Main point summary
What James is trying to say is to follow the law but be cautious, for we can easily be only listeners and not doers of the word allowing us to be prideful in our own righteousness leading us to destruction. But instead follow God by counting all as joy in times of trial, persevering and seeking God in faith, boasting in God, understanding the roots of sin knowing god's sovereignty so that we may be redeemed.
a James, a servant 1 of God and b of the Lord Jesus Christ,
This is from James, a servant of God and Lord Jesus Christ
To c the twelve tribes in d the Dispersion: Greetings.
James greets specifically to the twelve tribes that are in the state of being dispersed.
e Count it all joy, my brothers, 1
Count it all as joy with this attitude
when you meet trials f of various kinds,
Because when you go through trials whatever it may be
for you know that g the testing of your faith h produces steadfastness.
It tests your faith which builds up your perseverance in God.
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be i perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Therefore let perseverance continue on and grow completing us as God has designed.
j If any of you lacks wisdom,
If any brother lacks wisdom
k let him ask God, l who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
then God will provide generously by his grace and it will be given
But m let him ask in faith, n with no doubting,
But by asking in faith in God with no doubt
for the one who doubts is like o a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
Because the one who doubt are unstable like waves dependent on the wind
For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
for the person is unstable he will not receive anything.
p he is a double-minded man , q unstable in all his ways.
therefore he is double-minded in confusion and not trusting in God with faith.
Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and r the rich in his humiliation,
Counting all as joy has a purpose it is so that the lowly brother may glorify God unlike the rich man
because s like a flower of the grass 1 he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and t withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits .
let me explain , the rich man is like a flower as time passes the elements takes the life of the flower. Like this the man will parish.
u Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial , for when he has stood the test he will receive v the crown of life, w which God has promised to those who love him.
But blessed is the man who preserves in times of trials for he will receive eternal life as God has promised.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one .
Instead of being like the rich man, be like the lowly brother. Do not blame God for the temptations of the flesh
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire .
Because each person is tempted by their desires
Then desire x when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and y sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
then the desires lead into the birth of sin which leads to death
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.
In contrast do not be deceived in believing in the self
z Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
Because every good and perfect gift is from God
coming down from a the Father of lights b with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 1
By a God who is unchanging from heaven
c Of his own will he d brought us forth by the word of truth,
By his own will he brought us truth in his word
e that we should be a kind of f firstfruits of his creatures.
So that we may be a first fruit of his creation
g Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person h be quick to hear, i slow to speak, j slow to anger;
How do we count it all as joy and have faith in Him wholeheartedly and be like the lowly brother? Quick to listen and slow to respond in wisdom from having faith in God
for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Because the anger of man does not lead to righteousness
Therefore k put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with l meekness the implanted word, m which is able to save your souls.
Therefore get rid of filthiness and the growing nature of wickedness and receive the Gospel which will save you.
But be n doers of the word,
How do we do this? By being doers of the word
and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
in contrast to be hearers only the ones who do not act on what they have learned from the word
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.
because if anyone is not a doer he will forget what it means to follow the word
But the one who looks into the perfect law, o the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, p he will be blessed in his doing.
But the one who is a doer will be blessed. following the law, and persevering unlike the one who does not follow what they've learned.
If anyone thinks he is religious q and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s r religion is worthless.
Because those who do not follow the religion and believe they are religious the religion is meaningless
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: s to visit t orphans and widows in their affliction, and u to keep oneself v unstained from the world.
In contrast a religion that follows the Father, and in Jesus Christ by loving those in need and keeping themselves unstained from the world that is pure
What to do when you lack wisdom If you lack wisdom ask God in faith without doubt, believing that God will respond in grace.
Our attitude towards all trials Count all as joy in times of trial for it builds character and completes us as God has designed us to be
Example of how we should act Be the lowly brother and praise God. Remain steadfast in trial for God has promised the crown of life for those who love him.
Trials is not temptation Trials are from God does not tempt anyone but do not be fooled by your own desires for it leads to sin.
Warning Do not deceive yourself in thinking that righteousness is from your works because every gift is from God for His will, will be done.
Manner Warning and call to righteousness Be watch your actions carefully, putting away all sin and instead receive the gospel
Manner How we are to act Be doers of the word not only hearers and follow the law and persevere in faith for you will be blessed
Warning Do not be religious and be a hypocrite but instead follow what is pure and undefiled before God
Action - Purpose This is action purpose due to the connection between counting all as joy during trials and relying on his wisdom SO THAT We may boast in the glory of God unlike the rich man which is reliant on the self
Ground Be a doer of the word acting upon it for it is the true religion because not acting on it is meaningless
Manner - Action The action is to Quick to hear slow to speak slow to anger put away filthiness receive humbleness from the gospel be doers of the word following God for this reflects the true religion With the attitude counting all as joy Persevering in faith Seeking God's wisdom in faith Boasting in God glorifying God understanding the roots of sin knowing that God is sovereign (every good gift is from God) by God's own will and truth so that we may be redeemed
Devotional James 1:19-21 In these verses James brings out some of the actions we has brothers in Christ should do, we should be quick to listen and understand in contrast to how we would respond to others around us. Slow to speak and if offended or angered to be slow to become angry at others. Because being angry at the other person does not reflect God's righteousness. Just like how anger does not produce righteousness we should stop all filthiness in our lives and growing wickedness in our hearts. We should replace it with the Gospel and understand it in humbleness. The Gospel humbles us allows us to understand the gravity of our sin and the cost it took to redeem us. We should reflect this in our actions in how we understand others, how we respond, and our sinfulness we must put away. For that reflects the nature of God to those around us. Although following the rules may bolster our views on others in a more judgmental mindset, James warns us to not be deceived ourselves (James 1:16-18) and everything is from God and for His glory. The re-emphasis of the Gospel really reminds us of how amazing God is and our actions are a small part of a larger plan that God has for each one of us.