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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 follows.



JAMES (Wiersbe's Expository Outlines)


I. The Perfect Believer and Suffering (1)


A. The perfect work: God's purpose (1:1-12)

B. The perfect gift: God's goodness (1:13-20)

C. The perfect law: God's Word (1:21-27)


II. The Perfect Believer and Service (2)


A. Faith proved by love (2:1-13)

B. Faith proved by works (2:14-26)


III. The Perfect Believer and Speech (3)


A. The exhortation (3:1-2)

B. The illustrations (3:3-12)

C. The application: true wisdom (3:13-18)


IV. The Perfect Believer and Separation (4)


A. The enemies we must fight (4:1-7)

1. The flesh (vv. 1-3)

2. The world (vv. 4-5)

3. The devil (vv. 6-7)

B. The admonitions we must heed (4:8-17)

1. Warning against pride (vv. 8-10)

2. Warning against criticism (vv. 11-12)

3. Warning against self-confidence (vv. 13-17)


V. The Perfect Believer and the Second Coming (5)


A. Patient when wronged (5:1-11)

B. Pure in speech (5:12)

C. Prayerful in trials (5:13-18)

D. Persistent in soul-winning (5:19-20)

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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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