Epistles 3

Introduction to James

Theme & Key Text

Theme: True faith produces good works.

1:3,4,25,27; 2:18,20,22,26; 3:17,18; 4:6-11,17; 5:7-9,12,15,17-20

Key Text: James 2:17,18

James 2:17,18�Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

The Writer of the Epistle of James

James 1:1 "James a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ…" Servant: "a bond man; in subjection; a voluntary slave" (Only the will of God will be performed.)

This simple signature tells us the writer was well known to his readers and needed not lengthy introduction. He was a man highly esteemed among them, one who stood in a position of recognized spiritual authority, and one whom they were obliged to obey. There are four men named James' who lived around the NT era, but "James the Brother of the Lord" stands as the most probable writer of this epistle.

James the son of Zebedee & brother of John.

This man was the most prominent "James" in the gospels. He was one of the "sons of thunder," originally a fisherman with John (his brother), along with Peter and Andrew. He became a disciple of Jesus, He was one of the three inner disciples and was later martyred by Herod Agrippa I, as recorded in Acts 12:2 (A.D. 44). There is not much chance that this James could have written this letter before he was killed, and there is no tradition arguing that he did.

James the son of Alphaeus, another disciple.

Very little is known about this James, the brother of Matthew (Levi). He was another disciple of our Lord, but again, there is no hint that he is the one who wrote this epistle. Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13

James the father of Judas the disciple

(Judas Thaddaeus). This man is even more obscure. Not a likely candidate

James the brother of Jude & half-brother of our Lord.

Also known as James the Less, This James appears to be the writer of the epistle of James. He is not so identified, but much about his character is revealed that is in keeping with what is known about him. This choice is also in keeping with tradition which tells us that he remained in Jerusalem and that Peter, James, & John chose James, the brother of Jesus to be the pastor of the Jerusalem church after the ascension of Christ (cf. Clement of Alexandria). The fact that he does not so identify himself (as our Lord's brother) may be an indication of his humility, but it also reveals the standing and personal authority he had over his readers. He was a man well known and highly esteemed in the new Christian community. "James, a servant of God and of Jesus Christ" was sufficient identification for them

James is first introduced in Matthew 13:55 as one of our Lord's brethren. John 7:5 relates the sad fact that even as late as six months before the crucifixion (the feast of tabernacles), James was still an unbeliever.

I Cor. 15:7 tells us that in the midst of the resurrection appearances of Christ, "He was seen of James." A little later, a number of people are recorded as meeting for prayer with the apostles in the upper room, as they awaited Pentecost; among them were "Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brethren."

In Gal. 1:18-19 Paul is describing the events of his life following his three years in Arabia after his conversion; at this time he spent two weeks with Peter in Jerusalem and also met another important church leader, "James the Lord's brother." By the time of Acts 12:17 James was evidently already a leader in the Jerusalem church, for Peter, released from prison, asks that the news be reported to James. In Acts 15:13 James is the one presiding at the great council of Jerusalem which met to decide the important question of the relationship of Christianity to the Mosaic law; his leadership role is evident.

In Gal. 2:9 Paul refers to him as a "pillar" of the church�equal to Peter and John. So far James has come from his unbelief! The remaining references to James (Gal. 2:12-13 & Acts 21:18-19) reveal his zeal for the Mosaic law. He was evidently in firm agreement with the decision of the Jerusalem council (Acts 15:13-19), but he was also careful to keep peace between the Gentile believers and the more "legalistic" Jewish Christians (verse 20). Perhaps he himself (as Peter, cf. Gal. 2:11) carried this matter too far; this does not minimize his standing as an apostle, however (Gal. 1:19). (Note: At least four other men beside the original 11 have apostolic status: Matthias [Acts 1:26], Barnabas [Acts 14:4, 14], Paul, and James.) He was "nicknamed" "James the Just" because of his recognized piety, and was said to have "knees like those of camels" because of his much time spent in prayer. Josephus records that James was martyred during an uprising against Christians while Ananus was high priest in 62 A.D.

He was elected to the oversight of the churches of Jerusalem; and was the writer of the Epistle ascribed to James At the age of ninety-four he was beat and stoned by the Jews; and finally had his brains dashed out with a fuller's club.

