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THE EPISTLE OF JAMES: FAITH THAT WORKS

Updated on February 8, 2017


James was first mentioned in Mark 6:3 as the brother of Jesus. During the lifetime of Jesus, neither he nor his three other brothers were disciples or apostles. James emerged as a leader of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 15:13; 1 Cor. 15:7; Gal. 2:9), a position he held for nearly 30 years, until his martyrdom.

He developed the theme of faith with its characteristics of true faith with a series of tests to help the readers evaluate their relationship to Jesus Christ. At first, James' emphasis may appear to be at odds with Paul's emphasis. On closer look, both Paul and James differed more in their definition of faith rather than in essence. James addressed readers who were inclined to interpret faith as just intellectual acknowledgment (2:19). From this, he differed from Paul, whose understanding was the entrusting of one's whole life to God through Jesus Christ.


HISTORICAL SETTING


James addressed his epistle to the twelve tribes of Israel which were scattered abroad after the death of Jesus Christ (James 1:1). "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting." The implication is that the Jewish Christians were living outside Israel. However, in James 5:4, James addressed those who were living in Israel because only farmers there employed hired help.

About 70 years after the death of Jesus, Jerusalem was completely destroyed by the Romans and not a stone was left unturned and Israel disappeared from the map of the world.


EXHORTATION TO PATIENCE IN AFFLICTION



THE TEST OF FAITH (1:1-18)

The test of faith are two-fold, namely, the purpose of the tests and secondly, the source of temptations

1. The Purpose of the Tests

  • James introduced his outward tests of faith in Chapter 1:2-12. These trials are to produce endurance and dependence upon God.

2. The Source of Temptations

  • From Chapter 1:13-16, we know that temptation comes not from God, but from our own lust or weakness. Every good or perfect gift is from above (1:17).



obey by smricketts
obey by smricketts

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF FAITH


Faith may be divided into seven different characteristics, obedience, discrimination, works, control of the tongue, wisdom, humility and dependence on God. When you believe Jesus Christ, you must obey the commandments of Christ . Your actions must support your actions.

After obedience, you must know that a Christian does not discriminate between how a person looks, or whether he is rich or poor. Christians should treat every one equally regardless of status.

A Christian should have good works and not be inactive. When you see the poor and hungry, you should try and help to alleviate the suffering.by giving of alms, praying or offering of help physically like mowing the lawn, charity, visiting the needy, baby sitting, or running errands.

Christians should learn to have self control with regard to the tongue. A soft answer turns away wrath. Do not be quick to pass judgment. Listen carefully before giving advice. Be compassionate in your speech.

Wisdom is from the Lord God. Cultivate wisdom to deal in all matters of life. Get wisdom and understanding of human nature so as to be able to advise wisely.

Be humble, and not judge harshly. Temper your tongue with humility and give thanks to the Lord God who provides us with everything we need to survive.

And last of all, we should rely completely on the Lord God in faith. Our health, wealth, or promotion in life depend on God who created us. We should fear no evil for He cares for our souls and He is completely reliable day and night, and on call should we need His help.


BIBLE VERSES ON FAITH


1. Faith Obeys the Word (1:19-27)

  • But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves (1:19).

2. Faith Removes Discrimination (2:1-13)

  • My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons (2:1).
  • But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. (2:9).

3. Faith Proves Itself by works (2:14-26)

  • What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (2:14).

4. Faith Controls The Tongue (3:1-12)

  • If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body (3:2).

5. Faith Produces Wisdom (3:13-18)

  • Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom (3:13).

6. Faith Produces Humility (4:1-12)

  • But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (4:6).

7. Faith Produces Dependence on God (4:13-5:6)

  • Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain (5:7).


THE TRIUMPH OF FAITH


Eventually we triumph through faith in Jesus Christ who is our hope of salvation in time to come. When we have faith, we are willing to endure all trials and temptations that beset us. We also have faith enough to pray for those who are afflicted with sickness, poverty, and other mishaps.of disasters. Last of all, with faith, we can confront and convert the erring to return to the Lord God, thus helping save souls.

