educate equip enable
Martin Luther once described the book of James as "an epistle of straw", apparently because he thought that it contradicted some of Paul's teaching on grace.
It doesn't really, of course. But I have always loved James' style. He is a straight talker, tells it like it is, and never leaves you wondering if something is right or wrong.
That makes him my kind of guy. I love the way this epistle is packed full of insights. And because I appreciate the use of a good story or word-picture, I really value James' use of analogies.
So who was James really? Since there are a few Jameses mentioned in the New Testament, there are several contenders for the position of "Author of the Epistle of James."
However, the most likely candidate is James the brother of Jesus. According to John 2:5, James was not a believer during Jesus' earthly life. But later on, he joined with the other disciples in the upper room to pray (Acts 1:13-14), and was there during the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:4.
It's quite possible that James was converted when Jesus appeared to him after His resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:7)
James the man is a lesson to us all that God can use anyone. Since James was like the new kid on the block as far as his faith in Christ is concerned, you might not expect him to rise far. But James presided over the apostolic council in Acts 15 and was the leader of the Jerusalem church. As such, he was a man of great influence.
James ended his life by being arrested, charged with having broken the Law, and then stoned to death.
These Expository Sermon Outlines on James cover a wide variety of topics including coping with trials, wisdom, controlling the tongue, identifying real faith, friendship with God, and much more.
So far, the series includes: