• William T. Howe Ph.D.

December 21, 2021

Daily Reading: James 1-5

James 1:3

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

When reading this wonderful book of James please remember this one truth. It was written to believers. In 1:2 and 2:1 James addresses them as brethren, and in 1:3 he speaks of their faith being tried. Likewise, in 5:19 the writer states: Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth… meaning they held the truth but could depart, or err, from it. This is important in the proper interpretation of this book’s teachings.

This is not a book wherein James is attempting to convert souls, but rather teach the souls of faith to live out their faith. This book is very much like the Old Testament book of Proverbs. It is a collection of wise teachings of very practical matters. In it, James deals with perseverance, good works, the tongue, the royal law (loving your neighbor), and other Christian graces. Think about it like this. James is a horizontal look at the life of a believer in Christ. The relationship between individuals and God is a vertical look. The life of a believer with everyone else in the world is a horizontal look. James seems to be looking at things horizontally.

Good works are to be a part of a believer’s life, including prayer, Bible study, being filled with the Holy Spirit and attending church. Can a believer in Jesus Christ live in this life without prayer, Bible study, being filled with the Spirit of God (not having Him; being filled with Him), or attending church? Yes, they can, but their faith would be dead, meaning without works. Would a life of a believer that is absent of these things render all the conditional promises of Scripture to that person? No.

James gives every believer guidance for living their temporal life in a way as to be profitable to all, God, others, and self. We would do well to read and heed his teachings.

So, until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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