Details of James the Less' martyrdom are found in the writings of Josephus, Eusebius, and Jerome. When Festus, the governor of Judea, died, Nero replaced him with Albinus. About the same time, Herod Agrippa II replaced the Jewish high priest Joseph with Ananus. After Festus died and before Albinus had arrived in Judea to replace him, the new high priest decided to pressure James the Less to deny that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God. Ananus was taking advantage of a lapse in leadership at the end of Festus' reign. Similar circumstances at the end of Pilate's reign over Judea led to the stoning of Saint Stephen.

The Jewish high priest asked James to stand on the Temple wall and speak against Jesus to the crowds which had gathered in preparation for the Passover. James instead spoke in favor of Jesus as the Christ; many heard him and many were converted. So the Jewish religious leaders threw James down from the Temple wall. Yet he did not die from the fall, so they began to stone him. Still he did not die from the stoning, so a man took a fuller club (used to beat out clothing) and clubbed him to death. In this way died James the Less, one of Twelve Apostles and the leader of the Church at Jerusalem for 30 years.

The Purpose of Writing

Address all Believers

"To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad." 1:1

To the brethren--including the entire church of Jewish Christians.

1:1; 1:16; 2:1,5,14; 3:1; 4:11; 5:7,9,10,19

Encourage Perfection in Christian Character

The epistle of James is a manual of instructions for holy living and a practical guide to Christian life and conduct. As a guidebook for true religion, James gives a pattern showing the characteristics of true faith.

Warn of Vices

In encouraging the perfection of Christian character, James warns of many vices: fatalism, fanaticism, formalism, favoritism, falsehood, fierce spirit, foul talk and evil speaking, and fearlessness and boasting to name a few.

Fatalism, which threw its sins on God

James 1:13�Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God…

Fanaticism, which, under the cloak of religious Zeal, was tearing Jerusalem in pieces.

Many men do not have real convictions of their own and they try to live up to the standards of others and find themselves frustrated.

James 1:20�For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

Formalism consists in washings and outward ceremonies.

Whereas he reminds them that true religion consists in active love and purity.

James 1:27�Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Favoritism - Respect of persons. James 2:1-18

Falsehood, which had made words and oaths play-things (3:2-12)

Fierce spirit, Friendship with the world. Partisanship

If you're under the influence of a strong false view, fierce, unkind and contemptuous spirit, "ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts." Attempting or pretending to defend true religion, and to boast of your works or success in silencing an enemy; is not pure religion, nor true wisdom, and to profess either without giving God the full Glory is to lie against the truth.

James 3:14�But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

Foul Talk or Evil Speaking

James 4:11�Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Fearlessness and Boasting

James 4:16�But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

Instruct in Patience

The great lesson which he teaches them as Christians is patience, and the ground of their patience is that the coming of the Lord is drawing nigh. We need to have full Revelation of God's Word that we may understand God's Eternal Purpose. Patience…

in trial (1:2)

n good works (1:22-25)

under provocation (3:17)

though treated with fraud (5:4)

under oppression (5:7)

under persecution (5:10)

James 5:7-9�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 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

The book of James is not merely informative but inspirational, as well.

The object of the writer is to inspire men to enforce the practical duties of the Christian life. In James 1:2-12 James gives five urgent requirements of faith and in so doing he illustrates faith's spiritual vitality. WE NEED FAITH; without it we will die. In order for faith to remain true and alive it must be added to. Faith can only be added to as it is exercised. Faith is to always be in action, not just in motion doing something, but doing the Will of God.

Textual Outline

Chapter 1 � Practical instruction on Christian living

Chapter 2 � Show no partiality vs. 1-13 � "Faith without works is dead" vs. 14-26

Chapter 3 � The power of the tongue � Earthly wisdom vs. heavenly wisdom

Chapter 4 � The friend of the world is the enemy of God

Chapter 5 � Corrupted rich men � Be patient � More practical instruction on Christian living

The whole book of James is dealing with practical everyday living according to the Word of God. When he begins and ends the book, he deals with several points briefly, but in the main body of the book/letter, he singles out several important issues and takes some time to deal with them individually.

Topical Outline of James

Topical Outline

The trying of your faith. 1:1-27

The showing of your faith. 1:22-3:18

The fruit of your faith.1:5,17-18; 2:5,23; 3:13-18; 5:16

Warnings. 4:1-5:20

Exhortations 1:2,12,18,25,27; 2:1,18; 3:1,17,18; 4:4,6-12,17; 5:7,8,9,17, 18

Instructions 1:3,5-8,13-15; 2:1-13;14-26; 3:1-18; 4:1-5,7-11,13-16; 5:12,13-16

The Trying of Your Faith (Joy and Patience) James 1:1-27

There are five urgent requirements of faith: Joy, Patience, Wisdom, Unwavering Mind and Love.


Count it a joy to serve God even when your faith is being tried. We can have a Joy that will rejoice in the Promise rather than react to the problem. Where Christ is working there is Joy. James 1:2 "Count it all joy" 5:10; 4:9


Know that the trial is to work Patience so that we press in, press through and press on. Patience is a sign your faith is working. Patience has its place with Faith and Joy unto Perfection. Where Christ is working there is Patience.

James 1:3�The trying of your faith worketh patience.
James 1:4�Let patience have her perfect work.

Ask for Wisdom and it shall be given. We are given the Unction to speak and act wisely in the hour of trial. Where Christ is working there is wisdom.

James 1:5�If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God…
Unwavering mind

We need a humble mind that will always depend on the Lord. A faith that refuses to respond to the surging billows of doubt in the hour of trial. Endurance has its place with Faith and Love through every trial. Where Christ is working there is endurance (1:12) with an unwavering mind.

James 1:6�…nothing wavering…
James 1:8�A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Pure Love never fails to make faith work perfectly. Faith and love are content with God's dealings in the hour of trial. Where Christ is working there is Love.

James 1:12�Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
James 1:2�My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

There are diverse temptations and trials. 1:2

Faith tried by the Word. Ps. 105:19; Jer. 23:29; I Cor. 3:13; I Peter 1:7,22

Promises (1:12) /Father of lights (1:17) /Word of Truth (1:18) /engrafted Word (1:21,23) /The Perfect Law of liberty (1:25) /Gospel: pure & unspotted religion /Wisdom from Above (3:17)

God tests and never tempts (James1:12-13). God tests to prove our faith, correct our conduct and to perfect our character.

God allows temptation (James 1:2, 12-13; 2:5; 5:13; I Cor. 10:13).

God rewards those that truly love Him. James 1:12

Faith Tried by Afflictions, Hardships, Tests, and Trials. Affliction is any condition that produces suffering or pain.
There are two types of affliction:

THE FIRST is designed to judge sin (Isaiah 53:4; Matthew 24:29; Romans 2:9)

THE SECOND is designed to purify and perfect the believer (James 1:2-4; 5:13; Rom. 5:3-5; 8:18 II Thess. 1:4-7; Isaiah 48:10; 63:9; Hosea 5:15; II Chron. 33:12; I Peter 5:9,10).

In both cases you that are spiritual must be a help to those that are afflicted (James 1:17; Gal. 6:1; I Cor. 2:15).
How to pray in affliction.
Learn to pray through alone. (learn to believe God for yourself, but there is strength and victory when everyone works together) James 5:13; Isaiah 51:1,2; 40:31; Psalm 34:19; 40:1,2
You can't pray away the night of sorrow, but you can endure. James 1:12; 5:11; Hebrews 12:7
Let God change you inside while you praise Him through the trial. James 5:13b�sing
Pray that you enter not into temptation. Luke 22:40,46;
Watch you therefore and pray always. Luke 21:36
Three examples to follow when suffering affliction are given by James. 5:10 (The prophets); 5:11 (Job); 5:17 (Elijah)
Examples of those falling into temptation.

The Showing of Your Faith. (Wisdom and Meekness) James 1:22-3:18

Jas. 2:18�I will shew you my faith by my works.

