James

FAITH NEEDS ACTIONS

Imagine your brother at the age of 30 starting to say that he is the Messiah - would you believe him? James, the brother of Jesus, writes our only letter we have from him in the New Testament. With incredible imagery and power, read a letter from the man that was the head of the Jerusalem Church in the 1st Century and the most Jewish in nature of all of the disciples, as he presents his passionate plea that faith needs actions. We are called to be people who don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk.  Be encouraged with passion as you read the book of James!

PART ONE | PART TWO

 
 

 

Part One

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial

J 1:12


DIVE

one moment can change your life

Here I sit on my own contemplating the last couple of days. My family is shattered, my mother is distraught. My brother has been put to death as a criminal. I am trying to work out where it all went wrong. I mean how can this be, how can we get through this? Lost in my memories, I reminisce of a time when we were a family. All of us together, our eldest brother a carpenter. We lived a quiet life, we were a good Jewish family. I mean every now and then Mum would bring up the incredible miracle that was my brother's birth. There was that day that he stayed at the temple and Mum and Dad couldn’t find him, boy was he in trouble when he got home! And Dad would tell stories of how an angel came and gave him instructions. But here he was a 30 year old man and his life was normal, nothing spectacular had happened.

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DEEP DIVE

by ryan kerrison

From the theologically honest, yet exegetically erroneous charge by Luther, labelling it the “epistle of straw”, to contemporary scholars relegating it to a secondary status within the canon, the Book of James has far and above survived the critique of many. Filled with direct, no-nonsense staments, exortations to prayer, saving faith, utterly pragmatic instruction, and my own personal favourite, taming the tongue, James remains one of my favourite epistles in the entire bible. This Deep Dive will be a little different to the usual oddesey into Greco-Roman, or Ancient Jewish culture, rather it will be some of my own reflections, thoughts and observations from within the epistle of James. I hope you enjoy and find something within this book for yourself!

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Part Two

be patient and stand firm

J 5:8


DIVE

leadership lessons from james

Imagine being a leader of a church where your people are being hunted down, imprisoned and killed for their faith. You appoint seven leaders and watch one of them get killed before your eyes, stoned to death. And as you turn your head to see the people responsible for killing your leader you see a man handing the coats of the assassins back to them and congratulating them on a job well done.

You go back to your Church which has reduced considerably because most of your families have fled the area due to the persecution. This is what Jesus said would happen, this is harder to cope with than you imagined. You are passionate about this Church, you are passionate about ensuring that the ‘world’ doesn’t infiltrate the customs that are in place. You are passionate about the ones that have left, that they remain in Christ and continue on in maturity. Peter and John established this place and now it’s your turn as the Senior Minister.

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DEEP DIVE

by nathan ross

The book of James is such an intriguing, challenging and confronting book that has been able to endure high levels of scrutiny and remain a part of what we would now consider the New Testament canon. The book of James faced a large degree of resistance, even by major theologians such as Iranaeus and Luther, due to contentious areas such as authorship, date, but most importantly the theology contained within the book of James.

It has been typically claimed that the book of James does not contain any theology due to its lack of explicit theological teaching or referencing on the person and work of Jesus Christ. Rather it can be considered theological in the way that the author presents a kind of teaching, or sermon, on the reality of a theological commitment in practice. The book of James contains theological insight into areas of trials and temptations, wisdom, the power of words, and lastly the balance of faith and deeds. This balance of faith and deeds, particularly found in the passage of James 2:14-26, is the topic that this Deep Dive will be concerned with.

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