THOUGHTS FROM THE EPISTLE OF JAMES
Fr Leo Benjamin
The study in the Epistle of James, we see revealed many practical life principles that we need to learn to live by. As we explore this Epistle, we will soon gain a new perceptive on how to live a dedicated life to Jesus Christ, our Melchizedek High Priest who is the wisdom and power of God.
This Epistle will give us the tools necessary to live a life of faith, asking each of us to test our faith and prove ourselves doers of God’s word and not just hearers. We are challenged to put our faith into action. James’ goal is to empower all believers to profess a walk in the spirit, to live in this world but not of the world.
Since James is the direct half-brother of Jesus, he is also called “James the Just” His name is a Latinized version of Jacob, in Hebrew Ya`aqob meaning supplanter (see Strong’s G2385). This is very telling, giving us a clue of what we should be looking for as we study the spiritual aspects of this epistle.
- Most likely James was not a believer until after the resurrection of Jesus.
- He was a prominent leader in the early church and became the Bishop of Jerusalem.
The Epistle was written some time, after Paul’s conversion and before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. This dates it to around 49 A.D. and makes it the one of the oldest and the first Epistle’s written.
Chapter 1:1 of the Epistle of James is addressed to the twelve tribes of Israel which are scattered abroad, not to Christians? This is because Christian were called “The Nazarenes” or “The people of The Way.” This early movement was considered a sect of Judaism.
Today people that follow Jesus are called Christians and are recognized as Gentiles, and Judaism is for Jew’s, but upon further investigation, this is not exactly correct. The real question we have to ask is who Isreal? Can we assume that we are Israel? And if the answer is yes, then how did we become Israel? The answer to this question is imperative, and we will be exploring this issue to learn who we are, and where we came from. We will be learning what priesthood we are under and the importance of why Jesus went to the cross for us.
James is writing to believers that are worshiping with the Jews scattered outside of Jerusalem. Not surprisingly, the church is being persecuted by the puppet priesthood in Jerusalem. His letter was meant to encourage and instruct, teaching us to walk by faith in the Royal Law.
In this study will learn what this Royal Law is James 2:8, why it is so important and which priesthood administers this law. We will also explore the contrast with the Levitical law, and why the apostle Paul teaches we have been freed from the law… what does paul mean by that? what law are we freed from? We will explore this and more, so we have a clear understanding of what law we are free from.
James’ also gives instructions on the intentions of our hearts, how God answers prayer, as we learn to ask in faith not wavering in our prayers. We will also be learning how powerful our words are, and how they have the power of life and death.
James uses the word prayer not as something that is passive, but as something that can affect others. He says James 5:15, “The prayer of faith shall save the sick” and in James 5:16, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” He stresses the action of faith and the importance of prayer for every believer. James also stresses obedience to God and his word, and how we can show faith in action.
We meet very Thursday evening at 7:45 pm to unpack Gods Word for our everyday life.
MORETOWN BIBLE STUDY WITH THE CHURCH OF THE CRUCIFIED ONE
The Church of the Crucified One, is a Non-denominational, Faith Community, of born again, Spirit Filled Christians, located in beautiful Moretown, Vermont bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Moretown, Waterbury, Waitsfield, Warren, Montpelier, Burlington & The Madriver Valley.