Because the kingdom of God is not a natural kingdom (Luke 17:20) our faith is justified in the eyes of those that behold our good works. Matt. 5:16; Eph. 2:10

I Pt. 2:12�…by your good works which they shall behold , glorify God…

Gal. 5:6; I Thess. 1:3; 2:13; Phil. 2:12-13 ; I Jn. 3:18, 23-24; Titus 3:8; 1:13-14; 2:11-14

Your faith without good works…

Your Faith receives the engrafted Word of God with meekness unto perfection. James 1:17,18,21; 2:18-22; I Peter 1:9-11,13-17,22,23

Abraham (2:21,22) was justified by works and his Faith was made perfect by works. I Peter 1:9; Colossians 2:10; 4:12
Rahab (2:25)was justified by works.
Elijah (5:17-20) saw the need of the nation and did what God told him to do. I Kings 18:1 "Go shew thyself…" 18:15 "today"

Your faith with wisdom.

James 1:5�If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
James 3:1�My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. (finding fault harshly and unwisely)
Proverbs 2:6�In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.;
Ecclesiastes 2:26�For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Psalm 105:22 (Teach wisdom). James 3:17�But the wisdom that is from above is first…

Must constantly be produced. Psalm 92:13,14; James 5:7; Phil. 1:11

Must be grown only in good ground. Matt. 13:8,23; Luke 8:8,15; Gal. 5:22,23;Eph.5:9-11

Without partiality 2:1,4 9; 4:11-12

Without hypocrisy 1;8,16,26;3:9-12;4:1-10,17

The Fruit of Your Faith (Righteousness and Peace)

1:5, 17, 18; 2:5, 23; 3:13-18; 5:16

The trying of your faith worketh patience 1:3

Patience shows itself through faith and good works unto perfection. 1:4
The righteousness of God is revealed to us from faith to faith 2:23; 3:17 Rom.1:17; II Cor, 5:21; I Cor. 1:30
Producing a perfect man James 1:4; I Peter 5:10; Eph. 4:13; James 3:2
Producing a blessed man. 1:12, 25
Producing a patient man. 1:3,4; 5:10, 11
Producing a wise man. 1:5; 3:13, 17
Producing a saved soul. 1:21
Producing beloved brethren. 1:2, 16, 19
Producing a man of love 1:12, 27; 2:8

Sacrificial love for people and Unspotted love for God.

Producing a righteous man 1:20; 2:21-23; 5:16
Producing the first fruits of His creatures 1:18; Phil. 3:14

Chief among his creatures; The first-fruits were the best of every kind to be offered to God, and were given as God's peculiar right and portion; thus the new creature is God's peculiar portion taken out of mankind, which being consecrated to God by a new birth, they ought to serve him with a new spirit, new heart and new thankfulness, as living under the highest obligations unto new obedience.

The fruit of righteousness unto holiness (reproduces after its kind)

James 3:18�And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
Romans 6:16�… to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are…
Rom. 6:19�I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
Rom. 6:22�But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

From faith to righteousness unto holiness. Obedience to the word to good conduct unto good character. Perfect faith to perfect conduct unto perfect character

Right character should always produce right conduct. The proof of a man's faith is a manifestation of Christ's life.

1 Peter Introduction

Introduction to I Peter


Peter an Apostle of Jesus Christ

The Purpose For Writing I Peter

To exhort and testify the revelation given to him 5:12

To fulfill the two commandments Lord gave personally to him.

Strengthen the brethren Luke 22:32 I Peter 5:10 II Peter 1:12
Feed the flock John 21:15-17 I Peter 5:2

To show the Word of the Lord endures forever I Peter 1:25

The Word was living in Peter ( 1:25)
The Word was to live in them (1:23, 25)
The Word is to live in us

Every believer is to be guarded by the power of God (1:5)


The TRUE Grace of God (I Peter 5:12)

1 Peter Topical Outline

I Peter Topical Outline

Salvation of the Believer

The Triune God preparing an Elect people (1:2)

(The Eternal Purpose of the Godhead)

Foreknowledge of God—God the Father

-Sanctification of the Spirit—God the Holy Spirit -Sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ—God the Son
-Obedience of the believer unto election—Overcoming Saints (Receiving many sons unto Glory) Hebrews: 2:10 I Peter 1:11; 5:1

God's desire in relation to the overcoming Saints is that they overcome all sin, be thoroughly sanctified and take on the likeness of His Son.

