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Bible Commentaries
James 1

Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the BibleBox on Selected Books

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Verse 1

Scriptural view of God, self and brethren -- Jam_1:1 : The epistle of James begins, "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting." ( Jam_1:1 ) James refers to himself as servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. He served God in many ways, but especially as a proclaimer of the gospel. James realized that he was not his own. ( 1Co_16:20 ) He knew that a person cannot be a servant of God without becoming a Christian.

If we want to have the best life here and eternal life hereafter, we must come to Jesus, the Son of God. We must obey Him. ( Heb_5:9 ) There are five steps which Jesus has commanded that we take in order to be born again.again.

We must hear and learn "...that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures." ( 1Co_15:3-4 ) We learn this from hearing the Word of God preached.

We must believe that Jesus is the son of God. We must believe that Jesus died for our sins. Unless we believe this, we cannot have eternal life. ( Joh_3:36 )

Jesus will not forgive our sins if we do not repent of them. ( Luk_13:3 ) To repent of our sins means we change our hearts or minds about sin and we turn away from doing them.

If we truly believe in Jesus Christ, we will CONFESS our faith in Him. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved..." ( Rom_10:9-10 )

We must be baptized for the forgiveness of our sins. We are buried in the water just as Christ was buried in the grave. We are raised from the water just as Christ was raised from the grave. Thus, we show our faith that Christ died, was buried, and arose. When we are baptized our old life of sin is finished. ( Rom_6:1-4 )

James showed great respect for God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as the Father is Lord so is Jesus Christ as well. Jesus Christ is God, just as the Father is God. God desired that all people honor the Son as they honor the Father. It takes humility and submission to be God's servant. ( Jam_4:7 , Jam_4:10 ) James expressed a high esteem for God and for Jesus as ruler of his life. ( Rev_21:3 )

Verses 2-17

Scriptural view of trials -- Jam_1:2-17 : Christians must be "positive" when trials come their way. The man who properly reacts to trials must not react as a pessimist. "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations." ( Jam_1:2 ) "My brethren" refers to their relationship in Christ, not to their relationship as Jews.

Christians have need of patience in running the Christian race. James taught us that: (1) We are blessed by enduring temptation, (2) God does not tempt man with evil, (3) A man's own lust is involved in his temptation, (4) Lust leads to sin and death, and that (5) All good things and only good things come from God. ( Jam_1:17 )

In dealing with life's problems remember that wisdom comes through prayer. ( Jam_1:5 ) The Christian must continue in the faith in spite of trials and difficulties in this life. Trials and temptations are permitted to strengthen us for greater service, if we will allow them to.

Verses 18-25

Scriptural view of the word of God -- Jam_1:18-25 : The person who loves God will respond to his word. It is God alone who is able to save us. "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth..." ( Jam_1:18 ) The instrument that God used in our salvation is His word. Christians must be ready to hear, learn and obey the truth.

We must get sin out of our heart and get God's word into our heart if we want to go to heaven. "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls." ( Jam_1:21 ) God's message must affect our mind and life if we are to be saved.

We must properly respond to God's word by doing what that word says if we are to be saved. "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." ( Jam_1:25 )

Verses 26-27

Scriptural View of pure religion -- Jam_1:26-27 : We learn early in the book of James that an unbridled tongue is a certain proof of a man being only "seemingly religious." James identified what he called "Pure Religion." He said, (1) Pure religion is valuable, but pretend religion is worthless. (2) The one who practices pure religion bridles his tongue. (3) The one who practices pure religion cares for widows and orphans. (4) The one who practices pure religion keeps himself unspotted from the world. And, (5) The one who practices pure religion cleanses himself of all filthiness.

If anyone says he is a Christian, but does not control his sharp tongue, he is just fooling himself. His religion worthless! One who says he is a Christian but does not show charity to widows and orphans is also practicing a useless religion. The true Christian leads a life that is free from the vices commonly practiced by mankind. This life is a reflection of the Christ! If you are not a Christian, please be saved today?

Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on James 1". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/box/james-1.html. 2014.
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