James 1: Unwavering Faith

Who was the author of James?

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James 1:1 James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, sends greetings to Israel’s twelve tribes, which are scattered around the world.
King James
James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

What means might have been used to deliver James’s letter?

Author’s Thoughts
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James 1:1 James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, sends greetings to Israel’s twelve tribes, which are scattered around the world.
King James
James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

What did the audience James was addressing have in common?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
James 1:1 James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, sends greetings to Israel’s twelve tribes, which are scattered around the world.
King James
James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

When our faith is tested, what are some of the benefits? What might be considered liabilities?

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Job 23:10 God knows where he is taking me, and when the tests are over, my value will be like pure gold.
2 Corinthians 8:2 In the severity of their affliction, the joy of the Lord is being revealed. In their great depth of poverty, they are rich in giving.
James 1:2–4 Consider it a blessing, my friends, when your faith is tested. Be aware that the painful process produces patience. 4 Don’t be too quick to give up, but allow the situation to bring maturity, strength, and contentment.
1 Peter 4:12-13 Beloved Christians, don’t regard your terrible ordeal as something unusual, because it’s there to demonstrate your faith. Rejoice when you get to suffer for righteousness like Jesus, for you will be overjoyed when he returns in glory.
King James
Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
2 Corinthians 8:2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
James 1:2–4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
1 Peter 4:12-13 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 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.

For what reasons might people give up?

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Luke 14:28–30 “If you were going to build a tower, wouldn’t you first sit down and calculate the cost, to be sure you had the resources to complete it? Otherwise, you might finish the foundation but not have enough to continue. Others would see your failure and laugh at you, saying, ‘See that fool? He started to build the tower but was not able to finish.’ “
Philippians 3:13 Friends, I haven’t figured everything out yet, but I know one thing: the past needs to be forgotten so I can focus on doing better in the future.
2 Timothy 2:4 If a soldier wants to please his commander, he can’t allow distractions that would steal his focus on the battle.
Hebrews 11:6 Unless we believe in God and the rewards that follow, we’ll neither approach him nor seek to please him.
James 1:4 Don’t be too quick to give up, but allow the situation to bring maturity, strength, and contentment.
King James
Luke 14:28–30 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
2 Timothy 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

How can we know whether our beliefs are true?

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John 16:13 “But when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own authority but will say only what he hears. He will reveal to you things to come.”
2 Thessalonians 2:11 God will allow them to embrace lies as if they were the truth, deceiving themselves,
James 1:5 If you don’t know the truth or how to apply it, then ask God, because he’s eager to help and won’t make you feel stupid.
King James
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
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.

Many have asked and not received, supposedly in “faith believing.” What is the faith by which we receive from the Lord?

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Genesis 15:6 Abraham believed God, and his faith was recognized as righteousness.
Matthew 21:22 “When faith connects your prayer with what God wants to do, you will see it happen.”
James 1:6–7 Ask in faith, never wavering in your trust for his guidance, lest you be like the waves of the sea, driven aimlessly by the wind, for such people should never expect to receive anything from the Lord.
1 John 5:14–15 We have this confidence in our Lord: he listens to everything we ask that matches what he wants to do. He hears everything we ask, so we can be sure he will answer our desires in the best possible way.
King James
Genesis 15:6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
James 1:6–7 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
1 John 5:14–15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Why do people have difficulty making up their minds?

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1 Kings 18:21 Elijah said to the people, “How long will you question who is truly God? If it’s Baal, then you should follow him, but if the Lord is God, you should follow him, not Baal.” The people didn’t say a thing.
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right but ends in death.
Philippians 1:22–23 On Earth I can be fruitful in the Lord’s work, but I don’t know if that’s better. I’m caught between two desires: do I want to live for the betterment of others or to die and be with Christ? The latter would be much better for me,
James 1:8 Those who can’t make up their minds are unstable in all they do.
King James
1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Philippians 1:22–23 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

How much concern should we have for what others think  of us?

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1 Corinthians 8:10–11 If people saw you eating in the temple of an idol, then they might ignore their conscience and participate in idol worship as they ate. Jesus gave his life for them. You don’t want your enlightenment to cause anyone to perish.
1 Corinthians 9:22 When people are weak, I empathize with their fragile faith in order to bring them to Christ. I do my best to find common ground with everyone, seeking to help them get from where they are to where God wants them to be.
James 1:9–10 Let those who are looked down upon rejoice that God has lifted them up, and let the prosperous and highly respected people be humble, knowing their lives on Earth will fade like the flowers on the hillside.
King James
1 Corinthians 8:10–11 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
1 Corinthians 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
James 1:9–10 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.