-1:1 Strangers scattered called to be the Elect -1:2 Grace and Peace multiplying unto an Election -1:2 Unto Obedience -1:3 Abundant Mercy -1:10 Grace coming unto you -1:13--Grace revealing Christ in you -1:20--Christ's life manifested in you -1:21--That your faith and hope may be in God -1:22--Obeying and loving fervently -2:1--"Lay aside ALL" -2:12--"Desire the sincere milk of the Word" -Romans 1:17--Righteousness revealed from faith to faith -Romans 5:21--Grace reigns through righteousness -Ephesians 2:8--By Grace through Faith -3:12--The eyes of the Lord are over the Righteous -3:14--If ye suffer righteousness sake happy are ye -3:18--"That He might bring us to God" -4:17-18--Or bring us to judgment -4:19: 1:5--Judge Him faithful and commit your soul into His keeping, as you do well, even though you suffer for it

The Word of God is the Source of our Salvation

The full inheritance is reserved in Heaven 1:4

The Power of God's Word is in the obedient believer 1:5, 22

"It is written" 1:6, 11

"The Gospel is preached" 1:25, 12
The truth is revealed 1:5, 12-13, 20, 22-23
The Word of God revealed is seed producing eternal life
The Truth vitally experienced

The true Grace of God working in the believer's life I Peter 1:2, 10, 13; 2:2, 19, 20; 3:7; 4:10; 5:5, 10, 12

Faith—acting on the Word 1:21

Hope—great expectation 1:3, 21
Love—desire and effort for greater demonstration more and more and more 1:22; 4:8, 14
The truth vitally expressed 1:23, 25

We never fail when obeying the Word

The Word of the Lord Liveth, abideth and endureth forever.

We fail only when we neglect His grace that has been given to us 2:8, 10

God's foreordained plan will be revealed in these last days.

This is an End time deliverance. 1:2, 4-17, 20 4:7, 17


1:2, 18,19, 21,23 2:6, 25 3:18


1:2,3-5, 9, 13, 22; 2:1,2

The Blood of Sprinkling

I Peter 1:2; Hebrews 9: 13, 19, 2; Hebrews 10:22; Hebrews 11:28; Hebrews 12:24; Exodus 12:7; Exodus 2:48;Leviticus 4:6;Leviticus 8:15;Numbers 19:4

The inheritance of every obedient believer is by revelation of Jesus Christ 1:4, 5, 12,13, 20

Begotten 1:3
Redeemed 1:18, 19
Born again 1:23
Be ye holy 1:15, 16

Sanctification of the believer.

"Sanctification of the Spirit" 1:2

Sanctification is a separation from sin and a setting apart unto God by the Spirit

-Be obedient (1:2) -Greatly rejoicing (1:6) -Be ye holy (1:16) -Fear God (1:17) -Purify your soul by obeying the truth (1:22) -Love one another (1:22) -Put away all evil (2:1) -Grow up by desiring the pure milk of the Word (2:2) -Offer up spiritual sacrifices (2:5) -Show forth His excellent greatness (2:9) -Abstain from fleshly lust that war against the soul (2:11) -Be honest and show good works (2:12) -Live unto righteousness (2:24) -Sanctify the Lord in your heart (3:15)

The Submission of the believer

Submit yourself to God 5:5,6

Submit yourself to every ordinance of man 2:13

Government 2:13-17

Business 2:18-25

Marriage 3:1-7

Friendship 3:8-12; 5:5

The Suffering of the Believer 3:13-; 5:10

Trials 1:6,7; 2:19-23; 4:12,13,19; 5:9,10

A season of heaviness

Sickness 2:24

By Whose stripes ye were healed

Opportunity to witness 3:13-21; 4:13; 5:1,2

Give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you

The Stewardship of the Believer 4:1,7 - 5:14

Having the mind of Christ 4:1

Have the love of God 4:8

Having the gifts of God 4:10

Having the ability which God gives 4:11

Having the glory of God revealed in your life 4:14; 5:1

Be steadfast 5:9, 12

Salute 5:13

Greet ye one anther with love and peace 5:14

1 Peter Textual Outline

1Pe 4:1 ¶ Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4 ¶ Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. 7 ¶ But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 12 ¶ Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. 16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. 17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.