In this introductory sermon for a series on the Book of James, we explore two questions: who is the author and who are the recipients. The sermon also drives home the point that we must be doers of the Word of God and not hearers only.
The first subject that James addresses in his letter is how to face our trials. His suggestion is shocking: we should welcome our trials with joy. But his reason for the suggestion makes sense when you understand things from God's perspective
In this section of James we learn that trials require wisdom, wisdom requires prayer, and prayer requires faith.
In James 1:9-12, James helps us understand that in order for us to persevere in our trials with joy, we must adopt God’s eternal perspective on poverty and wealth.
James moves from how to handle trials to how to handle temptations. Even though temptation is inevitable and giving into temptation is inexcusable, we can learn that temptation is predictable and conquerable.
James uses very confrontational language as he drives home the point that if we don't put God's Word into practice, then why did we bother to hear it in the first place. Religion that makes a difference is religion leads to godly language, godly love, and godly lifestyle.
In James 2:1-13, James tackles the age long problem of prejudice and favoritism. It is often a problem in the world and in the church. The solution to the problem is the Royal Law found in Scripture.
What is saving faith? Is it something you say, feel, or think? No, saving faith is something you do. Faith is something that must produce action and must be practiced. That's what James says in James chapter 2.
James devotes most of chapter 3 to our challenge of controlling the tongue. In this sermon, we examine James' pronouncements about the tongue and then look at improper and proper uses of the tongue.
In James chapter 3, James contrasts two kinds of wisdom: worldly wisdom and godly wisdom. The fruits that result from these two kinds of wisdom couldn't be any more different from each other
James begins chapter four with a question about what causes fights among us. He spends 12 verses discussing the causes and cures for conflict. In this sermon, we will focus on the first 6 verses that address the causes of conflict.
James offers several cures for conflict. We think the problem in conflict is the other person. But James says the cure begins with us submitting to God, drawing near to God, resisting the devil and to stop judging others.
James applies the need for humility to our mindset about our lives and our plans. As he discusses the fact that our life is just a mist that appears for a little while then vanishes, we learn some sins to avoid and some things to do.
In James 5, James comes down very hard on the rich and the sins that often accompany materialism. What we do with our money declares what we value and love. So, what is your use of money saying about you?
The key to facing hard times is learning to wait on the Lord. The kind of waiting that is blessed by God includes waiting expectantly, graciously, and patiently.
James has mentioned prayer several times in his letter. In chapter 5, James focuses on prayer's power and place in the life of a Christian, especially as it relates to our need for healing.