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The Epistle of James

James writes to Jewish Christians in the Roman Empire.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
One of the letters in the New Testament was written by James. We can’t be sure which James wrote this short book, but most believe it was James, the half-brother of Jesus who became one of the leaders of the church in Jerusalem. Paul called James one of the pillars of the church (Galatians 2:9). <br/>He addresses his letter to Jewish Christians scattered throughout the Roman Empire. – Slide 1
James starts his letter by encouraging those facing temptations and trials for being a Christian. He urges them to be patient and have faith. James says, ‘Happy is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.’ – Slide 2
James went on to say, ‘Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.’ He encourages Christians to obey God and live by His Word. – Slide 3
James warned people not to favour those who were rich by giving them the best seats and showing them special attention. – Slide 4
Instead they must help and respect those who were poor. ‘Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him?’ – Slide 5
James stresses the importance of good deeds; ‘What good is it my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no good deeds? Can such a faith save him?’ – Slide 6
‘Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food and one of you says to him, “Go in peace, keep warm and well fed.”’ – Slide 7
‘If you do not give him what he needs, what good are your words? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.’ – Slide 8
‘Was not Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? His faith was made complete by what he did.’ – Slide 9
James gives strong warnings about guarding what we say. Just as a horse can be controlled by a bit in its mouth, and a large ship steered by a small rudder … – Slide 10
And a small spark can cause a forest fire – in the same way our tongues can cause a lot of harm or a lot of good. ‘Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.’ – Slide 11
James tells Christians not to slander or judge each other. <br/>Nor should they boast about what they will do in the future. ‘What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ – Slide 12
James encourages Christians not to be proud but to ‘humble themselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.’ – Slide 13
James has strong words for those who were rich and treating others unfairly. ‘Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you.  You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.’ – Slide 14
James finishes his letter by once again encouraging Christians facing trials to be patient. ‘Be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged.’ – Slide 15
‘Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.’ – Slide 16
He encourages Christians to have faith when they pray. He reminded them of the prophet Elijah who was a human being, even as they were. ‘Elijah prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.’ – Slide 17
‘My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.’ – Slide 18
Slide 19