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Bible Commentaries

Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT

James 2

Outline of Chapter Two

1. Favoritism 1-13

1. Negative command 1

2. Improper practice 2-4

3. Inconsistency 5-7

4. Our Duty 8-9

5. Importance of partiality 10-11

6. Matter of Judgment 12

2. Living Faith

1. Assertion 14

2. Illustration 15-16

3. Restatement 17

4. An objection 18

5. Rebuttal 19-23

6. Final Argument 24-26

Verse 1

Discussion Questions on Chapter Two

(The question numbers refer to the verse number.)

1. Who is addressed in this verse? How do we “hold” faith? What is partiality? Is partiality another word or prejudice? List some kinds or types of partiality in our world. Can we have faith in Jesus and be partial?

Verse 2

2. What kind of partiality is illustrated? How should we treat those who come into our assemblies? How should we treat a person with expensive clothes and jewelry? How should we treat a person in dirty clothes? What is the difference in the soul of these two types of people?

Verse 3

3. Should we pay attention to the wealthy person? Should we pay attention to the poor person? Why do we show some people more attention than others? Have you ever been on the other end - treated differently for some reason? List some ways we show distinction in how we treat people.

Verse 4

4. How do we show partiality? How do we become judges? Is judging - right or wrong? Are there passages that teach judging is wrong? Read these verses: Mat_7:1 ; Rom_14:10 ; Rom_14:13 Are there passages that suggest judging is right? Study these passages: Joh_7:24 ; 1Co_6:2-3 How can you tell when judging is forbidden? In what areas are we to judge others? In what areas are we forbidden to judge others?

Verse 5

5. Why does James tell us to listen? Why don't we pay attention as we should? Is our attention span as long as it should be? How are the poor chosen to be rich in faith? Is it better to be poor than rich? Name some rich men that God blessed. Name some poor men that God blessed. Name some poor men that God made wealthy. Who are heirs of the kingdom? To whom is the kingdom promised?

Verse 6

6. How do we dishonor some people? What does the term “disrespect” mean as we describe how others treat us?

How do rich people oppress us? Why does James say that the rich drag us into courts? Is the legal system slanted toward the rich?

Verse 7

7. What does the word “blaspheme” mean? Why do some think blasphemy is an unforgivable sin? What does Mat_12:31-32 teach? How do the rich blaspheme? Whom do they blaspheme? What is the name we are called?

Verse 8

8. What is the “royal law” in the Scriptures? What “scriptures” are intended here? Explain: Love your neighbor. Explain: As yourself. Who is my neighbor? Study Luk_10:25-37 . Is our neighbor one who lives around us or one we can help? How can we fulfill this law of God?

Verse 9

9. How do we show partiality to others? What ever happened to “sin” in our language? Why do avoid this word? Why do we use - mistake, goof, error in judgment - instead of SIN? Why is partiality a sin? What does the word “transgressor” mean?

Verse 10

10. Who keeps the whole law? Was it possible to keep every precept in the Law of Moses? What does it mean to stumble? Have you ever “tripped” over some command in the Bible? Why is “one point” the same as violating the entire law? Why are we guilty of all the law by failing in one point?

Verse 11

11. What law is quoted? What is adultery as used in the Ten Commandments? What is murder as used in the Ten Commandments? When does one become a transgressor of the law?

Verse 12

12. How should we speak? Why will be NOT be judged by the Law of Moses? By what law will we be judged?

Verse 13

13. Is God a God of mercy? Will there come a time when His mercy will end? What part does our showing mercy to others have in our judgment? How does mercy triumph over judgment?

Verse 14

14. Can someone claim to have faith, but not be saved? How is the word “profit” used in this verse? What is meant by “works” in this section? Can faith save? Can faith without works save?

Verse 15

15. How should we treat a poor brother or sister? What does the word “benevolence” mean? What does the word “destitute” imply? What about a widow who is destitute? ( 1Ti_5:5 )

Verse 16

16. Should we wish the poor well? Should our wishes be supported by our actions? Is there any value in well wishing without actual help? Are there some we should NOT help? Give a definition of the word - Help. Are there things we do that do NOT help?

Verse 17

17. Can our faith be dead? Explain how faith saves. Are we saved by faith? What is faith by itself? What are the “works” mentioned in this verse? Can our faith go up and down, have highs and lows? Can our faith die?

Verse 18

18. Can we separate faith from works? Can one have works without faith? Can one have faith without works? How do we demonstrate our faith? Explain how works show our faith.

Verse 19

19. How many gods are there? Does Satan believe in God? Will Satan be saved? (Since faith saves, will Satan be saved?) What does the word “tremble” suggest? Why did Felix tremble in Act_24:25 ?

Verse 20

20. Who is a foolish man? Are men foolish or is it their actions? Is this information important to you? Does it make a difference if our faith is dead or not?

Verse 21

21. Discuss: Abraham's faith. Was Abraham justified by faith OR by works? What did the sacrifice of Isaac show about the faith of Abraham? See Rom_4:1-12 . Is there a contradiction between Romans and James?

Verse 22

22. How does faith function together with works? How is faith made perfect by our works? See Gal_5:6 - “faith working by love”

Verse 23

23. What does Gen_15:6 teach about Abraham? What does the word “accounted” (imputed in KJV) mean? Was Abraham righteous or was it just accounted as if he was righteous? Why was Abraham called the “Friend of God”?

Verse 24

24. Is man justified by: a)faith, b) works, c) both, or d) neither? Explain the denominational teaching of “faith only.” How many times does this phrase occur in the New Testament?

Verse 25

25. Who was Rahab? What was her “occupation”? Why is she always connected with it? How was she justified by works? What do the examples of Abraham and Rahab teach us?

Verse 26

26. Explain the example of the body and the spirit. What is the spirit of man? What is the soul of man? What is the difference between spirit and soul? What does Heb_4:12 teach about spirit and soul? How is faith dead without works?

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Bibliographical Information
Luscombe, Manly. "Commentary on James 2". Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mlc/james-2.html. 2021.