1. Faith Endures

  • Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh (5:8).

2. Faith prays for those Afflicted

  • Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
  • Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church. and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: (5:13-14).

3. Faith Confronts and Converts the Erring

  • Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
  • Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins (5: 19-20)..



James is a practical man for his epistle confirms this. He takes his readers step by step, one step at a time to reach the climax. The foundation is built from the root up and slowly, but surely wends it way up the ladder to reach the climax.

The purpose of the tests and the source of temptations are all laid out plainly for the readers to comprehend. When they understand the reasons for them, the readers are more likely to comprehend and follow instructions. Doubts will evaporate making progress easier to attain.


TOPICS ON FAITH


FOR WE WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT http://hubpages.com/hub/forwewalkbyfaithnotbysight

FOR WE WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT (2) http://hubpages.com/hub/forwewalkbyfaithnotbysight-2

A Test of FAITH: 4 Members of Family with 4 types of Cancer http://hubpages.com/hub/testoffaith4memberswith4cancers


The Epistle of James: Faith that Works

Do you have faith in God?

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Do you know that faith is believing without seeing the fruits?

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Do you know that Abraham believe in God without reaping the benefits God promised?

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© 2010 einron

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    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      drpastorcarlotta

      Faith is hope without seeing. Without faith, we would all be dead. Thanks for visiting and for your prayers which are very welcome. Praise God for friends like you.

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr. Carlotta Boles 

      8 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      Faith is GOOD! Faith is HOPE!! Faith is GOD! Thank you for the Bible verses for FAITH! If I didn't have any Faith, I would be dead today! I love this HUB!!! Thank you! You have been in my prayers.. Love you!

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      John Cain

      Thanks! Glad that you enjoyed this hub. Having faith is one thing, but doing things of faith is also good. Be active, not passive.

    • John Cain profile image

      John Cain 

      8 years ago from Dayton, Texas

      I really enjoyed this hub on faith. God bless you

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      twogroce

      Glad that you like the hub and thanks for the blessing which you ask God to use and bless me. Thanks, appreciate the thought!

    • twogroce profile image

      twogroce 

      8 years ago

      Thank you einron for the guiding Hub. I was lock on every word. May God continue to bless you and use you for His will.

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Unchained Grace

      Faith without works is completely dead. A person who has no movement at all, is hardly alive or paralysed. Glad to hear that you are working in street ministry and in Bible Studies. Peace!

    • Unchained Grace profile image

      Unchained Grace 

      8 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Einron, Unchained Grace Ministries is what it is and does what it does largely based upon the fact that faith without works is what? A dead faith. Throughtout the five chapters of James, I have found many powerful passages beneficial in street ministry and in Bible Studies. I have been involved in many discussions of the faith/works issue and James is where I turn. Thanks for a great Hub!

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Pastor_Walt

      Your "thumbs up" is appreciated. Glad that you feel I have made readers understand the finer and more subtle points of faith.

      We need more writers like you on HubPages to spread the gospel.

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Captain Jimmy

      Thanks for visiting and comments.

    • Pastor_Walt profile image

      Pastor_Walt 

      8 years ago from Jefferson City, Tennessee

      You have helped the reader to understand some of the finer, more subtle points of faith. The Bible says that "faith comes by hearing" the Word. I believe that every jot of God's Word potentially releases avalanches of divine faith, from salvation to perfection in the saints. Our faith is ever reaching, ever exploring, ever conquering our world. Faith in action means faithfulness in life and testimony, and faithfulness in a few things makes us ruler in the many. Thumbs up on a great hub!

    • Captain Jimmy profile image

      Captain Jimmy 

      8 years ago from WV

    • einron profile imageAUTHOR

      einron 

      8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Vladimir Uhri

      Thanks for being the first to comment. You have described the hub as "The faith is believing WORD in action." The words are very appropriate.

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 

      8 years ago from HubPages, FB

      Great Hub sis. Thanks.

      If I can add, I see that both Paul and James worked in different areas of ministry. They addressed matter what was missing. In conclusion I would say that both are right. The faith is believing WORD in action.

    working

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