A BELIEF THAT BEHAVES

That is what Guy King entitled a sermon from the Book of James. It is because James does not focus on theology; rather, he deals with practical Christianity.

We have lots of “professors”, those who identify themselves as Christians but live like the “devil”. As has been said over the years, “Go to a funeral and you wonder who the preacher is speaking of, because we have never seen any indication of this noble character that now occupies the coffin”.

As Jewish people turned to Christianity they began to experience opposition, which developed into persecution. So intense was the persecution that it was like quick-silver being stomped on. Many felt the need to abandon Jerusalem and it is to these “twelve tribes” that James writes.

Remember, it is to those of this new found faith that he is writing. He addresses them as needing “pruning”. His desire is that they become more in keeping as having experienced “refining”. In fact, there is constant reference to the Sermon on the Mount. Again, James takes them “to the woodshed”, so to speak. And, what does he enjoin upon them?

So, you are going through persecution, Rejoice! We need to learn endurance! It is what they were going through… quit complaining! God is teaching us endurance; He is teaching us how to be humble as he applies discipline. He has promised that we shall experience crowning when we complete the course, approval of God, and in case you fear death, “must we live?”

All of those things are brought to our attention in the opening verses of James Chapter 1. As I indicated previously, R E J O I C E!

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