The letter of James is one of the earliest books in the New Testament. It is a practical letter with a Jewish flavor.  James' writing style resembles the Old Testament prophets. The initial church consisted mainly of Jewish believers. The emphasis of the letter is Christian living.  James does not contradict Paul’s teaching on the doctrine of justification by faith. He argues that true faith will manifest itself in works.  Mental assent to truth is insufficient for salvation. Genuine faith will face trials head on and they are inevitable in Christian life.  They are allowed to produce godly character and maturity.  Faith gives strength to overcome various temptations. True faith hates prejudice and favoritism. Faith is more than knowledge and will be demonstrated by obedience. It rejects earthly wisdom and chooses heavenly wisdom. Faith waits patiently for the coming of Christ. James gives encouragement and instructions to believers who are undergoing adversity (1:19). Christ’s name is found only twice in this letter. The author identifies himself as “James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (James 1:1).  Four men in the New Testament are known as James.  They are the father of Judas, James the son of Alphaeus, James the brother of John, lastly the half brother of Jesus (Luke 6:16; Matthew 10:3; Matthew 4:21; Matthew 13:55). Being the Half brother of Jesus he never sought any celebrity status.  James did not believe in Jesus initially (John 7:5).  After the resurrection  Jesus graciously appeared to James and led him to saving faith (1 Corinthians 15:7).  James had a prominent position in the Jerusalem church. Scholars suggest that James wrote his letter between AD 45-50. James points out that faith leads to obedience. He exhorts us to be doers of the Word and not hearers only (1:22). “Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey”.





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