What is the danger of amassing treasures on Earth?

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Matthew 6:19–21 “Do not store up treasure for yourselves on Earth, where moths and rust can eat it up and thieves break in and steal. Instead, store your treasure in Heaven, where it is safe from moths and rust and thieves. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 19:23 Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is nearly impossible for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. “
James 1:11–12 As soon as the hot summer sun withers the grass, the blossoms fall and their beauty is gone. In the same way, those who have amassed great wealth will end up with nothing. Blessed are those who persevere and pass the test, for you will be rewarded with the abundant life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
King James
Matthew 6:19–21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matthew 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
James 1:11–12 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 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.

If God never tempts people to do wrong, why did Jesus say we should pray, “Lead us not into temptation”?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 6:13 ” ‘Keep us from temptation and protect us from evil. For yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.'”
James 1:13–14 When your faith is tested, never say God is tempting you to do wrong, for God can do no wrong and his purpose is always good. People are tempted when their desires take them in a direction different from where God would have them go.
King James
Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
James 1:13–14 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

What does temptation do, for and against people?

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1 Corinthians 10:13 You are subject to the same kinds of temptations as everybody else, but God is always faithful to those who rely on him. The choice is yours. He won’t allow temptation beyond what you can bear, but with your surrender to him, he will bring the victory.
1 Timothy 6:9 The desire to be rich is a terrible trap, leading to many foolish and dangerous desires that result in death and destruction.
James 1:14–15 People are tempted when their desires take them in a direction different from where God would have them go. When those desires are allowed to grow, they prompt evil deeds that ultimately lead to death.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
1 Timothy 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
James 1:14–15 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

What makes God “good and fulfilling”?

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James 1:16–17 Make no mistake, my friends, all that is good and fulfilling comes from God, who brings light to the darkness, always the same, never rising or setting to cast shadows.
King James
James 1:16–17 Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

What makes human beings unique among God’s creatures?

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Romans 8:29 Because God knew what we would become, he sent his Son to be the first example of what his family will be like.
James 1:18 With well-planned purpose through his precise word, God made us his most precious creation.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, we may be God’s children, but we don’t yet know what we will become. But the more of him we see, the more we’ll want to be like him, for we shall see how great he really is.
King James
Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

What distinguishes anger from other passions?

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Ephesians 4:26 Don’t sin with your passion against others who have offended you, but forgive them before the sun sets.
James 1:19–20 Therefore, fellow believers, listen carefully, speak cautiously, and don’t be controlled by your emotions, for anger will never lead to actions that please God.
King James
Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
James 1:19–20 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

In what ways can we avoid the negative influence of the world?

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James 1:21–22 Get rid of the filth, the evil that is so abundant in the world, which takes advantage of people or wishes them harm. Rather, let God’s word change your heart, which has the power to save your soul. Don’t just hear God’s voice as if that’s enough, deceiving yourselves. Listen to him, and then do what he wants.
King James
James 1:21–22 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

What can get in the way of our good intentions?

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James 1:23–24 Hearing but not doing is like seeing yourself in a mirror and walking away with no memory of who you are.
King James
James 1:23–24 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

What causes people to see themselves different from what they see in the mirror?

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James 1:23–24 Hearing but not doing is like seeing yourself in a mirror and walking away with no memory of who you are.
King James
James 1:23–24 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

If we are free to become the person God wants us to be, what hinders us?

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Ephesians 4:22 Trash your old ways that are garbage, corrupted by deceptive desires,
Hebrews 12:1 Since so many people have witnessed God’s glory and the value of knowing him, we should throw off every burden and the pursuit of self-serving desires that hinder us. As the witnesses cheer us on, let’s patiently run the race that God lays before us.
James 1:25 Look at the freedom you have to become the person God wants you to be. Remember what he said and do what he wants, and you will find happiness in all you do.
King James
Ephesians 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

What gives worship true value?

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Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who calls me master will enter the Kingdom of Heaven but only those who do the will of my heavenly Father.”
John 4:23–24 “The time is coming—in fact, it is here now—when the Father looks for true worship that is an expression from your spirit. 24 “God is spirit, so those people who truly worship must do so in spirit.”
John 17:4 “I have glorified you on Earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”
James 1:26–27 Worshipers who say one thing and do another are not glorifying God with their words. Father God recognizes true worship as keeping yourself clean from the filth of this world and meeting the needs of orphans and widows.
King James
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
John 4:23–24 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
John 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
James 1:26–27 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. 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.