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You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
There are four persons by the name of James, mentioned
in the Bible.
The first James, the son of Zebedee and brother of
John, was martyred by Herod possibly in the early 40's A.D.
The second James, the son of Alphaeus, one of the
original twelve Apostles, and who was also called James the Less, and the James
the Little because of his smaller size.
The third James, is the father of the apostle Judas.
The fourth James, is one of the brothers of Jesus, born
of Joseph and Mary and of course at a date after the birth of Jesus.Recall that Mary was a virgin when she
conceived Jesus, but later had several children by Joseph.Originally, the children of Mary and Joseph
rejected Jesus, but after the resurrection came to believe in Him as the Savior
and Son of God.This James later became
a leader of the church of Jerusalem and is the author of the Book of James.
The book was most likely written between 40 and 60
A.D.Most historians believe it to have
been written in the 40's A.D.
James is one of the group of books referred to as the
'general' epistles, since is provides a general application of doctrine across
all aspects of the Christian life. The other 'general' books are 1&2 Peter,
1,2&3 John, and Jude.These were
originally called the 'catholic' books.The word 'catholic' meaning 'universal.'
James is addressed to the 'twelve tribes scattered
abroad,' in reference to the Jewish people who did not live in Judah, but lived
in the many foreign lands scattered across Europe, Africa, Asia, and throughout
the Middle East.
James is the book addressing the application of wisdom
to ones earthly life.The wisdom
referred to is spiritual wisdom, and the life being applied to is ones daily
life. Therefore, the application of Bible doctrine to ones daily life.
We can believe in Christ and be saved.We can listen to doctrine and even learn it,
but application of doctrine to ones life is the final and necessary act before
spiritual growth becomes a reality.
Far too often people believe that living a good and
decent life is all that is required by God, and that could not be further from the
truth.That approach leaves the door
open for all sorts of bizarre and ludicrous ideas and life styles that serve
only ones sin nature.
First, one must learn to enter into the fellowship
sphere and remain there, then second one must learn doctrine, and third one
must learn to utilize in life, what has been learned in the classroom.Thus rounding out ones spiritual life.And from this we call life, the pursuit of
the 'circle of wisdom,' for this is the cycle of life which fills up and
completes ones total existence.
The general outline of the Book of James is as
JAMES (Wiersbe's Expository Outlines)
Perfect Believer and Suffering (1)
perfect work: God's purpose (1:1-12)
perfect gift: God's goodness (1:13-20)
perfect law: God's Word (1:21-27)
Perfect Believer and Service (2)
proved by love (2:1-13)
proved by works (2:14-26)
III. The Perfect Believer and Speech (3)
application: true wisdom (3:13-18)
Perfect Believer and Separation (4)
enemies we must fight (4:1-7)
flesh (vv. 1-3)
world (vv. 4-5)
devil (vv. 6-7)
admonitions we must heed (4:8-17)
against pride (vv. 8-10)
against criticism (vv. 11-12)
against self-confidence (vv. 13-17)
Perfect Believer and the Second Coming (5)
when wronged (5:1-11)
in trials (5:13-18)
in soul-winning (5:19-20)
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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