God has blessed His church with the book of James! Luther said it was the "Epistle of Straw", but it is clear that all of James' teachings are cohesive with the rest of scripture, including Romans and justification by faith! In the first chapter of James, he grounds the rest of his letter with God giving us NEW BIRTH by His word. This act of God, in James' mind, is what enables us to have joy and perseverance in trials and temptations, it enables the obedience of faith, it produces humility, destroys partiality, produces love for the needy, tames our tongue, grants us wisdom, brings unity, makes us generous, and grants us perseverance to the end. James was profoundly converted by the Holy Spirit from slavery to the Law to union with his brother Jesus! James awakens us to what genuine faith in Jesus WILL look like! Thank you Holy Spirit for giving us these truths!
Main point summary
We can have joy even in our trials by knowing they are for our good, and that God will give us wisdom for them and bless us in them. FOR God will give eternal glory to those who persevere under trial and temptation by means of the amazing gift of new birth by His gospel. Therefore, humble yourself under and submit to the word of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ by hearing it with faith and by obeying it, proving yourself to have genuine faith!
1 a James, a b bond-servant of God and c of the Lord Jesus Christ, To d the twelve tribes who are 2 e dispersed abroad: f Greetings.
Greetings to my fellow Jews scattered throughout the world; from James, the bond-servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ
a Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter b various 1 trials, knowing that a the testing of your b faith produces 1 c endurance. And let 1 a endurance have its perfect 2 result, so that you may be 3 b perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Know that God is using trials for your good to mature and complete you! Therefore don't react to trials with anger or distrust of God, but rather have JOY in knowing they are accomplishing essential good for you!
But if any of you a lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and 1 without reproach, and b it will be given to him. But he must a ask in faith b without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, c driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a 1 a double-minded man, b unstable in all his ways.
BUT, if you lack wisdom in your trials, ask God for it, trusting in His character to generously give it! Not in doubting/half-hearted faith.
a But the 1 brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because a like 1 flowering grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with 1 a a scorching wind and b withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.
If your trials result in loss of riches and possessions, consider it all joy, instead of being discouraged as you see the rich sinners flourishing, for they will soon fade away, but you will be blessed!!!
a Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has 1 been approved, he will receive b the crown of life which the Lord c has promised to those who d love Him.
FOR, those who persevere in trial and temptation, trusting God, will receive eternal glory, the crown of Life!
Let no one say when he is tempted, “ a I am being tempted 1 by God”; for God cannot be tempted 2 by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then a when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when b sin 1 is accomplished, it brings forth death.
Persevere BY knowing that God is NOT tempting you to evil, but the evil desires to sin resulting in death come from your own indwelling sin and lusts.
a Do not be 1 deceived, b my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is a from above, coming down from b the Father of lights, c with whom there is no variation or 1 shifting shadow. In the exercise of a His will He b brought us forth by c the word of truth, so that we would be 1 a kind of d first fruits 2 among His creatures.
BUT RATHER, [persevered by] knowing that in these trials, God, who has no darkness in Him, is the source of ONLY good gifts, which includes the eternally beneficial results of your trials. This is demonstrated by the love He has already shown you in giving you new birth and making you the apple of His eye by the word of truth.
1 This a you know, b my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, c slow to speak and d slow to anger; for a the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore, a putting aside all filthiness and all 1 that remains of wickedness, in 2 humility receive b the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
THEREFORE, be quick to hear and not argumentative and stubborn, so that you will humble yourself and submit to Word of Christ, which is able to save your souls!
a But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his 1 natural face a in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, 1 he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, a the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but 1 an effectual doer, this man will be b blessed in 2 what he does.
Demonstrate your submission to the word of Christ BY not simply hearing the word of God, which is hypocrisy, but rather hearing and persevere in obedience to it and so you will be blessed!
If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not 1 a bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion a in the sight of our God and Father is this: to b visit c orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained 1 by d the world.
BECAUSE, true faith and obedience to God is to love people and be Holy, but fake faith is evident by an evil heart overflowing into sinful actions.