In James you get the perfect law of liberty applied to the Christian’s path. We should not act in self-will, but be patient with confidence in God, thus acquiring wisdom and strength. If there is evil, it comes from man – if good, from the unchangeable God, who of His own will begat us by the word of truth (chap. 1).
James then introduces sweeping denunciations against riches and the spirit of the world. He speaks of three laws –
- the law of God, as to which, if we offend in one point, we are guilty of all
- the royal law, “love your neighbour as yourself”
- the law of liberty, by which our conduct is to be judged, and where the will of God and the our own nature run together
Mere faith in the head is treated as worthless; the test of a man’s living faith, is in his works. But the works referred to are works of faith. Any other works are bad works (chap. 2).
We do not get redemption in James; but the apostle insists on self-subjection, especially as regards the tongue: hence we are warned against being many teachers. We are to display the true character of heavenly wisdom. The fruits of righteousness are sown in peace.
The epistle closes with a strong exhibition of the power of the prayer of faith. The letter is addressed to the twelve tribes; but faith in Christ, and the existence of the assembly, are distinctly recognised, even though the synagogue is also still in existence.
Originally by JND. Lightly edited by Sosthenes, September 2014
– Se A Brief Outline of the Books of the Bible for the original