching of Justification by Faith
Verses Justification by Works James written before the
Pauline Epistles being published.
a. Martin Luther questioned its place in the New Testament
Said an epistle “full of straw”, and “destitute of evangelic character”
“I therefore refuse him a place among the writers of the canon of my
1. The thrust is for action and obedience. The reason the gospel, etc,
is not mentioned.
(a) The interest is in the fruits, not roots
(b) It is on the second stage- on how to advance along the
way of holiness and to transfer the ethical implications of the new
faith into practical realities.
2. Point of issue
(a) Not God’s provision but man’s obligation
(b) Against man’s unfaithfulness and lack of discipline.
C. Date A. D. 45-48
D. Theme – Perfect occurs 11 times. Teleios- signifies having reached its end (telos),
Finished, complete, perfect.. It is used of persons primarily of physical
development, then, with ethical import, fully, grown, mature man.
Not everybody who grows old, grows up. There is a vast difference between
Age and maturity. Ideally, the older we are, the more mature we should be;
but too often the ideal does not become the real. The result is problems—
problems in personal lives, in homes, and in churches. As a pastor, I see
more problems in these areas caused by immaturity than anything else. If Christians would just grow up, they would become victors instead of victims.
(Warren Wiersbe pg 5 Be Mature.
E. Problems of the People Addressed. (Read pgs 12-13
1. Problems in their personal lives.
2. Problems in church fellowships.
3. Difficult testings.
4. Temptations to Sin
5. Catering to the rich.
6. Competing for offices in the church, particularly teaching offices.
7. Failure to live what they professed.
8. Tongue was creating wars and divisions.
10. Sick members due to disobedience.
11. Some were straying from the Lord and Church.
These problems had a common cause—spiritual immaturity. These Christians
simply were not growing up. (W.W. pg 13)
Too many churches are playpens for babies instead of workshops for adults.
These people needed to grow in the Lord, and their various trials would help
to mature them if they would obey God.
III. How Can We Profit By this study.?
A. First, “you must be born again”. This letter is not for people just starting,
but for those who are going on. Hebrew 6:1
B. Second, we must honestly examine our lives in the light of God’s Word.
“Many Christians make this mistake: they criticize the preacher
(teacher) or the lesson, when they ought to be judging themselves.”
(W. W. pg 16)
C. Third, we must obey what God teaches us, no matter what the cost.
D. Fourth, we must be prepared for some extra trials and testings.
Whenever we are serious about spiritual growth, the Enemy gets serious
about opposing us.
There may come a time in this study when you may decide that continuing
is too dangerous. Satan may turn on the heat and make things so difficult
for you that you will want to retreat. Don’t do it.!